New Student Orientation
New Student Orientation is a program that is presented each semester for all newly admitted students. The program is designed to answer many of the questions that students have about WestConn and “the college experience.” There are opportunities for new students to meet other students and to hear from a variety of students about academics and life on campus.
The New Student Orientation program provides an opportunity for all new students to get a head start on their first semester at WestConn. The orientation program is designed to meet the needs of all new students. If you would like more information on New Student Orientation, please call the Orientation Hotline at (203) 837-8215.
The Health Services 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, a nurse practitioner and nurses. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Changes in hours are reported to the dean of student affairs, University Police and to the Housing Office and are listed on a telephone recording: (203) 837-8594.
All entering full-time students are required to present evidence of a recent physical examination and tuberculin test. These examinations are the responsibility of the student. All students –– full and part time –– must show proof of one rubella and two measles immunizations prior to registration. Residence hall students are required by Connecticut State Law to have documented proof of immunization with meningococcal (meningitis) vaccine before arriving on campus.
The Hepatitis B vaccine, though not required, is strongly recommended for students. Hepatitis B is a non-curable viral infection, but the vaccine prevents infection. Some groups that recommend this vaccine include 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. Failure to comply with the state law mandate requiring one rubella and two measles immunizations will block registration for the following semester.
Health Services provides ambulatory care for full-time students. Referrals can be made for specialized health care. Costs of laboratory tests, prescription medicines and any additional medical services are the student’s responsibility. Seriously ill students or emergency cases are referred to nearby Danbury Hospital for evaluation, treatment and/or hospitalization, if necessary. Parents or guardians will be contacted to arrange transportation if a minor becomes incapacitated by illness.
Student Insurance Requirements
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 during this period.
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: The Connecticut State University System requires that all full time students have sickness insurance to cover medical care not provided by Health Services. 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 signed 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 IPAs) provide appropriate or effective coverage which may, however, be based at considerable distances from the campus. This has 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 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 Services of their insurance coverage and whether or not the plan includes prescription coverage. Currently, the WCSU student insurance plan is The Chickering Group, an Aetna company. Information is available at www.chickering.com.
Pre-Collegiate Access Programs
To ensure that students have the opportunity to develop the academic potential required for college admissions, WestConn has established the ConnCap/Upward Bound Program for high school students and the Excel Program for middle-schoolers. With advisors and staff dedicated to assisting and closely monitoring individual students as they progress through the public school system, these programs help promote everything from cultural enrichment to computers, from pre-algebra to parenting workshops. Also included in the Pre-Collegiate Access Programs is EAP, the Educational Achievement & Access Program that offers academically underprepared students an intense, five-week summer residential program in order to fulfill admission requirements.
International Student Services
International students or individuals with questions regarding international student affairs should direct their questions to the international student advisor in the Student Affairs Office, Old Main 308. The advisor will assist with financial matters, visa issues, 1-20 documents, SEVIS matters and academic issues unique to international students. The staff also will assist students in filing the necessary paperwork so that they may become full-time student visa holders (F-1). For these and other matters relating to international student services, call the international student advisor at (203) 837-8587.
The mission of the Office of AccessAbility Services is to facilitate and advocate the best university environment for students with disabilities. 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 the Office of AccessAbility Services. Please contact AccessAbility Services when requesting accommodations.
To discuss a disability concern or to request an accommodation, contact the coordinator of disability services, Old Main 101, at (203) 837-8225 or (203) 837-8946, or voice, (203) 837-8284 TTY.
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 Dr. Bryan Samuel, director of affirmative action, at Old Main 108, at (203) 837-8277 or voice at (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.
The Counseling Center offers confidential, short term, multi-cultural counseling for personal, career and academic concerns. During the past year, students have expressed concern about: relationship problems; loneliness; depression; anxiety; stress; motivation; eating disorders; grief issues; post-traumatic stress, physical and emotional illness; substance abuse problems; family problems; study skills; test anxiety; physical, sexual and emotional abuse; and gay/lesbian/bisexual concerns.
Our staff of professional counselors also offers interest and personality inventories to help students select a major or choose a career path. Also available are tests to identify learning difficulties. Outreach and group sessions are offered on a variety of topics. Past group topics have included: depression; stress and coping; eating disorders; abusive relationships; self-injury; loss and mourning; alcohol’s impact on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs); self-esteem issues; diversity; interests pertaining to families of alcoholics; and assertiveness training. The Counseling Center staff facilitates new support groups for special populations on specific topics as needed.
Counseling Center services are free and available to all current WestConn students. The center is located on the second floor of the Student Center on the Midtown campus, Room 222. For an appointment, call (203) 837-8690 or visit the Counseling Center weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
The Substance Abuse Prevention Program (CHOICES)
The Substance Abuse Prevention Program at WCSU is called CHOICES (Cultivating Health 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 resources, information and services that will 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 and 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) 837-8898 or stop by Litchfield Hall, Room 101, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. through 5 p.m.
Career Development Center
The Career Development Center (CDC) provides a wide range of services to assist students with their career planning and job search needs. Students who are exploring career options can discuss their plans with a CDC staff member. You can utilize our career software, "SIGI3", which assesses career interests, while also providing extensive information on various career fields. You can also take advantage of our extensive career library which offers a large collection of literature on career fields, job search, company profiles, and graduate and professional school information. Students who want to receive practical experience in their field should take advantage of our highly successful Cooperative Education (Co-op) Internship Program, which provides career related experience linked to major or career interest. Students receive academic credit, and in most cases, a salary, for their co-op work experience. The CDC provides an On/Off Campus Recruiting Program for graduating seniors to interview for career opportunities with area employers. We also have an on-line job posting and resume service which students can access 24 hours a day. The CDC hosts a major Career Fair each year that provides job opportunities for full-time, part-time, and summer employment as well as co-ops and internships. We also host a number of special workshops on resume writing, interviewing, job search strategies, as well as resume critique sessions to help you with your job search. The CDC is located on the second floor of the Student Center on the Midtown campus, Room 227. The office number is (203) 837-8263.
The spiritual needs of the students are served by a staff of three religious leaders of the Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish communities. They offer students opportunities for workshop 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: Catholic –– Student Center 224, (203) 837-3240 or Newman Center, (203) 744-5846; Protestant –– Student Center 223, (203) 837-8328; for Jewish leadership, call Student Affairs at (203) 837-9700.
Childcare at WestConn
The WCSU Child Care Center, operated by Education Connection and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, offers childcare in its facility in Alumni Hall on the Midtown campus. The Center provides a developmentally appropriate early childhood program as well as a safe environment for children ages 3-5. Evening care for ages 3-12 is available but contingent upon sufficient enrollment. To register your child, or for further information, visit the Center or call (203) 837-8733.