Student Success Center

The Josephine Steiner Student Success Center offers a variety of services and programs to the entire Hood College community to assist students who want to be more effective and efficient learners.

Academic Advising

Students must take ultimate responsibility for academic planning—of each semester, of each academic year and of degree completion.

First-year students enter the College as undeclared and are encouraged to explore various subjects or disciplines. During that time, they are advised by the instructor of their First-Year Seminar course. Students in some programs may be assigned to a staff advisor, or to a faculty advisor within the major of interest. Students must declare a major by the end of their sophomore year by completing the appropriate form with the Office of the Registrar and may declare as early as the end of the first semester.

Transfer students declare their major upon entering Hood and are assigned an academic advisor in their major field.

Improvement of Basic Skills: Reading, Writing, Mathematics

Student Success Center staff evaluate all new students’ basic skills. The following courses are offered to students who need to improve their skills: GNST 101; MATH 098 and MATH 099; and ENGL 099. Tutoring may be recommended to meet specific needs in the Writing Center and specific math needs in the Math Center. Free tutoring is offered in many other subjects and can be scheduled online through TutorTrac. Individual academic coaching sessions are also available. Students can work with a success coach on time management, study skills, note-taking and test-taking strategies as well as goal setting and motivation.

Placement Testing

Placement tests, also referred to as the Basic Skills Inventory, are administered online by The Student Success Center. All first-year and transfer students are required to take placement tests in the following three academic areas if not transferring in equivalent credit:

English Composition Required unless credit for a college-level English Composition course is transferred or a score of 4 or 5 is achieved on the AP Language/Composition test
Mathematics Required for students without credit for a college-level mathematics course or a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus Test. Students with transfer credit in math MAY need to complete the placement test, depending upon the specific credit-bearing mathematics course(s) transferred to Hood and the intended major.
Foreign language* Required unless credit for a college-level foreign language course is transferred. Students can take French, Spanish, or German placement tests online.

Placement tests are generally not required of transfer students with an associate's degree (A.A., A.A.T, or A.S. degree) as all Foundation and Methods of Inquiry areas of the core are considered to have been met. However, if the student does not have the required prerequisites for college-level mathematics classes, the Math BSI will be required.

*Please contact The Student Success Center at 301-696-3569 if you wish to take a placement test for a language other than French, Spanish or German.

English as a Second Language

International students who have a strong command of English but need additional language enhancement may be enrolled, depending on placement results, in ENGL 100E/Advanced ESL Skills, which focuses primarily on advanced-level academic writing.

Students with Disabilities

Hood College actively supports the rights of students with disabilities to have equal access to education. In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Hood makes every reasonable effort to accommodate the needs of students with diagnosed disabilities.

Students with disabilities who will need accommodations must notify the Director of Accessibility Services as soon as possible. Early notification prevents delay in the initiation of services and ensures the student full access to educational activities. Students should present documentation of a disability from a medical professional, and this documentation should state accommodations the student requires to participate fully in the educational programs at Hood College. The Director of Accessibility Services will meet with the student to prepare an individualized plan for accessing the appropriate services. The student is then prepared to take on the responsibility of advocating for themselves, with support from the Director. Contact the Office of Accessibility Services at 301-696-3569 or