• Academic Policies and Procedures

  • Academic Honesty

    Academic integrity is an essential component of a Worcester State University education. Education is both the acquisition of knowledge and the development of skills that lead to further intellectual development. Faculty are expected to follow strict principles of intellectual honesty in their own scholarship; students are held to the same standard. Only by doing their own work can students gain the knowledge, skills, confidence and self-worth that come from earned success; only by learning how to gather information, to integrate it and to communicate it effectively, to identify an idea and follow it to its logical conclusion can they develop the habits of mind characteristic of educated citizens. Taking shortcuts to higher or easier grades results in a Worcester State University experience that is intellectually bankrupt.
    Academic integrity is important to the integrity of the Worcester State University community as a whole. If Worcester State University awards degrees to students who have not truly earned them, a reputation for dishonesty and incompetence will follow all graduates. Violators cheat their classmates out of deserved rewards and recognition. Academic dishonesty debases the institution and demeans the degree from that institution.
    It is in the interest of students, faculty, and administrators to recognize the importance of academic integrity and to ensure that academic standards at Worcester State University remain strong. Only by maintaining high standards of academic honesty can WSU protect the value of the educational process and the credibility of the institution and its graduates in the larger community.

    What Constitutes Academic Dishonesty?
    Academic dishonesty includes intentional violations of accepted standards of ethics and academic integrity as well as negligent violations of standards that the individual reasonably should have known and followed. The following is not an exhaustive list of violations but provides guidelines for evaluating common areas of concern, such as cheating, plagiarism and falsification of information. Violations of academic honesty include:
    1. Cheating, including but not limited to:
    a. traditional cheating methods including copying on exams or assignments, letting other students copy one’s own work, using crib sheets in quizzes and tests, glancing at other students’ work, or giving answers to other students
    b. giving or receiving unauthorized assistance in exams, laboratory exercises or other academic assignments or attempting to do so, or using unauthorized materials or information sources on tests or assignments, including communication via cell phones or computers or use of materials stored on or accessed by computer or other digital media, or collaboration between or among more than one student on an assignment that is supposed to be done individually

    c. submitting someone else’s work as one’s own or allowing others to claim one’s
    own work as theirs including misrepresenting one’s identity in an online course
    or allowing others to do so
    d. obtaining from any source an unauthorized copy of a test or assignment or portion of a test or assignment, and/or disseminating such material through any means including cell phone or computer.
    2. Plagiarism, including but not limited to:
    a. use of other people’s ideas, words, research or artistic creations without giving credit

    • i. submitting any work, including homework, not done by the person who hands it in and whose name is on it
    • ii. submitting papers or other work purchased, copied or obtained free in whole or part from another source, including papers from the internet or from another person, including a friend or a relative
    • iii. using another person’s unpublished ideas without permission, taking credit for another person’s unpublished ideas, or taking sole credit for the product of joint efforts with another person.

    b. improper or inadequate citation of material from books, professional periodicals, magazines, websites, unpublished reports, personal communications, images, graphic materials or other citable sources

    • i. use of facts, data, or specific ideas without citing the source
    • ii. inaccurate or incomplete citation of sources
    • iii. quoting another’s words without indicating it is a quotation
    • iv. using extensive quotations in place of one’s own ideas, even when cited.

    Note: standards and forms for citation vary among disciplines and even among teachers. Students should ask their teachers about the expectations for any particular course or project.
    3. Misrepresentation or falsification of information, including but not limited to:
    a. intentionally misrepresenting information to help make a point not supported by the work including misquoting or taking ideas out of context
    b. falsifying the collection or interpretation of data in a research project
    c. citing sources not used
    d. falsifying one’s qualifications, including academic background or other experience.
    4. Seeking credit for the same work in more than one course, including but not limited to:
    a. submitting the same paper or project, or significant parts of the same paper or project, to two or more different courses without getting permission from the professors who give the grades
    b. using the same internship or fieldwork experience for two or more different courses without prior permission from the professors and internship supervisors involved.
    5. Other academic misconduct, including but not limited to:
    a. forging, damaging or changing examinations, grades or other academic material or records including written and/or electronic material and records
    b. interfering with or damaging another student’s work including homework, papers, laboratory assignments, artistic creations or research projects
    c. removing or damaging academic material or equipment, including electronic data, belonging to Worcester State University or any other member of the Worcester State University community
    d. deliberately making a false report of academic misconduct or covering up an incident of academic misconduct.

    What Are Possible Sanctions?

    If the instructor chooses to resolve this issue without referring it to the Academic Judicial Board, he or she has the power to give the student penalties such as a warning, a new assignment or test to replace the one which was not done honestly, or a failing grade on the work in question or in the class. Instructors do not have the power to assign community service or to expel the student: those penalties are in the power of the Academic Affairs Office/Academic Judicial Board only.
    Typically, instructors will use these powers to deter the student from cheating in the future without branding the student as dishonest in any official record; they may warn the student that they will come forward with proof of this infraction if they hear that the student has repeated the offense. Instructors may choose to give warnings, require new work, and/or give failing grades on assignments will do so the first time a student turns in dishonest work; a failing grade in the class is usually reserved for repeat offenders and serious, deliberate offenses such as turning in work done by another student as one’s own, using electronics to get answers during in-class exams, or stealing exams or answer keys before a test.
    The student has the right to appeal any instructor’s decision to the Academic Judicial Board which may uphold or change the instructor’s decision.
    The Judicial Board may assign penalties ranging from a warning to expulsion. Comprised of faculty, students, and administrators, its membership is designed to be aware of the differences between different kinds of academic dishonesty and of the strains and temptations that may lead to bad decisions.
    Unless it is dealing with repeat offenders, the Judicial Board will probably respond to minor infractions with failing grades on the particular assignment in question or in the course. Deliberate dishonesty, such as use of answer keys or electronic aids during exams, theft of examination papers prior to the test, submission as one’s own of work done by another student or found or purchased online, etc. should be grounds for a failing grade in the course, with community service hours in addition as a possibility.
    Repeated infractions would put offenders at risk of expulsion, as would extremely serious offenses, like stealing an examination and sharing it with other students before the test or having another student take a test in one’s place in an online course.
    Students at risk of expulsion will be given a written warning, which they will be required to sign and return within 10 working days.
    Acts that are not only dishonest, but criminal, like changing a grade through illegal access to Worcester State University computers, can be punished by expulsion without prior warning.
    Undergraduate Policies and Procedures for Handling Cases of Academic Dishonesty

    1. Students’ Rights

    a. Students will have the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
    b. Students will continue their student status unless and until sanctions are imposed at the conclusion of judicial sanctions which would limit or remove this status.
    c. Students are allowed to have an advisor of their choosing at hearings of the Academic Judicial Board. The advisor may counsel the student during the hearing but may not address the Board.
    d. Students are allowed to view evidence against them.
    e. Hearings at the Academic Judicial Board will proceed even if the student does not appear. However, the student’s absence cannot be the reason a student is found guilty.
    f. Students will be notified via certified mail if a report is being made concerning them in the Central File.
    g. Students may review their records in the Central File within 45 days of the day Worcester State University receives a request for access, as stated in FERPA.
    h. Students may ask Worcester State University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. Students should submit to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs written requests that identify that they wish to view their record(s) in the Central File. The Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the Provost/VP for Academic Affairs decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, Worcester State University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
    2. Initiation
    In cases involving the violation of academic integrity, students and faculty are strongly encouraged to resolve matters without resorting to official judicial proceedings. If the faculty member and student are unable to resolve the issue themselves, the chair of the department in which the course was taken should be asked to mediate. If resolution is not possible at this level, the case will go to the Academic Judicial Board (refer to 3 below).

