2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jun 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Support Services - CSSE

The following programs are offered by the Center of Student Success and Engagement (CSSE).

Office of Academic Advising and Transfer Transition

The Office of Academic Advising and Transfer Transition is a hub for an array of academic advising services as we provide a supportive environment for students to explore academic opportunities. All students are welcome to drop in or schedule an appointment with a professional advisor to receive academic guidance or help with registration. We also have a team of trained peer advisors that provide assistance with course selection and the preregistration process.

Academic Advising plays an integral role in the success of a student’s academic career. The following services are provided to students:

  • Assistance with course selection, the preregistration process, and other academic concerns.
  • Advice regarding academic progress, degree completion, and graduation requirements.
  • Assistance for students who have not declared a major with the process of exploring possible academic majors.
  • Opportunities to engage in meaningful conversations about educational and career goals.
  • Assistance with the process of returning to Good Academic Standing for students on Academic Warning.
  • Assistance with exploring academic success strategies and providing referrals to other student support services.
  • Planning for alternative credit-earning opportunities, such as internships or CLEP exams.
  • Access to Academic Advisors who serve as a link to various academic departments and campus offices, such as the Registrar or Office of Financial Aid.

Students who wish to change their advisor should see the chairperson of their major department. Students who have not yet declared a major are assigned an advisor in the Office of Academic Advising and Transfer Transition until they are eligible to declare their preferred major.

In addition, staff members of the Office of the Registrar and the Executive Director of the Center for Student Success and Engagement are available to assist students.

Contact the Office of Academic Advising and Transfer Transition
Location: Parenzo Hall Room 163
Email: advising@westfield.ma.edu
Phone: (413) 572-8678

Transfer Advising

Transferring from one higher education institution to another can be challenging. The Office of Academic Advising and Transfer Transition assists transfer students by providing pre-admission and advising services. A few examples of the services provided include:

  • Assistance with general questions and connecting students with resources and other campus offices;
  • Assistance with referrals or connecting transfer students to the appropriate advisors in their chosen major(s);
  • Familiarizing transfer students with WSU policies and procedures, as well as general advising information;
  • Advocacy for all students seeking the assistance needed to ensure a successful first semester and beyond;
  • Advice regarding academic progress and degree completion;
  • Planning the undergraduate experience, including student engagement or alternative credit-earning opportunities.

Transfer Advising Contact:
Brittany Garand, Transfer, Evening, and Returning Student Advisor
Location: Parenzo Hall Rm 163
Email: bgarand@westfield.ma.edu
Phone: (413) 572-8172


Banacos Academic Center

The Banacos Academic Center is dedicated to providing opportunities for students to become independent learners and be fully engaged in the University’s academic, residential, and student life programs. The Center is home to Disability Services and the Learning Disabilities Program, and provides additional academic support for all students. Individuals who may benefit from our programs and services are encouraged to contact the Center for more information. The Center will be located in Scanlon Hall for Fall 2023 and in Parenzo Hall beginning January 2024.

Contact the Banacos Academic Center
Location: Scanlon Hall, Rooms 217-228 Fall 2023 (moving to Parenzo Hall in January 2024)
Email: banacos@westfield.ma.edu
Phone: (413) 572-8789

Services for All Students

The Banacos Academic Center is open to all Westfield State University students. It contains a computer lab and small tutoring rooms that provide a quiet space to study. The Center works in conjunction with other departments across campus to support student athletes, students on academic warning, and students needing professional development points.

Academic Strategies Workshops

The CARE Center, in collaboration with the Banacos Academic Center and other areas of the CSSE, also offers Academic Strategies workshops to help students who may need extra support with skill building. At any stage of a student’s college career, it may be necessary to learn new skills, and we are here to assist them in gaining those skills. This service is provided at no extra cost to students, is useful in all of our courses, and can be offered in individualized sessions. Some of the topics students can receive assistance with are: understanding a syllabus, time management, tackling assignments, and exam preparation. Sessions are available throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. For more information, please contact the CARE Center using the information below.

