Academic Advisement Center
All full-time and part-time students who have been formally admitted to the university and who have not yet decided on an academic major can seek advisement through the Academic Advisement Center. The academic advisor assists students in decisions regarding registration, class schedules, and selection of major.
Provides key dates and deadlines -- by term -- for an academic year, including add/drop and withdrawal deadlines, registration dates, mid-term and final exam periods, school holidays, and more.
Academic Year (AY)
Usually this refers to the August - May school year (fall and spring semesters). In some cases it refers to the entire year.
Academic Honesty (cross link to plagiarism)
The academic standing reflects student performance. For example, a student who meets or exceeds minimum GPA requirements for his/her academic unit is considered to be in good standing.
The AccessAbility Services office provides support for students with documented disabilities, in compliance with the ADA.
Accreditation is a process by which a program, college, or university is certified as meeting prescribed standards. Western Connecticut State University as a whole is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc., through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Individual academic units have additional accrediting associations. WCSU received praise for our commitment to students in our 2013 reaccreditation process.
ADA (American with Disabilities Act)
Add Courses (Add/Drop)
When students attempt to register for a course it is called “adding.” Students may add courses to their schedule throughout the early registration period, usually in the first week of the semester. Contact the Registrar’s Office for more information regarding dates and deadlines. Students should check with their advisors before adding any classes.
Part-time instructors that colleges hire to fill temporary openings in full-time faculty positions. Often these adjuncts have other full-time jobs and do not have offices on campus. Refer to their syllabus when trying to contact them or ask the department secretary for help.
Advisor (Academic Advisor)
Students who have declared a major are assigned a faculty advisor through that major. Information about assigned faculty advisors is available through Banner. Students who have not yet declared a major are assigned an advisor in the Academic Advisement Center. Advisors are here to assist students throughout their academic careers and can aid in determining academic progress, selecting courses, evaluating career and major options, and navigating the academic environment.
AH (Alumni Hall)
This building is located on the midtown campus. It is across from the Student Center. I is located on the campus map.
People who attended or graduated from a college. Alumni are important for their involvement and financial contributions, and can be important contacts for guidance in choosing a major and finding an internship or graduate program.
Ancell School of Business (ASB)
The Ancell School of Business provides a high quality, affordable, personalized learning environment for undergraduate and graduate education in Accounting, Finance, Management, Management Information System, Marketing, and Justice and Law for students from Western Connecticut and the broader region.
ARM (Academic Resource Mentor)
ARMs are Academic Resource Mentors -- peers whose goal is to help students find the information, locate the resources, and connect fellow students to people who can help in all academic endeavors. They provide academic and life skills programming as well.
Arts & Sciences (A&S)
See Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences.
A student who audits a course formally registers and pays for it and attends class sessions but earns no credit and has no obligation to complete homework projects or take tests.
The Banner Self Service web assists students, faculty and staff in obtaining information, such as academic history and the status of in-progress courses, addresses, student type, class, advisor, birth date, degree and more.
Berkshire Hall (BH)
Berkshire Hall is located on the Midtown Campus Quad and houses the Bill Williams gym, the Colonial Fitness Zone and Recreation offices, the Pre-Collegiate & Access Programs, as well as classrooms and offices for the English, writing, world languages, communication, and health promotion departments, including the Holistic Treatment Suite.
An online, electronic, education platform designed to deliver course and/or organizational content and information. Blackboard Learn is used by professors in most courses at WCSU. Students can find help regarding using Blackboard at the Help Desk and through support videos on the Blackboard website.
Small, traditionally blue-covered booklets filled with ruled notebook paper that many college instructors use for short-answer and essay exams. In some cases, the instructor provides the blue books with the exam; if not, blue books are available for purchase at the WCSU Bookstore.
The Bursar’s Office handles the Student Financials for Western Connecticut State University is responsible for the billing and collection of all monies due to the university, operating under the guidelines and policies set forth by the CSU Board of Trustees. The Bursar is also referred to as the Cashier.
The Career Services office offers workshops, career fairs, and resources connected to careers, jobs, and internships.