    Faculty members and appropriate administrators are strongly urged to report any violations of academic integrity to the Academic Central File.
    3. Academic Central File
    An Academic Central File of students proven to have violated Worcester State University’s Academic Honesty Policy will be kept in the Office of Academic Affairs. Only the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee will have direct access to the Central File. A file will only be created for a student upon a case’s final resolution with a faculty member, with a department chair, or with the Academic Judicial Board.
    Faculty members have the option of reporting students to the Academic Central File. Reports, which are statements of resolutions of cases and not allegations, that are sent to the Academic Central File must be supported with proof of some kind. For example, the instructor may submit a copy of a plagiarized paper along with a printout of the same paper from the internet. A faculty member who reports a student for the kind of cheating that can’t be proved without a camera (copying from the person in the next chair, sneaking a peak at the book in a closed-book test, asking a classmate for an answer) must provide the reasons for the accusation in writing. Students who are added to the Academic Central File will be informed of the fact in writing. Reporting a student is not necessarily linked to a disciplinary action; the faculty member still has discretion over whether to take the case to a judicial hearing. In special cases, when the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs notices that a student has two or more significant violations in the Central File, he or she can refer the case to the Academic Judicial Board, which may then initiate disciplinary proceedings against this student.

    Faculty members who provide evidence that a student in their course has violated the Academic Honesty Policy may meet with the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs or his/her designee to find out if a student has a file, and if so, how many times he/she has been reported to the Academic Central File. Relevant information limited to the student’s name and number of times he/she has been reported to the Central File may be disclosed to a faculty member to assist in making decisions regarding cases of academic honesty. The procedures by which students access these files will be the same as those for accessing their academic records. The Academic Judicial Board, in the course of deciding a case of academic dishonesty, may access a student’s file. A student’s files are purged according to current FERPA rules. Students’ files are purged upon graduation, withdrawal, dismissal or transfer from Worcester State University. When a student’s file(s) have been purged, the student will be notified in writing by certified mail.
    4. Academic Judicial Board

    At any point beyond the departmental level, either the student or the faculty member may elect to take the issue to the Academic Judicial Board following the procedures outlined below.
    a. A student may request an Academic Judicial Board hearing:

    • i. because she or he has been unable to resolve an accusation of academic dishonesty with a faculty member or the chair of that faculty member’s department
    • ii. in response to a notice that an Academic Central File posting is to be made. The student makes this request, in writing, to the Chairperson of the Academic Judicial Board, in care of the Office of Academic Affairs.

    b. Any member of the Worcester State University community may report any student to the Academic Judicial Board for violations of the Academic Honesty Policy. Reports shall be prepared in writing, directed to the Chairperson of the Academic
    Judicial Board (in care of the Office of Academic Affairs), and submitted as soon as possible after the incident takes place, preferably within 30 days. The Chairperson has the authority to extend this timeframe on a case-to-case basis.
    c. The Chairperson will determine if the complaint lacks merit and/or if it can be disposed of by mutual consent of the parties involved on a basis acceptable to the Chairperson. Such disposition shall be final, and there shall be no subsequent proceedings. If the case cannot be disposed of by mutual consent, the matter will proceed to the Academic Judicial Board.
    d. All charges shall be presented to the accused student in writing via certified mail with return receipt requested; the same letter will also be sent by first class mail to the student’s current address as registered with Worcester State University. The hearing shall be scheduled not less than seven or more than fifteen calendar days after the student has been notified. All parties shall receive at least seven days advance written notice of the date, time and place of the hearing. Maximum time limits for scheduling of hearings may be extended at the discretion of the Chairperson.
    e. The Chairperson will schedule an Academic Judicial Board hearing.

    • i. The hearing will be conducted by the Chairperson of the Academic Judicial Board, chosen by the board members.
    • ii. The Academic Judicial Board is comprised of two faculty members, one administrator and two students. The faculty members are appointed by the MSCA. The administrative member is appointed by the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. The student members are appointed by the Student Government.
    • iii. A quorum of three members must be present to convene a hearing.

    f. Hearings shall be conducted by the Academic Judicial Board according to the following guidelines:

    • i. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Chairperson of the Academic Judicial Board present at the hearing.
    • ii. Hearings shall be conducted in private.
    • iii. In hearings involving more than one accused student, the Chairperson of the Academic Judicial Board, at his or her discretion, may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately.
    • iv. The complainant and the accused each have the right to be assisted by an advisor from the Worcester State University community. Advisors may counsel their respective party during the hearings, as permitted by the Academic Judicial Board. Advisors are not permitted to participate directly in the hearing.
    • v. The complainant, the accused and the Academic Judicial Board shall have the privilege of presenting witnesses to any violations of academic integrity. The accused and the complainant shall have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses presented by the other. Members of the Academic Judicial Board shall have the right to question any witnesses.
    • vi. All hearings are closed to friends and relatives of the accused unless they were actual witnesses to the violation of academic integrity. Witnesses are excluded from the hearing except when called to testify.
    • vii. Pertinent records, exhibits and written statements may be accepted for consideration by the Academic Judicial Board at the discretion of the chairperson.
    • viii. After the hearing, the Academic Judicial Board shall determine by majority vote whether the student has violated Worcester State University’s standards of academic honesty.
    • ix. The Academic Judicial Board’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the rules of academic honesty in the manner charged against him or her.

    g. A written record of Academic Judicial Board proceedings shall be made by the board or its secretary. This record shall be the property of Worcester State University and will be housed in the Office of Academic Affairs. The record will state the final decision of the board, a statement of the board’s findings of fact, its determination of the provision(s) of the Academic Honesty Policy, if any, that the student violated and the sanction(s), if any, imposed. The record may also include a summation of witness testimony. A copy of the final decision shall be given to the complainant and the accused.
    h. Students may not be found to have violated the Academic Honesty Code solely because they fail to appear before a judicial body for a scheduled hearing. In all cases, the materials and information in support of the charges shall be presented and considered, as the hearing will be held in the absence of the student, should he/she fail to attend.

    i. In the absence of a functioning Academic Judicial Board or Academic Board of Appeals, such as during exams or during the summer and semester breaks, disciplinary hearings (under this Section 3, and the following Section 4) will be the responsibility of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee. When he/she deems it appropriate, a hearing may be postponed until
    the beginning of the new semester.
    j. Possible sanctions that the Academic Judicial Board could impose would depend upon the severity of the offense; however, the Board could choose to uphold the original faculty decision or impose another punishment, which might include failing the course, expulsion from the major or program, or expulsion from Worcester State University.

    5. Academic Judicial Board of Appeals

    The purpose of the Academic Judicial Board of Appeals is to conduct procedural reviews of cases. It is not intended as an evidentiary panel. It is not the job of the Academic Judicial Board of Appeals to hear new evidence.
    a. A decision reached by the Academic Judicial Board may be appealed by the accused student(s) or the complainant to the Academic Judicial Board of Appeals within five working days of the date of the decision letter. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee.
    b. The Academic Judicial Board of Appeals will consist of one administrator, two students and two faculty members and will be chosen in the same manner as the members of the Academic Judicial Board (see 4.e.ii. above). The administrator in this case, will be the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee.
    c. In cases where the student files an appeal, the complainant, and, in cases that were decided by Academic Judicial Board hearing, the Chairperson of that Board, shall be notified. In cases where the appeal is not initiated by the student, the student shall be notified.
    d. An appeal is not a new hearing but is a review of the summation/record of the initial hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes:

    • i. to determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures
    • ii. to determine whether the finding of responsibility or no responsibility is supported by the weight of the evidence
    • iii. to determine whether the sanctions imposed were inappropriate.

    e. When the appellant wishes to introduce new evidence, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because the person appealing did not know such evidence and/or facts at the time of the original hearing, the Chairperson of the Academic Judicial Board of Appeal (the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs) will decide whether to instruct the Academic Judicial Board to convene a new hearing of the case. If a case is returned to the Academic Judicial Board for consideration of new evidence, all parties shall have equal opportunities to submit new material.
    f. Upon completion of the appellate hearing, the Academic Judicial Board of Appeals shall promptly notify the accused student, the complainant and the chair of the Academic Judicial Board of the outcome of the appeal. Said decision(s) shall take one of the following forms:
    Appeal Upheld: the appellant’s request for relief has been honored. In the case of an upheld appeal, the new findings/sanctions shall be stated;
    Appeal Denied: the appellant’s request for relief is denied and the finding(s) and/or sanction(s) stand.
    g. In extraordinary circumstances, the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee may waive the deadline for filing an appeal. The decision to waive or not to waive a deadline shall be final and shall not be subject to any appeal.
    h. No disciplinary sanction shall be imposed while an appeal is pending unless the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs determines that such action would be in the best interest of the Worcester State University community.
    6. Administrative Failing Grade
    In cases where the sanction for academic dishonesty is determined to be a failing grade for the course, the Registrar will be informed immediately. The Registrar will record an administrative failure. Such a grade is not subject to withdrawal or appeal. A student who receives a failing grade for a course due to a violation of academic honesty cannot eradicate that failure through the normal grade appeal process or by withdrawing from the course.

