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Westfield State University    
 
    
 
  Oct 23, 2017
 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog/Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission



First-year Admission, Day Division

The Admission staff reviews the applications of students who wish to matriculate in the undergraduate day division and pursue at least 12 credits of course work per semester. A student applying for full-time Day Division admission as a first-year directly from high school must supply the following information:

  • The Day Division Application Form and Fee
  • College Board SAT Test or American College Testing Scores (ACT)
  • An official high school transcript, beginning with grade 9 and including grades from the first marking period of the senior year, or acceptable evidence of equivalent preparation
  • Official transcripts of any college work attempted
  • First-year applicants participating in a dual enrollment program as part of their high school experience also must submit a complete listing of college courses attempted. A final official transcript of the dual enrollment experience must be submitted immediately upon its completion.

In addition, first-year applicants must complete the following 17 college preparatory units:

4 units/years of English
4 units/years of Mathematics (Algebra I and II; Geometry or Trigonometry; or comparable course work, including mathamatics during the final year of high school)
2 units/years of Social Sciences, (including 1 unit/year of U.S. History)
3 units/years of Science, including 2 units with laboratory work
2 units/years of the same foreign language
2 units/years of electives (taken from the above list and/or the Arts and Humanities and Computer Science)

The University has a selective admission policy. In accordance with the guidelines established by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and with the approval of the University Board of Trustees, Westfield State University has reserved the right to set higher minimum standards than those published by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education for the State Universities.

The state Department of Higher Education has established 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) as the minimum standard for admission to four-year state universities. Applicants with an average between 2.0 and 3.0 in their academic units also may be considered, contingent upon their SAT or ACT scores and other application materials. Specific majors may require additional specific units for admission. Some majors also may require a performance test as part of the admission process.

Exemptions from these guidelines and the 17 units may be granted for applicants who qualify under specific guidelines determined by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Contact the Office of Admission for further information.

Applicants who meet the minimum eligibility requirements are not guaranteed admission to the University. The successful applicant has achieved a solid academic record while maintaining a challenging academic program and will have demonstrated a willingness to contribute to the life of the community.

The first-year filing deadline for fall admission is March 1; the filing date for spring admission is November 15. Admission decisions are made on an individual basis by the Admission staff beginning October 1 for the spring term and late in January for fall, after all required documents are received.

Accepted first-year students attending Massachusetts public high schools must present evidence of passing the M.C.A.S. prior to enrollment. A final, official high school transcript conferring graduation will suffice for this purpose.

First-year Admission, Graduate & Continuing Education

All students applying for admission to an undergraduate degree program must supply the following:

  • The Continuing Education undergraduate application
  • A $50.00 application fee
  • A high school transcript or proof of completion of the General Education Diploma (GED)
  • College Board Scholastic Assessment Test Scores (SAT-I) or American College Testing Scores (ACT) (unless applying more than 3 years after high school graduation)
  • Official transcripts of any college work attempted
  • First-year applicants participating in a dual enrollment program as part of their high school experience also must submit a complete listing of college courses attempted. A final official transcript of the dual enrollment experience must be submitted immediately upon its completion.

Recent high school graduates (students who have been out of high school fewer than three years and have earned fewer than 24 college credits from a regionally accredited college) are subject to an Eligibility Index, established by the Commonwealth, based on class rank and SAT or ACT scores, and must complete the following 17college preparatory units:

4 units/years of English
4 units/years of Mathematics (Algebra I and II; Geometry or Trigonometry; or comparable course work,including mathamatics during the final year of high school)
2 units/years of Social Sciences, (including 1 unit/year of U.S. History)
3 units/years of Science, including 2 units/years with laboratory work
2 units/years of the same foreign language
2 units/years of electives (taken from the above list and/or the Arts and Humanities and Computer Science)

The state Department of Higher Education has established 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) as the minimum standard for admission to state four-year colleges. Applicants with an average between 2.0 and 3.0 in their academic units also may be considered, contingent upon their SAT or ACT scores and other application materials. Under special circumstances, applicants may request an exemption from the Eligibility Index and the 17 units. Such an exemption may be granted for applicants who qualify under specific guidelines established by the Commonwealth.