WCSU asserts that all students have the right to be free from interpersonal violence such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, and intimate partner violence. Please consult the Campus Resource Team website for guidelines, policies, and resources related to defining, reporting, and receiving help regardless all instances of interpersonal violence. The guidelines and policies were developed to comply with Connecticut Public Act 14-11.
The Cashier’s Office is responsible for the billing and collection of all monies due to the university, operating under the guidelines and policies set forth by the CSU Board of Trustees. The Cashier is also referred to as the Bursar.
CC (Campus Center)
This is the campus center located on the Westside campus.
Child Care Center
The WCSU Child Care Center provides safe, developmentally appropriate environment for preschool and school age children. Special rates are available for WCSU students and employees; some students may qualify for grants.
CHOICES stands for Cultivating Healthy Opportunities In College Environments. This is the alcohol and substance abuse prevention program at Western.
Class standing is often determined by the total number of credits a student has. Class standing can govern eligibility for certain classes, registration start times, financial aid awards, and more.
The College Level Examination Program helps students receive college credit for what they already know. By demonstrating knowledge through CLEP, a student may qualify for college-level credit without having to attend the course. WCSU follows the guidelines recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE) for awarding students credit for CLEP. Contact Testing Services for more information.
A ceremony that recognizes degree recipients in a given semester; currently WCSU holds ceremonies in May. Commencement may be commonly referred to as “graduation.” For more information regarding requirements, please consult the Registrar’s Office.
WCSU, similar to many universities, has competencies, or measurable, observable markers for student success.
At WCSU, the office that provides computer and other campus technology-based resources is the Office for Informational Technology and Innovation, housed in Old Main.
A set of supporting courses within a major that focuses on a specific topic.
Core-CT is the State of Connecticut’s payroll system that the Human Resources & Payroll Departments use to maintain all employee data and to generate an employee’s biweekly paycheck. Student employees enter their time in this system.
Courses that are the mandatory core of a specific area of study, such as general education courses or business core courses.
General education courses, which are mandatory courses that students are required to complete to earn a degree.
The number of courses or semester hours a student takes during a specific term. To stay on track for a 4-year graduation, students should register for 5 classes or 15-16 credits per semester.
Semester hours are often used in conjunction with the word credit. Many college courses are three credits, or semester hours. This indicates a course may meet for three hours per week for a 15-week semester.
Cross-listing refers to a course that is listed under more than one academic department. This may be done in instances when the subject matter covered by the course is applicable to more than one academic discipline.
WCSU has four Academic Deans and one Dean of Students on campus. The academic deans are the heads of the separate schools within the university. The Dean of Students is a reference point for all student-life related activities.
Dean's List recognition is awarded each semester to full-time matriculated students with satisfactory completion of a minimum of 12 graded semester hour credits and a 3.5 semester average, with no "incompletes" for the semester at the time grades were processed. Part-time students are eligible for the Dean’s list after successful completion of a minimum of 12 credits in an academic year.
Degree Audit (also called Degree Check) (CAPP)
The audit process of examining a student’s academic record to determine if the student has completed all degree requirements and is eligible to graduate.
A division of a school, made up of faculty and support staff, who gives instruction in a particular field of study, such as the history department.
At WCSU, the office that assists students with learning, medical, emotional, and other disabilities, in compliance with the ADA, is called AccessAbility Services.
An area of academic study.
Student housing provided by a college or university, also known as residence halls.
Drop Courses (Add/Drop)
When students remove themselves from a course that they had previously registered for it is called “dropping.” Courses must be dropped within the first five days of the semester to avoid financial penalty. After this time, students must withdraw from the course. Students should check with their advisors before dropping any classes. For more information, contact the Registrar’s Office
Courses that students can choose to take for credit toward a degree, but are not required.
Emergency Notification System (ENS)
The ENS System sends important alerts regarding the university, including emergencies and weather related closings. Register for this system right away.
Exploratory Studies students have not declared a major. All full-time and part-time students who have been formally admitted to WCSU and who have not yet decided on an academic major can seek advisement through the Academic Advisement Center.
