Academic Services & Procedures

Academic Support Services

Academic Advisement

All undergraduate students who have been formally admitted to the university are responsible for seeking academic advisement and following a program of study to fulfill the requirements for a degree. Program sheets outline degree requirements for all academic majors and are available in the Admissions Office, the Academic Advisement Center, the office of the appropriate school dean, all academic departments and online at wcsu.edu/academics/programsheets.

Students who have not yet decided on an academic major will be advised in the Academic Advisement Center. Those who have declared a major will be advised within the major department. Students are responsible for arranging to meet with an adviser as soon as possible after admission, and for carrying out the decisions made to ensure their progress toward a degree. Advisers are responsible for communicating accurate and up-to-date academic information. Students and advisers must make a commitment to work together to make the advising process effective.

Academic Advisement Center

Advisers: Isabel Carvalho, Irene Duffy, Lisa Peck and Caitlin Pereira

Designed for students who have not yet decided on an academic major, the center provides up-to-date information on all academic programs. Advioers are available to help students select courses and determine a field of study. The center is located in Higgins Hall, Room 214, (203) 837-8397. For more information about services available through the Academic Advisement Center, visit www.wcsu.edu/aac.

Advisement in the Major

Students who have declared an academic major should make an appointment as soon as possible with a faculty adviser in the major department. Some departments pre-assign students to advisers. Whether or not they receive notice of an assignment, students should visit or telephone the department for an appointment. The locations and telephone numbers of all departments may be found in this catalog at the beginning of the section on each school.

Academic Advisement for Evening Students

Students who attend classes only in the evenings should contact the Registrar’s Office for advisement. The office is located in Old Main 102, (203) 837-9200.

Pre-Professional Advisement

Specialized advising is available for students who wish to prepare for professional study at the graduate level (pre-medicine, pre-law, etc.). Please see the section of pre-professional options listed in this catalog.

International Services

International students or individuals with questions regarding international services should contact the international services coordinator in Warner Hall 321A. The Office of International Services assists students and their spouses and dependent(s) in obtaining and maintaining F-1 non-immigrant student status. The office also helps students navigate the processes of non-immigrant F1 laws and university procedures. In addition, the office coordinates an international student orientation program and supports other programming that allows students to learn more about U.S. culture.

For matters relating to international services, please call the International Services  Office at (203) 837-3270.

Learning Centers (TLC) at Western

The Learning Centers at Western are three professionally staffed, independent labs based in the School of Arts and Sciences that provide academic services for students who want help in specific subjects or who want to improve their study skills. All three labs are equipped with IBM computers with Internet capability.

Located on the first floor of Berkshire Hall on the midtown campus, the labs are open Monday through Friday, with some weekend hours. Students may work one-to-one with staff members or student tutors in a friendly, supportive atmosphere. In the Tutoring Resource Center, students may choose to work on computers independently or form small study groups. Students are welcome to visit the labs on a drop-in basis or by appointment.

The Tutoring Resource Center (104 Berkshire Hall; 837-9245) is managed by the Department of Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process and provides the following services free of charge:

  • Individual tutoring assistance to students in all academic disciplines taught at Western.
  • Workshops and individual assistance in areas such as studying, time management, note-taking, reading, outlining, test-taking and research.
  • Assistance with second-language skills.
  • Links to all student services on campus via www.wcsu.edu/trc.

The Math Clinic (105 Berkshire Hall; 837-9244), managed by the Mathematics Department, provides tutoring on a walk-in basis for students taking math courses at Western. Tutoring is done in a friendly and non-threatening manner. Tutors help students with class material, the use of graphing calculators and mathematical software, homework assignments, and preparation for quizzes or exams. Computers with access to ALEKS, MyMathLab, Derive, Maple, ODE Architect, Geometer’s Sketchpad, Minitab, and other mathematical software are available for student use. The clinic also houses many mathematics textbooks for student perusal. Tutoring is provided on a first-come/first-served basis; appointments cannot be made.

The Writing Lab (106 Berkshire Hall; 837-8728), managed by the Department of Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process, is staffed by graduate assistants and undergraduate peer tutors who help students improve all aspects of their writing: development, style, organization, grammar, and mechanics. Any interested student should make an appointment to meet with a writing consultant at least two or three days before the assignment is due. The student should bring all relevant materials, including the professor’s assignment sheet, notes on the assignment, and any outlines or drafts of the paper.

Library Services

Students at Western have access to two university libraries – the Ruth A. Haas Library on the Midtown campus and the Robert S. Young Library on Westside.

The Haas Library contains approximately 200,000 books and more than 415,000 bound periodicals, microforms, audiovisual items, other reference materials, and access to more than 10,000 periodicals online. Designated as a Federal Depository Library, Haas has more than 71,000 government documents. Its music collection includes books, scores, CDs, and LPs. Equipment and facilities include circulating laptop computers, portable CD players, 24 networked PC workstations, digital microform reader printers, viewing and listening rooms, private study rooms, and seminar rooms.