For students who never have attended college and have been out of high school for three or more years, exemptions from the unit requirements and Eligibility Index established by the Commonwealth may be granted. SAT or ACT scores should be submitted, if available. Westfield State University’s College Board code number is 3523. Admission decisions are made on an individual basis upon review of all required materials.

Accepted first-year students attending Massachusetts public high schools must present evidence of passing the M.C.A.S. prior to enrollment. A final, official high school transcript conferring graduation will suffice for this purpose.

Admission Profile, Day Division

Class of 2019 entering Westfield State Day Division September 2015 *

  SAT -I range Critical Reading Math
  200-299 0.0% 0.0%
  300-399 3.0% 3.0%
  400-499  43.0% 37.0%
  500-599  43.0% 47.0%
  600-699  7.0% 9.0%
  700-800  1.0% 0.0%

Mean Grade Point Average: 3.15 on a 4.0 scale (3.00 = B)
Mean SAT Scores: Critical Reading: 510 Math: 520

Class of 2019 summary*:

5,531applications were received
3,075 applicants were accepted
1,367 accepted students enrolled

New transfer student summary, fall 2014 Day Division*:

810 transfer applications were received
473 transfer applicants were accepted
324 accepted transfer students enrolled

* Based on data available at the time of publication.

Transfer Admission

Transfer applicants are those who have attempted to complete any number of college courses at a regionally accredited college or university after high school graduation and prior to their planned enrollment term at Westfield State.

All transfer applicants must submit the Office of Admission’s application form and fee*, an official high school transcript* (or its equivalent), official transcripts from all colleges previously attended, including Westfield State University, if applicable, and a list of college courses in progress during the term that immediately precedes the planned enrollment term at Westfield. Applicants with fewer than 24 transferable credit hours earned at the time of application also must submit SAT or ACT scores, unless they graduated high school more than three years prior to their planned enrollment term at Westfield.

*Applicants who graduate from the Massachusetts community college system prior to enrolling at Westfield are exempted from submitting the application fee, and generally are exempted from submitting the high school transcript.

Students who are attempting their first term of college course work beyond high school graduation at the time of application should be advised that an admission decision will not be made until a final official college grade report or transcript for the term in progress is received. Because this requirement may be difficult to meet within the time allowed for admission processing, especially for January term applicants, we require that students complete at least 12 transferable credit hours prior to submitting an application to transfer.

Failure to submit complete, official copies of ALL previous academic credentials constitutes academic dishonesty and will cause an offer of admission to be rescinded.

Depending upon choice of major and number of credits earned, the minimum cumulative grade point average generally required for transfer admission consideration, exclusive of developmental or other nontransferable course work, varies from 2.50 to 2.80 (on a 4.0 scale). Qualified Massachusetts community college graduates, particularly those with MassTransfer Program status are given priority for admission into all major programs of study, provided their applications are filed and all other required documents are received by each term’s priority filing deadline.

A student must complete successfully a minimum of 30 credits and all remaining requirements for the major field of study, as well as all other degree requirements, to receive a baccalaureate degree from Westfield. All undergraduate non-matriculated students taking courses through the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education who wish to pursue a degree must enrolled in a degree program prior to the completion of the last 30 credits needed for graduation. In addition, some major programs of study require the completion of a minimum number of credits at Westfield State University.

The Day Division transfer application deadline for fall admission is March 1; the spring filing date is November 15. Day Division applicants to the MassTransfer program should file their MassTransfer forms by the fall priority filing deadline of March 1; the spring priority filing deadline is October 15.

Day Division admission is competitive and not guaranteed to all applicants who meet minimum eligibility standards. Transfer admission decisions are made on an individual basis beginning February 1 for the fall semester and October 1 for the spring semester after all required credentials have been received. The number of transferees accepted will be determined by existing vacancies in each degree program and the number of applicants deemed eligible according to transfer admission standards determined by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and Westfield State University. Admission decisions of the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education are made on a rolling basis and take into account the special experiences of non-traditional students.

Once admitted to Westfield State University, the transfer student assumes a new cumulative average that is subject to academic policies established by the University.

