Learning Support Services

Comprised of Learning Differences, academic accommodations, the Testing Center, the Tutoring Center, and the Writing Center, Learning Support Services is committed to identifying and reducing physical, attitudinal, and programmatic barriers for all students. Through collaboration with faculty, staff, and administrators, Learning Support Services ensures access to campus programs, services, and facilities for students, including those with disabilities. By providing comprehensive service, our area addresses effective participation, learning needs, academic performance, and retention so that students’ opportunities for achievement may be equalized, while supporting academic integrity and rigor.

Services for Students

    Mercyhurst University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities as required by law and in compliance with standards set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    Qualifying disabilities can include learning disabilities, psychological or neurological conditions, visual, hearing or mobility impairments, and chronic health or medical conditions, which substantially limit one or more of a person's major life activities and may necessitate modifications to the services, programs, or facilities of the university.

    Any student needing academic accommodations must provide documentation of their disability and be approved by the ADA Committee to be eligible.

    Supporting documentation should:

    • Be written on letterhead from the provider or facility; be legible and clear.
    • Include the requesting individual’s full name.
    • State the specific disability and date of diagnosis.
    • Describe the diagnostic methodology used to identify the specific disability.
    • Describe the functional limitation(s) associated with the disability.
    • Describe the expected progression and/or stability of the disability.
    • Include recommendations to allow the requesting individual to participate fully and equally in the activity or program.
    • Include the appropriate official signature and contact information for the associated provider or facility.
    • Following approval from the committee, the learning differences coordinator will assist the student to facilitate the student’s academic accommodations.

    The qualified student who provides current documentation of a diagnosed disability will be eligible to receive, free of charge, academic adjustments and auxiliary aids. Learning Support Services coordinates the following accommodations for students who have received approval through the ADA Committee: testing modifications (extended time in an alternate location), auxiliary aids (note takers, readers, scribes), course substitution and/or reduction, and assistive technology (reading and voice recognition).

    Students who have confirmed their enrollment with the university should submit their application for academic accommodations and supporting documentation through the Academic Accommodations Request Form. Please note: students should not submit this form until they have officially confirmed their enrollment at Mercyhurst.

    The Testing Center provides a proctored alternative testing environment for students who receive ADA approved testing accommodations and any current Mercyhurst student who needs to complete a make-up quiz/exam. The Testing Center strives to provide an optimal testing environment while maintaining strict testing polices, consistent with in-class exam expectations.

    Non-Mercyhurst students who are interested in utilizing the Testing Center for exam proctoring should contact testingcenter@mercyhurst.edu with their requests. 

    The Tutoring Center offers one-on-one or small group tutoring in most subject areas.  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 are often recommended by the faculty. Tutoring is offered to enrolled students free of charge.  

    Students seeking tutoring should visit the Tutoring Center Hub for information about scheduling an appointment or how to request a tutor for a course. Students can also visit the Tutoring Services Desk located on the main floor of the library.

    For more information regarding the Tutoring Center, please email tutoring@mercyhurst.edu.

    The Writing Center assists undergraduate and graduate student writers 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.
    • Understanding different writing genres (e.g., lab reports, presentations).
    • Working through student-specific questions and challenges related to writing.

    Students may bring any project to the Writing Center, such as personal essays, research papers, résumés, business letters, or lab reports. The Center’s experienced writing consultants work with writers interactively and individually in a friendly and supportive environment. 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.  

    Students can book an in-person appointment with a consultant via WCOnline, our online scheduling system. Appointments are held in the Writing Center located on the main floor of the Hammermill Library. Students taking all online courses can book a face-to-face remote appointment or submit their writing for an Online Document Review through WCOnline. Visit the Writing Center Hub for details on how to make an appointment.

    For more information regarding the Writing Center, please email: writingcenter@mercyhurst.edu.

Pathways to Academic Success for Students (PASS) Program

Recognizing the importance of starting college on the right foot, the Office of Learning Support Services hosts the Summer PASS Program each summer for incoming freshmen. Participation in the PASS Program involves living on campus for three weeks, completing a college course (while earning three college credits), and developing a higher level of academic skills and abilities. Students are supported by Learning Support Services professional staff and upper-level peer mentors. The Summer PASS Program will create confidence and provide knowledge about the campus and Erie, allowing the student to adjust more smoothly into the academic year at Mercyhurst. Many of the friendships that are created during the Summer PASS Program last throughout the college years and beyond. You can register for the Summer PASS Program via our online form; our office will contact you via email in early summer with more details.

Academic Advantage Program

Students who use Learning Support Services may choose to enroll in a more structured Academic Advantage Program (AAP), run by the Office of Academic Support. This program includes intensive academic support and is designed to help with the transition and adjustment to college life. One-on-one personalized assistance will be provided to help students clarify their educational needs, goals and potential. Through this individualized plan, students learn how to acquire more effective and efficient study skills necessary for academic success. These sessions also promote self-awareness and foster independence to increase academic achievement.