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Returning Students

All about the SPS Student 


SPS students are working professionals who bring a diverse array of experiences in the workplace and from their educational backgrounds to the classroom. (Did you know: 14.5% of SPS students have one or more advanced degrees?).

They represent a wide variety of ethnicities, industries, and geographic locations. Because they come from all age groups, they are juggling everything from childcare, to their own children taking college classes, to taking care of parents – all while working. 

Many are also managing changes in the workplace or trying to figure out how to return to school. Some have been out of school for many years and need refreshers on how to study, manage time, or feel confident in this new pursuit. 

What we love most is that our students are lifelong learners who want access to faculty, peers, alumni, and professionals in the field. They are interested in networking, professional development, and other career resources.

Supporting and Engaging the SPS Student


Our goals in SPS Student Services are to provide support and access to resources that enhance learning outcomes, create an engaged community of learners, and promote student growth, persistence, and well-being.  

What Student Support Looks Like


Student Success Manager (SSM)

A Student Success Manager is assigned to each student to be that guide by your side throughout the entire SPS journey – from admission through graduation. Your SSM serves as an advisor and provides access to a variety of resources – from academic integrity to time management tips. Meet the SSM Team here.


Academic Resources

Students can access academic support through The Writing Center, within the Canvas learning management system, or can request a peer tutor. We provide students with industry or program specific resources, foundational tools if re-engaging with content or just entering the online learning space, and access to the University’s Center for Learning, Access, and Student Success (CLASS) which supports those in need of learning accommodations. These resources and more can be found in the Pearl Café.

Wake Forest



There are times when support is best provided by taking a break. Students may need to take a break from coursework for a mini session (7.5 week courses) or a full semester. SPS offers support via a leave of absence, permitting students to return to their coursework when ready without having to jump through administrative hoops to access the course management system and email. Talk with your SSM if you want to discuss taking a break from coursework.


Career Resource Hub

Whether you are interested in career enhancement or advancement, making a career pivot, or conducting a job search, the Career Resource Hub in the Pearl Café has resources for you. In addition to free resume reviews, career-related webinars, and professional development articles, the Career Resource Hub also provides specific Wake Forest networking opportunities.


The Pearl Café

Finally, support needs to be offered at times convenient to the adult learner and also from someone other than SSMs and faculty. The Pearl Cafe is a virtual, one-stop resource center within Canvas where SPS students, alumni, and program advisory board members can connect, learn from one another, and build community. It also is a place where students can access academic, wellbeing, technical, administrative, and career resources throughout their entire SPS journey.

What Engagement Looks Like

Engaging the SPS Student

In addition to building community through the various courses within Canvas (i.e. orientation, the Pearl Café, and academic courses), we offer engagement opportunities that are virtual, on-campus in Winston-Salem, and on-site in Charlotte where the School of Professional Studies is headquartered. One of the highlights of our on-site engagement opportunities is the annual immersion weekend – Wake360.


Every month, SPS highlights opportunities for online and in-person engagement offered by the School of Professional Studies and other campus partners.