Division of Student Affairs
The Division of Student Affairs is responsible for offering a variety of programs and services to meet student needs including: career development, student employment, mental health services, international student assistance, health services, student life, student center operations, campus ministry, housing and residence life, athletics, recreation, drug/alcohol prevention programs, pre-collegiate access programs, access-ability services, and police and university judicial affairs. Through its various offices, the division assists students by making them aware of co-curricular opportunities, helping them to optimize performance behaviorally and academically, enriching their college experience in a variety of areas, and ensuring the protection of student rights and responsibilities. It is the goal of the division to create and support an environment that fosters the intellectual, social and emotional growth of the student body. All members of the division have a professional commitment to help make Western a positive and personal experience for all students.
The Campus & Student Centers’ Testing Center administers the College Level Examination (CLEP) for students wishing to earn undergraduate credit by examination, and the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), an entrance exam for many graduate programs. Distance Learning examinations are also proctored by the office. Visit wcsu.edu/testing or call (203) 837-8877 for more information.
The mission of the Office of AccessAbility Services is to facilitate and advocate the best university environment for students with disabilities. The AccessAbility Services staff works collaboratively with the university community to accomplish this mission. Students with documented disabilities who are in need of disability services or accommodations are encouraged to contact AccessAbility Services. The university respects students’ rights to disclose or not to disclose a disability; however, the university is not responsible for providing services or accommodations for students who do not disclose a disability to AccessAbility Services. To receive services or accommodations, students must provide appropriate documentation. Communication of a disability to other sources does not serve as a substitute for official notification to AccessAbility Services. Please contact Coordinator Deborah Cohen at (203) 837-8946 in AccessAbility Services when requesting accommodations.
To discuss a disability concern or to request an accommodation, contact the coordinator of AccessAbility Services in Higgins Hall, or call (203) 837-8225 or (203) 837-8946, or voice, (203) 837-8284 TTY. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of AccessAbility services with questions or concerns.
Discrimination in programs and services due to a disability is prohibited at Western Connecticut State University and is a violation of state and federal law. To file a complaint of discrimination because of a disability, contact Carolyn Lanier, Executive Assistant to the President/Chief Diversity Officer, Old Main 101, at (203) 837-8277 or (203) 837-8284 TTY. Please note that the discrimination complaint procedure does not replace and is not a substitute for other established university procedures such as judicial, grade appeal, housing, public safety, or other such policies and procedures. Students with disabilities are held to the same standards and must follow established policies and procedures as other students at Western Connecticut State University.
Protection from Adverse Actions
All individuals shall be free from all restraint, interference, coercion, or reprisal on the part of their associates, supervisors, and all others in making any complaint or appeal, in serving as a representative for a complaint, in appearing as a witness, or in seeking information. The above principles apply with equal force after a complaint has been resolved. Should these principles be violated, the facts shall be brought to the attention of Carolyn Lanier, Executive Assistant to the President/Chief Diversity Officer, in Old Main 101, by the aggrieved party, his/her representative, or any person affected. Lanier shall bring all such situations to the attention of the president for confidential discussion, review, and potential for early proactive intervention and appropriate action.
Individuals are advised of their legal options to file complaints with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division and any other agencies, state, federal or local that enforce laws concerning discrimination.
Western Connecticut State University is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
The spiritual needs of our students are served by a staff of three ministers from the Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish communities. They offer students opportunity for worship celebrations, service projects, pastoral counseling, community outreach, and various programs of a religious, ethical and philosophical nature. Available to the students are places for study, reflection, friendship and relaxation at the Student Center and the Newman Center (across the street from Newbury Hall). Campus ministers can be reached at (203) 744-5846 (Catholic), (203) 837-8328 (Protestant) and (203) 438-8330 (Jewish).
Career Development Center
The Career Development Center (CDC) provides a wide range of services to graduate students, undergraduates and alumni. Students may seek assistance with job searches and utilize our on-line system to post resumes and/or review job opportunities. They may also participate in our annual Career Fair held in the spring. Graduate students can attend regularly scheduled workshops on resumé writing, interviewing and job search strategies. They can utilize the CDC’s career information resources through the career library in the CDC which offers a wide range of literature on career fields, job search, company profiles, and graduate and professional school information. The CDC also has on-line career information accessible through the CDC website: wcsu.edu/CDC. For more information on career-related services, contact the CDC, located in the Student Center, Rm. 227, or call (203) 837-8263.
The goal of the Counseling Center is to provide students with a safe, confidential and supportive environment to discuss life concerns, challenges and opportunities. In the Counseling Center, we offer help in handling the difficulties and anxieties associated with everyday campus life as well as those that arise out of extraordinary circumstances.
Therapy is provided to help students address personal, interpersonal and academic concerns. The therapy process is about problem solving, expansion of awareness, coping skills and personal growth. Students seek help for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: adjustment to college life; relationships with family or friends; stress and time management; depression and suicidal thoughts; anxiety; grief and loss; alcohol and substance use; anger management and irritability; acquaintance rape; loneliness and isolation; weight or body image concerns; identity issues; and sleep disturbance.
