Policies & Procedures
Auditing a Course
Cancellation of Classes
Change of Status
Complaint Procedures for “SARA”
Credit by Examination
Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)
Leave of Absence
Proficiency Appeals Procedure
Standards for Graduation
Taking a Course at another Institution
Withdrawal from Courses
Withdrawal from WCSU
In order to remain in good academic standing at the university and be granted a diploma, you must maintain a cumulative average of at least 2.0 (“C”). Professional curricula and some major programs have additional and/or higher academic standards which the student must meet at specific intervals.
Log on to WestConnduit.wcsu.edu to access your midsemester grades. If you receive a midsemester grade of “D,” “F,” or ”INC,” consider this report a warning that you may be placed on academic probation. Any grade of “D” or “F” during the semester also constitutes an academic warning and may result in academic probation.
Academic probation letters from the dean are sent at the end of the semester to each first semester freshman with a grade-point average below 1.7 and to all other students with averages below 2.0. If you are placed on probation, you must meet with your academic adviser to review your program requirements, course selections, credit loads, and other pertinent information.
The probationary period will commence the semester following the one for which the letter of probation was issued. The dean will review the student’s activities during the period of probation.
Probation is for one semester. If you do not achieve an acceptable average by the end of the semester that you are on probation, you may be suspended for academic deficiency.
Students on probation should consider a semester course load of 12 credit hours and limit their participation in extra-curricular activities. Appeals to these policies should be made to the appropriate dean who, for extenuating circumstances only, may waive the policy.
Note: Individual Schools or programs may have standards for probation and dismissal from the school or program which are higher than the university’s standards. A student can be on probation or be dismissed from a school or program and still be in good standing at the university.
A student suspended for academic reasons is no longer a degree candidate. A suspended student may, however, enroll in up to nine credits per semester as a nonmatriculant. A student may reapply for admission when his/her cumulative grade-point average reaches the minimum university, department or school admission criterion. Eligibility for readmission does not automatically lead to readmission to WestConn but only to consideration for readmission by the director of University Admissions.
Credits earned at other institutions are not used to raise a student’s cumulative grade point average. Students who, for academic reasons, are suspended a second time will be dismissed and are not eligible for readmission except under the Fresh Start Policy
Auditing a Course
Students may audit any course with permission of the instructor. Auditors are subject to those conditions established by the instructor. You must obtain approval to audit within the first four weeks for full semester courses or within the first two weeks for courses scheduled less than a full semester. Audited courses carry no credit. Audit forms may be obtained at the Registrar’s Office.
Cancellation of Courses
The academic deans reserve the right to make changes in personnel to teach a course and to cancel or reschedule any course offered should the change become necessary
Change of Status
Students must contact the Registrar’s Office if they wish to change their status from part-time to full-time or from full-time to part-time so bills can be assessed properly. These changes can be made from the day of registration through the first week of classes.
All candidates for the bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, bachelor of business administration, bachelor of music and associate in science degrees are expected to attend the commencement exercises held in May.
Undergraduate who will be within eight credits of those required for the degree are eligible to participate in the commencement exercises if they have applied for August graduation and intend to complete their requirements during the summer.
Complaint Procedures for “SARA”
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts. The Connecticut Office of Higher Education became a member of SARA in 2017, thus allowing Western Connecticut State University to apply to be a member of SARA. This allows Western Connecticut State University to accept students from all SARA approved states.
Pursuant to federal regulations and the terms of SARA, the Office of Higher Education is responsible for the investigation and resolution of out-of-state students’ complaints against institutions of higher education based in Connecticut and offering distance education via SARA. Note that issues regarding student life, such as discipline, grading, etc., fall solely within the purview of the institution and are not generally investigated. Additionally, the Office of Higher Education does not investigate anonymous complaints or provide legal advice. Currently, SARA institutions are to:
- Apply the tuition refund policies of their home state to students located in other SARA states; and
- For students located in non-SARA states, follow any relevant tuition refund policies of those states.
Within two years of the incident complained of, out-of-state students enrolled in a Connecticut institution via SARA may file a complaint in accordance with the following steps:
- The student must attempt to resolve the complaint by exhausting the institution’s established internal grievance procedures. These are usually published in the institution’s catalog, student handbook and/or posted on the institution’s website. Absent extenuating circumstances, the Office of Higher Education will not investigate complaints filed by students who have not first sought a resolution with the institution.
