WCSU Graduate Catalog 2019-2020

ZXStudent Services

Student Services                                

Division of Student Affairs

The Division of Student Affairs offers a variety of programs and services to meet student needs including:  athletics; auxiliary services (including bookstore, box office, campus dining, shuttle bus, testing,); campus and student centers;  campus ministries; career development; civic engagement; counseling services; disability and accessibility services; a drug/alcohol prevention program; health services; housing and residence life; judicial affairs; new student orientation; parent services; police department; pre-collegiate and access programs; recreation, intramural and club sports; student life/student activities; and veterans services. 

Testing Center

The Campus & Student Centers’ Testing Center administers the College Level Examination (CLEP) for students wishing to earn undergraduate credit by examination, and the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), an entrance exam for many graduate programs. Distance Learning examinations are also proctored by the office. Visit wcsu.edu/testing or call (203) 837-8877 for more information.   

AccessAbility Services

The mission of the Office of AccessAbility Services is to ensure educational equity for students with documented disabilities by providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations and services. The primary goal of AccessAbility Services is to ensure equal access to programs and activities at Western Connecticut State University. AccessAbility Services calls upon the entire community to facilitate and advocate for the best university environment possible for individuals with disabilities. The AccessAbility Services staff work collaboratively with the university community to accomplish this mission.

Qualified students with documented disabilities who are in need of disability services or reasonable accommodations are encouraged to contact AccessAbility Services immediately. The university respects a student’s right to disclose or not to disclose a disability; however, the university is not responsible for providing services or accommodations for students who do not disclose a disability to AccessAbility Services. Students must complete an Accommodation Intake Form and provide appropriate documentation in order to receive services. Communication of a disability to other sources does not serve as a substitute for official notification to AccessAbility Services.

 For additional information, contact Elisabeth W. Morel, Director of AccessAbility Services. AccessAbility Services is located in Higgins Annex Room 017 and can be reached at (203) 837-8225 (voice), (203) 837-3235 (TTY) or by email at aas@wcsu.edu. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of AccessAbility Services with questions or concerns. Additional information on AccessAbility Services is available at www.wcsu.edu/accessability.

Discrimination in programs and services due to a disability is prohibited at Western Connecticut State University and is a violation of state and federal law. To file a complaint of discrimination because of a disability, contact Carolyn Lanier, Chief Diversity Officer, University Hall 214, at (203) 837-8277 or lanierc@wcsu.edu. Please note that the discrimination complaint procedure does not replace and is not a substitute for other established university procedures such as judicial, grade appeal, housing, public safety, or such policies and procedures. Students with disabilities are held to the same standards and must follow established policies and procedures as other students at Western Connecticut State University.

Protection from Adverse Actions

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 Carolyn Lanier, Executive Assistant to the President/Chief Diversity Officer, in University Hall 217, by the aggrieved party, his/her representative, or any person affected. Lanier shall bring all such situations to the attention of the president for confidential discussion, review, and 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, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division and any other agencies, state, federal or local that enforce laws concerning discrimination. 

Western Connecticut State University is an equal opportunity educator and employer. 

Campus Ministries

Western Connecticut State University supports the spiritual needs of its students who are served by a staff of three ministers from the Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish communities. They offer students opportunity for worship celebrations, service projects, pastoral counseling, community outreach, and various programs of a religious, ethical and philosophical nature. Available to the students are places for study, reflection, friendship and relaxation at the Student Center and the Newman Center (across the street from Newbury Hall). Campus ministers can be reached at (203) 744-5846 (Catholic), (203) 837-8328 (Protestant), and (203) 837-8549 (Jewish). 

Career Development Center

The Career Development Center (CDC) provides a wide range of services to graduate students, undergraduates and alumni. Students may seek assistance with job searches and utilize our on-line system to post resumes and/or review job opportunities. They may also participate in our annual Career Fair held in the spring. Graduate students can attend regularly scheduled workshops on resumé writing, interviewing and job search strategies. They can utilize the CDC’s career information resources through the career library in the CDC which offers a wide range of literature on career fields, job search, company profiles, and graduate and professional school information. The CDC also has on-line career information accessible through the CDC website: wcsu.edu/CDC. For more information on career-related services, contact the CDC, located in the Student Center, Rm. 207, or call (203) 837-8263. 

Counseling Center

The Counseling Center provides a wide range of services including individual and group counseling, psycho-educational workshops, training and consultation to students, administration, faculty, staff and parents, in a safe, confidential and supportive environment.

