Academic Support Courses


Supporting Student Success

Delivered by the Academic Success Center, UNIV 102 (formerly EDUC 113) is a success course for students who are on probation or suspension. In partnership with the Office of Financial Aid, Student Business Services and the Office of Advising, UNIV 102 helps support students to succeed at UMBC and in life.


The persistence (retention plus graduation) rate for UNIV 102 students is 60%. Students who complete UNIV 102 are more likely to persist and graduate than similar students who do not. 

If you are interested in UNIV 102,  please email Dr. Delana Gregg.

Rachel Garcia shares her experience with academic support courses.


The curriculum is based on the program On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and Life by Dr. Skip Downing. The program focuses on proven strategies for empowering students to become active, responsible partners in their education and to achieve greater success in college and in life.

In this class you will be able to:

  1. Take charge of your life.
  2. Increase self-motivation.
  3. Improve personal self-management.
  4. Improve your public speaking skills.
  5. Develop interdependence.
  6. Increase self-awareness.
  7. Maximize your learning.
  8. Develop emotional intelligence.
  9. Raise your self-esteem.
  10. Write more effectively.
  11. Improve creative and critical thinking skills.
  12. Master effective study skills

Meet the Instructors

Photo of John Fritz

John Fritz

I work in UMBC’s Division of Information Technology as Assoc. Vice-President of Instructional Technology and New Media. My primary focus is to help faculty use technology to solve pedagogical problems or create new learning opportunities for their students. As the first generation of my family to graduate from college, I want to help students navigate higher education.  My dad struggled as an 18 year old college student, but aced it 40+ years later, after I got my master’s degree, and he wanted to finish what he’d started. I earned my Ph.D. from UMBC in 2016, focusing on how technology might nudge students to take responsibility for their own learning and identifying course designs that help. When I’m not geeking out with IT, I enjoy swimming in UMBC’s pool and riding my bike to and from work.

Monique Ransom

I am the Associate Director for Academic Advisor Development and Student Transition Programs.  I’m a first-generation student with a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Central Florida and am an Ed. D. candidate in the Educational Leadership program at Frostburg State University. Each semester is unique and may have its challenges, and as a result, students may experience personal and external factors that influence their academic performance. However, I enjoy serving as a champion and cheerleader for students, a co-pilot to guide students through college, and supporting students in navigating their way to academic success.

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Mitsue Wiggs

I serve as the Assistant Director to UMBC’s Meyerhoff Scholars Program, recruiting and advising students, coordinating their Summer Bridge, and overseeing peer mentoring, student success seminars and internships. Being an instructor for this course is a unique opportunity to help students to review, revise and revamp best practices for academic success. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Syracuse University and a Masters of Sciences Degree in Project Management from the University of Maryland, University College.

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Samir El Omari

I am a lecturer in French and Arabic at UMBC in the Modern Languages and Linguistics Department. I earned my PhD from UMBC in 2014, and my research focuses on technological tools Arabic instructors use to help university students learn this foreign language in the U.S. I also host study abroad trips to Morocco!