The Young Library, primarily serving the Ancell School of Business, holds a 6,000-volume core collection of business materials, a reference collection, approximately 200 journal subscriptions in hard copy or microform with hundreds more online, and access to a large number of electronic business, general, and law-related databases.

In addition to collections on campus, Western students have borrowing and electronic access to library holdings across the ConnSCU System and to the Connecticut State Library in Hartford.

Midtown, Campus Center and Westside Computer Centers

University Computing (UC) supports a diverse computing environment consisting of Windows servers, Windows desktops and laptops, PCs and compatibles, Unix, and Apple computers. Various computer facilities and technology classrooms exist on both of Western’s campuses.

The computer centers, located in Room 117 of the Westside Classroom Building, on the third floor of the Westside Campus Center, and at Midtown on the first floor of the Haas Library, offer 28 to 66 desktop computers in each facility. Each facility also has at least one Apple Macintosh computer. These facilities support a variety of software packages for student convenience including: Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, Firefox and Internet Explorer, Visio and SharePoint Designer. These facilities also support specialized software on various machines per academic requirements and are equipped with both black and white and color laser printers in each facility. Each computer center is equipped with one or more group workstations and a graphic station which offers Adobe Creative Suite. A color scanner is connected to the graphics workstations.

The machines in the computer centers are connected to the university’s network, which allows data and applications to be shared and provides access to the various file servers and UNIX systems throughout the campus. Full-time, part-time and graduate students with a valid WestConnect Card may use the computer facilities at Western. These facilities are staffed with student computer center assistants during operational hours, which are posted each semester, intersession and break. The computer center assistants’ main responsibility is to monitor the facilities; however, they provide help whenever possible. Students who need extensive help should visit the Student Technology Training Center.

To learn more, visit www.wcsu.edu/technology and select “Classroom/Labs” under Western IT Essentials.

 

Student Technology Training Center

The Student Technology Training Center (STTC) is located on the Midtown campus in the Student Center, Room 225. This facility provides students with a comfortable environment in which to learn technology. The primary goal of the STTC is to improve student life outside the classroom by creating and maintaining an environment in which all students can empower themselves with a practical understanding of current technology. This facility provides tutorials, hardware and software, workshops and individualized attention. The STTC, funded by the student technology fee, is not designed to be a classroom or lab.

The roles and goals of the facility are:

  • to be a valuable technological resource to all students, regardless of their level of knowledge of computers and technology;
  • to provide an environment in which students feel comfortable exploring and learning a variety of new technologies;
  • to provide the necessary technological and intellectual tools;
  • to empower students with a better understanding of today’s technology;
  • to integrate student life with technology in an effort to better prepare students for today’s and tomorrow’s classroom environments; and
  • to improve student morale outside the classroom, in an effort to increase retention at the university.

The staff of the STTC are dedicated to facilitating the technological empowerment of the university’s student body. Students who visit the STTC can learn about Microsoft Office products, graphic design software packages, computer equipment and peripherals, the Internet and Web page design. The facility provides HP desktop computers with CD and DVD burning capabilities. Apple computers are equipped with scanners. All computers have the ability to print to both black and white and color laser printers. This facility also supports a variety of software packages for student convenience including: Microsoft Office; Visual Studio; Firefox, and Internet Explorer; Visio; SharePoint Designer; specialized software on various machines per academic requirements; graphic design software including Adobe Creative Suite.

To learn more, visit www.wcsu.edu/sttc. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with a staff member, call (203) 837-8715.

Midtown and Westside 24-Hour Labs

There are three 24-hour labs, open seven days a week throughout the year. One lab is located in the Westside classroom building, Room 247c. The other labs are located on the Midtown campus in the Student Center, Room 214, and in the Science Building, Room 127. These facilities support both Windows and Macintosh desktops and are equipped with at least one black and white laser printer in each facility. To gain access to these labs, students must swipe their WestConnect Card through the facility’s card reader. The 24-hour labs are not staffed but are monitored and maintained regularly. It is the responsibility of each student to use these facilities in accordance with CSU and Western’s computer policies. These facilities have the same software as the staffed computer centers.

To learn more, visit www.wcsu.edu/technology and select “Classroom/Labs” under Western IT Essentials.

To report any problems, or if you have any questions, please call the University Computing Help Desk at (203) 837-8467.

Student Accounts/Resources
All Western students are eligible for the following accounts:

Western Windows Account – Students who wish to use any of the computer facilities at Western (computer centers, technology classrooms, 24-hour labs, etc.) or access the wireless network must obtain a Western Windows account. Registered students can receive a Windows account at any staffed computer center. Your WestConnect Card is required.  To learn more about Windows accounts, visit www.wcsu.edu/technology and select “Western Windows Account” under Western IT Essentials.

File Share – University Computing provides students with network file storage where they may save their academic-related documents and data. Students automatically receive a file share when their Windows account is created or password is reset. When a file share is generated, faculty and other students do not have the ability to read, change or delete files in another person’s file share. To learn more about file shares, visit www.wcsu.edu/technology and select “Fileshares” under Western IT Essentials.

