WCSU Returns to Normal, Reopening Information and Covid-19 Updates

Novel Coronavirus and COVID-19

Student FAQs

Last Updated: 04/07/20 1:14 p.m.

Has WCSU had a report of COVID-19 on campus?

While we did not have any cases while classes were in session on campus, we have since had reports of students, faculty, and staff with COVID-19.  We ask that you keep us informed if you are diagnosed so that we can deploy appropriate support as needed.  Follow this link to let us know: https://westconn.tfaforms.net/201


Are summer classes cancelled?

No, summer classes will be offered online. There will be no on-campus classes. If you have already registered, double check the schedule to be sure your classes will still be offered.


Are there special fees for online courses this summer?

WCSU has reduced the usual online course fee from $50 per course, to $50 for all courses. This policy is in place for summer only. We will revisit this when we determine the structure of our fall semester.


When is the last day to register for summer classes?

You may register up to the first day of classes for each session.  However, courses with low enrollments are likely to be cancelled a week prior to the start date, so we urge you to register soon rather than later.


When will we return to campus?

We have not determined a date to reopen campus.  Please check your email regularly to stay informed.


Commencement for the Class of 2020

Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation that no large events be held,  and the guidance of Gov. Ned Lamont, Western Connecticut State University has taken the extraordinary action — in order to protect the health and safety of the community — of postponing Commencement and all of its related festivities originally scheduled for May 15-17, 2020.

Nevertheless, we remain fully committed to celebrating Western Connecticut State University’s graduates.  Here are the steps we are taking:

  1. In lieu of gathering on May 17, our originally scheduled day of celebration, we will honor our graduates in a virtual recognition program. All students who anticipated receiving a degree will, in fact, have that accomplishment recognized via a recorded program that will be available for your viewing starting on May 17 onwards;
  2. Sponsored by the university and your Student Government Association (SGA), a special graduation package including your diploma, a diploma frame, 4 copies of the Commencement booklet, a 2020 tassel, and your senior class gift will be mailed directly to you. For students who are eligible, the package will also include your honors convocation certificate, honors cords, Senior Athlete Stole, SGA Stole;
  3. A collage comprised of representative photographs is being assembled and will be posted on the university’s home page at www.wcsu.edu. It will link to a Gallery of Graduates featuring the names, hometowns, majors and photos of all seniors and master’s degree candidates who have submitted their image and information. Photos also will be featured on the university’s social media. 2020 graduates who wish to participate can still submit a photo, their name, hometown and major to pr@wcsu.edu.
  4. WCSU is planning for an in-person Commencement Recognition Ceremony and related activities the weekend of September 25-27, 2020. This decision was based upon the fantastic response to our recent survey and the related-result, which was an overwhelming desire to have an in-person ceremony. The Recognition Ceremony will be at 10 a.m. on Sunday Sept. 27, 2020, in the Feldman Arena at the William A. O’Neill Athletic and Convocation Center located at 43 Lake Ave. Extension, Danbury CT 06811. However, if demand dictates, we plan to have two identical ceremonies back-to-back. Details for all activities will be shared once we have them finalized.

We recognize that this pandemic has caused untold suffering and imposed new burdens on some of our students and families. However, we feel it is important to have the opportunity to recognize our graduates in several ways and especially in the company of their family, friends, faculty and classmates on September 27. We hope you can join us.

Please know your degrees will be conferred when you have completed all requirements to be eligible to graduate. Further, the August 2020 and December 2019 graduates also will be welcomed for the postponed event this fall. Instructions on the fall event and information about academic regalia will be posted on the Commencement page, as plans are solidified.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact John Murphy at Murphyj@wcsu.edu.


Tuition and fee policy, and timeline and process for the issuance of credit for unused room and board

WCSU will be processing prorated credits for housing and meal plans to student accounts by March 31, 2020.  After this process, any student with a credit balance will receive a refund.  If a student has an outstanding unpaid balance, the credit will be used to address the balance.  The Cashier’s Office will notify students when their refund has been processed.  Please send any questions to cashiers@wcsu.edu.  WCSU appreciates your patience during these difficult times.

However, it is important to note that WCSU will not refund tuition and fees because we are converting to an online instruction model for the remainder of the term in order to complete the coursework that our students have begun this semester.  In the unlikely event that a class is cancelled by the university, we will provide further information about refunds to impacted students


Students in Need during Covid-19 

Students in need may be considered for support through the WCSU Cares Student Assistance Fund. If you are experiencing an unforeseen financial emergency or event which would otherwise prevent you from continuing to pursue your education at WCSU, we encourage you to apply.

The goal of this fund is to help students during a time of need, to stay in school, and make progress towards a degree program.

To fill out an application for assistance, please click here.


How will we do room assignments for fall?

The Director of Housing and Residence Life, Ron Mason, is developing a virtual protocol.  Watch your email for instructions.


