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Parent Handbook

Division of Student Affairs

Contact Us  

Parent Handbook

New Student Programs
202 Lawrence Center
West Chester, PA 19382


Phone: (610) 436-3305
Email: orientation@wcupa.edu

Division of Student Affairs

Throughout the many departments in the Division of Student Affairs you will find caring and experienced professional staff members who are dedicated to helping our students succeed at West Chester University. As a complement and support to the academic mission of the University, a wide array of co-curricular services, programs, and activities are offered. Student Affairs departments encourage students to become involved in campus life through educational and social programs, leadership and personal development offerings, student organization membership, athletic and recreational activities, community service, and on-campus employment opportunities. Engagement in “life outside the classroom” is an important part of the overall college experience, and we take great pride in serving students in a variety of ways, defined by our common goal of graduation and student success.

General questions regarding the Division of Student Affairs area can be directed to:

  • Dr. Zebulun R. Davenport, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs(610-436-3301);
  • Dr. Thomas Purce, assistant vice president for student affairs (610-436-3307);
  • Dr. Sara Hinkle, assistant vice president for student affairs (610-436-3511);
  • Mr. Peter Galloway, assistant dean for student involvement (610-436-3307);
  • or the appropriate office listed in this section.

Campus Recreation (610-436-2133/2131)

Located in the Student Recreation Center, the Department of Campus Recreation provides leisure activities for students with proper WCU ID. Recognizing that the needs of individuals differ, the office provides activities in a variety of program areas, including:

  • Intramural Sports: Intramural sports afford students the opportunity to participate in individual or team competitive activities. The intramural sports program promotes health, wellness, and physical fitness as well as encourages the worthy use of leisure time. Regardless of ability level, every individual may experience successful participation in a variety of individual or team recreational sporting events. We offer men's, women's, and co-recreational leagues. We also provide tournaments for those individuals or teams that cannot commit to a semester playing schedule.
  • Sport Clubs: Sport clubs, which are competitive, recreational, and instructional in nature, provide students with similar sports interests an opportunity to enjoy these activities together. West Chester currently has 26 sports clubs which are coordinated through Campus Recreation. Check our Campus Recreation website to see the list of our current sports clubs.
  • Special Events: Several special events are organized througout the year.  These events range from one-day events, such as the ping-pong tournament and dodgeball, to multi-day tournaments such as wallyball and racquetball/squash.  Events are open to students only.
  • Open Recreation: Open recreation and recreational swim provide for the needs of individuals who are interested in informal recreation. Gymnasium and swimming facilities are available throughout the year for "free play" and recreational swimming. With a nominal fee ($5 daily or $10 weekend), guest passes may be obtained when friends visit campus and wish to use the facilities.
  • Group Fitness: The group fitness program is one of the most popular and successful activities offered. Group fitness sessions are offered throughout the week each semester. Hours vary throughout the day and evening.
  • Fitness: The two fitness floors in the Student Recreation Center give students a professional setting for exercise and weight training. Exercise equipment includes a complete circuit of selectorized equipment, cardiovascular equipment, and plate loading and Olympic free weights and dumbbells.
  • Climbing Wall:  We recently opened our 38-foot-high climbing wall.  It consists of seven top ropes and bouldering area.  Check our Campus Recreation website for the times during the week when the wall is open.  We provide belay certification for any student who is interested in becoming belay certified at no cost. 
  • Outdoor Adventure Program:  As people find themselves more and more isolated from the natural environment, there has been an ever-increasing appreciation for and desire to experience the outdoors.  The Outdoor Adventure Program continues to meet this need by providing students, faculty, and staff opportunities to participate in low-cost, fun, and people-powered outdoor adventure activities.  In the past, based on student interest, we have provided canoeing, rock climbing, and ski trips.

Career Development Center (610-436-2501)

The Twardowski Career Development Center is a comprehensive career planning and employment resource center, conveniently located in 225 Lawrence Center. Students receive assistance with self-assessment, major/career exploration and planning, resume writing, interview techniques, and job-search strategies through the delivery of various programs, services, and individual appointments. A career resource library, career decision-making programs, job opportunities, and career fairs are open to alumni as well as currently enrolled students. Access to thousands of regional and national jobs and participation in an online resume database are available.

Counseling and Psychological Services (610-436-2301)

The Department of Counseling and Psychological Services (The Counseling Center) is located in Commonwealth Hall. Services are available to all currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students. The Counseling Center includes licensed psychologists, consulting psychiatrists, graduate-level trainees and a drug/alcohol counselor. Confidential information shared in the Counseling Center is protected by both state law and professional ethics.

