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Academic Support

Academic Support is the “go to” office for current students at Mercyhurst University. Every student is assigned a Faculty Advisor and an Academic Counselor based on the student’s major. Academic Counselors work one-on-one with students on a variety of academic and personal issues and are able to handle most concerns that students encounter. It is the goal of Academic Support to foster satisfying experiences that lead to student success and persistence towards degree completion.


The Office of Academic Support delivers a wide-range of services to students, faculty and administration. It is our goal to foster satisfying experiences that lead to student success and persistence, understanding that effective student outreach leads to a strong student success program.

Academic Support counselors help students with most issues they may encounter, including:

  • Concerns about their academic performance
  • Concerns regarding academic procedures and policies
  • Assistance to freshmen (or any student!) on navigating the college environment
  • Help with developing plans of action for students needing more structure
  • Assistance in finding and utilizing a peer tutor
  • Assistance to undeclared students in exploring interest areas
  • Help with understanding Core requirements
  • Assistance with the change of major process

If you have any questions regarding Academic Support or the services offered, please feel free to contact any of the Academic Counselors.



The Office of Academic Support offers a variety of programs that assist students, faculty and administration. Among the various programs offered by the department are:
  • The Academic Success Series
  • The Majors and Minors Fair
  • Classroom Presentations
  • How to Register Workshops
  • Residence Hall Programming
  • Web Advisor Workshops
  • Popcorn Fridays

If you have any questions regarding Academic Support or the programs offered, please feel free to contact any of the Academic Counselors.


Tutoring Center

Welcome from the Tutoring Center at Mercyhurst University. 

The Tutoring Center provides one-on-one or group peer tutoring for most classes.  Enrolled students may be tutored for 3 hours per week/per course.  Peer tutors are students who have earned a “B” grade or better in the class for which they tutor and have been recommended by the faculty.  Tutoring is offered to enrolled students free of charge.  

There are no set times for students and tutors to meet.  Students request tutoring through the My.Mercyhurst portal and set up a time to meet in the Hammermill Library that works for the two of them.  Tutors, when they have received three or more requests for the same class, can offer group tutoring sessions.  Group tutoring sessions takes advantage of collaborative learning and the kind of mutual support and encouragement found in more traditional group learning settings.  

For more information regarding the Tutoring Center or our peer tutors, please contact:.

Justin Ross, Academic Counselor/Retention Specialist
Director of the Tutoring Center
Office location: 126 Egan Hall
Phone: (814) 824-3605

Tutoring Center Office
Phone: (814) 824-3122


Writing Center

The Writing Center assists students individually at any stage of the writing process, including:

  • Analyzing and understanding the assignment
  • Proofreading a rough draft
  • Revising and editing a developed or final draft
  • Following academic style and citation methods.

Students may bring to the Writing Center any projects such as personal essays, research papers, résumés, business letters, or lab reports.  The Writing Center maintains a library of helpful handouts regarding common errors of grammar, issues of style, elements of structure, and typical citation examples.

The Center’s writing consultants work with writers interactively and individually.  The consultants come from a variety of majors, have performed highly in their own writing courses, have been recommended by faculty, and are hired and supervised by the Center’s director.  They can help students improve their writing skills in any subject or level. 

The service is free to all current students by walk-in or appointment.  Appointments may be made at the Center or by calling 824-2303.  The Writing Center is located on the main floor of the Hammermill Library, room 205, and open six days a week.

More information is available through the MyMercyhurst portal site.


Greg Brown, Ph.D.

Director of the Writing Center
Phone: (814) 824-3092


Undeclared Students

The Office of Academic Support offers a wide variety of support for undeclared students.  You will meet one on one with your Academic Counselor to explore your interests and abilities.  You will also attend the annual Majors and Minors Fair where you will get to meet with the faculty from the various academic departments.  Mercyhurst has over 100 academic areas of study that you can explore.  Between 50 to 70% of college students who start off with a declared major in their freshman year will change their major plans at least once during their college careers. Rather than change your mind later, take the time now to explore interests and majors with your Academic Counselor.


Contact Us


First Floor of Egan Hall, (814) 824-2299
Monday—Thursday: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
At least one counselor will be available during those times
Friday: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Justin Ross
Academic Counselor/Retention Specialist
Director of Tutoring Services
126 Egan Hall

Justin Ross joined Academic Support & Retention Services in July 2008. He currently serves as the academic counselor for the School of Arts and Humanities and School of Social Sciences, and in July 2010, began overseeing the Tutoring Center at Mercyhurst. Justin earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and is finishing work for a Ph.D. in Organizational Learning and Leadership. He is currently writing his dissertation, which explores student/faculty interactions and the impact those interactions have on the retention of college students. When Justin is not thinking about or writing his dissertation, he reads (currently: Jon Meacham’s Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power), snowboards (on very slow snow), and works on the many, many projects brought about by owning a home.

Erica Cox
Academic Counselor
128 Egan Hall
(814) 824-2360

Erica Cox has been an Academic Counselor at Mercyhurst since August 2010. Her undergraduate degree was in History and Sociology and she has her Master’s in Counseling. Erica works closely with students in the Hafenmaier School of Education and Behavioral Science and Zurn School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Erica also works closely with undeclared students. In her free time, Erica enjoys spending time with her husband, crafting, cooking, and is a Civil War Buff. Erica and her husband are also looking forward to the birth of their first child in the next couple of months!

Tom McKinnon
Academic Counselor
127 Egan Hall
(814) 824-2475

Tom McKinnon has served Mercyhurst University in a variety of roles and departments, including, the Learning Differences Office, the Department of Athletics, the Residence Life and Student Conduct Office and most recently the Office of Academic Support as an Academic Counselor. Tom’s primary population includes students from the Walker School of Business, Hospitality Management and the Communications Department. He also works as a liaison between the Office of Academic Affairs and the Athletic Department, working to solve student-athlete and athletic related issues. Tom’s free time is spent coaching hockey and golf.