Contact for Academic Strategies Workshops
: care@westfield.ma.edu
Phone: (413) 572-5273

Services for Students with Disabilities

The Banacos Academic Center’s staff work with students to provide accessible and equal educational opportunities to the University’s academic programs, residential and social programs, and facilities. Students can request and receive reasonable accommodations through their Banacos advisor in Disability Services or the Learning Disabilities Program (described below). Students are expected to provide current documentation of their disabilities from an appropriate practitioner that includes a diagnoses, history of the disability, and recommendations for services and reasonable accommodations. The University continues to work to ensure that facilities and programs are accessible to all students in accordance with the mandates of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended (ADAAA, 2008).

Disability Services

Disability Services provides a wide array of reasonable and appropriate accommodations for undergraduate and graduate students with physical, psychological, medical, or learning disabilities. The Access Advisor works with students to determine reasonable accommodations and negotiate situations that arise due to a student’s disability. The Access Advisor assists students with acclimating to the university environment and refers students to appropriate resources on campus. Disability Services welcomes all students, at any point in their academic career, to register and request reasonable accommodations.

The Learning Disabilities Program

The Learning Disabilities Program has a long and vibrant history of success working with University students with learning disorders and ADHD. Since 1979, the Learning Disabilities Program has committed to providing a fulfilling educational experience to students. We provide academic support to students with learning disorders and ADHD as they transition to university and become independent learners. Students must apply to this program through the Admissions Office as an entering first-year student in the Fall semester.

Students accepted into this program are assigned a program advisor who remains dedicated to them for the duration of their undergraduate university experience. Program advisors reach out to students regularly and monitor their academic progress throughout their time at Westfield State University. Students work with program advisors to determine what reasonable accommodations, services, and resources will best meet their learning needs. Every student is unique and every student should advocate for the resources they need to be successful. Students determine their level of involvement in the program.

Telecommunications for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and those with Speech Disabilities

The University community has several modes of communication. The University accepts phone calls through relay services, email is an official form of communication on campus, and University office phones can be amplified.


Course Achievement, Retention, and Engagement Center (CARE Center)

The Course Achievement, Retention, and Engagement Center (CARE Center) supports students struggling with the rigors of academic life at any point during their time at Westfield State, providing one-on-one support from staff or their peers. Our mission is to ensure that all students have a place they can turn to when they may need assistance or extra support to be successful.

Contact the CARE Center
Location: Ely Library, Second Floor
Email: care@westfield.ma.edu
Phone: (413) 572-5273

Tutoring & Learning Collaborative (TLC)

As a part of the CARE Center, the Tutoring & Learning Collaborative (TLC) offers extensive content area tutoring for our students and is provided at no extra cost. TLC works with faculty and staff to help identify students who would make a good tutor for specific courses offered here at WSU. Using faculty referrals and self-identification, students can access a tutor for their classes in a quick and efficient manner via WSU360. On average, 73% of students who access a tutor will have a successful course outcome (a grade of C or better) at the end of the academic term. For any questions or inquiries on tutoring, please contact the Tutoring & Learning Collaborative using the contact information below.

Contact TLC
Email: tlc@westfield.ma.edu
Phone: (413) 572-8376

Academic Strategies Workshops

The CARE Center, in collaboration with the Banacos Academic Center and other areas of the CSSE, also offers Academic Strategies workshops to help students who may need extra support with skill building. At any stage of a student’s college career, it may be necessary to learn new skills, and we are here to assist them in gaining those skills. This service is provided at no extra cost to students, is useful in all of our courses, and can be offered in individualized sessions. Some of the topics students can receive assistance with are: understanding a syllabus, time management, tackling assignments, and exam preparation. Sessions are available throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. For more information, please contact the CARE Center using the information below.

Contact for Academic Strategies Workshops
: care@westfield.ma.edu
Phone: (413) 572-5273


WSU360 is an online retention tool that Westfield State has been using since the Fall of 2014. Through WSU360, instructors complete progress reports during the academic term, which then notifies staff in the CARE Center, CSSE, and Athletics. This allows for the staff in such offices to provide appropriate follow-up and assistance for students who may need help to stay on-track in their academic endeavors. WSU360 also works as a type of electronic service catalog that allows students to access support services in a quick and easy manner. Within this online space, students can book appointments, find contact information for faculty and staff, and receive feedback from their instructors. For questions about WSU360, please use the contact information listed below.

Contact for WSU360
: wsu360@westfield.ma.edu
Phone: (413) 572-8191


First-Year Initiatives

Connections: First Year Forward
Westfield State University sees the first year as a time of transition and growth in which new students find their place as engaged members of the diverse academic, civic, and social communities at the University.