Transfer credits are accepted from regionally accredited colleges only, in academic disciplines that are compatible with the Westfield State University curriculum. The minimum transferable grade for these courses generally is ‘C-.’  Applicants may transfer in a maximum of 90 credits from a regionally accredited institution, of which no more than 67 credits can come from a two-year institution (including AP, CLEP, and military experiences).

Transfer students who graduate from the Massachusetts community college system in a BORN-approved ADN program, complete the 34 credit MassTrasnfer Block, and pass the NCLEX exam prior to enrolling in the Westfield State University RN-to-BSN degree completion program through the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education, are exempted from the 67 credit community college limit, according to terms of the statewide Nursing Education Transfer Compact (NETC).  Rather, the community college course work will be applied to the bachelor’s degree as a body of knowledge and practical experience.  To earn the bachelor’s degree, NETC students are required to complete the following: all upper-division Nursing major courses and outstanding related major courses; MassTransfer Block Plus 6 courses, if applicable; and, any electives that may be needed to reach minimum degree and residency requirements.

Transfer Grade Policy

The minimum acceptable grade will be a C- (1.7).

This policy will not apply to courses completed as part of a designated MassTransfer associate’s degree from a Massachusetts community college. The minimum transferable grade for courses completed under this program generally is D (1.0). D grades will transfer for these students only within the 60-credit guarantee of the MassTransfer degree.  Additionally, students who transfer from any Massachusetts public higher education institution may transfer D grades only as part of the completed 34-credit MassTransfer block.

Courses taken at other institutions after a student’s initial enrollment at Westfield State University are subject to the following policy: Undergraduate Transfer Courses Taken at Other Institutions After Matriculation  

This policy change was implemented for students entering in spring 1995.

Policy On Transferring Older Credits

Transfer credits earned at regionally accredited institutions other than Westfield State University more than 10 years prior to an applicant’s planned entrance date are evaluated on a course-by-course basis, and admitted students may be awarded up to a total of 60 credits, which comprises one half of the bachelor’s degree. The minimum transferable grade for these courses is C (2.0).

An evaluation of older credits should be done in consideration of the appropriateness and applicability of the credits earned to the programs offered by the University, and according to the following distribution order: first, award credits to the Common Core; second, award general elective credits; and third, consider awarding credits to the intended major program.

To preserve the integrity of a contemporary baccalaureate degree for all graduates of Westfield State University, the appropriate department chairperson, or other designated department faculty member, must evaluate all older credits being considered for the major program as part of the admission process to determine their current relevance. Further, older credits that otherwise would provide foundation course work in or directly related to the current major program in most cases should not be applied to the major unless the student otherwise demonstrates to the department chairperson, or other designated department faculty member, a sufficient level of proficiency in the subject matter that allows for advanced course placement.

The total number of older credits to be awarded toward the major should not exceed one-third of the total number of credits required for the major program.

Students with older credits awarded in the admission process who subsequently change their major program should have their previously awarded older general elective credits reevaluated by the appropriate department chair, or other designated department faculty member, to determine their current relevance to the newly designated major program. However, such a post-matriculation review of older credits in a new major program should not alter the original total number of credits generally awarded toward completion of the bachelor’s degree. Admitted students who wish to appeal the evaluation of their older credits may submit a rationale for reconsideration in writing through the division to which they applied for admission so long as the 60-credit maximum is not exceeded.

Older credits earned at Westfield State University are not affected by this policy.

This policy change is effective for students entering spring 2004.

MassTransfer Program

In June 2008, the Board of Higher Education accepted the Final Report from the Commonwealth Transfer Advisory Group which included a new statewide transfer policy: MassTransfer. MassTransfer seeks to provide a broad population of students with straightforward and understandable options toward the completion of associate and baccalaureate degrees, clearing the way for student access and student success in Massachusetts’ public higher education system.

MassTransfer has two main purposes:

  • to provide community college students who complete approved associate degrees under MassTransfer with the benefits of the full transfer and applicability of credit, guaranteed admission, and a tuition discount (each benefit based on the student’s final grade point average) to linked baccalaureate programs; and
  • to provide any student in the Massachusetts public higher education system the intermediate goal of completing a portable transfer block (“MassTransfer Block”) which satisfies general education/distribution/core requirements across institutions (with the receiving institution able to add no more than six additional credits/two courses). The determination of the 2 classes will be based on omissions in the student’s transcript in relation to the Westfield State University core requirements at the time of admission.

