A wide range of student support services are available to help students succeed at Reading Area Community College and beyond.
The College provides professional staff who are available to assist students with career, transfer and educational planning.
Free tutoring is provided for all developmental credit courses, several 100-level courses and select 200-level courses in the Tutoring Center (Berks Hall 209). Tutors are available during posted hours to assist students on a walk-in basis in reading, writing, math, science, etc. and to facilitate study groups. Individual tutoring is available on a limited basis to students enrolled in credit classes who have a documented disability.
The College operates a comprehensive Advising Center in Berks Hall Room 209 which provides multiple services and types of assistance to students. General advising services offered include: assistance in identifying a program of study, selecting and registering for appropriate courses, and supportive guidance in making appropriate and timely academic decisions.
The Center is staffed by professional advisors and faculty representing all Divisions and their programs at the College. In addition to general academic advising and registration services, the Center offers transfer and career planning services.
Transfer services include:
- Assistance with finding a transfer school that meets students' educational and career goals.
- Literature from area colleges and universities.
- Information on course equivalency and articulation agreements which RACC has with state and regional institutions of higher education. Information is also available online at www.patrac.org and www.collegetransfer.net.
- Assistance in completing letters of intent and meeting application deadlines.
RACC collaborates with the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Center to provide all students detailed information on transfer to public and private institutions.
The Advising Center also hosts career-planning services for current RACC students and its alumni. Resources available include:
- Career Exploration through one-on-one one appointments and online resources.
- Workshops throughout the year to assist with identifying career goals and developing job search strategies.
- Job Opening information from employers interested in hiring current students and RACC graduates.
- Résumé and Cover Letter evaluation and writing assistance.
- On-campus Recruiting visits by employers interested in hiring current students and RACC graduates.
- Career Library of information including labor market data, job descriptions, and internship information.
- Career Fair for students and alumni to connect with employers
RACC also offers two courses on career development: Career Decision-Making and Professionalism on the Job.
KEYS is a state-run program designed to help a specific group of students attend, and succeed, in community college. Students who receive benefits through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and wish to enroll, or are already enrolled, in a community college in Pennsylvania, may be eligible to participate in KEYS.
The KEYS program here at RACC provides a student facilitator to help students achieve career goals by utilizing college services such as career counseling, tutoring, academic support and financial aid. Students will also be connected to Berks County Supportive Services and other community service agencies.
Students enrolled in KEYS may be eligible for financial assistance to cover such expenses as:
- Child care
- School/training registration fee (not tuition)
- Books and school or training supplies
- Test fees
- Equipment/tools needed for school/training
- Car purchase
- Car repair
- Motor vehicle operator fees
Probation and Alert Advising
The academic probation policy gives students warning and time to prove their academic performance before being suspended or dismissed. Students on probation are required to meet with an advisor to review their past academic performance, discuss strategies for success and select appropriate courses. During this meeting, advisors help students complete an ACE PASS (Agreement for Continued Enrollment Plan for Achieving Student Success). Students on probation may only change their schedules after completing the ACE PASS with an advisor and/or reviewing requested changes with an advisor. Students on Alert are not required to meet with an advisor, but are encouraged to do so to discuss ways to avoid probation and return to good standing. For more information see Academic Policies .
Student Facilitators/Case Managers
Student facilitators and case managers are available to provide you with support to keep you moving forward in attaining your personal and academic goals while enrolled at the College. These individuals can connect you with specific college and community resources designed to enhance personal and academic success.
Advantage Program/Student Support Services Program - Intensive assistance in college skills development is available through Support Services. Funded by the federal government, this project expands college access by providing basic skills instruction, tutoring and supportive counseling.
Carl Perkins Program - Federally funded, the Carl Perkins Grant provides academic support and career guidance services to qualified students who are pursuing degrees at Reading Area Community College. Students enrolled in college programs are eligible for these services which include tutoring, academic advisement and career guidance.
Students have the responsibility to self-disclose as a student with a disability and must provide documentation of the disability.
The disability documentation submitted should meet the following guidelines:
(1) assessment completed by a qualified professional
(2) assessment completed within the last three years of the date of application
Additionally, the disability documentation should build a case for and provide sound rationale for the accommodation(s) requested. Decisions regarding requested accommodations are based on the submitted documentation and are a result of collaboration between the student and the disability services staff.
The need for sign language interpreter services should be requested in a reasonable amount of time prior to meeting with disability services staff.
Services for Students with Disabilities - The Center for Academic Success at Reading Area Community College coordinates services for students with disabilities. The primary objective is to provide academic accommodations for students who qualify for services under the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act.
