Division of Student Affairs

West Chester University

Dr. Matthew Bricketto
238 Sykes Student Union
West Chester, PA 19383


Mission Statement

West Chester University, located in southeastern Pennsylvania, is the second largest of the fourteen Universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. As a modern, public university, West Chester is committed to maintaining an environment that promotes a comprehensive array of student learning opportunities. Within this environment, the formal instructional process is a principal focus with learning occurring in the classroom and laboratory through interaction between students and faculty.

However, as John Dewey has stated, the whole student comes to the university. The Division of Student Affairs performs a leadership role in offering services and activities which support all students at this time of intense intellectual, personal, social and emotional growth. Thus, the Division is responsible for developing co-curricular experiences which promote student learning both within and outside of the classroom and prepares them to live in a pluralistic world.

Our Mission
The Division of Student Affairs exists to deliver quality programs and services, and to promote student learning in the areas of identity development, acquisition of complex cognitive skills, life skills, leadership skills, a sense of community responsibility and interpersonal skills. Achievement of these outcomes is designed to promote students’ retention and graduation.

Core Values
In order to successfully accomplish its mission, the Division has identified core values which are shared by the staff throughout the Division and are used to make decisions and guide the programs and activities conducted within the Division. Those core values include the following:

  1. All individuals have value and deserve our respect; however students are our priority and their values and individuality must be understood and considered in the development of our programs and services.

  2. We appreciate the diversity the members of our community bring to the campus and give fair and equitable treatment to all; acts of insensitivity or discrimination against individuals based on their race, gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, abilities, or religious beliefs will not be tolerated.

  3. The educational mission of the institution is preeminent and linkages with academic units and faculty are integral to the Student Affairs mission.

  4. Student learning outside of the classroom is considered essential to student growth and their environment - co-curricular activities are essential to their learning, satisfaction and retention.

  5. Students develop at different rates and times and not always as predicted by theory.

  6. Development is not always painless; growth often occurs in the wake of challenge or adversity.

  7. Effective services/programs require ongoing assessment of their quality and impact.

In addition to these principal core values, our Student Affairs staff in the Division of Student Affairs also believe in certain underlying assumptions which affect their interactions with students and the delivery of services and programs.

  • Students are adults and should be treated as adults and held responsible for their behavior.

  • Students’ feelings and personal circumstances affect their learning.

  • Students should be involved in the development of policies and decisions which affect them.

  • Student Affairs professionals are always learning and must keep their skills current.

  • Appreciation of differences must be central in the planning of programs and services throughout the Division.

Essential Functions
The Division of Student Affairs has identified eight essential functions from which a wide variety of programs, services and other projects emerge. Those essential functions are as follows:

  1. Promote the educational mission of the University by providing co-curricular programs, services and an overall environment that supports students’ academic pursuits, aids in retention of students and compliments the goals of a liberal education.

  2. Develop strategies that value diversity and promote multiculturalism. Ongoing program efforts, routine departmental operations, and individual student contacts should demonstrate sensitivity and respect for all members of the campus community and should reflect a commitment to social equity goals.

  3. All members of the Division serve as student advocates by articulating needs/issues related to their curricular and co-curricular life by encouraging students to take full advantage of the resources and opportunities available to them through the University.

  4. Develop and cultivate faculty relationships through special programming efforts, University committee work, routine department functioning and by participating in Academic Affairs programs wherever possible. The formation of partnerships and other collaborative efforts with faculty is essential to enhancing the quality of student life.

  5. The Division of Student Affairs must develop programs and opportunities that provide students with experiences and environments through which values and education can occur. Ethical decision making and values development must be emphasized through promotion of student leadership programs, community services efforts, cooperative group living and topical programming on such issues as Racism/Oppression, Sexuality, Substance Abuse, etc.

  6. The Division must strive to enhance its visibility on the campus and in the community by frequent communication about programs, services and opportunities provided by the Division for our various constituents (students, staff, faculty, parents, alumni, community members). This should include communication with both on and off campus media as well as other internal and external communication methods.

  7. The Division will advance a philosophy of teamwork and cooperation through collaborative programming among departments, cross office consultation/support and an ongoing program of Staff Development through which Student Affairs staff members can improve their skills and knowledge base and, subsequently, provide an optimal campus environment for student growth.

  8. The Division will develop, implement and periodically evaluate its goals and objectives within the Division so that each unit can demonstrate and articulate a tangible assessment of the quantity, quality and effect of the programs they provide to meet student and institutional needs.