2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
    Dec 08, 2019  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog

About the University



University Mission, Vision and Values

Mission

Westfield State University is a public institution offering accessible quality undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and professional studies. Our welcoming community focuses on student engagement and success. We contribute to the economic, social, and cultural growth of the northeast region by developing the knowledge, skills, and character essential for students to become responsible leaders and engaged citizens.

Vision

Westfield State University strives to be the premier public comprehensive institution in the Northeast region through its commitment to student engagement and success.

Values

Westfield State University commits to values that strengthen a common bond among all members of our community. These values represent a commitment to others, a commitment to ourselves, and a commitment to a diverse learning environment where everyone is respected.

OUR VALUES

EMBRACE DIVERSITY:

We treat all members of our community with dignity and respect.

BUILD A STRONG COMMUNITY:

We are inclusive and ensure equity, supporting the personal development of all community members, and embracing multiple perspectives.

MAINTAIN EXCELLENCE AND INTEGRITY:

We maintain excellence and integrity in all that we do.

ENGAGE IN THE OUTSIDE COMMUNITY:

We support civic engagement in local, regional and global initiatives.

COLLABORATE WITH EACH OTHER:

We make decisions in a transparent and collaborative manner.

PROVIDE ACCESSIBLE EDUCATION:

We commit to providing accessible, affordable public higher education for all.

University History

Westfield State University was established in 1839 by Horace Mann as the Barre Normal School in Barre, MA. In 1844 the institution relocated to Westfield, MA and re-opened as the Westfield Normal School. Additional name changes: 1932 Westfield State Teachers College; 1960 Massachusetts State College at Westfield; 1967 Westfield State College; and 2010 Westfield State University. Westfield is one of the nine institutions of the state university system.

Accreditation

Westfield State University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). The teacher licensure programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Educator Preparation and Quality. The Athletic Training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The Health Fitness program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Westfield State University is designated as a Commonwealth of Massachusetts-accredited Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training institution. The Computer Science program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).  The baccalaureate in Nursing program is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation).

Strategic Plan 2019-2024

The Westfield State University Strategic Plan asks- and addresses the question- What do students need to learn to explore the problems that matter in the Commonwealth and to position the institution to address global change? Our plan addresses the pragmatic urgency for us to prepare to educate students from increasingly exciting, and diverse backgrounds and to provide opportunity for further education to the one million adult learners with some college education in Massachusetts and beyond so they can serve the public good of building a vibrant economic, social, and cultural Commonwealth.

Goal 1:

THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE: Access to a fully integrated and exceptional students experience

As a teaching institution our focus has always been on our students. Naming the students experience as our central strategic priority keeps our focus on out mission, reinforcing for us that our goal is to provide access to an exceptional student experience both in and out of the classroom for all of our students.

PRIORITY 1.1 REVISE THE COMMON CORE

PRIORITY 1.2 SUPPORT ACADEMIC PROGRAMMING KEEPING IN MIND LIBERAL ARTS COMPETENCIES AND EMERGENT CAREER PATHWAYS

PRIORITY 1.3 PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADULT AND COMMUNITY PARTNER LEARNERS

PRIORITY 1.4 OPTIMIZE THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE THROUGH CLEAR PROCESS AND PARTNERSHIP

GOAL 2:

ENROLLMENT: Prepare to recruit , welcome, and support students in an increasingly competitive environment

The institution needs to face, head on, the data which indicate a consistent and dramatic decrease in the population of high school-aged individuals in Massachusetts and the northeast region. We must prepare to welcome and support an increasingly diverse population of students and recognize that their needs may differ. Strategic enrollment management will prepare us for the shifting demographics and support our mission to contribute to the economic, social and cultural growth of our region.

PRIORITY 2.1 ENGAGE THE ENTIRE CAMPUS IN THE WORK OF RECRUITMENT, RETENTION, GRADUATION 

PRIORITY 2.2 SUPPORT STRATEGIC ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT TO REACH A MORE DIVERSE POPULATION OF STUDENTS

PRIORITY 2.3 INCREASE FINANCIAL AID

Goal 3:

CULTURE: Consistently live our institutional values

Attention to the culture of the institution provides the opportunity to prioritize programs and initiatives that support our values including diversity, inclusion, respect, and collaboration while improving communication in all directions. The stronger our institutional culture, the better the experience for our students.

PRIORITY 3.1 CREATE A COLLABORATIVE, TRANSPARENT AND COMMUNICATIVE ENVIRONMENT THAT CELEBRATES ACCOMPLISHMENT AND INSTILLS PRIDE IN THE INSTITUTION

PRIORITY 3.2 ENACT INSTITUTIONAL VALUES IN EVERYDAY COMMUNICATION

PRIORITY 3.3 ADOPT INCLUSION EVERYDAY AS AN INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK

Goal 4:

RESOURCES: Expand the institutional resources

In light of the continued decline in financial  support from the state and the shifting demographics of the students population, the institution must engage in extensive and sustained development of, and planning for, resources of all types to insure a stable institution and implementation of mission critical initiatives that support student success.

PRIORITY 4.1 DIVERSIFY REVENUE SOURCES BY SUPPORTING ENTREPRENEURIAL ACTIVITIES

PRIORITY 4.2 OPTIMIZE USE OF CURRENT RESOURCES UTILIZING TRANSPARENT PROCESSES

PRIORITY 4.3 INVEST IN UPGRADING AND IMPLEMENTING TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

 

Undergraduate Programs

Students wishing to earn a baccalaureate degree may matriculate in undergraduate degree programs through the Day Division or the College of Graduate and Continuing Education.

The Day Division program is directed toward the full-time undergraduate student, and offers the full range of activities that typically are associated with an undergraduate institution, including opportunities to participate in intercollegiate athletics, student government, literary and performing groups, to name but a few. The undergraduate population is diverse, ranging from recent high school graduates to older adults. The College of Graduate and Continuing Education offers a program geared to the needs of the part-time, online and evening student, with an appropriate complement of academic support services available. Classes for Continuing Education students generally are offered at night and online, although students may take day classes on a space available basis.

With very few exceptions, students may enroll in any of the University’s undergraduate programs through either division. Academic standards and policies are the same in both divisions, although the methods of implementing specific policies may vary because of the different patterns the undergraduate career may take for full- and part-time students. Such differences are noted in the Bulletin where applicable.

For Day Division students, student records are housed in the Office of the Registrar, and all transactions related to student records and academic programs are executed through that office. The Office of Graduate and Continuing Education provides comparable service for Continuing Education students.

Graduation and Retention Rates

Under Student Right to Know regulations, the federal government requires all institutions of higher education to report annually the six year graduation rate for the cohort of students entering college as first-time, full-time, freshmen six years prior to the report year, as well as the average six-year graduation rate for the last four years. For this reporting year, the cohort comprises students entering in the fall of 2012, and Westfield’s reported six-year completion rate is 63%. Our average six year completion rate for students entering 2009-2012 is 64%.

For Westfield’s last five classes, students entering Fall 2010 to Fall 2014 and graduating Spring 2014 to Spring 2018, the average four-year completion rate is 53%. For students entering Fall 2009 to Fall 2013, our average five-year completion rate is 62%. The average fall to fall one year retention rates for students entering Fall 2013 through Fall 2017 is 77%. Westfield State University is pleased that its graduation rates exceed national norms for comparable institutions.