    Matriculation is a process whereby students are admitted to Worcester State University and pursue a formal course of study leading to the bachelor's degree, second major, certificate, professional certification or master's degree.
    General Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree

    Candidates for a baccalaureate degree must complete 120 semester-hour credits with a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 and a minimum 2.0 GPA or higher in the departmental and ancillary courses in their major. To receive a baccalaureate degree from Worcester State University, a student must:

    • complete 30 of the last 40 credits at Worcester State University
    • earn a majority of credits in the major at Worcester State University
    • earn a majority of credits in the minor (if elected) at Worcester State University.

    Students completing their degrees within six years must meet the degree requirements of the catalog under which they enter Worcester State University. After six years, students are subject to the degree requirements of the catalog in effect for their year of graduation.
    Second Baccalaureate Degree: A student who holds a bachelor’s degree from Worcester State University or another four-year institution of higher education accredited by regional accrediting agencies may be awarded a second bachelor’s degree by completing a minimum of 30 additional semester hours of prescribed work at Worcester State University after matriculation into the second degree program. Twelve semester hours of the 30 must be in upper-level work in the student’s major, and the student must meet all requirements for that major. In addition, in order to be granted a second degree, the student must meet all current catalog requirements for a baccalaureate degree at Worcester State University, as follows:

    • All courses from the former institution which the Office of Admissions deems usable towards fulfillment of requirements currently existing at Worcester State University will be transferred to the student’s second baccalaureate program.
    • All courses transferred into the student’s major for the second degree are subject to the approval of the Department Chair.
    • As many credits from the former institution as are deemed appropriate by the Office of Admissions will be transferred to the student’s second degree program as elective credits (up to and not to exceed 90 credits).

    Post-baccalaureate students who seek a second major but do not seek a second baccalaureate degree at Worcester State University will receive a letter from the Registrar certifying completion of the second major upon completion of all prerequisites to the major and all requirements of the major. After matriculation into either post-Baccalaureate program, no additional transfer credits will be allocated as graduation credit.

    Definition of the Credit Hour
    Federal regulation defines a credit hour as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutional established equivalence that reasonably approximates not less than:

    (1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or

    (2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
    Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum WSU /Pathways to Discovery

    An education in the liberal arts and sciences enables students to understand their world, and it equips them to analyze, appreciate, and affect that world. With these aims in mind, the faculty at Worcester State University have designed the university's Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum (LASC) to ensure breadth both in the range of subjects that students will encounter and in the range of approaches to that material. In addition, the Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum emphasizes the fundamental abilities and attitudes that make it possible to benefit fully from a liberal education. While the specialization provided by a student's major field of study is essential to a college education, the breadth and integration provided by the Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum supply an invaluable context for understanding the wider world.
    Given the crucial importance of languages other than English in today's global society, the University strongly encourages the study of world languages, through the majors and minors, and also through combining the requirements in Global Perspectives and Thought, Language, and Culture. Students may also choose to study languages through their elective courses.

    The Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum is aimed at achieving the following student learning outcomes. Having completed courses in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum, students will:

    • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication.
    • Employ quantitative and qualitative reasoning.
    • Apply skills in critical thinking.
    • Apply skills in information literacy.
    • Display an appreciation for the interrelations among global and cross-cultural communities.
    • Develop a critical understanding of the U.S. experience.
    • Understand the roles of science and technology in the modern world.
    • Demonstrate and value personal creative expression.
    • Understand how scholars in various disciplines approach problems and construct knowledge.
    • Display socially responsible behavior and act as socially responsible agents in the world.
    • Make connections across courses and disciplines.
    • Develop as healthy individuals – physically, emotionally, socially, ethically, and intellectually.

    Core Course Requirements
    Core courses may not double with content area course requirements.

    Writing (up to 6 credits) [ WRI, WRII ]
    Students must complete one three-credit course devoted to addressing the rhetorical abilities necessary for effective college writing and an additional three-credit course emphasizing formal academic genres, academic research skills, and the presentation of information to academic audiences.

    The core writing courses may not be taken pass/fail.

    Constitutions (3 credits) [ CON ]
    Students must complete one course that teaches the constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth. Courses which meet this requirement will:

    • Require students to study the Constitutions of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and of the United States.
    • Consider the historical context, addressing
      • antecedents in English law
      • idea of written fundamental law
      • context of colonial history
      • failed predecessors (the 1778 constitutions and the Articles of Confederation)
      • mechanism of drafting, ratification and amendment
      • influence of the Massachusetts Constitution on the U.S. Constitution.
    • Consider political thought in contemporary society, addressing
      • how each constitution shapes modern life
      • differing interpretations, including by the courts
      • current issues related to each constitution
      • basic national, state and/or local political processes, and the rights and obligations of citizenship.

    First-Year Seminar (3 credits) [ FYS ]
    All first-time, first-year students will be enrolled in and must complete a first-year seminar. The first-year seminar will be a three-credit course with enrollment limited to 20 students and taught exclusively to first-year students in a seminar format. First-year seminars are listed with the LC or department prefix followed by the number 193 (LC193). Any makeup of the First-Year Seminar requirement must be successfully completed within the first 60 credits of study.

    First-Year Seminars:

    • Engage beginning college students and explore diverse topics that are more controversial or more narrowly focused than standard introductory courses.
    • Encourage students to apply the knowledge that they acquire to address specific problems and challenges within the University, the community, and the world.
    • Encourage students to be active, reflective learners.
    • Include assignments or activities that orient students to and require the use of the library, educational technology, and standard methods of reference and citation,
    • Encourage students to participate in student life and community activities that are part of the first-year experience.
    • First-year seminars differ from other courses in that they have a limited enrollment, are designed for first-year students, and emphasize the academic tools necessary to ensure a successful Worcester State University experience.

    Capstone Experience (variable credit) [ CAP ]
    Capstone seminars are offered to students in their junior or senior year through their major field of study for varying credit or through a three-credit course offered within the Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum. Capstone seminars completed within a student's major field of study will count toward major requirements. Enrollment in capstone seminars will be limited to 20 students.

    Capstone seminars:

    • provide students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of a subject area or skill
    • require synthesis and integration of prior knowledge and abilities
    • are designed to facilitate the transition from WSU to the world of work, professional development and/or graduate studies
    • may include research, leadership and internship opportunities, artistic projects, the production of a portfolio of student work, and/or other culminating learning experiences.

    Content Area Course Requirements
    Students will complete courses in eight content areas. Courses in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum will not generally serve as major courses.

    Creative Arts (3 credits) [ CA ]
    Students must complete one course.
    Courses in this area:

    • Encourage recognition that artistic expression varies from one society and culture to another.
    • Explore different traditions, styles and historical periods in the arts.
    • Promote freedom of expression and tolerance of divergent viewpoints.
    • Consider the importance of aesthetics and instill an awareness of how the arts improve the quality of life.
    • Enable each student to cultivate his or her creative potential.
    • Teach the terminology, techniques and skills that comprise the arts in order to provide the framework for informed creativity.