MassTransfer integrates and replaces the Commonwealth Transfer Compact, Joint Admissions, and the Tuition Advantage Program as of fall 2009. Community college students who matriculated prior to fall 2009 and who choose to continue in the Commonwealth Transfer Compact and/or Joint Admissions Program will be required to complete their associate degrees by August 2013 and must matriculate at a Massachusetts state college or University of Massachusetts campus by fall 2014.

Students matriculating in fall 2009 as well as currently enrolled students may accumulate courses leading toward the completion of an approved associate degree under MassTransfer or the MassTransfer Block. The policy benefits will apply to students who complete either an approved associate degree or the MassTransfer Block beginning fall 2010, regardless of initial date of enrollment at the community college.

A student seeking readmission as a matriculated student to an institution previously attended-whether on a full-time or part-time basis-is held to the receiving institution’s readmission policies.

Section I: For students completing an associate degree under MassTransfer at a Massachusetts community college.

A student completing an associate degree program under MassTransfer will have graduated with a minimum of 60 credit hours and will have completed the following 34-credit general education transfer block, exclusive of developmental coursework:

English Composition/Writing, 6 credit hours
Behavioral and Social Sciences, 9 credit hours
Humanities and Fine Arts, 9 credit hours
Natural or Physical Science, 7 credit hours, including one 4-credit lab
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning, 3 credit hours

Each associate degree program under MassTransfer is linked to baccalaureate degrees and schools at the Massachusetts state colleges and University of Massachusetts campuses across the Commonwealth. The list of associate degree programs and linked baccalaureate programs under MassTransfer will be available at www.mass.edu/masstransfer, as well as on the transfer websites at the individual public higher education institutions.

Benefits
A student completing an associate degree who seeks admission to a linked baccalaureate program under MassTransfer will be entitled to the following benefits based upon the final cumulative grade point average at the community college awarding the degree:

  1. A final cumulative grade point average of a 2.0 or higher
    1. Waives the admissions application fee and essay
    2. Guarantees the full transfer of college-level credits, including “D” grades, applied to the degree requirements of the linked baccalaureate degree or school at the state college or University of Massachusetts campus such that the MassTransfer student will be required to complete no more credits or courses than a native student with the following stipulations:
      • The student changes his or her major.
      • If the linked baccalaureate program requires a higher grade point average or specific courses for the major which are required of native students, the MassTransfer student must meet these requirements.
    3. Satisfies the general education requirements at the receiving institution with the receiving institution able to add no more than six additional credits / two courses in compliance with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ Standards for Accreditation. This will apply when the receiving institution already places these requirements on its native students and will determine at its discretion which credits, if any, shall be required.

      Note: College-level course credits consistent with the standards set forth in the Undergraduate Experience recommendations are included under MassTransfer. Credits awarded by the sending institution through CLEP, challenge examinations, and credit for prior learning shall be included when a student qualifies under MassTransfer.

      Please be advised that Westfield State’s minimum transfer standard is higher than 2.0 and varies by major.
  2. A final cumulative grade point average of a 2.5 or higher
    1. Grants all of the benefits outlined in section 1A.
    2. Guarantees admission to the linked baccalaureate degree or school at a Massachusetts state college or University of Massachusetts campus with the following stipulations:
      • If the linked baccalaureate program requires a higher grade point average which is required of native students, the MassTransfer student must meet this requirement.
      • If, because of space or fiscal limitations, the receiving institution does not admit all qualified applicants to a given major or program, the receiving institution will use the same criteria for MassTransfer applicants as it does for its native students.
      • Students must be in good academic, fiscal and disciplinary standing with all previous institutions.
      • Admission to Westfield’s education licensure programs requires a 2.60.
  3. A final cumulative grade point average of a 3.0 or higher
    1. Grants all of the benefits outlined in sections 1A and 1B.
    2. Guarantees a tuition waiver equal to 33% of the Massachusetts resident tuition rate at a state college or University campus for two years of undergraduate enrollment with the following requirements:
      • Enrollment is continuous at the state college or University campus.
      • The student earns a cumulative grade point average of a 3.0 or higher for the first year of enrollment at the state college or University of Massachusetts campus.
      • The 33% tuition waiver will be awarded to qualified students upon receipt of an official degree-bearing transcript or letter from the sending institution’s Registrar stating that degree requirements are completed before transferring to Westfield State.