Counseling Services

Since the Counseling Center provides services for a wide range of concerns, each student's experience will be tailored to his or her needs. Students may wish to improve their interpersonal skills, resolve personal conflicts, or clarify their educational or vocational choices. Any of the following approaches may be implemented to address a student's concerns:

  • Triage - During the fall and spring semesters, the Counseling Center offers walk-in assessment hours.  Student may walk in on a first-come, first-served basis to meet with a psychologist.
  • Individual Psychological Counseling consists of a one-to-one experience with the focus on resolving personal or interpersonal conflicts.
  • Group Counseling consists of a small number of students who meet weekly with a leader or co-leaders. Groups are especially helpful for students who wish to share their concerns with peers and enhance their social skills in a therapeutic setting.
  • Career Counseling is typically a one-to-one experience with the focus on clarifying the student's career path. Career choice is most solid when it is the outgrowth of understanding oneself. Several assessment instruments are available to aid the student in exploring values, interests and abilities.
  • Psychiatric Services are provided on a limited basis. Students in need of a psychiatric assessment or medication must be in treatment with a Counseling Center therapist. There is a nominal fee for psychiatric services.
  • Consultation Services are provided to individuals who seek guidance, direction, or education. For example, faculty members who are concerned about the well-being of a student may consult on the best way to approach a student in distress. A referral guide is also maintained by the Counseling Center for those requesting the names/numbers of mental health providers in the area.
  • Outreach Presentations are given upon request by counselors throughout the year for students in residence halls, classes, student organizations, and special interest groups.

Fraternity and Sorority Life (610-436-2117)

Fraternity and Sorority Life coordinates the national/international fraternity and sorority community at West Chester University which includes the activities of the three governing councils and programming board. The Fraternity and Sorority Life office works with and mentors the members of West Chester's 30 fraternities and sororities on their service projects, community activities, recruitment and new member education programs, and educational programming.

Student Conduct (610-436-3511)

As stated in the University Mission and Values Statements, West Chester University is committed to providing a sound education environment for intellectual pursuits. In addition, the University is concerned with developing socially responsible citizens, ensuring the welfare and freedom of all members of the University community, and protecting individual rights. The University is thus concerned with the quality of student conduct and has adopted rules and behavioral standards for its students. Disciplinary action may be imposed when a student engages in behavior, on or off campus, that is not consistent with University community standards as defined by the West Chester University Student Code of Conduct found in Section III of the Ram's Eye View.

The Office of Student Conduct also provides a service to students who may miss three consecutive class days due to illness or personal or family emergencies. Upon notification, the office will circulate a note to the student's professors regarding the student's absence. The student must notify the professor to obtain any missed work. The Office of Student Conduct is located in 238 Sykes Union.

Multicultural Affairs (610-436-3273)

The Office of Multicultural Affairs is dedicated to the development of multicultural sensitivity, understanding, and appreciation of diversity among members of the University community. The office develops and implements comprehensive programs aimed at addressing the needs and concerns of multicultural students. It also serves as a consultant to other University offices and aids in projects focused on improving the general campus climate, as well as increasing the retention and graduation rates for multicultural students. The office is housed in the Multicultural Center in Room 003 Sykes Student Union. The center serves as a home base for multicultural students and their organizations, and is a gathering place and resource/programming center for all students and other members of the University community.

New Student Programs (610-436-3305)

The Office of New Student Programs coordinates orientation and outreach programs for first-year, transfer, and nontraditional students. Orientation programs include summer, fall, and January sessions. West Chester's orientation programs are designed to introduce new students to the University and acquaint them with the academic, student services, and social aspects of college life. Outreach efforts include participating in Welcome Week, coordinating Family Weekend, organizing the New Student Success Series, and assisting with the New Student Leadership retreat.

Off-Campus and Commuter Services (610-436-2984)

Off-Campus and Commuter Services' mission is to meet the needs of the off-campus and commuter student population by providing a set of services and co-curricular programs. The approaches are appropriate for a diverse population that includes traditional and nontraditional students, including those who live at home or in close proximity to the University. The services provided for off-campus students include tenant rights information, campus event information, and a partnered company, Places4Students.com, that specializes in providing off-campus housing solutions. This service is free for all students to use as an effective method of finding roommates and a place to live off campus. The Off-Campus and Commuter Association (OCCA) is a student organization that is also dedicated to meeting the needs of those living off campus. Services provided by OCCA include free legal aid service for students, social activities, and representation on campus committees.

Office of Student Leadership and Involvement (610-436-2117)

Providing services to more than 240 clubs and organizations, the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement serves as the main campus resource for student leaders and their groups. In conjunction with the Student Leadership Project Team, the office creates and implements multidimensional programs aimed at developing and fostering students' leadership abilities.

Student Activities (610-436-3037)

The Office of Student Activities is responsible for organizing and sponsoring a wide variety of concerts, lectures, films, trips, novelty acts, performances, and unique educational experiences tied to a variety of cultural, social, and intellectual events on and off campus. The Student Activities Council (SAC) as well as other organizations play an active leadership role in selecting and planning these events, some of which include Homecoming, Mr. WCU, the annual spring concert, Java Jam, and the Independent Film Series. Programming is subject to change on an annual basis reflecting the needs of our ever-changing student population through an assessment process.

Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs (610-436-3379)

The Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs is the primary link between our campus and community in providing assistance to faculty who use service-learning as a teaching method and to students and organizations interested in meaningful volunteer experiences. The office works directly with more than 100 local agencies. Throughout the year special events are planned and the entire campus is invited to participate including the Annual Volunteer Fair that is held each September in the Sykes Union Ballrooms.

West Chester University is a member of the PA Campus Compact and is proud to be listed on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. In addition, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has awarded WCU the prestigious Community Engagement Classification.