Standard Three - Students

Standard 3.A - Purpose and Organization

Student Services at Weber State University are located within three areas of the University: the Student Affairs Division, Enrollment Services (located within Academic Affairs), and Athletics (located within the Administrative Services Division). The mission and organizational structure of these areas complement that of the University as demonstrated through the links above. When articulating Division priorities, the Student Affairs Division identifies the University priorities to which each Division priority relates. Individual departments also articulate the relationship to Division and/or University priorities when identifying program and educational goals each year.

The Vice President for Student Affairs who reports directly to the President leads the Student Affairs Division. Departments within this Division include: Student Affairs Technology, Student Health Center, Women’s Center, Testing Centers, Career Services, Supplemental Instruction, Tutoring, Davis Learning Center, Multicultural Student Center, Nontraditional Student Center, Davis Campus Student Programs and Services, Student Involvement and Leadership, Scheduling, Events, and Conferences, Campus Recreation, Union Operations, Food Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Housing and Residence Life, Veteran’s Services, Student Affairs Assessment and Research, International Student Services, Services for Students with Disabilities, Student Support Services, GEAR UP, Educational Talent Search, Student-to-Student, Veteran’s Upward Bound, and Upward Bound.

Enrollment Services is led by the Associate Provost who reports to the Provost. Departments within Enrollment Services include: Admissions, Financial Aid and Scholarships, the Registrar, and the Student Success Center.

On an annual basis, each professional employee is evaluated through the Performance Review and Enrichment Program (PREP). New employees have an initial probationary PREP evaluation after six months of employment. During the PREP process, employees and supervisors are asked to update/revise their job description, if necessary. All job descriptions and PREP evaluations are housed in the WSU Human Resources web-based database. Employees within student services represent a wide range of experience and education.

Student development programs and services are governed by institutional policies and procedures and the WSU catalog. These policies support the goals of student services. The Division of Student Affairs allocates funds annually based on student need and University priorities. Within Student Affairs, the Associate Vice President is responsible for finalizing annual budgets for the Division and each department in cooperation with the unit directors. Final budgetary authority ultimately rests with the Board of Trustees. As of spring 2009, the Division of Student Affairs is in the process of implementing program review, which will take a comprehensive look at each department on a five-year cycle. This will allow another venue for the Division to consult when making data-driven decisions, including budgetary decisions.

Like other state-sponsored institutions, WSU has experienced budgetary reductions. In response, WSU has made a conscious effort to stretch money, where possible, in an effort to offer the same level of quality services for students. For example, in the 2009-10 fiscal year, computer replacement schedules for student computer labs were extended by one year in order to maintain critical programs and services for students. However, at present, the human, physical, and financial recourses are adequate for operating important student services.

Standard 3.B – General Responsibilities

Student Data

Information is gathered in a myriad of ways concerning students at WSU. This includes data from the students’ applications to the University, applications for financial aid, and “swipe card” data (official WSU identification card is scanned). Placement tests are required of all students for math and English (e.g., ACT, SAT, AP, Accuplacer). A data warehouse is in the process of being created to allow for a central location for this information.

A number of survey assessments are used to provide further data about students. The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) (see Appendix II) and the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory (see Appendix III) are administered periodically, and the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) (see Appendix I) is administered annually. Departments within Enrollment Services and Student Affairs regularly gather data regarding students with many different assessment methods (e.g., focus groups, surveys, observations, pre/post tests). These are documented in the 6-column model within Student Affairs. With the addition of an online assessment tool, StudentVoice, and the assistance of a new Student Affairs Assessment Coordinator (as of Summer 2008), departments are now incorporating online surveys and PDAs into their survey administration in addition to paper surveys. Additional institution-wide surveys are also being administered with the data being gathered and disseminated to departments within Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and to students via the campus student newspaper. Summaries are also shared online.

The data gathered in all assessments are systematically examined within each department, and the data are used to modify programs to enhance students’ learning and development. Examples of programs created based on these data include: the Early Alert Referral Service (EARS) program, which was designed and implemented for the first time in spring 2008, is an example of a program that was initiated as an early intervention program for students with academic difficulties based on an identified need. SmartStart is an example of another initiative begun as a summer bridge program to help students with their transition to college.

Institutional Governance

Student representation is greatly valued and encouraged in all facets of institutional governance. WSU Student Association (WSUSA) includes a variety of leadership positions for students. Each senator serving on Student Senate has a staff or faculty advisor, coordinates an “area council,” which includes members of their specific constituency, and plans an “emphasis week.” As WSU is a multi-campus institution, WSU Davis also maintains a Student Council with liaisons to WSUSA.