- If all remedies at the institutional level have been exhausted and the complaint is not resolved, the student may file a complaint with the Office of Higher Education. To file a complaint, please follow these procedures. All documentation for review related to the complaint must be provided by the student as part of the filing.
- The Office of Higher Education will process the complaint and provide copies of all documents filed with the complaint to the institution. The institution has 20 days to respond. After receiving a response and conducting an investigation, the Office of Higher Education will issue a findings report to all parties. The findings report is final.
If a Connecticut student is enrolled in a distance education program offered by a SARA institution based in another state, the student should contact the portal agency in that state to pursue the complaint process. Connecticut students enrolled in Connecticut institutions must first exhaust an institution’s established internal grievance procedures, and then should contact the Office of Higher Education prior to filing a complaint.
All correspondence, including institutional applications and student complaints, should be sent via email or post to:
Office of Higher Education
450 Columbus Blvd, Suite 510
Hartford, CT 06105
Credit By Examination
It is possible to earn academic credit through an examination procedure. The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) offers the opportunity to earn credits in a variety of subject areas including accounting, economics, educational psychology, English literature and composition, foreign languages, history, humanistic studies, marketing, mathematics, natural science, psychology, and sociology. Additional subject areas are covered by other examinations. You may not receive credit for both taking a course and passing its equivalent examination. For information on what specific examinations are available to you, and details on University policy regarding credit by examination, contact the Office of Student Life, 837-8494.
Dean’s List Eligibility
Full-time Undergraduate Students
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. Also eligible are full-time students whose minimum 12 credits includes course work required in their programs of study that must be taken with a pass/fail option, excluding credits that do not count toward graduation, and whose semester average is 3.5.
Part-Time Undergraduate Students
An appropriate academic standard for Dean’s List for part-time undergraduate students shall be a minimum of 12 graded semester hours satisfactorily completed within one academic year (fall and spring semesters) with a grade point average for the year of 3.5. The only exception is for students whose minimum of 12 credits includes course work (a) that is required in a program of study, taken on a pass/fail basis, and (b) that does not count toward graduation. For such students, both the academic year average and the cumulative grade point average must both be at least 3.5.
Any WCSU student who wishes to fulfill the requirements for more than one academic major may do so. Students must satisfy the requirements for both majors, and courses required for one major may not be used to complete requirements for a second major. To complete a double major in the Ancell School of Business within the five (5) business administration departments, students must complete the BBA Core and the courses in both majors with no duplication of courses in the two majors. Both majors will be listed on the student’s transcript; however, only one degree will be awarded.
If a student qualifies for more than one degree, e.g., both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science, the student must notify the Registrar’s Office as to which degree to receive at commencement.
Students are advised to exercise caution in selecting more than one major because the requirements to meet two majors will limit the ability to take elective courses.
Students are responsible for fulfilling the requirements of both majors as well as any special general education requirements in the majors.
Weather Emergency Information & Weather Delay Information
In the event of inclement weather, it may become necessary to delay the opening of the university. In such instances, students and faculty are expected to report to their classes which are scheduled to be in progress at the delayed opening time.
WCSU Weather Alert Phone Line: 837-9377
Weather Alert information is also available on the Web at www.wcsu.edu. In case of a “weather emergency,” class cancellations and delays will also be announced on the following radio and television stations:
WLAD 800 Danbury, CT
WDAQ FM 98.3 Danbury, CT
WXCI FM 91.7 W.C.S.U.
WEZN FM 99.9 Bridgeport, CT
WEBE FM 108 Bridgeport, CT
WICC 600 Bridgeport, CT
WINE 940 Brookfield, CT
WRKI FM 95.1 Brookfield, CT
WPLR FM 99.1 Hamden, CT
WTIC AM 1080 Hartford, CT
WTIC FM 96.5 Hartford, CT
WVIT TV 30 Hartford, CT
WFSB TV 3 Hartford, CT
WKCI FM 101 New Haven, CT
WELI 960 New Haven, CT
WTNH TV 8 New Haven, CT
WEFX FM 95.9 Norwalk, CT
WKHL FM 96.7 Norwalk, CT
WNLK 1350 Norwalk, CT
WSTC 1400 Norwalk, CT
WATR 1320 Waterbury, CT
WFAS 1230 Hartsdale, NY
WRRV FM 92.7 Middletown, NY
WCBS AM 880 New York, NY
WHUD FM 100.7 Peekskill, NY
WLNA 1420 Peekskill, NY
WPDH FM 101.5 Poughkeepsie, NY
WEOK 1390 Poughkeepsie, NY
Oldies 97.7 Poughkeepsie, NY
Students are required to observe the attendance regulations announced by the instructors for those courses in which they are enrolled.