    Human Behavior and Social Processes (3 credits) [ HBS ]
    Students must complete one course. Courses in this area:

    • Develop an understanding of how factors such as market forces, politics, demographics, physical environment, and culture affect individual behavior and thinking.
    • Examine political, economic and social structures and the interplay between the individual and society.
    • Explore the ways in which the individual is an agent in shaping and understanding his or her own experiences.
    • Consider the ways in which individual and social roles and identities are socially constructed.
    • Show how the results of social research can be used to effect social change.
    • Teach the differences between and appropriate uses of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
    • Investigate the ways in which scientific inquiry is value-laden.
    • Help students understand the ways in which the various social sciences inform one another.

    Individual and Community Well-being (3 credits) [ ICW ]
    Students must complete one course. Courses in this area:

    • Explore the growth and development of the individual and address the interconnected dimensions of well-being.
    • Study and evaluate the ways that the local, state, national, or private sectors frame and implement social policies, and the consequences of these policies for well-being.
    • Examine social structures and practices such as urban and rural development, planning, funding allocations, and legislative initiatives designed to secure the well-being of the community.
    • Examine the short and long-term consequences of beliefs, behaviors and policies that affect the well-being of individuals and communities.
    • Address the role of prevention strategies in promoting well-being.

    Global Perspectives (3 credits) [ GP ]
    Students must complete one course. Courses in this area:

    • Study the culture, history, or language of a nation or geopolitical area other than the U.S.
    • Consider culture, power and place in phenomena such as globalization, cultural colonialism, transnationalism, and human rights.
    • Investigate issues about the environment and sustainable development in phenomena such as the use of natural resources and macroeconomic problems that affect people and ecosystems around the world.
    • Study governance, peace and justice in a global context.
    • Analyze the international political economy in relation to governments, enterprises, societal groups and communities from different countries.
    • Consider issues such as race, class, gender, age, sexuality, language, ability, indigenous populations, transnational labor and refugee migration.

    Natural Systems and Processes (minimum of 6 credits) [ NSP ]
    Students must complete a minimum of two courses. At least one of the courses taken in this area must have a laboratory component.

    Courses in this area:

    • Study physical and natural systems and processes.
    • Apply scientific models, theories, and technology to problems facing society.
    • Have an analytical and/or quantitative component and include interpretation, communication and/or presentation of data and results.
    • Compare and contrast various modes of scientific inquiry.
    • Place scientific inquiry within its historical and contemporary contexts.
    • Use and reflect on the scientific method of investigation.
    • Address the strengths and limitations of scientific inquiry in human understanding.
    • Encourage students to become scientifically literate citizens and be able to evaluate scientific information.

    Quantitative Reasoning (minimum of 6 credits) [ QR ]
    Students must complete a minimum of two courses. All students must pass the Math Placement Test at the stipulated level. In this category students must complete a course with the MA (mathematics) prefix within their first 60 credits of study (exceptions to this time frame may be necessary for transfer students). Courses in this area:

    • Acquaint students with formal systems, procedures, and sequences of operations.
    • Strengthen students' understanding of variables and functions.
    • Apply mathematical techniques to the analysis and solution of real-life problems.
    • Develop an understanding of and facility with statistical analysis, including an understanding of its applications and limitations. Courses meeting these criteria must emphasize why statistical inference works and not simply how to use statistical techniques.
    • Strengthen understanding of the relationship between algebraic and graphical representations.
    • Emphasize the importance of accuracy, including precise language and careful definitions of mathematical concepts.
    • Understand both underlying principles and practical applications of one or more fields of mathematics.

    Thought, Language, and Culture (3 credits) [ TLC ]
    Students must complete one course. Courses in this area:

    • Explore human thought, history, culture, art, literature, and language (including world languages).
    • Present the subject in the context of competing theoretical frameworks, for example, about race, gender, historiography, textual analysis, or cultural interpretation.
    • Synthesize approaches from different disciplines.
    • Explore problems of ethics, politics, aesthetics, epistemology, and metaphysics.
    • Use original works as the primary object of study.
    • Require discursive written work, including standard references and citations, for evaluation or extensive written work in a second language.

    The United States and Its Role in the World (3 credits) [ USW ]
    Students must complete one course. Courses in this area:

    • Study cultures, histories, and social practices in the U.S., including consideration of the ways that differences in power affect different racial, ethnic, gender, and cultural groups as evidenced by readings, texts, testimony, and narratives.
    • Address issues of economic and political power that shape the U.S. and the world
    • Trace the roots and development of U.S. political and economic institutions at home and around the globe.
    • Focus on particular aspects of U.S. culture and how understanding them helps to illuminate the larger context of U.S. society and its role in its world.

    Across the Curriculum Course Requirements
    Across the Curriculum courses may be met with Content Area courses, courses in the major and general elective courses. A single course may fulfill more than one Across the Curriculum area. First-year seminars may be approved for QLAC and DAC. Capstone seminars may be approved for DAC, WAC, and/or QLAC.

    Writing Across the Curriculum (3 credits) [ WAC ]

    Students must complete one Writing Across the Curriculum course after completing the writing requirement. Students may complete the WAC requirement in a language other than English. Placement at the 300-level in a language other than English will satisfy the prerequisite for WAC courses in that language. Courses in this area:

    • Require a variety of formal and informal writing assignments. Formal writing assignments may include traditional essays and research papers, case studies, process analyses, and reports on research findings. Informal writing assignments may include journals, lab notebooks, reading responses, and in-class essay examinations.
    • Offer students instruction in the conventions of writing for a particular discipline.
    • Assign writing of different lengths and different formats, for a minimum total of approximately 2500 words (or ten pages) during the course of the semester.
    • Provide opportunities for revision.
    • Incorporate clear explanations of assignments and various approaches to instruction such as workshops, individual conferences with the instructor, and/or assignment criteria handouts.
    • Offer different types of feedback, such as traditional grading and evaluation, peer review groups, self-assessment, and writing center sessions.

    Diversity across the Curriculum (3 credits) [ DAC ]
    Students must complete one Diversity Across the Curriculum course.
    Courses in this area:

    • Study historical experiences, cultural patterns, and social advantages and disadvantages of different groups within the society.
    • Explore social problems such as racism, prejudice, discrimination, and exploitation as both mainstream and non-mainstream groups experience them.
    • Examine the diversity within each group's experience and how such experiences are dynamic and continuously changing.
    • Help students develop a sound knowledge of the methods of thinking about issues of diversity, particularly the ability to distinguish facts from interpretations and opinions.
    • Include materials written by as well as about persons from diverse groups.
    • Develop an appreciation/respect for members of diverse groups.
    • Demonstrate how to communicate culture-specific and/or culture-general ways with diverse groups in various contexts.