WestConnduit Account – WestConnduit is Western’s campus portal, which provides access to grades, course schedules, academic history and financial aid information and where a student can register for classes and make payments. To access this information in WestConnduit, select the “Banner’ (my info and more) tab.

On WestConnduit, students can register for classes and make payments to the university. Additional features include access to Blackboard Vista, Western’s online course management system, campus and personal announcements, the campus events calendar and convenient links to other university resources. Students also will find a convenient link to the Western email login page from within WestConnduit.

To learn more about WestConnduit, visit www.wcsu.edu/technology and select “WestConnduit” under Western IT Essentials.

E-Learning at Western – Blackboard is a course-management system that enables efficient delivery of online education. Many faculty members use Blackboard to enhance their courses. Students may access their Blackboard courses through WestConnduit (http://westconnduit.wcsu.edu) by clicking on the “Academic Tools” tab and then the appropriate link in the “My Courses” channel. To learn more about Blackboard, visit www.wcsu.edu/technology and select “E-Learning (Blackboard)” under Western IT Essentials.

ConnectMail (Student E-mail) Account  The Connecticut State University System (Western, Eastern, Southern and Central) email policy states that university email will be considered an official means for communication. All students will be issued a university email for university business.

To access your email for the first time, visit connect.wcsu.edu. Your username will be “your-Western username@connect.wcsu.edu.” Your temporary password will be the word Connect followed by your own student ID number (e.g. Connect501XXXXX).

To learn more about ConnectMail (Student E-mail), visit www.wcsu.edu/technology and select “Western E-mail” under Western IT Essentials.

ConnectPrint – All the staffed and 24-hour computer centers at Western use the new ConnectPrint system that makes printing easier and  reduces printer waste and supplies. All students will use their WestConnect ID card to release print jobs in the computer centers.

For more information, please visit www.wcsu.edu/technology and select “ConnectPrint” under WestConn IT Essentials.

WestConn Mobile – Western has a new mobile website for quick on-the-go access to important information and services including news, announcements, email, weather, phone numbers and more. Point your mobile device to m.wcsu.edu. Western Mobile is accessible anytime, anywhere!

Help – If you need help using any of these resources, please visit a staffed computer center for help or visit the Student Technology Training Center for more individualized assistance.

Western is Wireless
Western is 100 percent wireless, including residence halls and wireless printing. To use the wireless network, your laptop or other mobile device must be equipped with a wireless network adapter. Western’s Wireless Network uses an SSID of “WestConn” for easy connection. You will be prompted to log in (required) using your Western Windows Account credentials. To use the Western wireless network and wireless printing, you must have a Western Windows Account.

To learn more about the wireless network and wireless printing, please visit www.wcsu.edu/technology and click on “Wireless” under Western IT Essentials.

Computers in the Residence Halls (ResNet)                                                                        
Any student who owns a computer with built-in ethernet or wireless capability can connect to ResNet, our residence hall network. Once connected, students will be required to log in using their Windows Account credentials, install Cisco Clean Access, install a supported anti-virus program, and install Windows critical updates. Splitters and cables can be obtained at any of our staffed computer centers. For more information, please visit http://wcsu.edu/resnet.

Your Technology Fee at Work
Students can get free copies of Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus, Office 2011 for Mac, and Windows 7 Ultimate from our staffed computer centers. Students can also download McAfee Anti-Virus for both Mac and PC. For more information, visit www.wcsu.edu/technology and select “Current Students” under Western IT Essentials.

Technology Classrooms

We are proud to say that all Western classrooms are equipped with technology, offering ideal hands-on learning environment for both students and instructors. All classrooms feature basic standardized technology, including a projector, instructor workstation, VCR/DVD and laptop connection. Some also are multi-station classrooms offering student workstations and a printer.

For more information on Western’s technology classrooms, visit www.wcsu.edu/technology and select “Classrooms/Labs” under Western IT Essentials.

Information Technology Policies
Learn about Western’s information technology policies at www.wcsu.edu/technology/students:

  • Policies & Guidelines for Computer Use
  • CSU Network Policy  
  • Electronic Monitoring Notice
  • Computer Center Usage Rules & Policies
  • CSUS Email Policy
  • Wireless Policy
  • Information Security Policy

As new policies become effective, they will be listed on this website.

Matriculation

Matriculated Student (Degree Seeking) – Someone who has been formally accepted by Western Connecticut State University to pursue a degree.  Matriculated students may attend full-time or part-time.

Non-matriculated Student (Non-Degree Seeking)  – Someone who has not been accepted by Western Connecticut State University to pursue a degree.

Course Load

Part-time / Full-time

A part-time student is an undergraduate student who is registered for up to 11.5 credits.  Charges are assessed on a per credit basis.

NOTE: Part-time matriculated undergraduate students must register for at least one class each academic semester  in order to maintain their enrollment status. 

A full-time student is an undergraduate student who registers for at least 12 credits in a given semester. The normal course load for full-time student is 15 credits.  Full-time students may take a maximum of *17.5 credits per semester. 

NOTE: Any course load above the maximum requires approval of the school Dean.  *Full-time students will be charged the per credit hour fee for every credit over 18 credits. The excess credit fee is non-refundable.