Can some students come to campus for labs or studio time?

No. All students must remain off campus for the remainder of the semester. Your professors are developing alternate instruction plans. We understand that this is very challenging for some disciplines, but this closure is in the best interest of all members of the WCSU community and it must be applied consistently.


How will I get my PIN for fall registration?

Your advisors will be holding virtual office hours after spring break. Please email them to make an appointment for assistance. All appointments will be held online, on the phone, or with conferencing options like Web-Ex or Zoom, as determined by your advisor.


How do I get help with online learning?

First, practice logging into Blackboard (https://wcsu.blackboard.com/). Your regular log-in information will work. In that space you will find links to all the courses you are currently enrolled in. Your faculty are busy putting things in there to help you proceed in the course after spring break. They will be your guide. Check in next Saturday or Sunday and you should have some clear instructions. If you can’t log in, contact the help desk requestit@wcsu.edu for assistance.


What should I do if I don’t have access to a computer or the internet at home?

Contact requestit@wcsu.edu.


Will tutoring, academic coaching, and research services be available when all courses are online?

Yes. You may not come to campus, but you will have access to help.

Please go to the websites below for further guidance.

Or you can find links to all Tutoring services via the Essentials Tab on the WCSU homepage: https://www.wcsu.edu/sos/


Pass/Fail Option for Spring 2020

Undergraduate students may take any course (major, general education, or elective) pass/fail this semester.  There is no cap on the number of courses that can be taken pass/fail and the total taken during the spring 2020 semester will not be counted toward the usual policy of only four pass/fail courses over the full degree.  The full text of the policy is here. https://www.wcsu.edu/registrar/policies/.

Please note: Pass/Fail is something you declare for each course.  It does not happen automatically. Students who want to stick with the traditional grading system are welcome to do so.

You have until May 8, 2020 to make this decision.  Check the Registrar’s Forms page for instructions on how to declare a pass/fail course https://www.wcsu.edu/registrar/forms/

All pass/fail forms must be reviewed by your school dean.

CAUTION: While this option can be very helpful in this difficult time, it is not a good choice for everyone.  Please consider the following:

  1. Some majors require grades in specific courses. This is generally due to accreditation or licensing guidelines but is also true elsewhere.  Nursing, Education, and Social Work students should be particularly careful about selecting this option. All students should consult their advisor or department chair about these limitations.
  2. Some courses are pre-requisites for another course, for which there is a minimum grade requirement. That requirement has not been waived.  Please speak with your advisor or department chair about these limitations.
  3. If you are considering applying to graduate school, there may be some important grade requirements in your future. Please consult your advisor or department chair about these potential consequences
  4. Other concerns may emerge for students on academic probation, particularly as it relates to athletics or Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid. Please consult with your advisor or department chair, your coach where appropriate, and Student Financial Services about these limitations.
  5. There has been no change to our policy for qualifying for the Dean’s List.

Withdrawal from Courses

Students may withdraw from a course up until the last day of classes (May 8, 2020) without academic penalty. Normally, this decision must be made by the 12th week of the semester. We opted to extend it because we recognize that adjusting to the online environment will be challenging and we don’t want you to feel pressured to make decisions about your ability to succeed online too quickly. This extension gives you a chance to work through the new platform, get help from tutoring resources, and work with your faculty to get clarification on things, before determining that you might not do as well as you’d like. If, in the end, you think you will be better served by withdrawing, you will receive a W on your transcript. It will not impact your GPA. Here’s the link to the form, if you need it in May: https://www.wcsu.edu/registrar/forms/course-withdrawal/


What happens to my internship?

This will depend on your placement. There are some sites that are moving to a remote plan, some schools do not want students from outside their community there, and some students may be in high-risk environments that they should not attend. Please contact your internship advisor (faculty or career services) and your immediate supervisor at your internship site for guidance.

For students who experience a disruption at their internship site, or for residential students who cannot participate while our residence halls are closed, please be assured that we will help you complete your requirements, even if in a modified way. Please check in with your internship advisor if you need to change your plan.


Who do I contact if I need accommodations for my disability(ies)?

We understand that the switch to online classes may present new or unique challenges related to a disability. Students should contact AccessAbility Services by emailing aas@wcsu.edu to request accommodations. AccessAbility Services engages in an interactive process with each student and reviews requests for accommodations on an individualized, case-by-case basis. Additional information can be found at the AccessAbility Services website.


I have a job on campus, can I continue?

We will continue all student worker jobs through the end of the semester, but not on campus. Contact your supervisor for guidance.


What do I do if I contract COVID-19 or I think I’ve been exposed?

Please follow this link for reporting guidelines.


If I don’t attend commencement, how will I graduate?

Commencement is a ceremony and celebration. Graduation is determined by the completion of all requirements. Your diplomas will be awarded when all final grades are submitted by your faculty and GPAs are calculated. Your diploma will be mailed to your home.