Academic Resources

Academic Advising

Statement of Philosophy

Consistent with the "Statement of Mission for St. Mary's University", the primary purpose of the academic advising program is to assist students in the development of meaningful educational plans which help shape their values and life goals. Academic advisers assist students by promoting a freshman through senior year academic advising plan, which encourages student participation in career exploration. Academic advising is a continuous process of clarification and evaluation. Academic advisers assist in this process by helping students to identify and assess alternatives and the consequences of their decisions. However, students are ultimately responsible for making decisions about their life goals and educational plans.

Students are advised by a faculty member of their declared academic major. If students have not declared a major, they are advised by a faculty member of the School in which they have an interest in exploring educational opportunities. Undeclared major students are assigned a new academic adviser when they declare a major.

The academic advising program emphasizes the student-adviser relationship. All students are required to meet with their academic adviser every semester during their Priority Advising days and are encouraged to seek their adviser's assistance throughout the academic year.

Information Technology Services

Information Technology Services (ITS) provides the University community with high quality technology infrastructure and services in support of its mission to prepare and educate leaders of tomorrow's world. Students coming to St. Mary's University are asked to bring a lap top to campus. All student dorms provide Internet access to residents. Over 80% (58/68) of classrooms are equipped with projection and Internet access, and approximately 1/3 of the classrooms are wired for student connectivity. We support a Web-based course management system allowing students access to course materials, communicating with instructors and fellow students, and submission of coursework and assignments. Wireless access is available in all open areas such as the library, the university center, and the Charles L. Cotrell Learning Commons.

The Technical Support Center (TSC) provides prompt and friendly support for all students, staff and faculty of St. Mary’s. We welcome you to communicate with us by phone, email, online and walk-in for computing/technology support.  The TSC is located in the Charles L. Cotrell Learning Commons on the 1st Floor of the Louis J. Blume Library.

Library and Instructional Services

Library and Instructional Services, including the Louis J Blume Library, Academic Imaging and Media Center, and Learning Assistance Center were created to combine all those academic support services which facilitate and enhance individual and group instruction. The individual components of Library and Instructional Services have unique purposes and functions which are listed below:

Academic Library

The Blume Library offers a wide variety of resources in print and non-print media. The three-story building is designed for both individual and group study research. It contains 100,000 square feet of floor space with seating for 450.  Wi-Fi is available throughout the building for the St. Mary’s community.

 Located on the second floor are government documents, a small art gallery with rotating exhibitions, and seating areas for quiet study. The second floor also houses the Marianist Collection, the Map Collection, the Teacher Education Collection, and the Juvenile Literature Collection. 

The third floor contains the primary circulating collection and Special Collections. Also on the third floor are the Learning Assistance Center and quiet study seating at open carrels. The third floor also contains the new Center for Graduate Excellence.  

The library provides 24-hour access to over 35,000 electronic serials and aggregated databases. The online collection also consists of a growing collection of over 120,000 eBooks. Librarians provide instruction and workshops in library use, much of it tailored to individual classes, and a full range of reference services.

The Cotrell Learning Commons is located on the first floor and is accessible from the Library or through a separate entrance. The Commons provides space for informal individual and group study, with seating for 250 individuals. The Research Desk and a Starbucks coffee shop are located in the Commons.  Also located in the Commons are the Technical Support Center, Academic Technology Services, Academic Media Center, and the Media Viewing Room.

Academic Media Center

The Academic Media Center (AMC) located on the ground floor of the Louis J. Blume Library serves students and faculty in the development of mediated instruction and learning. AMC is part of ITS division reporting under Academic Technology Services. AMC provides tutorials and workshops in web development, mediated presentations, video and photographic media for academic work. The AMC media professionals assist students with the development of instructional materials, in cooperation with the faculty, for classroom use. The Center is responsible for maintaining audio visual equipment such as laptops, flip cameras, projectors, and screens for student use. The AMC also delivers audio visual equipment to traditional classrooms, for training in its use, and for maintenance. The AMC provides several computer labs with a wide array of media software for student use and a 52-seat MediaView Room.

Learning Assistance Center

Located in the Louis J. Blume Library, the Learning Assistance Center serves St. Mary's University by providing instructional resources for students, staff, and faculty in a learner-oriented environment. The LAC offers tutorial support and group work in the following academic areas: accounting, biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, English, engineering, foreign languages, mathematics, physics and statistics. website

The Center also supports students needing individualized instruction in English as a Second Language. The Writing Center, housed in the LAC, gives students the opportunity to work with peer-tutors on any writing task from prewriting to finished paper. For students who wish to work independently, the LAC provides programmed instruction, audio/visual materials, computer software and an extensive learning library with textual resources in all subjects.

United Colleges of San Antonio

In 1970, the governing boards of the University of the Incarnate Word, Our Lady of the Lake University, St. Mary's University of San Antonio, and Oblate School of Theology adopted an agreement to develop and maintain a cooperative enterprise for undergraduate and graduate learning in San Antonio. The institutions cooperate with each other through a central coordinating body.

McNair Scholars Program

The McNair Scholars is a program for undergraduates in order to encourage and assist low-income, first generation students and students from underrepresented groups to continue their studies in graduate school, particularly in academic doctoral programs leading to a Ph.D. During the academic year, McNair scholars will learn about the various aspects of graduate school. A smaller group of McNair scholars will be selected to attend a 8-week summer research internship at the University of Notre Dame, where students perform Faculty Directed Research. Participants must meet the eligibility criteria determined by the U.S. Department of Education.