Introduction to Western Connecticut State University
INTRODUCTION TO WCSU
Western Connecticut State University, founded in 1903, is located in Danbury, a city in Fairfield County at the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, 65 miles north of Manhattan and 50 miles west of Hartford.
WCSU’s rural 364-acre Westside campus complements its 34-acre, 15-building Midtown campus in the heart of downtown Danbury.
The university continuously updates its academic offerings to ensure that students have access to courses that will not only provide a basis in the liberal arts but also employment opportunities after graduation.
Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society.
To achieve this, we:
- Offer undergraduate and graduate programs that weave together liberal arts and professional education and instill a desire for life-long learning.
- Sustain a vibrant, inclusive campus that connects individuals through co-curricular programs, cultural events, and service to the community.
- Attract student-centered faculty who are passionate teachers and accomplished scholars.
- Establish partnerships that create opportunities for internships, research and experiential learning.
Fulfilling the Mission
WCSU offers a variety of opportunities and support systems to ensure every student can succeed and thrive.
The Kathwari Honors Program coordinates the highest level of challenging academic courses across all disciplines. Honors students also gain face-to-face access to noted authors, artists and world leaders like the Dalai Lama, scientist Dr. Jane Goodall and Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, who have all spoken on campus.
For three years in a row, the Theatre Arts Department has won top national awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, including Outstanding Production of a Musical twice.
WCSU is a place where you can reach any academic goal. Five students in recent years, for example, have been awarded prestigious Fulbright scholarships to conduct research or teach overseas. Nursing graduates pass the state licensing exam at a 100 percent rate nearly every year. WCSU students score among the highest pass rates for the CPA exam among Connecticut universities. And the Career Success Center is prepared to work with you from your first year to offer internships, resume writing advice and career guidance.
The WCSU Division of Academic Affairs comprises four academic units: the Ancell School of Business, the Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Professional Studies, and the School of Visual and Performing Arts. All undergraduate and graduate programs are offered through the four schools.
The Office of Student Affairs oversees a variety of programs and services to meet students’ interests and needs. These include AccessAbility Services, athletics, campus ministry, campus police, counseling, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, health service, housing and residence life, judicial affairs, pre-collegiate programs, recreation, intramurals and club sports, and student life. Through its various offices, the division helps students to become aware of their opportunities, optimize their performance, enrich their college experience, and ensure protection of their rights and responsibilities.
Here at Western Connecticut State University the Facilities Division’s mantra is to build an innovative customer-driven environment which focuses on student satisfaction, high levels of service and efficiencies, and timely responses for deliverables.
Our mission is simple: deliver a safe, sustainable, and functional campus environment.
The Facilities Division is made up of Environmental Health & Safety, Facilities Operations, Facilities Planning & Engineering, Facilities Scheduling and Promotion, and the WestConnect Card Office. Each of these diverse areas provide a high level of value to our students, Faculty/Staff, and the University’s visitors on a daily basis.
To learn more about Facilities initiatives and services, policies and procedures, university Standards, sustainability efforts, and innovative solutions to everyday questions please feel free to visit us at http://www.wcsu.edu/facilities/
Educational Records and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Western Connecticut State University accords all the rights under the law to students. No one outside the university shall have access to, nor will the university disclose any information from, a student’s educational records without his/her written consent except to personnel within the university, to officials of other institutions in which the student seeks to enroll, to persons or organizations providing students financial aid, to accreditation groups, to persons in compliance with a judicial order, to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons, or to parents of a student who is officially documented as their dependent for income tax purposes.
All these exceptions are permitted under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
The university will maintain a record of all requests for and disclosure of information from a student’s educational records. The record will indicate the name of the party making the request, any additional party to whom it may be redisclosed, and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information. The record may be reviewed by the eligible student.
Within the Western Connecticut State University community, only those university officials acting in the student’s educational interest are allowed access to education records.