The Counseling Center also provides outreach, educational workshops and training. Outreach includes providing consultation services to administration, faculty, staff and parents. The Counseling Center serves as a training site for master’s and doctoral level graduate students in counseling and psychology programs.
Our services are free and available to all undergraduate and graduate students who are matriculated at Western Connecticut State University. Students can call the Counseling Center at (203) 837-8690 or stop by the Midtown Student Center, Room 222, to make an appointment. Appointments are available Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Cancellations are required 24 hours in advance.
The initial appointment with the intake therapist will assess concerns a student may have and what services may be needed. During this appointment, available therapy options will be discussed and decided upon between the student and the intake therapist. If it is determined that therapy needs require resources beyond what the center can provide, we will assist a student with a referral to an appropriate mental health provider, program or agency. We will also offer referrals to any on-campus resources that can provide additional help.
The Health Service office, located in front of Litchfield Hall, provides full-time students with primary care and health education on a year-round basis. It is staffed by a doctor, nurse practitioner, nurse and a secretary. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Appointments are required for non-emergencies. Changes in hours are reported to the dean of the Office of Student Affairs, University Police, Office of Residence Life.
The office visit at Health Service is not billed to the insurance company or charged to the student. The costs for radiology, laboratory, diagnostic tests and/or prescription medicine dispensed at the office are the student’s responsibility. If a written prescription is dispensed, students may use an in-network pharmacy to fill the order. If our medical staff refers a student to a specialist or the local emergency department at Danbury Hospital, the student’s health insurance plan would apply including all applicable co-pays and co-insurances. WCSU Health Service cannot guarantee benefits and eligibility at the time services are rendered.
All students must complete the Connecticut State University Student Health Service Form found online at www.wcsu.edu/healthservices/onlineforma.asp. This includes proof of two measles, two mumps, two rubella and two varicella (exempt from varicella/chicken pox if born in the U.S. before 1/1/1980). The actual lab results of positive titers (blood test) may be submitted in lieu of the immunization. All resident hall students are required by Connecticut State Law to have documented proof of meningococcal/meningitis/menactra vaccine before a room is assigned. Failure to comply with the state-mandated immunization requirements will restrict a student’s registration for the following semester.
Though not required the Hepatitis B vaccine is strongly recommended for students. Hepatitis B is a serious viral infection that can be prevented through the vaccine. The preventative vaccine is recommended by a number of health associations, including the Center for Disease Control, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the American College Health Association. For vaccine availability, please contact your health care provider or local health department.
Some academic programs may require additional immunizations or examinations prior to the student’s participation in an internship or other assignment.
In the event a student is treated in Health Service and becomes incapacitated by illness or injury and needs to be transported via 911 (or needs someone to assist following discharge), the medical staff will offer to contact an individual for the student.
Insurance enrollment and waivers are administered through the Cashier’s Office in Old Main 106. Call (203) 837-8381.
Housing/Office of Residence Life
The Department of Housing and Residence Life offers apartment style accommodations to graduate students matriculated into one of our many Graduate programs. Generally, housing is offered to any full-time matriculated students who pays their housing deposit by May 1, provides proof of having a meningitis vaccine, and completes a housing application.
Housing is offered on a limited basis to married couples. Married couples must both be full-time students in order to live on campus.
Falsification of any information regarding eligibility will result in termination of housing. Couples agree to notify the Housing Office of any change in their status within (30) thirty days of change, or in advance if the couple decides to pursue separate living arrangements.
Due to demand for on-campus housing, qualified students who apply late may not be accommodated. While efforts will be made to accommodate students in this situation, we cannot guarantee a placement. To assist graduate students who require off campus accommodations, the Housing Office provides a listing service of off-campus facilities via their Web site (www.wcsu.edu/housing). The information contained on this Web site is designed to assist you in finding suitable off-campus housing. In addition, we recommend using a local newspaper or performing a web search to obtain off-campus housing.
Accident Insurance: As part of the student fee, all full-time students are covered under an accident insurance plan, 24-hours a day, on and off campus, from August 1 to July 31, or until full-time enrollment is terminated.
Benefits under the accident plan are paid on an excess basis. This means no expense is covered if it would be covered by another health care plan in the absence of this insurance. This insurance supplements, but does not replace, other health care coverage.
Sickness Insurance: Connecticut State University requires that all full-time students carry sickness insurance to cover medical care not provided by the University Health Service. The university is able to offer its students comprehensive health care coverage at a very affordable cost. Coverage under this plan includes both inpatient and outpatient services for medical, surgical and mental health needs.