* Music majors and students in the University Scholars Program may carry up to 21 credits per semester.

Class Determination

A student’s class standing is determined by the number of credits the student has successfully completed.

First-year Student (Freshman) 

1st Semester – fewer than 15 credits

2nd Semester – 15 to 29.5 credits

Third-year Student (Junior) 

5th Semester – 60 to 74.5 credits

6th Semester – 75 to 89.5 credits

Second-year Student (Sophomore) 

3rd Semester – 30 to 44.5 credits

4th Semester – 45 to 59.5 credits

Fourth-year Student (Senior) 

7th Semester – 90 to 104.5 credits

8th Semester – 105 or more credits

Registration for Courses

Students enrolled at the university register for courses in advance of the fall and spring semesters, winter intersession, and summer sessions, on a schedule announced by the Registrar.

Students should seek the help of their faculty adviser when selecting courses. They must meet the prerequisites for courses or, when necessary, obtain specific permission from the instructor to enroll.

For details, go to www.wcsu.edu and click the Course Registration link in the right-hand directory. Or call the Registrar’s Office at (203) 837-9200.

Proficiency Requirements for Mathematics & Writing

The Board of Regents of the Connecticut State University has adopted a policy requiring all students to demonstrate college-level proficiency in writing and mathematics within the first 24 credits of their work toward a degree.

Students whose placement scores place them into skills courses below the college level (ENG 098 and/or MAT 098) must meet the proficiency requirement by passing these courses within their first 24 credits at the university. They will have five opportunities to do so:

  1. Summer session before their first academic year;
  2. Fall semester;
  3. Winter intersession;
  4. Spring semester;
  5. Summer session before their second academic year.

Students admitted for the spring semester may meet the requirement during:

  1. Winter intersession;
  2. Spring semester;
  3. Summer session;
  4. Fall semester;
  5. Winter intersession before their second academic year.

Students who do not successfully complete the proficiency courses within the periods stated above will not be allowed to register for credit courses at a university within the CSU system until they pass these courses or the equivalents elsewhere.

Proficiency Requirement Appeals Procedure

For students who have not fulfilled their proficiency course requirement within the 24 credits permitted by the Board of Regents resolution of July 2003:

1. Students who enter the university beginning fall semester 2004 are subject to the resolution concerning proficiency courses (CSU Board of Regents, July 16, 2003).

2. Students will be notified of this requirement when they enter the university and they will receive regular reminders from their school dean until completion.

3. 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.

4. 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.

a. To support the appeal, only reasons beyond the students’ control can be considered, such as medical emergency, leave of absence, or family leave.

b.  All reasons must be supported by evidence.

c.  For further support, the student’s record must show evidence of academic progress.

d.  The dean will respond to the student in writing within two weeks of receiving the appeal.

e.  An extension of time to meet the requirement may be granted at the dean’s discretion after review of the evidence.

f.  Extensions may not exceed one additional academic semester.

Adding Courses

To add courses, you must make your request before the fourth class session for courses which meet three times a week or before the third class session for courses which meet twice a week. Any requests later than the first week of classes will require the approval of the department chairperson. Added courses that result in an overload (more than 17.5 credits) also need the approval of the dean.

Note: The dean of the school reserves the right to make changes in personnel and to cancel, if necessary, any course offered (including Student Developed Study). The dean also reserves the right to limit class size and to refuse registration when limits have been reached.

Dropping Courses

You may drop a course during the first week the course is offered if it is a full-semester course. For courses held one to eight weeks you may drop the course prior to the second class meeting time. Dropped courses do not appear on your record. If dropping a course results in a student’s credit load falling below full-time status (12 credits), the student must withdraw from that course. The course will then appear on your academic record with a grade of “W.” (See Withdrawal from a Course.)

Undergraduate Repeat Policy

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). If a student repeats a course, each grade appears on the transcript and is used to calculate the GPA.

 As an alternative, students may invoke the Course Repeat Policy if they have received a “C-“or lower grade. To invoke the policy, the Course Repeat Policy Request Form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the end of the sixth week of classes. It must be approved and signed by the Chairperson and Dean of the students’ academic major. By invoking the policy, the lower final grade will be replaced by the higher final grade when calculating their GPA and/or major requirements. 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.

Students are limited to invoking this policy for a maximum of 17 credits. Students may not invoke this policy a second time for the same course. This policy applies to undergraduate courses completed at WCSU only, and may be applied only to courses taken after Fall 2008.

 Students should select the 17 credits to be repeated wisely in conjunction with their Academic Advisor or Dean. For example, if a C is the minimum grade required, but a student earned a C-, it does not make sense to invoke this policy. The student should instead just retake the class. On the other hand, if a student earns an F, retaking that class for a higher grade could have a significant effect on the GPA, depending on the total number of credits earned, the current GPA, and the likelihood of performing better a second time.

 Repeating any course taken in a previous semester (regardless of whether the policy was invoked) 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 Student Financial Services 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. Departments may choose to exclude specific courses from this policy based on academic or resource issues. Students should ask their advisor if any other specific classes in their major are excluded. 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.

