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Westfield State University

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Westfield State University
Established 1838
Type Public
President Evan S. Dobelle[1]
Students 5,500 (total enrollment)
Location Westfield, Massachusetts, United States of America
42°07′53″N 72°47′46″W / 42.131392°N 72.796005°W / 42.131392; -72.796005Coordinates: 42°07′53″N 72°47′46″W / 42.131392°N 72.796005°W / 42.131392; -72.796005
Campus Residential
Colors Blue, White and Gold
Nickname Owls
Mascot Nestor
Website http://www.wsc.ma.edu/

Westfield State University (also known as "Westy", "Westate" or "Westfield") is a comprehensive, coeducational, four-year public college. The underwent a name change to become Westfield State University, as of July 28, 2010 through a bill signed by Governor Patrick. The college has Criminal Justice and Education Programs. The school's mascot is an owl named "Nestor" and its colors are blue and white. Juniper Park Elementary School, where education majors may teach as part of the curriculum, is located on campus. The campus is located at 577 Western Avenue, in Westfield, Massachusetts, about 20 minutes from Springfield.

Westfield State University leads its Massachusetts state university peers* according to criteria reviewed in the 2011 edition of “Best Colleges” published by U. S. News & World Report. Westfield State was officially ranked 112, in the category of “Regional Universities – North” on August 17, 2010.


[edit] Campus

Westfield State University is located in a suburban neighborhood along Western Avenue. It is about a 5 minute drive from downtown and is accessible via the P.V.T.A. bus system, which is free to the on-campus residents. The campus is split up into four sections, North Campus, East Campus, Main Campus and South Campus. Across from East Campus is the 275-acre (1.11 km2) Stanley Park, which is often used by the students during the spring and fall seasons.

The main campus is known for its centralized green and lack of roadways.[citation needed] The 9 residential halls, 3 academic buildings, one dining hall, the campus center and the library are located here. The campus is centered around the green, where intramural sports and recreational activities are common.

Across Overlook Drive is East Campus, which contains the athletic facilities and administrative building. South campus provides student parking. North campus contains undeveloped wetlands, trees and vegetation. There is a proposed road and parking lot connecting campus to Route 20 through the north campus.[citation needed]

[edit] History

Westfield State University was founded in 1838 in Barre, Massachusetts as a normal school by Horace Mann. In 1844, the school moved from Barre to Westfield. In the 1930s, the Normal School became a State Teachers College, which offered a four-year education program and awarded a Bachelor of Science in Education. The college moved from its one building in downtown Westfield to its current campus on Western Avenue which was dedicated to the school in 1956. The Westfield State University Music Department was founded in 1969, and starting in the 1970s, the college further expanded its programs to include criminal justice, communication, regional planning, political science, chemistry, theatre arts, and others.

In July 2010, both the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate voted to grant Westfield State College state university status and change its name to Westfield State University.[2] The measure was signed into law by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on July 28, 2010.[3]

[edit] Facilities

[edit] Academic buildings

The Horace Mann Center, commonly referred to as "333" for its address of 333 Western Avenue, is the cornerstone of Westfield State University and houses classrooms and offices for both professors and administrative departments as well as centralized services such as Admission, Financial Aid, and the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education. The building covers 36,000 square feet (3,300 m2) and is bordered by a 750-foot (230 m) stone wall and pillars. "Door to Opportunity" is inscribed above the main entrance. It was originally built to serve as the headquarters for Stanley Home Products, a local business that later expanded internationally. The 1.5 million dollar project was contracted by the Fontaine Brothers of Springfield was completed in October 1970 with the grand opening held on October 17, 1970. It was not until 1999, nearly thirty years after the original construction began, that the building was assimilated into Westfield State College. The college purchased the building for 2.365 million dollars and reopened the facility to students and faculty on October 13, 2000. Renovations on behalf of the college included a two-story glass lobby as well as new classrooms and administrative office areas². Originally named "333 Western Ave", the building was renamed The Horace Mann Center in 2009 to honor the founder of Westfield State University.

Parenzo Hall is the oldest academic building on the current campus and one of the campus's original buildings along with Scanlon Hall and the original power plant. Originally it contained all of the college's classrooms and offices. Today it contains a number of classrooms, academic departments, and administrative departments as well as the campus's old gym. Until the construction of the Woodward Center, the Parenzo Gym was home to the Athletics department. Today, the Parenzo Gym is used mostly for intramural sports. The first floor houses Dever Auditorium, the college's main auditorium, where a variety of productions are put on throughout the year.

