Remote Learning Resources

Remote Learning Resources


Supporting Your Academic Success

Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD)

The Office for Students with Disabilities is the identified provider of academic accommodations for students with a diagnosed disability, such as learning disability; ADHD; emotional, psychological or physical disability with respect to mobility or motor skills; hearing, visual or speech impairment; head trauma; or neuro-diversity (e.g., autism spectrum).

Services include extended test time, reduced-distraction testing environment, note-taker, alternative text, use of a calculator or consideration for extension on assignments, to name a few. To receive an application, contact the office via email at or call 724-938-4012.

Dr. John D Massella, director
Debbie Custer, administrative assistant
Phone: 724-938-4012

Office of Academic Success – Student Academic Support

The Office iof Academic Success provides a range of services to support students on the path to graduation.

  • Book Scholarships
    Having trouble paying for books? Students who cannot use financial aid to supplement book costs may reach out to Dori Eichelberger ( to apply for book scholarships.
  • Four-Year Graduation Plan
    Committed to staying on target and completing your degree in just four years? PennWest California’s no-cost Four-Year Grad Plan provides advising, priority registration and individual attention to help students make steady progress toward their bachelor’s degree. Students enroll as a first-time freshman. This process is fully  automated for Fall 2020. Zoom meetings are being scheduled for mandatory sessions. For more information, visit Four-Year Grad Plan or email
  • Peer Mentoring Program

    Mentors are available to all new students, both freshmen and transfer students. Assignments are made on a first come, first served basis, primarily based on major. On average, first-year students at PennWest California who engage with peer mentors move on to their sophomore year at a 12% higher rate than those without mentors. Virtual activities for mentors and protégés are planned throughout the semester.

    To request a peer mentor: CalU 2021 Mentor

    For specific questions, contact

  • Placement Testing Center
    Placement tests for Math and English Composition are offered on campus and online, free of charge through the Spring 2021 semester.
    Students who did not test prior to fall term should test as soon as possible to prepare for registration for the Spring 2022 term.

    Not sure if you need to test? Need study materials before testing? Contact coordinator Claire Pizer at or 724-938-5779.

  • Scheduling Center

    The Scheduling Center coordinates schedule development for all first-time and transfer students. Staff also monitor successful completion of work in developmental courses and serve students who have scheduling questions.

    Look for information later this semester about early registration, our PennWest California Ready event, and Registration Blitz.

    These videos help students navigate registration, accessing transcripts and more: Inside Student Resources Videos

    Specific questions can be directed to, or look for the “live chat” box on the Academic Success webpage.

    • PennWest California Ready 
      A virtual event to assist students with resolving issues that prevent scheduling before registration for Spring 2021 begins. 

    • Registration Blitz 
      A virtual event to assist students who did not complete scheduling during early registration. Watch for more information in the Daily Announcements delivered to your campus email.

    • Scheduling Workshops
      Virtual workshops will give students step-by-step instructions for scheduling, a review of how to use Degree Works, and general scheduling information.

  • Success Center
    The Success Center helps students to become engaged and competent learners. Students can choose from more than 135 live virtual workshops this fall or meet virtually, one-on-one, with graduate assistants and staff members to receive assistance with everything from work ethic and time management to academic forms and navigating remote learning.

    For a full listing of workshops and access to 15 short videos on achieving success, visit Workshops & Videos Achieving Success.

    Students also may use Starfish to schedule appointments with GAs during office hours. Office hours are posted, but students in the S4S program must first complete their required appointments.

    Questions? Email

    Phone: 724-938-1523
    Text: 724-780-0174
    Zoom video conference (contact us to arrange)
    Starfish (Raise Your Hand)

Vulcan Learning Commons (VLC)

“VLC is the student’s second most important place … after the classroom.”

The Vulcan Learning Commons offers PennWest California students free tutoring services. VLC peer assistants work with PennWest California students on reading, writing, speaking and course-specific content.

Synchronous and asynchronous online tutoring and Supplemental Instruction is available by appointments in Starfish. Students can view their schedule in Starfish and click the links to schedule.

We also make available free to PennWest California students tutoring from SMARTHINKING, an online tutoring company with its own professional tutors. Students log in to their PennWest California D2L homepage, go to “University Resources,” then to “Smarthinking tutoring (students).” 

For questions or assistance with scheduling a tutoring appointment, email or For questions or assistance with scheduling a Supplemental Instruction appointment, email

Student Wellness Support Services

During the remote learning period, services to support mental and physical health, as well as other issues that may serve as a barrier to success, are available remotely. For details, contact Rachel Michaels at


The Office of Academic Success also provides training and support for faculty and staff.

  • Starfish Training
    Faculty and/or student trainings can be scheduled at any time; email