Taking a Course at Another Institution

If you are enrolled at Western, but wish to take courses at other accredited institutions, you may not receive credit unless you obtain prior approval from the department chair and dean of your school. The form for such approval is available in the dean’s office. A minimum grade of “C” is required for transfer of credit unless a higher grade is needed for degree purposes.

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 the fall 2001, must have had a prerequisite of intermediate algebra in order to be transferred to Western and meet general education requirements.

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, obtained at the Registrar’s Office, must be signed and completed within the time period stated for the audit grade to be assigned.

Withdrawal from Courses

You may withdraw from a full-semester course, without penalty, until the end of the 10th week of the semester. Withdrawals are recorded on your transcript with a grade of “W.” There is no academic penalty attached to this grade. Withdrawals after the 10th week of a course normally result in an automatic penalty grade of “WF.” Withdrawals through the 10th week must be initiated by you in the Registrar’s Office. If you wish to initiate a later request for withdrawal from a course without penalty, you must do so through a conference with your instructor. Withdrawal without penalty refers only to academic penalty (i.e., failure).

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.

Withdrawal or Leave of Absence from Western

Full-time and part-time matriculated students who may find it necessary to withdraw from the university should follow the formal withdrawal procedure by completing a withdrawal form with the Registrar’s Office.  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. This special type of student withdrawal is requested by the same procedure as above.

Grades, Honors & Good Standing

Attendance Policy

Your instructor will establish individual attendance requirements for courses when the department has not established a binding policy for all members. Regardless of attendance requirements, accurate attendance records must be kept.

Minimum Student Preparation Hours

The university expects all students to devote a minimum of two hours of preparation for each hour of class time.

Grading System

The following grades and associated numerical values are used on academic records:

A 4.0 C 2.0
A- 3.67 C- 1.67
B+ 3.33 D+ 1.33
B 3.0 D 1.0
B- 2.67 D- .67
C+ 2.33 F 0.00
P Pass on Pass/Fail Option
FP Fail on Pass/Fail Option
AUD Audit
INC Incomplete
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 withdrawing, 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
WRT 098, FR 162/164
WRT 099, GER 162/164
WRT 101, IT 162/164
SPA 162/164

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 nine (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 are transferred to Western from another institution are not included in the determination of your GPA.

If you fail a course and then repeat it, both grades will appear on your permanent record and both the “F” and the second grade will be used in determining your cumulative GPA.

Grade Reports

You can access your grades by logging onto WestConnduit.wcsu.edu. If necessary, grades can be mailed if a request is made at the Registrar’s Office.

Transcript Policy

A transcript is the complete, unabridged academic record, without deletions or omissions, compiled while a student attends Western Connecticut State University. Upon the granting of a degree or completion of a program, a student’s transcript is considered officially sealed, meaning no changes in grades or alteration in courses will be made unless that student believes that the information in his or her transcript is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his or her rights of privacy. It is a student’s responsibility to review and confirm the accuracy of his or her academic record. A student may view his or her transcript online at any time to verify its content. It is recommended that degree recipients confirm the accuracy of all grades, honors, terms, and cumulative GPA notations at the time final grades are posted to their academic record upon graduation.

It is a student’s responsibility to notify the Office of the Registrar, in writing, of the information in the transcript that he or she believes is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his or her rights of privacy. A student who believes that his or her transcript is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his or her rights of privacy has the right to request an amendment to the transcript and, if this request is denied, the right to an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the transcript on the ground that it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his or her rights of privacy. If, as a result of the hearing, the student’s request is denied, the university shall inform the student of the right to place a statement with the transcript, commenting on the contested information in the record or stating why he or she disagrees with the decision of the university, or both.

The university prepares and issues two categories of official transcripts: An official transcript presents a listing of courses for which the student enrolled and the grade for each course with the original signature of an authorized official, and bears the legal seal of the university. An official transcript is sent directly from the university to another institution or agency and is not given directly to you. An official transcript also may be issued to the student. All current and former students may request a transcript for their personal use. This transcript is stamped “ISSUED TO STUDENT.”

Note: Transcripts will not be issued if you have any outstanding fees (e.g. parking tickets, library late fees).

Honors

Dean’s List

Full-time Undergraduate Students

Eligibility for Dean’s List each semester requires satisfactory completion of a minimum of 12 graded semester hour credits with 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 of 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 and cumulative average is 3.5.

Part-time Undergraduate Students

Part-time undergraduate students may be eligible for Dean’s List with a minimum of 12 graded semester hours satisfactorily completed within one academic year (fall and spring semesters) and 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. These students may be eligible for spring semester Dean’s List if both the academic year average and the cumulative GPA are at least 3.5, with no “incompletes” listed on their record at the time grades are processed .

