WCSU Undergraduate Catalog 2018-19

Accreditation and Policy

 

Accreditation and Policy

ACCREDITATION

Western Connecticut State University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Inquiries regarding the accreditation status by the New England Commission should be directed to the university’s administrative staff. Individuals may also contact the New England Commission of Higher Education, 3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100, Burlington, MA 01803-4531. Call (781) 415-7785, Fax (781) 425-1001 or email cihe@neasc.org.

Accreditation by the New England Commission has reference to the institution as a whole. In addition, the university is accredited by the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education.

Individual programs at the university are accredited by:

  • The Connecticut State Department of Education
  • The Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • The National Association of Schools of Music
  • The National Association of Schools of Theatre
  • The American Chemical Society
  • The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • The Council on Social Work Education
  • The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

RIGHTS RESERVED STATEMENT

Students attending Western Connecticut State University are required to familiarize themselves with this catalog. Primary responsibility for knowing and fulfilling all requirements rests with the individual student. The catalog in effect at the time of the student’s admission or readmission to a degree program governs degree requirements.

The Western Connecticut State University administration reserves the right, whenever advisable: (1) to change or modify its schedule of tuition and fees; (2) to withdraw, cancel, reschedule or modify any course, program of study, or degree or any requirement in connection with any of the foregoing.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement

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.

Student Complaints

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

SARA Coordinator
Office of Higher Education
450 Columbus Blvd, Suite 510
Hartford, CT 06105

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
and MULTICULTURALISM STATEMENT

Western Connecticut State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer, fully committed to the goal of providing equal opportunity and full participation in its educational programs, activities and employment without discrimination because of race, color, religious beliefs or association, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, physical disability, including but not limited to blindness, learning disability or mental retardation, past or present history of mental disorder, or prior conviction of a crime, in accordance with state and federal laws. To that end, this statement of policy has been put forth to ensure that no qualified person be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of the university.

To file a discrimination complaint, or for inquiries concerning Western Connecticut State University’s Nondiscrimination Policy, Title IX and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact Jesenia Minier-Delgado, Chief Diversity Officer,  University Hall, Room 217, (203) 837-8277 or TTY (203) 837-8284.

Protection from Adverse Action

All individuals shall be free from all restraint, interference, coercion or reprisal on the part of their associates, supervisors and all others in making any complaint or appeal, in serving as a representative for a complaint, in appearing as a witness, or in seeking information. The above principles apply with equal force after a complaint has been resolved. Should these principles be violated, the facts shall be brought to the attention of the Chief Diversity Officer by the aggrieved party, his/her representative or any person affected. The Chief Diversity Officer shall bring all such situations to the attention of the President for confidential discussion, review, the potential for early proactive intervention and appropriate action.

Individuals are advised of their legal options to file complaints with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, and any other agencies, state, federal or local, that enforce laws concerning discrimination.

Office of Intercultural Student Affairs

The Office of InterCultural Affairs is committed to preparing students for lifelong learning and leadership as ethical, responsible citizens in a diverse global community. We create learning spaces where students explore, discuss and reflect on issues of identity, diversity and justice. We facilitate programs and events that raise awareness of social justice issues. We help to develop student-centered support communities, and we cultivate and encourage campus allies and advocates who support the success of all WSCU students

 

SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY

It is the policy of Western Connecticut State University, in keeping with efforts to establish an environment in which the dignity and worth of all members of the institutional community are respected, that sexual harassment of students and employees at Western Connecticut State University is unacceptable conduct and will not be tolerated. Sexual harassment may involve the behavior of a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex when that behavior falls within the definition outlined.

Definition

Sexual harassment of employees and students at Western Connecticut State University is defined as any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:

A. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of condition of an individual’s employment;

B. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the employee or student; or

C. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an employee’s or student’s work performance or educational experience, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational environment. In an academic setting, sexual harassment would also include any unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or any conduct of a sexual nature when submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual might affect academic or personal decisions that are subject to the influence of the person making the proposal.

Sexual harassment is discrimination on the basis of sex and a violation of the Connecticut General Statutes, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Additionally, unwanted physical contact with another person is a violation of the Connecticut General Statutes and may result in criminal prosecution.

Report Sexual Harassment

Jesenia Minier-Delgado, Chief Diversity Officer, is responsible for overseeing sexual harassment matters and investigating complaints. To request a copy of the sexual harassment policy, obtain a complaint procedure and form, discuss a sexual harassment concern, or to file a sexual harassment complaint, contact Jesenia Minier-Delgado at (203) 837-8277.

Protection from Adverse Actions

All individuals shall be free from restraint, interference, coercion or reprisal on the part of their associates, supervisors and all others in making any complaint or appeal, in serving as a representative for a complaint, or in appearing as a witness or in seeking information. The above principles apply with equal force after a complaint has been resolved. Should these principles be violated, the facts shall be brought to the attention of the Chief Diversity Officer by the aggrieved party, his/her representative, or any person affected. The Chief Diversity Officer shall bring all such situations to the attention of the President for confidential discussion, review, the potential for early proactive intervention and appropriate action.

Individuals are advised of their legal options to file complaints with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division and any other agencies, state, federal or local, that enforce laws concerning discrimination.

Confidential counseling is also available; contact  at (203).

Interpersonal Violence Policy

Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) asserts that all students have the right to be free from interpersonal violence such as stalking, intimate partner violence, and sexual harassment or assault. To treat all violence with the utmost seriousness, all non-confidential WCSU employees (including faculty) are required to submit an Anonymous Report Form when aware of any interpersonal violence; although student information will remain secure, it may be shared with the appropriate WCSU officials. Confidential, on-campus locations not required to report include the Counseling Center, Women’s Center, and Health Services. More information is available at www.wcsu.edu/stuaffairs/CaRT.asp.

ANNUAL SECURITY REPORT

Western Connecticut State University is committed to assisting all members of the WCSU community in providing for their own safety and security. In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, the university compiles an Annual Campus Security Report, which can be downloaded at http://www.wcsu.edu/police/pdf/securityreport.pdf. The report may be requested from the Western Connecticut State University Police Department on Roberts Avenue at any time, day or night. A copy will be mailed upon request by calling (203) 837-9301.

Both the website and annual reports provide information about campus security and topics such as crime prevention, university police law enforcement authority and crime reporting procedures. Information also is provided about crime statistics for the previous three calendar years of reported crimes that occurred in both on-and off-campus facilities. This information is required by federal and state law and is provided by the university’s police department.

The Annual Fire Safety Report is available at www.wcsu.edu/efs/EHS/fireprevention.asp.