Services are free and available to all matriculating undergraduate and graduate students at Western Connecticut State University. Students can contact the Counseling Center at (203) 837-8690 or counselingcenter@wcsu,edu  to make an appointment. The Counseling Center is located in the Midtown Student Center, Room 222. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Health Service

The Health Service office, located in front of Litchfield Hall, provides full-time students with primary care and health education on a year-round basis. It is staffed by a doctor, nurse practitioner, nurse and a secretary. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Appointments are required for non-emergencies.  Changes in hours are reported to the Office of the Dean of Students, University Police, and the Office of Housing & Residence Life. 

The office visit at Health Service is not billed to the insurance company or charged to the student. The costs for radiology, laboratory, diagnostic tests and/or prescription medicine dispensed at the office are the student’s responsibility. If a written prescription is dispensed, students may use an in-network pharmacy to fill the order.  If our medical staff refers a student to a specialist or the local emergency department at Danbury Hospital, the student’s health insurance plan would apply including all applicable co-pays and co-insurances. WCSU Health Service cannot guarantee benefits and eligibility at the time services are rendered. 

All students must complete the Connecticut State University Student Health Service Form found online at www.wcsu.edu/healthservices/onlineforma.asp. This includes proof of two measles, two mumps, two rubella and two varicella (exempt from varicella/chicken pox if born in the U.S. before 1/1/1980 and exempt from all proof of immunization if born prior to 12-31-1956). The actual lab results of positive titers (blood test) may be submitted in lieu of the immunization. All residents living in on campus housing are required to show proof of having received a dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine within the past 5 years or  submit a medical or religious exemption against such vaccinations before a room is assigned.

Though not required, the Hepatitis B vaccine is strongly recommended for students. Hepatitis B is a serious viral infection that can be prevented through the vaccine. The preventative vaccine is recommended by a number of health associations, including the Center for Disease Control, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the American College Health Association. For vaccine availability, please contact your health care provider or local health department. 

Some academic programs may require additional immunizations or examinations prior to the student’s participation in an internship or other assignment.

In the event a student is treated in Health Service and becomes incapacitated by illness or injury and needs to be transported via 911 (or needs someone to assist following discharge), the medical staff will offer to contact an individual for the student. 

Insurance enrollment and waivers are administered through the Cashier’s Office in Old Main 106. Call (203) 837-8381. 

Department of Housing and Residence Life    
                                                                                        

On-Campus Housing 

The Department of Housing and Residence Life offers apartment style accommodations to graduate students matriculated into one of our many Graduate programs. Generally, housing is offered to any full-time matriculated students who pay their yearly housing deposit by May 1, provide proof of having a meningitis vaccine, and complete a housing application.

Housing is offered on a limited basis to married couples. Married couples must both be full-time students in order to live on campus.

Couples agree to notify the Housing Office of any change in their status within (30) thirty days of change or in advance if the couple decides to pursue separate living arrangements.  Falsification of any information regarding eligibility will result in termination of housing.

Off-Campus Housing

To assist graduate students who require off-campus accommodations, the Housing Office provides a listing service of off-campus facilities via their Web site (www.wcsu.edu/housing). The information contained on this Web site is designed to assist you in finding suitable off-campus housing. In addition, we recommend using a local newspaper or performing a web search to obtain off-campus housing.

 Insurance Requirements

Accident Insurance: As part of the student fee, all full-time students are covered under an accident insurance plan, 24-hours a day, on and off campus, from August 1 to July 31, or until full-time enrollment is terminated. 

Benefits under the accident plan are paid on an excess basis. This means no expense is covered if it would be covered by another health care plan in the absence of this insurance. This insurance supplements, but does not replace, other health care coverage. 

Sickness Insurance: Connecticut State University requires that all full-time students carry sickness insurance to cover medical care not provided by the University Health Service. The university is able to offer its students comprehensive health care coverage at a very affordable cost. Coverage under this plan includes both inpatient and outpatient services for medical, surgical and mental health needs. 

All full-time students will be billed for this sickness insurance plan and enrolled if they do not submit a waiver indicating alternative coverage. In reviewing present insurance coverage and deciding whether or not to carry this student insurance, please remember that many sickness insurance plans (e.g., local HMOs or PPOs) provide appropriate or effective coverage which may, however, be based at considerable distances from the campus. This has in the past caused problems in providing medical services for students at the university. In addition, many insurance plans may have age limits for dependents. Students with known health problems are advised to consider enrolling in this insurance in addition to their family coverage, especially if the latter does not cover 100 percent of medical expenses. All parents must inform students which outpatient laboratory, x-ray, emergency room or hospital they must use, if necessary, in order to have costs paid by their HMO Plan. Students are required to notify Health Service of their insurance coverage and whether or not the plan includes prescription coverage. 