Extracurricular Activities/Co-curricular Activities
Optional activities, such as sports, student organizations, leadership programs, and others, that students can participate in outside of academic classes
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
Application used by U.S. citizens and permanent residents to apply for financial aid from U.S. federal and state governments. International students are not eligible for U.S. government aid, but schools may ask international students to submit a FAFSA to determine financial need. The Financial Aid office at WCSU can answer questions regarding the FAFSA.
An amount of money charged by colleges and universities, in addition to their tuition, to cover costs of services such as libraries and computer technology.
Abbreviation for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. This is a federal law applying to educational agencies and institutions that receive funding under a program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Under FERPA, schools must generally afford students who are aged 18 or over, or are attending a postsecondary institution, access to their education records, an opportunity to seek to have the records amended, and some control over the disclosure of information from the records.
Fifth Avenue Parking Garage
This garage is located on Fifth Avenue and Osborne Street. No overnight parking is allowed.
Money available from various sources to help students pay college expenses. These funds come as loans, grants, or scholarships from the state or federal government or other organizations. Work-study is also a form of financial aid. The Financial Aid office at WCSU is on the Midtown campus.
The last week in the semester in which final exams are given. Normal class schedules often vary during finals week. Exam schedules are available online every semester.
A student organization, typically for men, formed for social, academic, community service, or professional purposes. A fraternity is part of a college or university's Greek system.
An undergraduate student who has earned fewer than 30 semester credit hours.
Full-Time (F/T) Students
Undergraduate students who are registered for 12 or more semester hours in a regular school session (fall or spring).
General Education (Gen Ed) (cross list to Competency)
General Education is a common core of courses that must be completed by all degree-seeking students. These courses are designed to encourage students to think critically, communicate effectively, and appreciate diversity.
A score or mark indicating a student's academic performance on an exam, paper, or in a course. A "grade" can also refer to which year a student is in while at elementary, middle, or high school, but that usage typically does not apply at the college or university level.
Grade point average (GPA)
A student's overall academic performance, which is calculated as a numerical average of grades earned in all courses. The GPA is determined after each term, typically on a 4.0 scale, and upon graduation, students receive an overall GPA for their studies.
A grant is also referred to as an endowment. It is a sum of money given by an organization, especially a government, for a particular purpose. Grants might be part of a student’s Financial Aid package and do not have to be repaid.
The Ruth A. Haas Library is located on the Midtown campus. Constructed in 1969 and expanded in the year 2000, it occupies 90,000 square feet on six floors. Haas Library also houses the Midtown Computer Center (MTCC), Einstein’s Bagels, the Tutoring Resource Center, and the Writing Center.
Higgins Annex (HA)
The annex is attached to Higgins Hall. It is located on the Midtown campus.
Higgins Hall (HI)
This hall is located on the Midtown campus, and is attached to Higgins Annex. The Academic Advisement Center is located here.
A set of rules, guidelines, or principles that relate to the academic standards expected of all students and faculty. Included are sanctions for students found guilty of violating the code, from failing a class to expulsion. See also Academic Honesty, Plagiarism.
Honors (Dean’s List, magna, etc.)
To be eligible for graduation honors, students must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours of quality point-bearing credit at Western. No pass/fail credits or transfer credits are included in this minimum. Graduation honors standards are based on cumulative grade point average and are awarded as follows:
Summa Cum Laude 3.9 to 4.0
Magna Cum Laude 3.7 to 3.89
Cum Laude 3.5 to 3.69
The Kathwari Honors Program was founded to foster and nurture academic excellence among outstanding students in all four schools of the university. It is built on the fundamental assumption that knowledge is an open set of questions and ideas to be explored, rather than a closed set of facts to be memorized.
Academic courses focused on human life and ideas, including history, philosophy, foreign languages, religion, art, music, and literature.
A temporary grade that faculty can award a passing student who, for reasons outside his or her control (illness, death in family, etc.) cannot complete all coursework and assignments in a given term. Undergraduate students typically have six weeks into the following semester to meet with the professor and complete the work.
A specialized course of study under the supervision of a faculty member. The burden is usually on the student to conduct a much more self-directed study plan than in a normal class setting.
Information Technology and Innovation (IT&I)
IT&I provides campus technology-based resources for students and staff, including computer services such as email, wireless networking, printing, and other services.