Minimum Student Preparation Hours
The university expects all students to devote a minimum of two hours of preparation for each hour of class time.
The following grades and associated numerical values are used on academic records:
P Pass on Pass/Fail Option
FP Fail on Pass/Fail Option
W Officially Withdrawn
WF Withdrawn Failing. This grade has academic penalty equivalent to an “F” and is received if you stop attending class without officially with drawing, or if you withdraw after the official withdrawal date without permission of your instructor.
WFP Withdrawn failing from a Pass/Fail course
RM or RP These grades are given in specified courses to permit you to improve competence without academic penalty. Required courses in which a student receives an RP must be repeated. The RM grade requires a student to work with the instructor to correct specified weaknesses until a level of competence of “C” or better has been attained.
Courses in which the RM or RP grade is allowed to be given:
CHE 100 MAT 098/100
COM 160/161/162 PHY 110/111
FR 161/162/163/164 SPA 161/162/163/164
GER 161/162/163/164 WRT 098
IT 161/162/163/164 WRT 101
Quality Points (Grade Point Average)
In order to determine a student’s grade-point average (GPA), letter grades are assigned numerical values. The numerical weight given each grade is then multiplied by the number of credits (semester hours) assigned to each course. For example, a grade of “B” in a three-credit course would merit (3.0 x 3) = 9.0 quality points.
Your GPA is determined by dividing the total number of quality points by the number of credits attempted. Grades of INC, P, FP, WFP, W, AUD, RP, and RM carry no quality points, and the credits for courses with those grades are not considered in the total credits attempted; therefore, they have no effect on your GPA.
Courses that you transfer to WestConn from another institution are not included in the determination of your GPA.
You can access your grades by logging onto WestConnduit.wcsu.edu. If necessary, grades will be mailed if a request is made at the Registrar’s office.
If a student wishes to question the grade received in a course, it is proper to raise that issue with the instructor. If the instructor believes that the final grade should be changed, he/she will recommend the change to the dean. In the instructor’s absence, the department chairperson may act in his/her place. (A student may appeal a final grade. Information about this process may be found in the Student Handbook and the Undergraduate Catalog.)
To be eligible for graduation honors, you must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours of quality point-bearing credit at WestConn. No pass/fail credits or transfer credits are included in this minimum. Graduation honors standards are based on your 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
January graduates and May candidates for Graduation Honors, who will be recognized at the May Commencement ceremonies, are identified at the conclusion of the January Intersession semester preceding graduation. Students who have earned a minimum of 30 credits toward their graduation requirements in residence at Western Connecticut State University with a cumulative earned GPA of at least 3.50 are considered to be Graduation Honors candidates eligible for recognition at the May Commencement. Candidacy for May Graduation Honors does not guarantee the award of Graduation Honors upon completion of degree requirements.
Graduation honors, which appear on the transcript and on an honor’s certificate, will be awarded only to students who complete their graduation requirements with a minimum of 30 credits in residence at Western Connecticut State University and have a cumulative earned grade-point average of at least 3.50. The residency requirement for honors may not be waived. Students with questions regarding academic honors should consult the Academic Dean of their major.
Leave of Absence
Students may choose to request a Leave of Absence (LOA) from the university for a period of time not to exceed two consecutive major semesters (Fall and Spring). Students seeking a Leave of Absence must meet the following criteria:
A Leave of Absence is related to a student’s enrollment at the university and is not recognized by federal regulations.
A Leave of Absence may be requested at any time during a semester, but cannot be applied to withdraw from courses during the week of final exams.
Spring semester Leave of Absences submitted on or before December 31 will be processed after January 1 due to end-of-calendar year tax document preparations.
While on a Leave of Absence:
A student remains matriculated at the university
A student may return and register for courses at the end of the LOA without having to reapply to the university
A student will receive registration related notification materials
A student will not have the access rights held by registered students such as access to the library, campus facilities, computer labs etc.