Bates Hall is the second oldest academic building on campus. The building is home to most of the humanities academic departments. Its three floors contain a mix of classrooms and offices for faculty of the various academic departments located in the building. The first floor is home to the English, History, Geography and Regional Planning, World Languages, and Ethnic and Gender studies departments. The second floor is home to the Music department and its piano lab. The music department also has practice rooms located in the basement and first floor.

The Ely building and library is located at the far end of the Westfield State University campus adjacent to the Dining Commons and Lammers Hall. The building's name is pronounced as "ee-lee". It is named after Joseph Buell Ely, the 52nd governor of Massachusetts and a Westfield native who was an advocate for public works and education.[4] The library moved to the building in June 1971 and was likewise named in honor of Governor Ely.[5] Originally constructed in the 1970s, the building underwent major renovations between 2008 and 2010. The project cost a total of 11.5 million dollars and was completed in mid February 2010.[6] The building is fully handicap accessible.

Wilson Hall is one of the campus's largest academic buildings and was built in 1970. It was originally intended to be the science hall, and for the most part remains so today with many laboratories and classrooms and departmental offices. A central open area on the first floor contains a large cafeteria lounge and Quixote's eatery.

[edit] Residence halls

Courtney Hall was built in 1989 by the Massachusetts State College Building Authority. The third newest building on campus, it is located near the center of the Westfield State University campus between New Hall and Lammers Hall It was named after Samuel Courtney, the first African American doctor to graduate from Westfield State College. It holds around 500 students and has double, triple, and quad rooms. In addition to the main lounge, each of the four residential floors has a student common room. The fifth floor is a designated study room. An important aspect of the hall is its handicap accessibility.

Davis Hall opened in September 1966, while the college was under former president Leonard J. Savignano.[7] Its name commemorates Reverend Emerson Davis (1799–1866), former principal of Westfield State College’s normal school.[8] The dormitory was part of a large expansion project, which changed the layout of the Westfield State College campus completely.[9] The construction of the building was done by H.J. Madore Co., Inc. [10] They were unable to complete the construction of Davis Hall (and Dickinson Hall, a nearly identical dorm hall) on the intended date of September 7, 1966, due to contracting and labor issues, resulting in a lack of electricity, plumbing, and heating facilities.[10][11] When the dorm was completed and opened, later in September, it housed men only (women were housed on the opposite side of campus, in the Dickinson and Scanlon residential halls).[8] At that point, the 308-capacity hall housed 225 men.[10] Davis Hall has undergone some recent renovations. It received fire suppression system upgrades, and new bedroom ceilings and lightings in 2002. New bedroom furniture, along with Commons Room and lobby renovations were completed in 2005, and new windows and flooring were installed in 2007.[8]

Lammers Hall is located right on the green near the Ely Campus Center. The sections are arranged in a square format with 12-14 rooms sharing a male and female bathroom, kitchen and lounge. The lobby has a pool table, television, foosball table and public washrooms. Also located in the Lammers Hall Annex is the Counseling Center, which provides psychological and substance abuse counseling to students; and the office of Career Services which provides career planning assistance to students, faculty, and staff.

Scanlon Hall is the oldest of the Residential Halls and is located at the entrance of the main campus. It was one of the three original buildings on the current campus (along with Parenzo Hall and the original power plant.) It is set up in hallway format with primarily triple rooms.

New Residence Hall is the newest of the residential buildings, built in 2005, and houses upperclassmen. It is apartment style living with fully furnished apartments. The apartments are available in 3, 4 or 6 person co-ed apartments. It is the only residential hall with air conditioning and each apartment has a full kitchen, living room and one or two bathrooms. There are also classrooms and offices located in New Hall along the first floor as well as a Dunkin Donuts eatery. There is an apartment complex with three identical halls: Conlin Hall, Seymour Hall, and Welch Hall. Unlike New Hall, the apartment complex does not have laundry facilities, game rooms, study rooms, or lounges. Like New Hall, the apartment halls are only for upperclassmen.