At Western, the International Services office supports non-immigrant students and scholars holding F1 or J1 Visas (and their dependents) as a post admissions service. The staff provides orientation and ongoing support and guidance of the non-immigrant federal regulations. It also offers support of ISEP Exchange students.
An internship is an opportunity offered by an employer to potential employees, called "interns,” to work at a firm for a fixed, limited period of time. See also practicum. Students at WCSU should consult with their advisors, department chairs, and Career Services to arrange internships.
International Student Exchange Program (ISEP)
Through the International Student Exchange Program, students can study abroad for a summer, semester, or full year at another university for the same price as tuition, room & board at WCSU (plus travel costs).
Ives Concert Hall
This hall is located on the midtown campus. It is on the first floor in White Hall.
Ives Concert Park
Ives Concert Park is a venue for live performances at Western Connecticut State University. It is located on the Westside campus. This performing arts center has an outdoor amphitheater.
An undergraduate student who has earned 60 or more, but fewer than 90, semester hours of credit.
Kathwari Honors House
The Kathwari Honors House is located across from the Midtown Student Center and houses the WCSU Honors Program.
Leave of Absence
Students may choose to request a Leave of Absence from the university for a period of time not to exceed two consecutive major semesters (Fall and Spring). Students who may find it necessary to withdraw from the university completely, such as for medical reasons, should follow a formal withdrawal procedure. For more information, contact the Registrar’s Office.
Letter of Recommendation
A letter written by a student's teacher, counselor, coach, or mentor that assesses the student’s qualifications and skills. Colleges, universities, and graduate schools generally require recommendation letters as part of the application process.
Academic studies of subjects in the humanities, social sciences, and the sciences, with a focus on general knowledge, in contrast to a professional or technical emphasis. "Liberal arts" is often used interchangeably with "liberal arts and sciences" or "arts and sciences."
This residence hall is located on White Street, across from the parking garage. Health Services can be found at the front of the building.
A master of business administration degree.
Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences (A&S)
The Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences is one of the schools at Western Connecticut State University. It has thirteen departments, eighteen majors, and five graduate majors.
A major is a course of study in which a student focuses on a specific line of classes under one topic, i.e. nursing or mathematics.
Specific days used for courses to meet if a class has been cancelled (usually because of the weather or other emergency) during the regular semester.
To be admitted into Western Connecticut State University.
Midterm grades are usually posted around mid-October for fall and mid-March for spring. They provide a good sense of progress in a course, based on the work completed so far. Not all professors give midterm grades to upperclassmen.
On the Midtown campus are administrative offices, the Midtown Student Center with a variety of services and organizations, the Ruth Haas library, the Kathwari Honors House, two multi-level parking garages, the quad, classroom buildings, and student residences.
Midtown Library Parking Lot
This lot is located adjacent to the Haas Library and Berkshire Hall. It is reserved for faculty and staff parking.
Midtown Parking Garages
Two parking garages are located on the Midtown campus: the White Street Parking Garage on White Street and the Fifth Avenue Parking Garage accessible from Fifth Avenue and Osborne Street.
Midtown Student Center
The bookstore, restaurant, student lounges, the Center for Student Involvement (CSI), and other essentials to Western students are located in the Student Center.
Midtown Visitor Parking Lot
This lot is located next to the Old Main building. Only faculty and staff and campus visitors may park here.
A minor is a secondary specialization to complement and enhance a major. Minors should be selected in consultation with the academic advisor. For Business, JLA, and Music minors, students must have approval from the Department Chairperson. For all other minors, students should contact the department housing the minor.
Courses held on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Abbreviation for the National Collegiate Athletic Association
Enrolled in a college or university's courses, but not in a program of study leading to a degree. Nonmatriculated students either did not apply to or were not admitted into the university.
Time set aside by professors or teaching assistants for students to visit their office and ask questions or discuss the course they teach. Information regarding the place and time when and where office hours will be held every week is conveyed at the beginning of the term. This information is also usually in a course syllabus or available through the department secretary.
Old Main Building (OM)
The Old Main building houses several administrative offices, including the Registrar, Financial Aid, Cashier’s Office, Student Affairs, and Information Technology & Innovation.