Graduation Honors

To be eligible for graduation honors, you must earn a minimum of 45 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 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 honor are identified at the conclusion of the January intersession semester preceding graduation. Students who have earned a minimum of 45 credits toward their graduation requirements in residence at Western Connecticut State University with a cumulative earned GPA of at least 3.5 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 honors certificate, will be awarded only to students who complete their graduation requirements with a minimum of 45 credits in residence at Western Connecticut State University andwho  have a cumulative earned grade point average of at least 3.5. The residency requirement for honors may not be waived. Students with questions regarding academic honors should consult the Academic Dean of their major.

Good Standing

In order to remain in good academic standing and be granted a diploma from the university, you must maintain a cumulative average of at least 2.0 (“C”). Professional curricula and some major programs have additional or higher academic standards which the student must meet at specific intervals.

Academic Warnings

Log on to WestConnduit.wcsu.edu to access your mid-semester 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

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 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 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.

Academic Suspension

A student suspended for academic reasons is no longer a degree candidate. A suspended student may, however, enroll in up to seven credits per semester in evening classes as a non-matriculant. Students may reapply for admission when their cumulative grade point average reaches the minimum university, department or school admission criterion. Eligibility for readmission does not automatically lead to readmission to Western 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.

Examinations

Placement Examinations

Placement tests are given in specified subject areas to ensure that students are assigned to courses appropriate to their levels of knowledge and skill. Subject areas which require testing for placement include chemistry, foreign languages, mathematics, and writing. Tests are administered by the admissions office or the academic department as noted in this catalog.

Final Examinations

No class meetings will be held during the final examination period at the end of the fall and spring semesters. Examination schedules are published online in advance at www.wcsu.edu. No student may be absent from a final examination except for a compelling, substantiated reason.

Make-up Examinations

Make-up examinations are given at the discretion of the instructor, but no later than six weeks after the start of the next semester in which the student is in attendance or within one year if the student is no longer enrolled at the university.

Examinations for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who require special administration of an examination should contact the coordinator of AccessAbility Services at (203) 837-8946 in Higgins Annex 017 to discuss reasonable accommodations.

Incompletes

To receive an incomplete (“INC”) grade in a class, you must request that grade in writing on a form available either at the Registrar’s Office or from department secretaries, and then give that form to your instructor.

The grade of “INC” will become an “F” if it is not removed by the sixth week of the next semester you attend, or after one year if you do not return. An “INC” grade is not removed by repeating the course.

Pass/Fail Option

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:

  1. 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
  2. You change no more than one course per semester to pass/fail credit; and
  3. 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.

Grade Appeal Policy

When disagreements occur between student and instructor on the accuracy of a grade, the university regards it as important for the matter to be settled within a reasonable period of time. A specific procedure is in place that ensures students will get an impartial hearing of such a complaint.

Academic grading reflects careful and deliberate judgment by the course instructor. Academic evaluation of student performance requires expert consideration of cumulative information and is to some extent subjective.

The university recognizes that in rare instances there may be “palpable injustice(s)” in the determination of a final grade. Students may use the appeal process when they believe there is evidence to show that 1) a final grade was determined by methods and criteria different from those used for determining final grades for others in the same class or 2) the evaluation was made as the result of bias or caprice.

 Refer to: Western Connecticut State University, Student Handbook 2012-13, p. 62

Student confers with instructor:

The student shall first confer with the instructor who awarded the grade no later than the end of the fourth week of the next regular semester. In the case of half-semester courses, students shall have the right to begin the appeal process at the conclusion of the course.

Written grievance to professor:

If no amicable settlement is reached, the student shall present the instructor with a WRITTEN copy of his/her grievance along with any supporting documentation which shall be considered confidential. The instructor shall respond in writing to the student within five working days. (It is suggested that students prepare a packet of information for the instructor, the chair and the dean).

Ability to choose a mentor/adviser:

Students, if they wish, shall have the right to choose a mentor/adviser for the purpose of guiding them through the appeal process. Students shall have the right to present their case at each stage of the appeal process. At the student’s request, the mentor/adviser may accompany the student to meetings related to the appeal process as an observer.

Written grievance to department chair:

If not satisfied, the student, within five working days of receipt of the instructor’s response, may present the case in writing to the appropriate department chair who may effect a mutually agreed-upon settlement with the instructor. The department chair shall respond in writing to the student within five working days with a copy sent to the instructor.

Written grievance to academic dean:

If the student is not satisfied, the student may, within five working days of receipt of the department chair’s response, present the case in writing to the appropriate academic dean who may effect a mutually agreed-upon settlement with the instructor and department chairperson. The academic dean shall respond in writing to the student within 10 working days, with copies of the decision sent to the instructor and the department chair.

Written grievance submitted to university senate president by dean (for ad hoc committee):

If the student is not satisfied, the student may ask, within five working days of receiving the dean’s decision, that the dean contact the president of the University Senate to convene the Ad Hoc Committee on Grade Appeals. The dean shall forward the request to the senate president within five working days of receipt. The dean shall also notify the provost/academic vice president, in writing, that the senate is being asked to convene an ad hoc committee.

The Ad Hoc Committee on Grade Appeals shall be composed of three members of the instructional faculty in the ranks of tenured professors or tenured associate professors serving on the senate, selected in alphabetical order each time the committee is appointed.