    Quantitative Literacy Across the Curriculum (3 credits) [ QLAC ]
    Students must complete one Quantitative Literacy Across the Curriculum course. Within the framework of a scholarly discipline Quantitative Literacy courses will develop a student's ability to.:

    • State and evaluate important assumptions in the quantitative reasoning process (estimation, modeling, and data analysis).
    • Convert relative information into various mathematical forms (e.g. equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, words)
    • Make judgments and draw appropriate conclusions based on the quantitative analysis of data, while recognizing the limits of this analysis.
    • Express quantitative evidence to support the argument or purpose of the work (in terms of what evidence is used an how it is formatted, presented and contextualized.)
    • Make judgments regarding the appropriateness of a numerical answer.
    • Explain information presented in mathematical form (e.g. equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, words)

    LASC Transfer Policies

    • Mathematics course will be transferred as QR for maximum of six credits in LASC.
    • Science courses in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and GeoSciences transfer as NSP for a maximum of seven credits. A lab science course transfer as a NSP lab course.
    • Psychology, Economics, Political Science, Anthropology, Cultural Geography, Sociology, and Education courses transfer as HBS for a maximum of three credits.
    • Philosophy, Literature, Religion, Communication (theory), and Language courses transfer as TLC for a maximum of three credits.
    • Art, Communication (applied), Music, and Theatre courses transfer as CA for a maximum of three credits.
    • Health and Nutrition courses transfer as ICW for a maximum of three credits.
    • History courses transfer as USW, GP or TLC for a maximum of six credits.
    • All other transfer courses will be reviewed individually by the LASC Program Chair, in consultation with appropriate academic departments, The LASC Advisory Board, or the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.
    • Courses transfer as Across the Curriculum courses in consultation with the LASC Program Chair, Across the curriculum courses that have an equivalency will not automatically transfer as such.
    Laptop and Technology Requirement
    Entering full- and part-time first-year and transfer students are required to own a laptop computer when they arrive on campus. For more information please visit the laptop purchase program page.
    Having met the LASC requirements and those of the major (and minor, where applicable), a student may elect other courses without restriction to complete the 120 semester hours of credit necessary for graduation. Since the purpose of elective courses is to encourage exploration in diverse fields of knowledge, students are urged to take advantage of the opportunity to broaden and deepen their intellectual development.
    Intent to Graduate

    The degree and diploma will be granted within 60 days of the final day of examinations for the semester in which degree requirements have been met providing that students have adhered to the following deadlines for filing an Intent to Graduate form:

    December completion: Last Friday of October
    May completion: Last Friday of December
    August completion: Last Friday of May

    A program is an approved academic course of study whether it be a major, minor, or
    Major: Upon or after admission to Worcester State University, and in any case prior to the beginning of the junior year, degree seeking students declare an intent to major in a specific discipline or an approved interdisciplinary area. In general, a major is completed by earning between 30 and 48 credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Students may take additional electives in their major if desired. Courses are selected under the direction, and with the approval of the student’s faculty advisor in the major.

    Declaration: A department and/or an appropriate interdisciplinary committee administering an interdisciplinary major may establish standards for admission of enrolled students into their major and minor programs. The standards are not based solely on any GPA. They may be based on grades earned in prerequisite courses, demonstration of special knowledge and skills through test, portfolios, interviews, and other relevant criteria. Departments and interdisciplinary major administering committees must have standards approved by the All University Committee. A minimum GPA at variance with Worcester State University's policy may not be used as a standard for retention as a major or minor student within a department and an interdisciplinary program. Transfer credits must be approved by the major department or the corresponding program administering committee.

    Minor: Although not required for graduation, a minor may be completed by earning between 18 and 24 credits in a discipline other than the student’s major discipline and/or in an interdisciplinary program.
    Changing Major or Minor: A student wishing to change a major or minor field of study completes the Declaration/Change of Major/Minor Form at the Office of the Registrar. A request for a change in major or minor must be made in the Fall by mid-October and in the Spring by mid-March. Forms for the declaration or change of a major/minor are available at the Office of the Registrar.
    Note: A student wishing to declare/change into Criminal Justice, Education, Nursing, or OT must obtain approval from the Chair of the department.
    A concentration is a specialized track within a major or an approved interdisciplinary track of study. The number of credits and courses of study required to earn a concentration within a major is determined by the major department or the program administering committee.

    An interdisciplinary concentration may be completed by earning between 12 and 17 credits in a specified course of study as determined by the program administering committee.
    A certificate is a course of study leading to a professional credential or certification. The number of credits or courses required is determined by the program offering the certificate.
    Academic Advising
    Students are assigned a faculty member from their major department to serve as their advisor. Undeclared students have faculty/academic advisors assigned as well. Each student meets with his/her academic advisor during the regularly scheduled advising period each semester to review academic progress and select courses for the coming semester. All advisors have office hours so the student should contact the advisor whenever information or an opinion on an academic matter is needed. Refer to the Academic Advising Handbook online (www.worcester.edu/handbook) or the Academic Success Center for further information.

    Faculty advisors must approve all courses taken off-campus using appropriate forms available in the Office of the Registrar.
    Academic Support Services

    Academic Success Center
    The Academic Success Center is located in the Administration Building, Room 130. It focuses on:

    • advising (for new first-year students, transfer students and undeclared students)
    • walk-in advising for all students
    • testing-including Accuplacer and CLEP
    • group tutoring in specific courses
    • organization of student workshops that assist students with academic issues

    Tutoring Services
    The aim of Tutoring Services is to increase student academic effectiveness. If the Academic Success Center does not provide tutoring in a specific course, students are encouraged to attend Academic Workshops, as this is the time when students are learning how to adjust to college-level study. The focus, therefore, is on learning how to learn rather than on content area tutoring. Accordingly, Academic Workshops will assist students in improving their study skills, test-taking skills, and time management skills. Students who think they may need academic assistance in order to achieve their educational objectives should visit the Academic Success Center as soon as possible to maximize the benefit of these services.

    Math Lab Services
    The Worcester State University Math Lab, housed next to the Math Department (S143), is staffed with a supervisor and peer tutors with day and evening hours (Monday through Friday). Its main function is to offer students, who have not received a passing score on the Accuplacer Arithmetic and/or Elementary Algebra test, resources for skill development.

    This lab offers developmental tutoring on a walk-in basis and houses the mathematics library as well as tutorial software. Any student in need of refreshing their mathematics skills, or tutoring for MA 098 and MA 099, may use this lab which has both a wireless network connection for lap-top users and several desktop computer stations.

    The Writing Center

    Located in Sullivan 306, the Writing Center is a resource available free of charge to all members of the Worcester State University community. The Writing Center is staffed by graduate assistants and peer tutors who represent a variety of majors and interests. Sessions can be arranged on an appointment or drop-in basis, and the staff of the Writing Center can address basic and advanced writing needs. The Writing Center also hosts Writenet (www.worcester.edu/owl), an online writing center that offers instruction and support over the World Wide Web.

    Multicultural Affairs
    Alternatives for Individual Development (A.I.D.)

    The Alternatives for Individual Development Program (A.I.D.) is an alternative admissions program at Worcester State University which provides educational assistance to students.

    The primary focus is the first two years (Freshman and Sophomore years). However, the program requires a minimum participation of four academic semesters designed by the program staff and based on individual assessment. Other services will be provided to students throughout their undergraduate experience, including academic assistance, individualized or group tutoring, assistance with financial problems and cultural enrichment.

    The program actively recruits students who show motivation and desire to succeed in higher education. Included in this category are ALANA, low-income, and first-generation students.

    To be eligible for the summer program students must be incoming first-year students and meet minimal admissions requirements.

    Upward Bound
    The Upward Bound Program at Worcester State University is designed to encourage eligible high school students to persist in school through graduation and to seek a post-secondary education.
    The Program actively recruits students who show motivation and desire to succeed and who are college bound. Included in these categories are: first-generation, ALANA, and low-income students.

    Services include: college visits, workshops and seminars in college admissions and financial aid assistance, career counseling, individualized or group tutoring and cultural enrichment activities.

    The Program has two main components—the Saturday component and the summer residential academy.

    Honors Program
    The mission of the Commonwealth Honors Program at Worcester State University is to give high-performing and motivated students opportunities to recognize and realize their academic potential and future goals. The program promotes scholarly excellence among both students and faculty through its curriculum and co-curricular programming. It builds strong community ties to sustain the intellectual and social development of its participants and to enhance the life of the University. The program is part of the Massachusetts Commonwealth Honors Program and a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council. Students are encouraged to contact the director for information regarding entrance into the program.

    Program requirements include 21 credits in honors courses, which may also count toward major, minor, or LASC requirements, and attendance at co-curricular events. Students who complete an independent research project and present it in a public forum earn the additional Commonwealth Honors Scholar designation .
    Dean's List (posted for matriculated undergraduate students only)
    Full-time Students: Following the completion of each semester, the names of all students enrolled for a minimum of 12 graded credits excluding courses taken on a pass/fail basis and whose GPA for that semester is 3.5 or better will appear on the Dean’s List. The distinction will be noted on the student’s transcript.