Open/Close is a specific section of Banner. In Open/Close, students can see which courses are being offered at what time during the next semester, who teaches them, and how many spots are available in the class.
A college or university's official process of welcoming new, accepted students to campus and providing them with information and policies before classes begin.
PAC, or Program Activities Council, is a group made up of volunteer students to program social, cultural and educational events for the benefit of all students at Western.
To enroll in a course on a non-graded basis. When a student elects to take a course pass/fail, they will not earn a letter grade (A, B, C, D) for the course, but they can earn credit for the class if they receive a P (for Pass). A pass is not included in the student’s grade point average. However, if the student receives an F (for Fail), they will not earn credit for completing the course and the F is calculated in the grade point average. Students should speak with their advisor if they are interested in taking a course on a pass/fail basis.
Part-Time (P/T) Students
Undergraduate students who are enrolled for fewer than 12 semester credit hours in a regular academic term (fall or spring).
Post-Baccalaureate (Post-Bac) Students
The Master of Arts in Teaching will target post baccalaureate students (e.g., career changers, non-traditional students, and others) who want to earn a master’s degree in education while meeting the requirements for teacher certification. Students accepted into this program will have already completed the content area coursework necessary for certification.
A course that includes job-related activities and stresses the practical application of theory in a field of study. See also internship.
A prerequisite is a course that must be completed before taking another course.
A status or period of time in which students with very low GPAs, or whose academic work is unsatisfactory according to the school, must improve their performance. Students may also face "disciplinary probation" for nonacademic reasons, such as behavioral problems in the dorms.
Professional Studies (SPS), School of
The home of four departments: Education & Educational Psychology; Health Promotion & Exercise Sciences; Nursing; and Social Work.
A program sheet at WCSU is a guide used to determine what courses and associated requirements students need to take to earn a degree. Program sheets also provide a suggested course sequencing to lay out a program’s requirements toward graduation, also known as a suggested four-year plan.
Readmission is when a student returns to college studies, perhaps after a leave of absence or some type of break.
The registrar’s office is responsible for registering students and keeping their academic records, such as transcripts. Address and name changes need to be reported here, and forms such as Leave of Absence, Withdrawal, and Student Consent Forms are processed in this office.
The process in which students choose and enroll in courses to be taken during the academic year or in summer sessions.
Residence Hall (RH)
Centennial Hall (CH), Ella Grasso Hall (GH), Pinney Hall (PH) on the Westside campus; Fairfield Hall (FH), Litchfield Hall (LH), and Newbury Hall (NH) on the Midtown campus.
Resident Assistant (RA)
A student leader who works in campus residence halls and supervises issues and activities related to hall life. RAs often receive free housing in the residence hall in return for their services.
Resident Director (RD)
The RD is a leader for the housing dorms.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Students on Financial Aid, in Housing, or Athletics programs need to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (i.e. pass enough classes with good grades each academic year) – check individual webpages for requirements.
At WCSU, “school” refers to one of the four academic divisions of the university: the Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences (A&S); School of Professional Studies (SPS); Ancell School of Business (ASB); and School of Visual & Performing Arts (VPA).
Science Building (SB)
The 122,000-square-foot science building is state of the art and houses the university's biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy and meteorology programs, including faculty offices, science laboratories, the Weather Center and the Boehringer-Ingelheim Biochemistry Lab. The Midtown Observatory sits atop the Science Building and is utilized for classes, undergraduate research and public viewing nights.
Periods of study that divide the academic year into two equal segments of approximately 15 to 18 weeks each. Some schools also offer a shorter summer semester, beyond the traditional academic year.
Semester Hour (S.H.)
Also called credit - each course counts as several semester hours, most often 3 or 4. Most degrees require students to pass 120 semester hours (credits) made up of specific courses.
A course offered to a small group of students who are typically more advanced and who meet with a professor to discuss specialized topics.
An undergraduate student who has completed more than 90 semester credit hours, but has not yet earned a baccalaureate degree.
Senior capstone (Senior Thesis)
A senior capstone or thesis is a culminating academic work or project which reflects a theme or central study related to a student’s major. Each department has different requirements, and may offer a showcase.