Important Note: While on a Leave of Absence a student is not reported as enrolled to any third parties. This may have an impact on loan repayments.
When returning from a Leave of Absence a student is expected to:
Follow the degree requirements as identified in the catalog at the time the student originally matriculated. The academic department may authorize an exception.
Meet with their advisor and obtain the registration PIN.
Address any outstanding financial obligations to the university.
Register for courses.
If a student does not return at the end of the requested Leave of Absence, the student will no longer be considered matriculated. Should the student decide to return to WCSU, they must re-apply via the Admissions Office and pay associated application fees.
Click here to access the Leave of Absence form.
You may take free elective courses on a pass/fail basis with the approval of the school dean of your major. The purpose of this option is to encourage students to take courses in areas they would like to investigate in addition to those in which they are majoring or concentrating. A maximum of four free elective courses may be converted to pass/fail grading, provided that:
- You obtain approval within the first four weeks for full semester courses or the first two weeks for courses scheduled less than a full semester; and
- You change no more than one course per semester to pass/fail credit; and
- You do not use the course to satisfy a general education requirement, a requirement for a major or minor program, or the foreign language requirement.
Credits taken on a pass/fail basis do not generate quality points and are not included with credits attempted on the standard basis in computing the academic average. Successfully completed pass/fail credits are included in the credits necessary for graduation unless the description of the particular course indicates otherwise. Information regarding changes of grade or pass/fail options can be obtained from the Registrar’s Office.
Proficiency Requirement Appeals Procedure
(For students who have not fulfilled their proficiency course requirement within the 24 credits permitted by the Board of Trustees resolution of July, 2003)
- Students who enter the university beginning fall semester 2004 are subject to the Resolution concerning proficiency courses (CSU Board of Trustees, July 16, 2003).
- Students will be notified of this requirement when they enter the university, and they will receive regular reminders from their school dean until completion.
- A student who needs to demonstrate proficiency but who fails to complete the requirement within his/her first 24 credits at the university will be notified by the school dean that no further registration for credit course will be permitted at any CSU institution until the required proficiency courses or their equivalents have been successfully completed elsewhere.
- A student may appeal the suspension by responding in writing to the dean within two weeks of notification. This deadline may be extended only if the student is unable to respond because of hospitalization or other reason beyond his/her control.
- To support the appeal, only reasons beyond the students’ control can be considered, such as medical emergency, leave of absence, or family leave.
- All reasons must be supported by evidence.
- For further support, the student’s record must show evidence of academic progress.
- The dean will respond to the student in writing within two weeks of receiving the appeal.
- An extension of time to meet the requirement may be granted at the dean’s discretion after review of the evidence
- Extensions may not exceed one additional academic semester.
Students are permitted to repeat most courses at Western; however, credit is granted only once toward graduation unless specifically noted in the course description (e.g., ENG 376). For up to the first seventeen (17) academic credits of repeated courses, the highest grade attained by the student will be substituted for the lower grade(s) for the purpose of calculating the student’s grade point average (GPA). Although the lower grade received in the repeated course will not be calculated in the GPA, it will remain visible on the student’s official university transcript. If a student repeats courses beyond the seventeen (17) academic credit limitation, the multiple grades attained for the repeated course(s) shall be used in the calculation of the student’s GPA. This policy applies to undergraduate courses completed at WCSU only, and may be applied only if the course is repeated after Fall 2008.
Repeating any course taken in a previous semester may affect certain federal and state benefits, various financial aid programs, loans, scholarships and social security benefits, in addition to athletic eligibility and veteran’s benefits. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements must be met for continued financial aid eligibility. See the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment section of the catalog for the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
Any course designated as X98 (Faculty-Developed Study) or X99 (Student Independent Study) is excluded from this policy. Special Topics classes are also excluded. Students are encouraged to consult with their academic adviser before repeating a course. Education majors and post-baccalaureate certification students should refer to the Education Department for information regarding the repeating of courses as this policy may affect eligibility for certification.
The Repeat Policy Request Form must be in to the Registrar’s Office by the end of the sixth week of classes.
Earning a Second Bachelor’s Degree
If you have earned one bachelor’s degree from Western Connecticut State University, you may be eligible to pursue a second bachelor’s degree at Western. The second major must be different from the first, although the degree may be the same, e.g., B.A. in psychology and B.A. in English.