During this transition, students’ primary task is to come to understand the process and goals of college education, and to develop the skills and dispositions needed to succeed in college and beyond. Through liberal arts and sciences core curriculum and introductory majors’ courses, students build a broader understanding of different forms of knowledge. They deepen their ability to question their own knowledge and beliefs, becoming more nuanced critical thinkers. They learn to assess their own needs, access resources, and advocate for themselves in overcoming challenges in a new environment.

For many of Westfield’s new students, the transition to college is also a time of increased independence and interaction with people of diverse backgrounds, requiring new levels of personal responsibility, social awareness, and civic engagement. Co-curricular activities and residential experiences support students in strengthening their understanding of their roles in the university community and beyond.

We strive to foster and promote a collaborative and dynamic climate, one that honors and supports the contributions, perspectives, and needs of each first-year student. In this environment, we facilitate the intellectual, social, and ethical development required for successful transition to college by providing the following:

  • Sustained and supportive engagement with staff, faculty, advisors and peers
  • Intellectually challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and professional disciplines where the relationship between both is honored
  • A range of pedagogical approaches to learning including both individual and collaborative strategies
  • Academic advising and career guidance that invite students to explore academic and professional opportunities
  • A residential program that provides students a safe and independent living experience were civic responsibility and engagement are encouraged and expected
  • Student governance organizations, community service and service-learning opportunities that promote civic engagement
  • A dynamic and enriching co-curricular environment offering services and programs that invite student engagement as contributors and leaders in a variety of educational, social, and governance activities

First-Year Initiatives Website

Reading and Writing Center

The Westfield State University Reading and Writing Center is dedicated to supporting and encouraging all students, faculty, and staff as they write to communicate their ideas and to discover new ones. Acting as an engaged audience, we seek to assist writers on any type of project-academic, professional, or creative-in any discipline or field, at any stage of the writing process. Our approach values intellectual inquiry, rhetorical flexibility, and reflective practice and recognizes power dynamics inherent in literacy. While we do share strategies for planning, drafting, and revising so that writers may internalize the writing process and grow increasingly independent, we also acknowledge that writing is not a solitary endeavor and that all writers benefit from collaboration. Ultimately, WSU’s RWC aims to foster a safe and diverse community of writers that extends beyond the campus walls.

In order to achieve our mission:

  • We offer one-on-one sessions with professional and peer tutors.
  • We offer workshops on a variety of writing-focused topics.
  • We tailor our one-on-one sessions to meet individual needs.
  • We offer a broad range of hours in order to accommodate busy schedules.
  • We maintain the high quality of our services by requiring peer tutors to undergo rigorous training, by reading current scholarship in the field, and by participating in conferences.
  • We assist writers on all aspects of the process, such as outlining, free writing, note taking, summarizing, understanding the assignment, using models, posing questions, organizing, developing arguments, working with sources, revising, editing, and proofreading.
  • We help writers examine the expectations of particular genres and disciplines and empower them to question these expectations and make deliberate choices in their writing.
  • We value difference, and we strive to enable students to enter new discourse communities while preserving their own voices.
  • We encourage writers to own their writing by wrestling with meaningful problems and pursuing genuine questions.
  • We empower students to advocate for themselves within the larger university community.
  • We develop and participate in community outreach initiatives.

To make an in-person or virtual appointment, please use the online reservation system on our webpage listed below. The Center also accepts appointment inquiries via email, phone, or in-person.

Contact the Reading and Writing Center
Location: CARE Center, Ely Library (2nd floor/mezzanine level)
Email: rwc@westfield.ma.edu
Phone: (413) 572-5569


TRIO Student Support Services Program (SSSP)

The TRIO Student Support Services Program at Westfield State University empowers first-generation college students, low-income students and students with disabilities to explore and engage with their educational and personal goals. It offers comprehensive academic and personal support designed to assist with persistence to graduation, graduate school, and career preparation. TRIO programs have been established and funded by the U.S. Department of Education in order to promote access to and success in higher education.

TRIO serves 160 students from a diverse cross-section of the university student body demonstrating academic need. Program students must meet one or more of the following eligibility criteria:

  1. A first-generation college student where neither parent completed a 4-year college degree;
  2. Demonstrate low-income according to federal guidelines; 
  3. An individual with a documented disability.