[edit] Athletics

The Woodward Center is the hub of athletics, sports related academics, and community fitness at Westfield State University. Named after the college's 17th President, Fredrick W. Woodward, the center opened in the summer of 2004. This 18 million dollar facility was a result of a combined effort of private/public partnership and Westfield State University's capital campaign. The Woodward Center contains offices, a gym and a field house with a 160-meter four-lane indoor track, a basketball court (used for both basketball and volleyball) and two additional courts as well as a 32-foot (9.8 m) climbing wall. When the college hosts a Speaker Series event, the field house is transformed into an auditorium-like setting. In addition to its indoor facilities, the center encompasses the athletic fields for the college's sports teams and an outdoor running track.[12]

[edit] Food services

There are many dining options on campus, ranging from sit-down to takeout, and restaurant style. The main food services are located in Tim & Jeanne's. Within Tim & Jeanne's there is the Father John Dean Dining Hall which is a cafeteria styled dining place as well as Pandini's, a restaurant/sports bar type eatery and lastly the Perch which is the on-campus pub. In addition, there is, Dunkin' Donuts, the Commuter Café, Subway, Jazzman's (coffee house), and the Garden Café. The seven dining options are housed in five buildings on campus. The first floor of Wilson Hall contains a large cafeteria lounge and a cash eatery known as Quixote's which features Mexican food and a full grill menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Owl and Sodexo Bucks

Each meal plan comes with $150 Sodexo Bucks a semester. This allows students to buy anything from any food vendor on-campus. Sodexo Bucks are not accepted off-campus.

Each student has an Owl Bucks account where they can deposit money online, by mail, or through their student bill at any time. Owl Bucks carry over from semester to semester until a transfer or graduation, when the money is transferred as credit. All on-campus eating places allow Owl Bucks as payment. Students can use Owl Bucks at the college bookstore, vending machines, and the laundry rooms in residential halls. Numerous off-campus locations accept Owl Bucks.

Student ID cards serve as a "credit cards" that hold their cash balance as well their meal plan.

[edit] Honors program

The Honors Program at Westfield State University aims to enrich the educational experience of students in the program by promoting intellectual growth, nurturing student-faculty relationships, and encouraging well-roundedness[13]. As part of the Honors Program, Westfield State University students have the opportunity to graduate with College Honors or Commonwealth Honors. The Honors Program provides honors students with smaller and more intimate core and elective classes[13]. Along with select Honors courses offered each semester, Honors students are offered other academic and social opportunities such as priority registration, honors housing, and special events both on-campus and off.

[edit] History

Before 2003, the highest Honors degree awarded by the Honors Program at Westfield State University was “College Honors.” In 2003, the school’s Honors Program was granted accreditation for Commonwealth Honors, which recognizes students with outstanding achievement in the Honors Program[14]. The accreditation for Commonwealth Honors lasts six years, at which time the college applies to have it renewed. In the fall of 2009, the Honors Program was once again granted accreditation for Commonwealth Honors status.

Several Honors courses are offered each semester. These courses include both core and elective classes. Honors core classes tend to be smaller and more discussion-based than regular core classes. Examples of Honors core classes that have been offered in the past are Honors English Composition and Honors Introduction to Psychology. The Honors elective classes are interdisciplinary upper-level courses designed specifically for the program. Examples of Honors elective classes that have been offered in the past are Cryptology: The Science of Codes, Contemporary Family Diversity, and Work and Economic Justice[13].

The new Honors Center was completed in the fall of 2009.The Honors Center is located in the Honors Department in the modular building known as Mod Hall. It is a place where honors program meetings, discussions, and social events are held. Past honors events held in the Honors Center have included Honors Student pizza parties, brunches, discussions with President Evan Dobelle, and meetings with professors of Honors classes. The Honors Center is open all day for Honors students to use as a place to study and work on homework. The Center contains several computers, a printer, and a microwave available for student use[14].

The Student Honors Advisory Council (SHAC) is a recently established council of honors students who work with each other, the honors chair, and the school administration to guide the Honors Program in a direction appealing to both students and faculty. The SHAC board members, which include a president and vice president, are elected by the honors students and act as the formal voice of the students regarding Honors Program matters. The Student Honors Advisory Council also helps plan Honors events. Student Honors Advisory Council meetings are held in the Honors Center in Mod Hall.

[edit] Academic requirements

Students will remain in the Honors Program as long as they maintain an overall GPA of 3.30 or higher. Transfer students who complete coursework at other colleges must have an overall GPA of 3.30 or higher with regards to coursework completed only at Westfield State University[15]. There is a probationary period for students whose GPA drop into the range of a 3.29 to a 3.0. Those students will still have the privileges of being in the Honors Program during their semester on probation. If, at the end of the semester, the GPA has not been raised to a 3.30 or higher, the student will no longer be considered part of the Honors Program[15].