All full-time students will be automatically enrolled in and billed for this sickness insurance plan unless they submit a waiver indicating alternative coverage. In reviewing present insurance coverage and deciding whether or not to carry this student insurance, please remember that many sickness insurance plans (e.g., local HMOs or PPOs) provide appropriate or effective coverage which may, however, be based at considerable distances from the campus. This has in the past caused problems in providing medical services for students at the university. In addition, many insurance plans may have age limits for dependents. Students with known health problems are advised to consider enrolling in this insurance in addition to their family coverage, especially if the latter does not cover 100 percent of medical expenses. All parents must inform students which outpatient laboratory, x-ray, emergency room or hospital they must use, if necessary, in order to have costs paid by their HMO Plan. Students are required to notify Health Service of their insurance coverage and whether or not the plan includes prescription coverage.
Part-time students are eligible to enroll in the University Accident and Sickness Policy. Coverage is identical to that for full-time students, but pre-existing conditions are excluded. Part-time students should direct inquiries about this coverage to Aetna Student Health @ www.aetnastudenthealth.com. Although more expensive than the full-time student’s policy, it provides excellent benefits for many medical, surgical or mental health problems. A brochure is available from the Cashier’s Office, 1st floor, Old Main.
International Student Services
International applications are accepted from students who wish to pursue full-time graduate study at WCSU. Unfortunately, the university is prohibited by law from considering non-immigrant students who wish to study part-time.
Students applying for graduate application are required to indicate their ability to finance their education. WCSU is unable to offer financial assistance to any student who does not hold United States citizenship. Applicants must demonstrate language ability and economic support in order to be considered for application. If a request for application is approved, appropriate academic transcripts must be sent to the university as soon as possible. In addition, the applicant is required to provide an official evaluation of his/her high school diploma and/or college level courses that has been conducted by an international educational service that is approved by WCSU. A high school diploma or its equivalent may be a document-to-document evaluation. College and university courses must be evaluated on a course-by-course basis.
The university accepts a score of 77 or higher on the Melab and 6 or higher on the IELTS (Band). Applicants must earn a 79 (internet-based exam), 213 (computer-based exam), 550 (paper-based exam) score or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). International students residing outside the U.S. should contact the Office of University Admissions at (203) 837-9000 for graduate admission information.
All new students planning to enter the university in the fall semester must submit all application materials before March 1. Students desiring to enroll in the spring semester must submit all completed materials before Oct. 1. Students already studying in the United States should submit admission materials as outlined in the admissions procedure.
For more information about post admissions international student advisement, call the International Services Coordinator Donna Warner at (203) 837-3270. You may also email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Substance Abuse Prevention Program (CHOICES)
The Substance Abuse Prevention Program at WCSU is called CHOICES (Cultivating Healthy Opportunities in College Environments). We believe that all students want to succeed both academically and fulfill their potential during their college years. When substance abuse gets in the way, it can seriously derail those dreams. The goal of the office is to provide confidential counseling for substance abuse, resources, information and services that help students make informed and responsible decisions about the use of alcohol and/or drugs; to collaborate with student organizations, faculty and staff in planning exciting alternative activities that promote healthy lifestyle choices; and to work with students in creating positive changes on campus and reduce underage and binge drinking.
The CHOICES Office provides accurate, current information on alcohol and other drugs; conducts individual screenings and assessments for students on a voluntary or referral basis; refers students to counseling and support services on and off campus; provides support for any student concerned about someone else’s use/abuse by advising ways they can make a difference; plans educational workshops and presentations for residence halls, clubs, Greek Life and athletic teams; and runs support groups for students who are trying to make positive changes in their lives.
All services are confidential. We encourage all students to participate in our programs, activities, the Alcohol Task Force and Choices Peer Educators Program. For more information, please call (203) 837-8899 or stop by Litchfield Hall, Room 101, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. The Web site is www.wcsu.edu/CHOICES.
WESTCONNect Cards (Student IDs)
Every student must obtain a WESTCONNect card (Student ID) to use university facilities and attend university events. The WESTCONNect card allows a student to gain access to the 24-hour computer labs, check books out of the library and use the Colonial Shuttle bus service. Additionally, students may deposit money (CONNect Cash) in a debit account for use at campus food service locations, the campus bookstores and residence hall laundry rooms. To learn more about the CONNect Cash program, visit the department Web site (www.wcsu.edu\westconnect) or call (203) 837-9311.
Information regarding these features is available from the WESTCONNect Card Office, located on the lower level of the Old Main building. To obtain a WESTCONNect card the student should bring to the WESTCONNect card Office both a valid driver’s license or other form of photo identification and a course schedule that verifies registration for the current semester. Business hours are 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The office offers extended hours for the first two weeks of the fall and spring semesters. Please check the Web site (wcsu.edu\westconnect) for detailed information on extended hours before the start of the semester.
The WESTCONNect card should be retained as long the student is enrolled. There is no charge for the original card. Nor is there a charge for a replacement if your card no longer works due to normal wear and tear. However, there is a $15 fee to replace all cards that have been damaged or vandalized, lost or stolen.
Those who have legally changed their name may obtain a free updated WESTCONNect Card after the name change has been entered by the Registrar’s Office (students) or Human Resources Office (faculty/staff). In the event of a role change (e.g. student to faculty), an updated WESTCONNect Card will also be provided free of charge. For more information on WESTCONNect services, please call (203) 837-9311.