    Part-time Students
    : Following the completion of each semester, the same criteria for honors for full-time students will be applied to part-time day and evening students. Students must have an academic load of a minimum of six credit hours excluding courses taken on a pass/fail basis. The names of students whose GPA for that semester is 3.5 or better will appear on the Dean’s List. The distinction will be noted on the student’s transcript.

    Any student receiving an incomplete grade in a semester is ineligible for academic honors in that semester.
    Good Student Policy

    Some private organizations, such as insurance companies, offer discounts to college students who are considered to “good students.” Worcester State University certifies students as “good students” for this purpose using a specific set of academic criteria. To qualify for certification of Good Student Discount eligibility, Worcester State University students shall meet one or more of the following criteria:

    • The student has a grade point average of "B" or higher for the most recent term.
    • The student has a cumulative grade point average of "B" or higher.
    • The student is on the Dean's List.
    Graduation Honors

    According to the degree of academic excellence, graduates may be awarded the distinctions of cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude. Students graduating with honors must attain the following cumulative GPA based on all credits earned at Worcester State University (minimum 48 credit hours for transfer and second degree students).

    • Cum Laude: 3.5–3.69
    • Magna Cum Laude: 3.7–3.89
    • Summa Cum Laude: 3.9–4.00
    Academic Achievement Awards Ceremony
    Conducted annually, the Academic Achievement Awards Ceremony gives special recognition to Worcester State University students who excel academically. Students so honored include those achieving the highest grade point average in individual disciplines, scholarship recipients, special academic award recipients, Dean’s List and honor society inductees.
    Registration and Course Information
    Pre-registration for returning students is scheduled in the Fall and Spring of each academic year for advance course selection. The order of registration proceeds from seniors to first-year students. Class determination is made at the completion of the Fall semester and at the end of summer sessions. A student’s registration is not considered official until all financial obligations are met.
    Course Numbering: The 100-level offerings are introductory or survey courses that generally do not require prerequisites. The 200-level courses are intermediate and may require prerequisite courses. The 300-level courses are advanced and require prerequisite courses. The 400-level courses are generally for seniors and include seminars, independent study, and internships. Courses at the 900 level are open only to post-baccalaureate students.
    Prerequisites represent an essential body of knowledge and skills necessary for students to succeed at an acceptable level in a course and/or are required to satisfy licensing and certification standards. Specific prerequisites are required for many courses and in certain professional studies leading to licensing and certification. Prerequisites may be waived by the instructor or department chair of the department offering the course.
    Corequisites are courses which support the successful completion of certain other courses when taken concurrently. When a corequisite is listed for a course, the students are advised to register for both at the same time. In some cases, prerequisite/corequisite courses may fulfill LASC requirements.
    Course Credit is counted in units called semester hours. The number of semester hours carried by a particular course is indicated in the course description. Twelve to 19 semester hours of credit per semester are considered a full-time schedule of study.

    Course Overload: Special permission is required for students to register for more than 19 semester hours of credit. Forms are available at the Office of the Registrar and advisor/department and Dean's approval are required.

    Course Repeat: Students in academic difficulty who wish to repeat a course must file a course repeat form with the Registrar. Only the higher of the two grades is computed in the cumulative GPA. Students will not receive credit for a course more than one time except for PE100 and MU102, 220, 225 and TH321 and may include departmental special topics courses. Both the old and new grade appear on the transcript. Course repeats must be taken at Worcester State University.

    Adding or Dropping a Course: Students may add/drop courses in accordance with the deadline published in the academic calendar. It is the student’s responsibility to return the completed form(s) to the Registrar’s Office. After the deadline, students wishing to drop a course must follow the procedure for withdrawal.

    Withdrawal From Courses: W
    . A student may withdraw from a course at any point up to one week after failure warnings have been issued. Choosing to withdraw is a serious matter which may affect a student’s class standing, full-time status, financial aid, etc. A student considering such a step should seek advice from the instructor or the faculty advisor.  To withdraw from a course, a student must obtain a Course Withdrawal Form from the Registrar’s Office and follow the prescribed steps. Mere non-attendance at class does not constitute official withdrawal and may result in a failing grade.

    In cases of academic dishonesty, the W grade may be reversed.

    All “W” grades are permanently recorded on the student’s transcript. A student who withdraws from all courses will be considered withdrawn from Worcester State University, and must file a formal intent to withdraw with the Academic Success Center.

    Students who receive any form of financial aid or veterans educational benefits should consult with the respective office PRIOR to dropping or withdrawing from a course. Reducing hour credit load may adversely affect eligibility to receive financial aid or veterans educational benefits. In addition, most private insurance companies require that students be full-time (12 credits or more) to be eligible for coverage.

    Quality of achievement is represented by the following letter grades with associated points per semester hour of credit.

    A 4.0 - points per semester hour credit
    A- 3.7
    B+ 3.3
    B 3.0
    B- 2.7
    C+ 2.3
    C 2.0
    C- 1.7
    D+ 1.3
    D 1.0
    D- 0.7
    E 0.0 - no credit, included in calculation of GPA
    I a temporary grade, not computed in the GPA
    NR a temporary grade, not computed in the GPA
    P pass/fail option; credit, not computed in the GPA
    F pass/fail option; no credit, not computed in the GPA
    W withdrawn; no credit, not computed in the GPA
    AU Audit

    Grade Point Average (GPA): At the end of each semester (and/or summer session), a semester GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of credits attempted (excluding grades of I, P, F, W) into the sum of the products of points and credits for all courses taken.

    A Cumulative Grade Point Average reflecting the entire history of a student’s achievement at Worcester State University is also computed. The Cumulative GPA is a major factor in determining class membership, academic standing, and eligibility for academic honors. Only grades earned at Worcester State University or through the Consortium Program are computed in the cumulative GPA.

    Audit Procedure Policy: Students electing to audit may attend classes but will not earn grades or be permitted to submit assignments or take examinations. No academic credit is awarded, but the student receives the benefits of course lectures and discussions. Consent of the instructor is required to enroll in a class as an auditor.

    Only students who are not matriculated undergraduates at Worcester State University are eligible to audit undergraduate courses. Also ineligible to audit courses are Consortium, CAPS, dual enrollment, and foreign exchange students.

    The audit option must be declared at the time of pre-registration or registration. Students cannot switch to credit-bearing status or from credit-bearing to audit status after registration. Audited courses do not count toward load for any purposes (e.g., financial aid, veterans benefits, etc.) The audit will be permanently recorded on the student’s transcript.

    Pass/Fail: Students may elect up to two courses per semester on a pass/fail basis. Core writing courses and courses within major(s) and minor(s) disciplines may not be taken pass/fail, even when not applied to specific degree requirements. Students must notify the Registrar’s Office at least four weeks prior to the last scheduled day of classes if they intend to take a course on a pass/fail basis. Similarly, students deciding to change from pass/fail status to standard grading must notify the Registrar’s Office by the same deadline, four weeks before the final day of classes. Once a student decides to change from pass/fail status to standard grading, it is not reversible; the letter grade stands. No more than fifteen (15) hours may be taken on a pass/fail basis. No more than two courses in any given semester may be taken pass/fail.

    Independent Study: Independent studies offer motivated students the opportunity to study a topic not covered in the established curriculum. Independent studies can cover specialized topics or focus on unique research. A student may undertake an independent study to explore individual interests and formulate decisions about future career opportunities.

    A matriculated student seeking to take an independent study should contact an instructor and work with him or her to prepare a written contract outlining the course content, student learning outcomes, grading parameters, and suitable credit hours. In general, independent studies will be supervised by a full-time faculty member. Exceptions require permission from the department chair and the appropriate dean. The student is responsible for obtaining all necessary signatures (the professor, department chair, and appropriate dean) and submitting the application to the Registrar no later than the last day of add drop. One to three hours of credit may be granted for one semester of independent study. No more than twelve hours in independent study may be granted toward the baccalaureate degree.