There are two paths that students may choose when accepted into the Honors Program at Westfield State University.

To be a Commonwealth Scholar, the highest achievement in honors, students must complete 18 credit hours of honors courses, including one upper-level honors seminar, with a B or better, and an overall GPA of a 3.30. In addition, a six-credit graduate-level senior honors project relating to the student’s major must be completed under the advisement of the chair of the Honors Program[15].

Students who complete the 18 credit hours of honors courses, including one upper-level course, but do not do a senior honors project will graduate as a College Honors Scholar. The grading requirements of a B or better in all honors courses and an overall GPA of 3.30 still must be met in order to receive this honor[15].

Those students that are not members of the Honors Program may wish to obtain honors in the department of their major by completing a six-credit senior honors project under the advisement of their department chair and the Honors Program chair. These students must have a 3.30 major cumulative average and must get a grade of a B or better on their senior honors project[15].

[edit] Benefits

As a new part of the program, first implemented for the spring semester of the 2009-2010 school year, Honors students are allowed to be one of the first to make their schedules[13]. Even before upperclassmen have their chance to register, Honors students can register for classes and set up timetables that are conducive to their majors and social lives. The Honors Priority Registration system also avoids much of the chaotic online registration that non-Honors students must go through.

Honors students have the opportunity to live in Honors housing. The Honors housing section, which will be located in Lammers Hall beginning in the fall of 2010, tends to be a calmer and quieter section conducive to a hardworking academic environment. Honors housing also seeks to promote a greater sense of community between fellow Honors students[14]. Honors students living in Honors housing are allowed to live with a non-Honors roommate.

As well as physical benefits the Honors Program offers, there are also the intellectual ones. The Honors Program is always partaking in off and on campus events that provide their students with the opportunity to expound their knowledge beyond the confines of the classroom. Among the offered activities are guest speakers, talks with President Dobelle, and an assortment of events pertaining to the arts. Other yearly occurrences available to Honors students include the Annual Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference and the Northeast Regional Honors Council Conference.

First-year students at Westfield State University will be automatically invited into the Honors Program if they have shown strong academic success and performed well on standardized tests throughout their high school careers[13]. Those incoming freshmen must have a minimum high school GPA of 3.5 and a combined SAT score of 1150. In addition, those students who were not part of the Honors Program during their first year are eligible to join the program if they have maintained a GPA of 3.30 or higher after completion of at least 30 credit hours[15]. Any transfer students who have completed the Commonwealth Honors Program at a community college are automatically guaranteed admission into the Honors Program at Westfield State[15].

[edit] Notable alumni

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Evan Dobelle as Westfield State president". http://www.wsc.mass.edu/PressRoom/WSC%20President.html. 
  2. ^ http://www.mass.gov/legis/186history/h04864.htm
  3. ^ http://www.wsc.ma.edu/news/massachusetts-state-university-system/
  4. ^ Joseph Buell Ely (1881-1956)." The Official Website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2010. Web. 24 February 2010<http://www.mass.gov>
  5. ^ Department Chairman Reports, 1970-1971, F1-4
  6. ^ "Westfield State College- Accessibility Improvements for Library & Campus Center." The Official Website of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance. 2010 Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2010. Web. 24 February 2010<http://www.mass.gov>
  7. ^ Lehan, Prof. Robert. Highlights of the Westfield State College Story. Westfield, 1970. Print.
  8. ^ a b c Davis Hall. Westfield State College, 22 February 2010. Web. 24 February 2010. <http://www.wsc.ma.edu/reslife/davishall.html>
  9. ^ "Dorm Construction Progresses; Project Contracts Awarded." Westek [Westfield] May 1966. Print.
  10. ^ a b c "Dormitory Development Nears End." Westek [Westfield] 21 Sept. 1966. Print.
  11. ^ "Dorms Near Completion- Excuses Rendered." Westek [Westfield] 16 November 1966. Print.
  12. ^ The Woodward Center, Westfield State College
  13. ^ a b c d e "The Westfield State College Honors Program." WSC.ma.edu. Westfield State College. Web. 23 Feb. 2010. <http://www.wsc.ma.edu/Academics/Honors_Program/>.
  14. ^ a b c "DHE Renews Westfield State College Honors Program." WSC.ma.edu. Westfield State College. Web. 23 Feb. 2010. <http://www.wsc.ma.edu/PressRoom/Honors%20Program.html>.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g Westfield State College Bulletin 2009-2010. 26-27. Print.

[edit] External links

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