Abbreviation for the Student Government Association.
An undergraduate student who has earned 30 or more, but fewer than 60, semester credit hours.
The Student Online Success website provides information on free academic assistance available at WCSU.
A student organization for women formed for social, academic, community service, or professional purposes. A sorority is part of a college or university's Greek system, including these sororities at WCSU.
Exams, such as the SAT, ACT, and GRE, which measure knowledge and skills and are designed to be consistent in how they are administered and scored. Standardized tests are intended to help admissions officials compare students who come from different backgrounds.
Student Center (SC)
See Midtown Student Center.
Students may find employment on or off campus. The Financial Aid office at WCSU maintains information regarding student employment.
Western students have many opportunities to study abroad, either through the International Student Exchange Program or short study abroad courses that annually go to Spain/Morocco, Italy, and Costa Rica. Other opportunities vary each year.
Through the International Student Exchange Program, students can study abroad for a summer, semester, or full year at another university for the same price as tuition, room & board at WCSU (plus travel costs).
A description of a course which also lists the dates of major exams, assignments, and course policies.
Tuesday/Thursday. Courses marked as “TR” are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the listed time.
A status offered to high-level faculty members at a college or university that allows them to stay permanently in their positions, after demonstrating a strong record of teaching and published research.
Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. At WCSU, Title IX concerns are handled through the Office of Diversity & Equity.
A transcript is a student’s official academic record. The transcript contains information about the courses that a student has taken and the grades that have been received in those courses. Students may review their unofficial transcript.
Transfer credit refers to coursework taken by a student at another institution that has been accepted (or transferred in) by Western Connecticut State University for academic credit. It is important that students understand that not all courses offered by other colleges or universities will be transferred. It is also important for students to be aware that not all transfer work may be applicable to their specific degree plan.
This term refers to students who have not yet chosen and/or declared an academic major; they are listed as Exploratory Studies majors. These students should consult with the Academic Advisement Center regarding registration and major choice.
The President’s Office, Human Resources, and other important offices are located in this building on White Street.
Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), School of
This award-winning building on the Westside Campus is home to the departments of Art, Music, and Theatre Arts.
Warner Hall (WA)
Warner Hall is located between Haas Library and White Hall on the Midtown campus. It is home to the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Grant Programs, and the departments of History and Non-Western Cultures, Social Sciences, Psychology.
The Westside campus is located at 43 Lake Avenue Ext. Danbury, CT 06811.
Westside Campus Center
The Westside Campus Center features a full-service dining facility and Club, meeting rooms, a ballroom, cardio-fitness center, student organization offices and Information Desk. You’ll also be able to find a quiet area to study and meet with friends or a study group in the Campus Center’s lounges.
All registered students, faculty, staff and university affiliates must obtain a WESTCONNect ID Card. This includes all part-time, evening, and summer students. Department contacts are responsible for working with the WESTCONNect Office to make appropriate arrangements for visitors, contractors, vendors, and other non-university personnel who are authorized to be on university grounds.
WestConnduit is the virtual hub of information for faculty, staff, and students.
White Hall (WH)
White Hall is located adjacent to Warner Hall on the Midtown campus. It is home to the departments of Nursing, Social Works, and Philosophy & Humanistic Studies. It also houses the Ives Concert Hall.
White Hall/Fairfield Parking Lot
This lot is located between White Hall and Fairfield Hall. It is reserved for faculty and staff parking.
White Street Parking Garage
This parking garage is located on White Street, across from Litchfield Hall.
Students may withdraw from a full-semester course, without academic penalty, following the add/drop period. Withdrawing from courses may have significant implications for financial aid, housing, and athletic programs. Students should check with their advisors before withdrawing from any classes. Contact the Registrar’s Office regarding the procedure for withdrawing from a course.
Work-study is a financial aid program funded by the U.S. federal government that allows undergraduate or graduate students to work part-time on campus or with approved off-campus employers. To participate in work-study, students must complete the FAFSA, indicate they are interested, and be eligible. In general, international students are not eligible for work-study positions. At WCSU, students may find information regarding work-study positions through the Financial Aid office.
The Young Library is located in the Westside classroom building on the fourth floor.