    Directed Study: A directed study is an alternative method of learning required course material which is appropriate only when special circumstances prevent a student from taking a course in the usual manner. Directed studies will be allowed only in rare instances and in a semester in which the course is not otherwise scheduled. Under the direction of a faculty member, the student must meet the same learning outcomes as required in a regularly scheduled course. Directed Studies should not be used for core classes. Directed study applications can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar. Only one course taken by a directed study may be applied toward fulfilling graduation requirements.
    A matriculated student seeking to take directed study should contact an instructor and work with him or her to prepare a written contract detailing the course content, student learning outcomes, grading parameters, suitable credit hours, and how the goals of the course will be accomplished within the directed study format. In general, directed studies will be supervised by a full-time faculty member. Exceptions require permission from the department chair and the appropriate dean. The student is responsible for obtaining all necessary signatures (the professor, department chair, and appropriate dean) and submitting the application the Registrar no later than the last day of add drop. One to three hours of credit may be granted for a directed study.

    Incomplete Grades: When circumstances (e.g.: illness) prevent a student from completing a course on time the student is responsible for requesting an incomplete. The professor may grant an incomplete provided the student had completed a substantial portion of the course requirements. The student must make arrangements with the professor to complete the course within six weeks of the beginning of the next semester. The academic calendar indicates the deadline for resolving incompletes from the previous term. If the requirements are not met within the appropriate period, the incomplete will automatically become an “E,” and so recorded on the student’s permanent record.
    An extension of an incomplete for one semester may be granted if circumstances still prevent the student from completing the course. In such cases, the student is responsible for obtaining the approval of the professor who must notify the Registrar in writing of his/her approval prior to the end of the initial six (6) week period. With regard to the extension of an incomplete grade, the required course work must be completed by the student prior to the beginning of the final examination period of the semester immediately following the one in which the incomplete was originally issued. The instructor will then have five working days within which to submit a final grade to the Registrar.

    Change of Grade: Once a grade has been posted to a student’s transcript that grade may be changed if, and only if, an error has been made in the calculation or transcription of the original grade. Under no circumstances will a change in grade for a student be allowed because of the submission of additional work after the course has ended. No grade change may be made after the conclusion of the semester following the semester in which the grade was originally submitted.
    Official transcripts of coursework taken at Worcester State University may be obtained by eligible students from the Office of the Registrar with the completion of a form available for that purpose, or by written request. Students may also download the transcript request form from the web site (www.worcester.edu/transcriptrequest), and forward the completed copy to the Registrar's Office. Requests must include name while attending, current name if different, Social Security number and/or student ID number, last date of attendance and whether or not the student was officially accepted into a program. Transcripts are $5 per copy. Payment must accompany the request in the form of a check made payable to Worcester State University. Transcripts cannot be ordered by telephone or fax.
    International Programs
    International Students
    Worcester State University is authorized to host both F-1 and J-1 international students, scholars, and professors. The Office serves the Worcester State University international community in a variety of ways, including pre-attendance advising on visa issues, on-campus orientation and comprehensive support services throughout the duration of students’ academic programs at Worcester State University.

    All international students must have a valid student visa to travel to the U.S. and are required to pursue a full course of study at all times. Under the policy of the US Department of Homeland Security, all international students must report to the Office of International Programs after their initial entry into the U.S. and at the start of each semester thereafter. Additional information on international applicants can be found on the Admissions page.

    Education Abroad
    Worcester State University strongly encourages students to participate in some form of study abroad experience during their time as an undergraduate. To participate, students must have a minimum GPA of 2.7 and sophomore standing. To facilitate such opportunities, Worcester State University offers an array of domestic and international exchange opportunities. Worcester State University students can earn academic credit on both short and long-term programs throughout the year. All major courses must be approved with the assistance of academic departments in advance of travel for credits to transfer back to Worcester State University. LASC requirements must be approved by the LASC coordinator. The grades earned for study abroad will be posted as letter grades which will not factor into the student's GPA. Interested students are strongly advised to communicate their intention to study abroad early in their academic career.

    International Exchange Opportunities
    Worcester State University has entered into multiple exchange agreements with institutions in a variety of locales including England, China, Thailand, South Korea, Portugal, Ireland and the Czech Republic. Courses are offered in English and students have the opportunity to learn the native language as well. Per the conditions of the exchange agreements, Worcester State University students pay Worcester State University tuition and fees to Worcester State University and accommodation fees to the host institution.

    The National Student Exchange
    The National Student Exchange (NSE) offers students the opportunity to participate in exchange opportunities with nearly 200 institutions in the U.S., Canada, and the U.S. territories enabling participating students to attend another NSE school at either the home or host school in-state tuition rate. Reciprocal tuition exchanges are available in 48 states including Alaska and Hawaii and in the three U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NSE offers students the opportunity to live and learn in a different academic and geographical setting for up to one academic year.

    Study Abroad
    Worcester State University is affiliated with a number of organizations which provide summer, semester, and academic year program options for students throughout the world. These programs are committed to developing international dimensions as an integral part of the academic curriculum and they strive for a high level of academic excellence. To qualify for participation, students must have a minimum class standing of a Sophomore. All courses must be approved by the appropriate academic departments and the LASC coordinator prior to participation in the program for credits to transfer back to Worcester State University.

    Short-Term Programs
    Worcester State University offers a variety of short-term, one to four weeks, programs each academic year. Popular destinations include: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, the U.K., Spain, and the Dominican Republic. These programs are offered over January Break, Spring Break, and during the summer semesters. These faculty-led credit-bearing overseas learning experiences are focused and affordable and are designed to provide greater accessibility to students and to cover a breadth of academic interests and geographical destinations. All students are eligible for participation at the discretion of the faculty leader.

    Intensive English Language Institute (IELI)
    The Intensive English Language Institute offers students the opportunity to attain English language fluency and U.S. cultural competencies to succeed in college or university studies. IELI offers both full-time and part-time programs providing top quality English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction to international students and working professionals. Courses are not for credit.

    In the Intensive ESL Program, students study academic English up to 20 hours per week to rapidly improve their fluency and competency. Classes meet in the Fall and Spring for 14 weeks and in the summer for 5 or 10 week sessions. Core courses focus on reading, writing, listening, speaking, pronunciation, grammar and preparation for the iBT TOEFL examination. The full-time program meets requirements for an F-1 student visa.

    ESL classes in the Community Program meet 4 hours per week. Students improve their English for work, further education, or general fluency.

    Placement tests are required for all students to determine the best level for IELI courses.

    Bridge to University Program
    IELI offers a Bridge to University Program, a postsecondary program of study that combines ESL courses with WSU credit courses from Liberal Arts and Sciences (LASC) curriculum. Successful completion of this program will enable students to meet prerequisite requirements of full admission to a degree program.

    Students are required to maintain full-time status (as defined by federal regulations) while engaging in a combination of remedial and non-remedial coursework preparing them for matriculation to WSU. The program is offered in the fall and spring semesters.
    Standards of Progress
    Matriculated students (students admitted to Worcester State University and pursuing a formal course of study leading to the bachelor’s degree, second major, certificate, or professional certification) are expected to make satisfactory and steady progress toward completion of their programs.
    Opportunities are available for student advisement, both within the departments and from the Academic Success Center. However, each student is solely responsible for selecting courses, which satisfy departmental requirements for a major, as well as the general requirements for graduation as described in this catalog. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with this information. Exemption from, or exception to, any published requirement is valid only when approved in writing by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs or Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and confirmed by the Registrar.