After you have earned the first degree, you must apply to the Admissions Office for acceptance as a candidate for the new degree program (acceptance will depend on program requirements).
You must complete a minimum of 30 semester-hour credits (classroom credits, excluding CLEP and other alternates) including all requirements specific to the new degree, such as a foreign language requirement.
Standards for Graduation
A student is eligible for the bachelor’s or associate’s degree upon successful completion of general education, the major, and total credit requirements for that degree. A cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or higher for all credits attempted at WestConn is required for graduation, as well as a grade-point average of 2.0 or higher in all courses for the major. Certain programs have a higher minimum standard. In addition, at least 30 credits and at least half of the major requirements must be completed at WestConn. Note that two components constitute a major in the Ancell School: the business core and the specialization, e.g., accounting, finance, etc. B.B.A. candidates must complete at least half of the specialization at WestConn. Some programs require meeting additional and/or higher academic standards.
Taking a Course at Another Institution
Continuing matriculated undergraduate students have the option to take a course at another institution and transfer the credits to Western Connecticut State University. The course will appear as transfer credit with a grade of “T” on your WCSU transcript. This action will not affect your WCSU GPA. Courses that are transferred are not eligible to use for the “Course Repeat Policy” at WCSU.
In order for transfer credit to be posted students need:
1. Permission to take a course at another institution BEFORE the course is taken. The permission ensures that the credit will be transferable back to WCSU.
2. A minimum grade of “C-” must be earned for the course to be eligible for transfer credit. NOTE: Certain degree programs have specific grade requirements for courses that are higher than a “C-”. Therefore this earned minimum grade would not allow the course to be transferred. Refer to your degree program for details.
3. To request the visiting institution send an official transcript to the Registrar’s Office immediately after the course is completed.
Transfer credit cannot be posted to your academic record at WCSU until the official transcript is received. The official transcript should be mailed to the following address:
Western Connecticut State University
Registrar’s Office, Old Main 102
181 White Street
Danbury, Connecticut 06810
A policy agreed to by both the Connecticut State University and Connecticut Community College systems requires that mathematics courses taken at a community college, on or after Fall 2001, must have had a prerequisite of intermediate algebra in order to be transferred to Western and meet general education requirements.
Withdrawal from Courses
Students may withdraw from a full-semester course, without penalty, until the end of the twelfth week of the semester. Withdrawals are recorded on a student’s transcript with a grade of “W.” There is no academic penalty attached to this grade. Students wishing to initiate a withdrawal from a course without penalty beyond the twelfth week must obtain the instructor’s written approval. Withdrawals forms must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar’s Office will not accept withdrawals during finals week. Withdrawal without penalty refers only to academic penalty (i.e., failure).
The withdrawal deadline for courses that are eight weeks in length is the end of the fifth week. The withdrawal deadline for courses that are five weeks in length is the last day of the third week and the deadline for withdrawal from a course that is three weeks in length is the last day of the second week.
A withdrawal may affect your attainment of satisfactory progress as defined by financial aid, housing, athletic eligibility and other policies. Withdrawal deadlines for other than full-semester courses are posted at the Registrar’s Office.
Faculty may report you as having stopped attending a class. Students who are reported as stopped attending will receive a W for the course. Should a student be reported as stopped attending in all their courses, they will be administratively withdrawn from the institution.
Part-time students pay tuition for each credit for which they are registered. If they drop/withdraw from a course within the refund deadlines, they will receive the appropriate refund as indicated on the academic calendar. Full-time students are eligible for a refund only if they withdraw from school. The refund deadlines for fulltime students can also be found in the academic calendar.
It is possible to withdraw without penalty from a course through the withdrawal deadline by completing the appropriate paperwork from the Registrar’s Office. Withdrawal may affect the attainment of satisfactory progress as defined by financial aid, housing, athletic eligibility, and other policies.
NOTE: You must officially withdraw from a course to avoid receiving a failing grade. If you just stop attending the class without following the necessary procedure, you will be given a failing grade.
Withdrawal or Leave of Absence from WCSU
Students who may find it necessary to withdraw from the university should follow the formal withdrawal procedure by completing and submitting a Withdrawal Form. Students who plan to withdraw for a period of no more than one year (i.e., two academic semesters) may apply for a leave of absence.