A university official is any person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support-staff position; any person appointed to the Board of Regents for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities or any person employed by or under contract to the university or the State of Connecticut to perform a special task, such as an attorney or auditor.
A university official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is: performing a task that is specified in his/her position description or by contract agreement; performing a task related to a student’s education; performing a task relating to the discipline of a student; or providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, job placement or financial aid.
The university may disclose directory information without a student’s prior written consent. The university designates the following as directory information: student’s name; certain university-assigned identifiers (Western ID number); address; telephone number; photo ID; date of birth; major field of study; degree sought; student level (freshman, sophomore, etc.); dates of attendance; full-time or part-time enrollment status; expected date of completion; the previous educational agency or institution attended; degrees and awards received; class rosters; and participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletic team members, and other similar information including performance statistics, photographic likenesses and video of athletic team members. Students may withhold directory information by notifying the Office of the Dean of Students in writing. Such a request would be honored until such time students requested in writing that their directory information again be made public.
The law provides students the right to inspect and review information contained in their education records, to challenge the contents of their education records and to have a hearing on the matter. The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee at Western Connecticut State University has been designated to coordinate the inspection and review procedures for student educational records, which include admissions, personal, academic, financial, disciplinary, cooperative education and placement records.
Students wishing to review their educational records must make requests to the Registrar, listing the item of interest. Only records covered by the act will be made available within 45 days of the request. Students may have copies made of their records with certain exceptions (e.g., a copy of an academic record for which a financial “hold” exists, or a transcript of an original or source document which exists elsewhere).
Educational records do not include records of instructional, administrative and educational personnel, which are the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any individual except a temporary substitute; records of a law enforcement unit; student health records; employment records; or alumni records. Health records, however, may be reviewed by the physician of the student’s choosing.
Students may not inspect or review the following as outlined by the act: financial information submitted by their parents: confidential letters and recommendations associated with admissions, employment or job placement, or honors to which they have waived their rights of inspection and review; or education records containing information about more than one student. In this last case, the university will permit access only to that part of the record which pertains to the inquiring student.
The university is not required to permit students to inspect or review confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files prior to January 1, 1975, provided these letters were collected under established policies of confidentiality and were used only for the purpose for which they were collected.
Students who believe that their educational records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading or is otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights may discuss their problems informally with the Office of Student Affairs.
In the event a student’s request either to have access to a record or to amend information in a file has been denied, the student may ask for a formal hearing. The student must submit a written request for the hearing to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The hearing panel will consist of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and the academic dean of his/her school. Decisions of the hearing panel are final.
Any alteration to the student’s record will be in accordance with the decision of the hearing panel and will become a permanent part of that record. The student has a right to add a statement to a challenged record if the panel’s decision is not to amend the record in accordance with the student’s request.
Students who believe that the adjudications of their challenges were unfair or not in keeping with the provisions of the act may request, in writing, assistance from the Vice President for Student Affairs to aid them in filing complaints with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202.
The Alumni Association of Western Connecticut State University, founded in 1919, promotes the general welfare of the university. The board of directors comprises 21 directors (includes five officers) and Life members who meet regularly to discuss and plan future activities of the association.
All graduates are members of the Alumni Association for life with borrowing privileges at both the Ruth A. Haas and Robert Young Libraries, use of computers in the Haas Library, and special discounts at local and nationwide businesses. All alumni receive The Cupola magazine, Alumni E-Newsletter, insurance and credit card discount offers, career services through the Career Success Center, alumni locator service, and invitations to special alumni receptions and events, including Homecoming.
Scholarships are awarded each year by the Alumni Association to students who meet academic requirements and show evidence of extracurricular involvement in the university and the community.
The Alumni Association keeps alumni connected to their alma mater. As a graduate of Danbury Normal School, Danbury State Teachers College, Danbury State College, Western Connecticut State College or Western Connecticut State University, alumni are part of campus history and the future of the university.