    All students are expected to attend and participate in all class meetings and laboratory sessions. In the event that illness or some other emergency prevents a student from attending class, the student should contact the instructor directly. Since attendance requirements differ according to the specific academic goals of each course, students should carefully check the attendance policy on the course syllabus. If there is anticipated prolonged absence, the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs (Administration Building, Room 361) should be contacted.
    Worcester State University abides by Chapter 375 of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, An Act Excusing the Absence of Students for Their Religious Beliefs. Section 2B of this law states: “Any student in an educational or vocational training institution other than a religious or denominational educational or vocational training institution, who is unable, because of his religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such examination, study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement which he may have missed because of such absence on any particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his availing himself of the provisions of this section.”

    Academic Standing: For degree-seeking students, class membership is based upon the number of credit hours completed. Class membership determines priority for registration and participation in class events.
    Class, Credit Hours Completed
    First-Year, 0-29
    Sophomore, 30-59
    Junior, 60-89
    Senior, 90-120
    Good Standing: To maintain good standing at Worcester State University, matriculated students must meet the minimum standards specified below.

    College Credits*, Cumulative GPA
    1-29, 1.50
    30-59, 1.75
    60 and over, 2.00
    *College credits include all credits attempted at Worcester State University plus all credits accepted in transfer. Students are reminded that only grades earned at Worcester State University or through the Consortium Program are used in determining their GPA.

    Warning Status: Students will not be placed on probation status until they have attempted 24 semester hours; however, students may be placed on a warning status if they fail to maintain the minimum standard after attempting 12 semester hours. Students on warning status may enroll in no more than 16 semester hours. In consultation with an academic advisor, each such student will develop an academic plan/registration contract that will include such conditions as repeating failed courses, regularly scheduled advising appointments, attending workshops offered through the Academic Success Center, and recommended use of the writing center, math lab, and tutoring services.
    Probation and Dismissal: Students who fail to meet and/or maintain the minimum cumulative GPA required for good standing are placed on academic probation and are subject to the following restrictions: 1) they may not participate in intercollegiate athletics; and 2) they may not register for more than 12 semester hours of credit per semester; and 3) they may not serve on any standing and ad hoc governance committees of Worcester State University.

    Failure to improve the GPA and regain good standing after two regular academic semesters (Fall and Spring) will result in academic dismissal and separation from Worcester State University. Students dismissed from Worcester State University for academic deficiency may not register for or attend classes at Worcester State University until 12 months have elapsed. Readmitted students must attain a minimum GPA of 2.0 for each semester following their return. Failure to maintain a 2.0 semester GPA will result in a second separation from Worcester State University not subject to appeal. See next section regarding withdrawal/leave of absence.

    Appeal of Dismissal: Students may appeal for reinstatement to continue for a third semester on probation. Appeals must be made in writing to the Chair of the Academic Progress Review Board and submitted to the Registrar within five (5) days of notification. The Academic Progress Review Board will review the written appeals. The decision of the Review Board is final.
    Withdrawal from the Worcester State University/Leave of Absence

    Matriculated students who fail to take a course during a calendar year will be administratively withdrawn from Worcester State University. Students who wish to permanently withdraw from Worcester State University or take a temporary leave of absence must complete appropriate forms in the Academic Success Center. If the withdrawal or leave of absence is filed prior to the last day to withdraw from courses for the term, “W” will be recorded on the student’s record. Students who file for leave of absence or withdrawal after the last day to withdraw from courses for the term may petition if they feel circumstances warrant the recording of “W” for all courses enrolled for that term. Normally, a leave of absence is for one semester; however, a student may have up to one year to return to Worcester State University. Failure to return at the specified time will result in an administrative withdrawal from Worcester State University.
    Students who receive any form of financial aid or veterans educational benefits should consult with the respective office PRIOR to dropping or withdrawing from a course. Reducing hour credit load may adversely affect eligibility to receive financial aid, veterans educational benefits. In addition, most private insurance companies require that students be full-time (12 credits or more) to be eligible for coverage.
    Reinstatement after Withdrawal/Non-continuous Attendance/Dismissal
    Students reactivate their undergraduate, matriculation status through the Registrar’s Office. It is the student's responsibility to supply and update the following documents if they are not on file:

    • final high school transcript
    • completed and notarized proof of residency form
    • official transcript of all courses completed at each post-secondary institution attended (excluding Worcester State University).

    When the file is complete, the student will meet with an advisor and develop a plan for academic persistence and success. If applicable, an updated evaluation of transfer credits will be done at this time. In the case of Nursing, Occupational Studies, and Education majors, an interview with the academic department will be necessary to determine reinstatement possibility in these majors.
    Students readmitted after dismissal must attain a minimum GPA of 2.0 for each semester following their return. Failure to maintain a 2.0 semester GPA will result in a second separation from Worcester State University not subject to appeal.

    All reinstated students follow the major requirements from the catalog in effect at the time of their reactivation. For students who matriculated prior to Fall of 2009 as first-year students, or prior to 2012 as transfer students, courses will be allocated to LASC categories according to the LASC transfer policies (see LASC section under "Academic Policies and Procedures"). For students who last matriculated as a first-year student after the Fall of 2009, or as a transfer after the Fall of 2012, all courses completed at WSU will be allocated to LASC categories according to the catalog in effect when he/she is reinstated. Through appropriate advising, a plan for success outlining the maximum credits applicable will be developed prior to the semester of re-matriculation.

    Academic Reprieve Policy
    The Academic Reprieve Policy applies to former Worcester State University students returning to complete baccalaureate degree programs a minimum of three academic years after their last completed semester at Worcester State University. This policy is designed to facilitate program completion for students whose previous academic records were so poor as to put them in jeopardy of academic probation or dismissal immediately upon readmission. A student may exercise this academic reprieve option only once.

    A student meeting criteria for eligibility must file a petition form, available in the Office of the Registrar, requesting reprieve of eligible course work at Worcester State University, either at the time of readmission or before the close of the first semester of re-enrollment. A maximum of 60 credits may be applied toward graduation from the student’s previous enrollment at Worcester State University. In order to be applied, those courses must have received a passing grade. Credit for courses in the student’s major is contingent upon approval by the Department Chair. None of the grades associated with courses given credit under the academic reprieve policy will be calculated in the student’s GPA; however, all course work will be recorded on the transcript. A student selecting the reprieve option will be required to meet degree requirements of the catalog in effect on the date of the student’s application for readmission. Those electing the reprieve option may qualify for honors at graduation upon the completion of a minimum of 60 graded credits. All approved academic reprieve students should check with the Financial Aid Office to see whether their reprieve will be recognized for financial aid purposes.
    Undergraduate Appeal Procedure
    Prior to invoking the use of the undergraduate appeal procedure, individuals should exhaust all informal means available to resolve questions concerning specific issues related to their courses.

    The appeal procedure may not be used to challenge a grade which results from a faculty member exercising usual and customary professional judgment in the evaluation of student work.

    Step 1

    When an issue arises in which the student believes he/she has been treated unfairly, the student shall request in writing a meeting with the instructor. In the case of an end-of-semester grade, the student shall request such a meeting no later than ten working days after the beginning of the next semester. The instructor shall arrange to meet with the student within ten working days of the receipt of the request.

    Step 2

    If the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student at Step 1, then, within ten working days of the meeting in Step 1, the student shall file a written request to review the matter with the appropriate Department Chair.

    Step 3
    If, within ten working days of the receipt of the request in Step 2, the Department Chair is unable to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of all parties, then either party may, within ten working days, file a written request to review the matter with the Dean of the respective School.

    Step 4
    If, within ten working days of the receipt of the request in Step 3, the Dean is unable to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of all parties, then either party may, within ten working days, file a written request to review the matter with the Vice President for Academic Affairs. In the case of continuing education courses or graduate courses, the appeal at Step 3 goes to the Associate Vice President of Continuing Education.

    Step 5

    Within ten working days of the receipt of the request in Step 4, the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs shall inform the student, faculty member, Department Chair, Dean of the results of his/her review.

    The appeal process ends at this point.