A wide-range of academic and personal support services are available to program students:

  • Academic Support: Professional tutoring; designated computer labs; preliminary academic advising; and coaching on study skills, learning strategies, and graduate school.
  • Personal Support: Coaching around issues affecting academic performance, adjusting to college, stress management, and life after graduation. Peer support, guidance, and community building with TRIO student leaders.
  • Financial  Support: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) filing assistance, assistance with scholarship research and application, support reviewing and understanding student loans and repayment options.
  • Cultural & Social Activities: Community building and cultural event programming, student leadership development opportunities.

Students can apply to the program at any point in their undergraduate career and remain in the program until graduation. For more information or to complete a program application please visit www.westfield.ma.edu/trio.

Contact the TRIO Program
Location: Parenzo Hall
Email: trio@westfield.ma.edu
Phone: (413) 572-5462

In compliance with the U.S. Department of Education, two-thirds of program participants must be first-generation, low-income college students or students with disabilities. In addition, one-third of participants with disabilities must also be low-income.

Urban Education Program (UEP)

The Urban Education Program (UEP) is an academic success and leadership program that provides ongoing academic and social support for first-generation, historically underrepresented, and/or financial aid eligible college students from diverse socioeconomic, linguistic, ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. The Urban Education Program is an admission-based program, with a six week college readiness Summer Bridge Program available to qualified applicants at no additional cost. Some students accepted into the program must participate and successfully complete the Summer Bridge Program to gain matriculation into the University. After the successful completion of the Summer Bridge Program, program scholars receive:

  • Ongoing personal, academic advising, and advocacy through the promotion of academic excellence;
  • Assistance with the financial aid process through collaborating with the Office of Financial Aid;
  • Networking opportunities, career development, and graduate school advising;
  • Priority course registration;
  • Leadership development opportunities.

Contact the Urban Education Program
Location: Scanlon Hall, Rooms 248-255
Email: urbaned@westfield.ma.edu
Phone: (413) 572-5391

Veteran and Military Services

Westfield State University utilizes the Veteran and Military Services office to assist our military-connected students by providing the support, resources, and information necessary to meet personal and academic needs. Military-connected students are: Active Military, Guard, Reserve, Veterans, and their spouse/children. We are proud to have you here at WSU, and we are here to assist you with your transition from high school, another college, or the military… whether you are using benefits or not.

Contact Veteran and Military Services
: Bates Hall, Room 15
Email: jmarques@westfield.ma.edu
Phone: (413) 572-8420

Tuition, Fees, & Payment for Veterans and Military

Westfield State University adheres to the requirements of, and complies with, S2248 PL 115-407, Section 103. All students using Chapter 31 Veteran Readiness and Employment are required to ensure Veteran & Military Services has received the Tungsten authorization from their Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor by the first day of classes. Students using Chapter 33 VA education benefits are required to submit their Certificate of Eligibility or Statement of Benefits by the first day of classes. Students using National Guard or VA Education Benefits are required to submit a written request to confirm they want to use benefits each semester. All of the above are to be submitted to Veteran & Military Services.

Out-of-State Students: To ensure that our recently discharged veterans and their eligible family members will not have to bear the cost of out-of-state charges while using their Post-9/11 GI Bill® education benefits.

The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 as amended by PL 116-315 §​ 1005: For courses, semesters, or terms beginning after August 1, 2021, public institutions of higher education must charge qualifying veterans, dependents, and eligible individuals tuition and fees at the rate for in-state residents. Any institution not meeting this requirement will be disapproved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill® and the Montgomery G.I. Bill®. As amended, 38 U.S.C. 3679(c) requires that the following individuals be charged the in-state resident rate:

  • A veteran using educational assistance under either Chapter 30 (Montgomery G.I. Bill® – Active Duty Program), Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation) or Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 G.I. Bill®), of 38 U.S.C. who lives in the state in which the institution is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence).
  • Anyone using transferred Post-9/11 G.I. Bill® benefits (38 U.S.C. § 3319) who lives in the state in which the institution is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence).
  • Anyone described above while he or she remains continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks between courses, semesters, or terms) at the same institution. The person must be using educational benefits under Chapter 30, Chapter 31, or Chapter 33 of 38 U.S.C.
  • Anyone using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sargeant John David Fry Scholarship (38 U.S.C. § 3311 (b)(9)) who lives in the state in which the institution is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence).
  • Anyone using Chapter 35 (Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program) benefits who lives in the state in which the institution is located (regardless of their formal state of residence).