Part-time students are eligible to enroll in the University Accident and Sickness Policy. Coverage is identical to that for full-time students, but pre-existing conditions are excluded. Part-time students should direct inquiries about this coverage to Aetna Student Health @ www.aetnastudenthealth.com. Although slightly more expensive than the full-time student’s policy, it provides excellent benefits for many medical, surgical or mental health problems. A brochure is available from the Cashier’s Office, 1st floor, Old Main. 

International Student Services

International applications are accepted from students who wish to pursue full-time graduate study at WCSU. Unfortunately, the university is prohibited by law from considering non-immigrant students who wish to study part-time.  

Students applying for graduate application are required to indicate their ability to finance their education. WCSU is unable to offer financial assistance to any student who does not hold United States citizenship. Applicants must demonstrate language ability and economic support in order to be considered for application. If a request for application is approved, appropriate academic transcripts must be sent to the university as soon as possible. In addition, the applicant is required to provide an official evaluation of his/her high school diploma and/or college level courses that has been conducted by an international educational service that is approved by WCSU. A high school diploma or its equivalent may be a document-to-document evaluation. College and university courses must be evaluated on a course-by-course basis.

The university accepts a score of 77 or higher on the Melab and 6 or higher on the IELTS (Band). Applicants must earn a 79 (internet-based exam), 213 (computer-based exam), 550 (paper-based exam) score or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). International students residing outside the U.S. should contact the Office of University Admissions at (203) 837-9000 for graduate admission information.

All new students planning to enter the university in the fall semester must submit all application materials before March 1. Students desiring to enroll in the spring semester must submit all completed materials before Oct. 1. Students already studying in the United States should submit admission materials as outlined in the admissions procedure.

 For more information about post-admissions international student advisement, call the UA for International Services Donna Warner at (203) 837-3270.  You may also email her at warnerd@wcsu.edu.

Substance Abuse Prevention Program (CHOICES)  

The Substance Abuse Prevention Program at WCSU is called CHOICES (Cultivating Healthy Opportunities in College Environments). We believe that all students want to succeed both academically and personally and fulfill their potential during their college years. When substance abuse gets in the way, it can seriously derail those dreams. The goal of the office is to provide confidential counseling for substance abuse, resources, information and services that help students make informed and responsible decisions about the use of alcohol and/or drugs; to collaborate with student organizations, faculty and staff in planning exciting alternative activities that promote healthy lifestyle choices; and to work with students in creating positive changes on campus and reduce underage and binge drinking.

The CHOICES Office provides accurate, current information on alcohol and other drugs; conducts individual screenings and assessments for students on a voluntary or referral basis; refers students to counseling and support services on and off campus; provides support for any student concerned about someone else’s use/abuse by advising ways they can make a difference; plans educational workshops and presentations for residence halls, clubs, Greek Life and athletic teams; and runs support groups for students who are trying to make positive changes in their lives. 

All services are confidential. We encourage all students to participate in our programs, activities, the Alcohol Task Force and Choices Peer Educators Program. For more information, please call (203) 837-8899 or stop by Litchfield Hall, Room 101, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. The Web site is www.wcsu.edu/CHOICES.

WESTCONNect Cards (Student IDs)

Every student must obtain a WESTCONNect card (Student ID) to use university facilities and  attend university events. The WESTCONNect card allows a student to gain access to the 24-hour computer labs, check books out of the library, work out at the campus fitness facilities, and use the Colonial Shuttle bus service. Resident students use the card for residence hall access and meal plan use. Commuter students use their cards to obtain entry to the commuter parking garage. Students may deposit money (CONNect Cash) into a debit account on the ID card for use at campus food service locations, the campus bookstores, vending machines, information desks, and residence hall laundry rooms. To learn more about the WESTCONNect ID card visit the department website (www.wcsu.edu\westconnect) or call (203) 837-9311. 

To obtain a WESTCONNect card the student should bring to the WESTCONNect card Office both a valid driver’s license or other form of photo identification and a course schedule that verifies registration for the current semester. The WESTCONNect Card Office is located on the lower level of the Old Main Building. Business hours are 8 a.m. – 12:30 and 1:30 – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The office offers extended hours for the first two weeks of the fall and spring semesters. Please check the Web site (wcsu.edu\westconnect) for detailed information on extended hours before the start of the semester.