Section II: For students completing the general education transfer block at any Massachusetts higher education institution with a 2.0 or higher grade point average.

A student completing the general education transfer block will have earned the following 34 credit hours outlined below, exclusive of developmental coursework.

English Composition/Writing, 6 credit hours
Behavioral and Social Sciences, 9 credit hours
Humanities and Fine Arts, 9 credit hours
Natural or Physical Science, 7 credit hours, including one 4-credit lab
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning, 3 credit hours

Benefit
Students completing the 34-credit general education transfer block (exclusive of developmental coursework) with a 2.0 or higher grade point average will be entitled to the following benefit:

Satisfies the general education requirements at the receiving institution with the receiving institution able to add no more than six additional credits / two courses in compliance with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ Standards for Accreditation. This will apply when the receiving institution already places these requirements on its native students and will determine at its discretion which credits, if any, shall be required. Students enrolled in a specific major or degree program may be required to take additional courses if these courses are specifically required for the major or program and are required of native students. The determination of the 2 classes will be based on omissions in the student’s transcript in relation to the Westfield State University core requirements at the time of admission.

Transfer Credit Appeals Process

Students who question the evaluation and awarding of transfer credits earned prior to their enrollment date at Westfield State University should submit an appeal in writing to the Admission Office. The Associate Director of Admission & Articulation Coordinator will review the appeal and consult, on an as-needed basis, with the appropriate academic department chair(s) and the Director of Admission. If resolution is not reached at this level, the matter will be brought to the Vice President of Enrollment Management and the Vice President of Academic Affairs, or his/her designee, for a final decision.

Quinn Bill Transfer Admission Guidelines For Criminal Justice Majors

Transfer applicants to the Criminal Justice major are advised that Massachusetts Quinn Bill legislation allows credit to be transferred toward the bachelor’s or master’s degree from institutions that are regionally accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. Credit may not be transferred for life experience, secondary school tech.-prep. course work, military service or schooling, or police academy or other training. (However, credit for ROTC course work generally is transferable.) A maximum of 10% of a previously completed degree (6 credits of a 60-credit associate’s degree; 12 credits of a 120-credit bachelor’s degree) may transfer as credit for knowledge-based examinations, such as AP, CLEP, or Dantes/DSST. Quinn Bill guidelines supersede the benefits of the MassTransfer Program.

Quinn Bill students who change academic programs may request that their transfer credits be reevaluated.

International Student Admission

Any international student seeking admission to the University must submit the same information and meet the same requirements established for first-year or transfer applicants. Additional required application documents include, where applicable: Official English translations of all secondary and post-secondary school transcripts and examination results; official copy of the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) for students whose native language is not English (550 paper test minimum score; 213 computer test minimum score; 80 internet minimum score) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results (minimum score required: 6.5); bank-notarized Certification of Finances Form and a bank statement; English translations of course descriptions and school accreditation information, and a photocopy of the applicant’s current Visa, and/or I-20 form (applies to transfer students only).

All original academic transcripts and examinations, plus English translations, must be submitted directly to the Center for Educational Documentation, in Boston, MA, by the Day Division filing deadline, noted below. An evaluation fee will be assessed to applicants for this service by the Center. For more information, contact the Center at www.Cedevaluations.com. TOEFL information may be obtained by contacting the University Board Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ.  IELTS information may be obtained by accessing the website at: www.ielts.org.

All international applications to the Day Division must be received by March 1 for entrance the following September and November 15 for the following January. International students applying to the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education may apply throughout the year.

Permanent resident applicants with academic credentials from institutions outside of the US also must have their international documents evaluated by the Center for Educational Documentation in Boston, MA.