Students Called to Active Military Duty

Students who are currently enrolled in and attending class(es), who receive Active Duty orders, need to provide a copy of their orders to the Veteran and Military Services office. Under the Valor Act, students have the option to complete the course when they return from Active Duty without penalty. Students who receive Active Duty orders also have the option to withdraw from the course with a full refund of fees and tuition paid.

  • If the academic course is no longer available upon the student’s return from active duty, the student shall be permitted to complete a replacement course for equivalent credit without penalty.
  • With respect to any health insurance fee, the refund policy is subject to the concurrence of the carrier.
  • Students who have received any form of financial aid including a full or partial scholarship or student loan, or those who expect to receive such aid, should contact the Financial Aid office to make appropriate arrangements.
  • Students shall receive non-punitive withdrawals in all courses from which they are required to withdraw.
  • Students residing in residence halls shall receive refunds on a pro rata basis for the remainder of the semester.
  • Verification of the call to service must be provided by providing the Assistant Director or Administrative Assistant with a copy of the Order to Active Duty within one week of receipt of the order.
  • Also, if the student chooses to withdraw, they will follow the withdrawal procedures.

In the event of a short notice/no notice deployment, a student can have someone in their family plan or unit provide Veteran & Military Services a copy of the orders. The University’s President may waive or suspend any institutional policy or regulation that negatively impacts the students in their withdrawal or readmission to the institution due to a call to Active Duty. Any student required to withdraw due to being called to active duty shall be given priority in enrollment in the program of his or her choice upon return to the institution for the two semesters immediately following his or her discharge from Active Duty.

Credit for Military Experience

Westfield State University offers students with military experience the opportunity to receive graduation credit for this experience. Official documentation of military experience (DD-214) must be submitted to Veteran & Military Services for processing. 

The Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard have consolidated their respective transcript services. Each of these services use the Joint Service Transcript (JST) system. This system automatically captures your training, experience, and standardized test scores. To order an official transcript to be sent to Westfield State University, please click the following link: https://jst.doded.mil/jst/. You can register for an account if you don’t have a CAC card, and the transcripts typically take a few days for processing before they are sent.

The Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) automatically captures your training, experience, and standardized test scores on their transcript. Go to the CCAF website (https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Barnes/CCAF/) to order transcripts or obtain more information. CCAF transcripts can be ordered as physical or electronic copies. Electronic transcripts are ordered through the Air Force Virtual Education Center: https://afvec.us.af.mil/afvec/public/welcome

Under most circumstances, Veterans are eligible to use their former service branch’s transcript program. However, if you are not eligible for JST or CCAF system transcripts, you will need to fill out DD Form 295 and provide your DD-214 Discharge Document to receive credit for your experience.

The DD Form 295 (Application for the Evaluation of Learning Experiences During Military Service) is the only other military document that Westfield State accepts as an equivalent to an official transcript. The DD Form 295 must be completed and signed by the student’s commanding officer in accordance with the course codes and specifications published in the current issue of the American Council on Education’s guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services.

Credit for military experience is treated as community college-level coursework and is subject to all University policies regarding transfer coursework. This includes the policy allowing a maximum of 79 community college credits that can be transferred in, and the maximum of 90 total transfer credits (which includes state university and non-community college coursework). Academic departments reserve the right to determine if courses can be applied to a student’s major or minor.

VALOR Act - Academic Credit Evaluation Policy

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education has found that Westfield State University’s transfer credit policies meet or exceed the criteria established under the VALOR Act Academic Credit Evaluation Policy. The VALOR Act allows for the evaluation of military experience, training, and/or coursework to be considered for academic credit. Please review the Alternative Academic Credit Policy for more details.

Please note: [38 CFR 21.4253(D)(3)] An approved institution must maintain a written record of previous education and training of the veteran or eligible person, which clearly indicates that appropriate credit has been given by the school for previous education and training, with the training period shortened appropriately. The record must be cumulative in the results of each enrollment period (term, quarter, or semester) and the final result (i.e. passed, failed, incomplete, or withdrawn).



GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.