Assistive Technology - RACC has acquired assistive technology for use by students with disabilities. There is also a staff person available to train students to use the technology to support student success.
Other Services/Student Activities
Students may purchase textbooks, other required reading materials, and classroom supplies from the bookstore.
Student Government Association
The Student Government Association (SGA) is the voice of the student body at Reading Area Community College. Composed of elected freshmen and sophomore senators, SGA promotes civic responsibility and education. The Student Government Association functions under its own Constitution and the Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. SGA offers a discount card program that is free to credit students, staff and faculty.
Clubs and Organizations
Reading Area Community College student clubs are based upon student interest and may vary from year to year. Typical clubs include the Student Newspaper and International Club. Any group of students with a common interest may petition for official sanction as a club. Procedural information may be obtained from the Coordinator of Student Activities located in the Student Union Building, Room 110.
The Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society
Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for two-year colleges, was founded in 1918. In addition to recognizing scholastic achievement, Phi Theta Kappa also provides members opportunities for scholarship, leadership, service, and fellowship. The RACC chapter was chartered in 1990. Students are invited to join when they have completed at least 12 credits of associate degree coursework at RACC with a grade point average of 3.60 or higher. Membership benefits include scholarship opportunities, gold stoles and tassels for graduation and Phi Theta Kappa recognition on diplomas.
Students who become ill or need emergency treatment will be directed to one of the local hospitals in Reading for care and treatment. The College assumes no responsibility for the medical treatment of students or for costs incurred for transportation to emergency services or for treatment rendered.
The College does not approve, rate or provide any resident housing facilities. All arrangements for living quarters are the responsibility of the students.
All students who have graduated from Reading Area Community College automatically become members of the Alumni Association. For more information contact the Foundation Office at 610.607.6239.
Student Parking Services
Parking permits must be obtained within the first two weeks of the semester in the lobby of Penn Hall. Students may park on Lot B (South of Franklin Street), Lot E (Orange Car Lot), or in the Parking Garage. Students requiring handicapped parking will find spaces on all lots as well as along Front Street in front of Penn Hall. If you plan to park in the Parking Garage, you must use your Student Identification Card (ID) to gain access to the garage.
The Yocum Library Building, which contains the Humanities Center and The Yocum Library, was opened in 1996. The Yocum Library is located on floors two through four of the building. The Humanities Center, which contains classrooms and faculty offices, occupies the first floor of The Yocum Library building.
The Yocum Library schedule and hours of operation are on the library website at www.racc.edu/library. The library is open seven days per week including evening hours Mondays through Thursdays.
The Yocum Library includes a collection of approximately 75,000 books, films, music recordings, maps, art prints and posters. In addition to the physical collection, the library subscribes to many online databases. These databases provide thousands of e-books; journals, newspapers, and magazines; images; music recordings; and primary research resources. RACC students, faculty and staff have access to these databases using passwords. Passwords are available on ANGEL. Library circulation and research services are available on the second floor of The Yocum Library. The second floor also contains the children's books, reference books, art prints, posters, maps and the film collections. The library's collection of print magazines, journals, and newspapers are found on the third floor, as well as most of the book collection. Special collections in The Yocum Library include the College Archives, the Wes Fisher Music Score Collection, the Schuylkill Navigation System Map Collection, a research comic book collection and the faculty reserves collection.
The Yocum Library is part of the Berks County Public Libraries Consortium. Because the libraries in the Consortium share the same library software system and a county-wide delivery system, RACC library patrons can easily locate and borrow items from any of the libraries in the Consortium. So RACC students have access to over a half-million items in the county-wide libraries collections. RACC students also have access to the online databases of the public libraries using the library card number as a password. You can access the catalog as well as the collection of online databases via the Internet at www.racc.edu/library.
Research librarians are available to help patrons whenever the library is open. In addition, there is also a Distance Learning Librarian who serves as the contact staff member for students in RACC online and Dual Enrollment courses. Library staff information, as well as information on library services for students, staff and faculty, are available on the library website. The library staff provides customized instruction for RACC classes and also teach library research courses.
The library has social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, and The Yocum Library Blog, offering articles about library events and resources, as well as reviews of books, films and Internet websites.
If your information needs cannot be met through The Yocum Library or Berks County Public Libraries Consortium collections, Yocum Library staff can obtain needed items through Interlibrary Loan. Ask the Research Librarian or Head of Interlibrary Loan about this service which is available through the library website. Other services available in the library include assistive technology (text readers, a print text enlarger, a TDD/TDY telephone line and software), and group study rooms. Check the library website or ask at the Service Desk about access to these services.