The senate president shall appoint the ad hoc committee within five working days and shall notify the student and the instructor of that fact. The senate president shall not discuss the details of the case with the ad hoc committee. The ad hoc committee will convene within five working days. It is the responsibility of the student to present three copies of all material, including any additional material submitted later in the process and relevant to the case to the chair of the ad hoc committee.

Professor submits materials as requested by ad hoc committee:

The instructors shall submit such materials as requested by the committee and shall have the right to present their case at any stage of the appeal process. The committee shall consider the case and reach a decision within 15 working days of its convening by the senate president.

Committee decisions and next steps:

Denial:
Following its deliberations, the committee may deny the appeal, in which case the matter shall be closed.

If palpable injustice is found:

If the committee finds that the grading constituted a palpable injustice, as defined above, the case shall be remanded to the instructor for reconsideration. If the instructor disagrees with the finding of the committee, the instructor shall inform the committee and the student within five working days of that fact.

Student requests committee to recommend to provost:

If the student disagrees with the grade change as effected or with the refusal by the instructor following the remand, the student shall request within five working days that the committee make a recommendation to the provost/vice president for academic affairs.

If either the student or the instructor has disagreed, the committee shall then forward its recommendation for a grade to the provost/vice president for academic affairs, who will implement the recommendation of the committee within five working days.

Action of the provost is final and binding upon all parties:

The action of the provost/vice president for academic affairs shall be final and binding upon all parties and shall be communicated by the provost/vice president for academic affairs to the student and the instructor.

ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY 

1. PURPOSE

This is Western Connecticut State University’s policy on Academic Honesty. 

2. POLICY

2.1 Principles

2.1.1 Academic Honesty Code
A student has an obligation to demonstrate honesty in carrying out his/her academic assignments.

2.1.2 Faculty Responsibility
Faculty members are responsible for knowing the principles and procedures of the Academic Honesty Policy, and for enforcing the policy when academic honesty violations occur. Faculty members must also remind students of the Academic Honesty Policy and help them comply with it.

2.1.3 Student Responsibility
Students are responsible for maintaining the academic integrity of the university by following the Academic Honesty Policy. Students are responsible for doing their own work and avoiding all forms of academic dishonesty.

2.2 Academic Honesty Violation
The most common academic honesty violations are cheating and plagiarism. Cheating and plagiarism are complex issues, therefore we offer the following definitions.

Cheating includes, but is not limited to:

  • Submitting material that is not one’s own.
  • Using information or devices that are not allowed by the faculty member.
  • Obtaining and/or using unauthorized material.
  • Fabricating information.
  • Violating procedures prescribed to protect the integrity of a test, or other evaluation exercise.
  • Collaborating with others on assignments without the faculty member’s consent (not be confused with tutoring in the university learning centers).
  • Cooperating with or helping another student to cheat.
  • Having another person take an examination in the student’s place.
  • Altering exam answers and requesting that the exam be regraded.
  • Communicating with any person during an exam, other than the faculty member or exam proctor.

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:

  • Directly quoting others without using quotation marks or indented format to identify them.
  • Using sources of information (published or unpublished) without identifying them. This can be one’s own past work.
  • Paraphrasing materials or ideas of others without identifying the sources.

2.3 Resolution of Academic Honesty Violations
A student involved in an academic honesty proceeding may continue to attend all classes until the matter is resolved.

2.3.1 Action Initiated by the Faculty Member
If a faculty member believes a student has committed an academic honesty violation, the faculty member should complete the Academic Honesty Report (Appendix A).

The faculty member will request a meeting with the student within five university calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) to attempt to resolve the incident. As a result of this meeting, if the faculty member determines a violation has occurred, he or she should give the student a copy of two things: (a) this policy statement, and (b) the completed Academic Honesty Report (Appendix A).

The faculty member retains a copy of the Academic Honesty Report of this incident, and forwards a copy of the Academic Honesty Report to the faculty member’s department chair, school dean, associate vice president for academic affairs (if violation occurs in a graduate course), and dean of students. The faculty member may assign a penalty; see section 2.5 below.

If the faculty member is unable to contact the student, or if the student fails to meet with the faculty member, the faculty member may assign the penalty. If a penalty is assigned, the faculty member will send the student a copy of this policy statement and a completed Academic Honesty Report (Appendix A).

The faculty member will send these documents by registered mail to the student’s current mailing address on file with the university, and provide a copy to the faculty member’s department chair, school dean, associate vice president for academic affairs (if violation occurs in a graduate course), and dean of students. The final grade for the course will not be recorded in the Registrar’s Office until all of the student’s rights to appeal have been exhausted.

2.3.2 Appeal Procedures
If the student does not admit responsibility for the incident or does not accept the penalty proposed by the faculty member, the student may appeal first to the faculty member’s department chair, then to the dean of the faculty member’s school, and then to the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Grade Appeals. If the student does not appeal, the decision of the faculty member stands and a copy of the Academic Honesty Report will be forwarded by the faculty member’s department chair, school dean, associate vice president for academic affairs (if violation occurs in a graduate course), and dean of students, where it will be filed for future reference.

2.3.2.1 Department Hearing
Within five university calendar days of the department chair’s notification to the student that a penalty has been assigned (within an academic long semester, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays), the student or the faculty member may submit a written appeal to the dean of the faculty member’s school. This meeting should take place within five university calendar days of the student’s request.

As a result of this meeting, the department chair will complete an Academic Honesty Report (Appendix A) and with the consent of the faculty member, affirm, deny, or modify the original penalty assigned by the faculty member. Within five university calendar days of the meeting, the department chair will forward copies of the completed Academic Honesty Report to the student, the faculty member, and the school dean, the associate vice president for academic affairs (if violation occurs in a graduate course), and the dean of students. Copies of the report will be sent by registered mail (with return receipt) to his/her current mailing address on file with the university.

Within 10 university calendar days of the department chair’s decision, the student or the faculty member may appeal the department chair’s decision to the dean of the faculty member’s school. If the decision is not appealed, the department chair will send a copy of the Academic Honesty Report to the faculty member’s school dean, the associate vice president for academic affairs (if violation occurs in a graduate course), and to the Office of the Dean of Students, where it will be filed for future reference.

2.3.2.2 Dean’s Review
Within five university calendar days of the department chair’s notification to the student that a penalty has been assigned (within an academic long semester, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays), the student or the faculty member may submit a written appeal to the dean of the faculty member’s school. This written appeal should ask the dean to review the department chair’s decision and explain why the student or faculty member believes that the department chair’s decision was wrong.

Within 10 university calendar days from the time the written appeal is received in the dean’s office, the dean will determine if the department chair’s action should be upheld or overturned and will communicate his/her decision in writing to the student by registered mail, and inform the faculty member, the department chair, the graduate dean (if applicable), and the dean of students.

Within 10 university calendar days of the dean’s decision, the student or the faculty member may appeal the dean’s decision to the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Grade Appeals. If the decision is not appealed, the dean will send a copy of the Academic Honesty Report along with the results of the dean’s review of the report to the student, the faculty member,  the associate vice president for academic affairs (if violation occurs in a graduate course), and the office of the dean of students, where it will be filed for future reference.

Students may still be subject to further disciplinary action by the university through the student code of conduct, administered by the dean of students (or his/her designee).

2.3.2.3 Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Grade Appeals
If the student or faculty member is not satisfied, he/she may ask, within five university calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) of receiving the school dean’s decision, that the school dean contact the president of the university senate to convene the Ad Hoc Committee on Grade Appeals. The school dean shall forward the request (along with all relevant materials) to the senate president within five university calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) of receipt. The dean also shall notify the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, in writing, that the senate is being asked to convene an ad hoc committee.

The Ad Hoc Committee on Grade Appeals shall be composed of three members of the instructional faculty in the ranks of tenured professors or tenured associate professors presently serving on the senate, selected in alphabetical order each time the committee is appointed.

The senate president shall appoint the ad hoc committee within five university calendar days and shall notify the student and the faculty member of that fact. The senate president shall not discuss the details of the case with the ad hoc committee. The ad hoc committee will convene within five university calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays).

The committee shall consider the case and reach a decision within 15 university calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) of its convening by the senate president. Following its deliberations, the committee may deny, affirm or modify the appeal. The committee shall then forward its recommendation to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, who will implement the recommendation of the committee within five university calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays).

The action of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs shall be final and binding upon all parties, and shall be communicated by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs to the student and the faculty member (with copies to the department chair, school dean, associate vice president for academic affairs, if violation occurs in a graduate course, and dean of students).

2.4 Maintenance of Academic Honesty Reports
The Office of the Dean of Students will maintain a copy of each Academic Honesty Report filed on a student until that student’s graduation or permanent suspension of studies. Students will be assumed to have permanently suspended their studies at WCSU if they go five years without enrolling for any coursework. Faculty members or administrators investigating allegations of academic honesty violations may request that the Office of the Dean of Students release them any previous reports that have been filed on the student against whom the current allegations are being made.

2.5 Penalties
The penalty for an academic honesty violation on a significant course requirement such as a final copy of a term paper/project or final examination shall be an “F” for the course. The penalty for academic honesty violations in other coursework will be left to the discretion of the faculty member and may be modified upon appeal. When an academic honesty violation includes flagrant behavior, such as having a substitute take an exam or stealing an exam, the faculty member also shall refer the matter to the Office of the Dean of Students for disciplinary action pursuant to the CSU Student Code of Conduct. The Office of the Dean of Students also may initiate disciplinary action against a student with repeated academic honesty violations.

3. REVIEW AND RESPONSIBILITIES

1-Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and Vice President for Student Affairs
2-University Senate
3-President

Review: Every three years (and as needed)
President
Policy History
Issue #1: 2006
Issue #2:

Senate Approved as Revised: R-06-05-02
Administrative Approval: 9/6/06

The Academic Honesty Policy may be downloaded at 
www.wcsu.edu/facultystaff/handbook/forms/honesty-policy.pdf

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