In addition to WSUSA and WSU Davis Student Council, students are represented on Faculty Senate and Dean’s Council. One student representative serves on the Board of Trustees. Students hold positions on Faculty Senate Standing Committees as well as 16 administrative standing committees as outlined in the WSUSA Bylaws. Students are also responsible for distributing student fees in partnership with faculty and staff on the Student Fee Recommendation Committee. Students have opportunities on many departmental committees within Student Affairs as well as the Union Board and Campus Recreation Advisory Board.

Rights and Responsibilities

Students have multiple resources to consult concerning their rights and responsibilities. These are outlined in the Student Code of Conduct along with procedures for hearings, freedom of expression details, and other pertinent information for students. This information is also available for students in the policies and procedures manual, the Dean of Students office, and the WSU Catalog.

Safety and Security

WSU has a well-trained police department in which the safety and security of its students and their property is of paramount importance. In a spring 2009 survey, which examined students’ perceptions and experiences regarding campus safety, 96% of students reported feeling safe at WSU. We have distributed this information to stakeholders and will be holding follow-up meetings to have further conversations concerning these data.

Safety information in the form of a Crime Prevention Handbook is disseminated annually to incoming freshmen. In addition to this handbook, several different safety classes are taught to members of the campus community on a regular basis.

WSU is in full compliance with the Clery Act, and information is regularly updated online. In addition to the right to know information, WSU complies with the new "timely notification standard" by utilizing its emergency notification system, Code Purple, as well as a public address system. The police department also publicizes a Campus Watch program, and an emergency preparedness newsletter.

WSU Catalog

New students receive a current-year hard copy of the catalog in the mail shortly after being admitted, while all students and prospective students have access to several years of on-line catalogs via the Internet. The student handbook is published within the catalog. Much of this information can be found on the students’ eWeber portal. All information contained within the catalog (e.g., tuition, refunds, withdrawing, admission requirements, tuition, fees) can also be found on the University’s web site using the “WSU A-Z” index or search features.

Assessment and Evaluation

Student services and programs are systematically evaluated on an annual basis. Assessment information is shared via the Internet, in division and department conversations, retreats, and individual conversation.

Within the Student Affairs Division, this process has evolved over the past five years from the documentation of goals in a five-column model, to a combination of the five-column model with another form created by the Student Learning Outcomes Taskforce (SLOTF) focusing on student learning. In 2008, the 6-column model was implemented, which incorporates the five-column model and SLOTF form into one document. This document ties both program and educational goals together in one annual planning document. Goals are related to divisional and/or university initiatives and priorities. Multiple assessment methods are employed, and each department articulates how the assessment results are used. Actual departmental assessment information can be found on the Student Affairs Assessment and Research website.

All departments within Enrollment Services participate in the University’s strategic planning process. Various aspects of enrollment services are assessed on an annual basis to determine such things as customer service, utilization, and effectiveness.

Athletics recently formed the Athletics Equity Committee (AEC) to answer the question of how participation in athletics impacts the student athlete. The committee ultimately decided to measure the equity and well-being of WSU student-athletes against the four goals in the Athletic Department mission statement. Information was and will continue to be gathered from student-athletes regarding both their experiences as students, as well as their experiences as athletes. In addition to student surveys and focus groups, the AEC used other strategies to gather the information necessary to assess equity and well-being. These included interviews with coaches and other Athletic Department personnel, reviews of institutional demographic data, examination of budgets, physical inspections of facilities and review of the EADA and other institutional reports.

Standard 3.C - Academic Credit and Records

The evaluation of student learning or achievement, and the awarding of credit are based upon clearly stated and distinguishable criteria as outlined in the WSU Policies and Procedures Manual, section four. Academic standards and degree requirements are also published within the catalog. Academic records are accurate, secure, and comprehensive and follow the guidelines recommended by the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO).

The security of all academic records is in compliance with FERPA laws. On-line access to student academic records and financial records are located on a secure server accessed through a strong password-protected web portal.

Information regarding theses and portfolios is disseminated within the individual degree program. Capstone, thesis, and other such culminating courses have descriptions located within the catalog.

The Continuing Education website clearly delineates between credit and non-credit courses. This information is also included in the catalog, and students are notified in the course registration system in their eWeber portal as to whether or not classes are graduate, undergraduate, or non-credit. Course descriptions, grading practices, including Continuing Education Units, and graduation requirements are clear and addressed in the official catalog or University policy.

The Admissions Office evaluates all student transfer credit. Credit is accepted from regionally accredited institutions and from non-accredited institutions based on detailed evaluations completed by the academic departments. WSU transfer credit policies are consistent with NWCCU Policy 2.C.4 as well as Policy 2.5 Transfer and Award of Academic Credit. The acceptance of transfer credit, credit by examination, credit by petition, and whether or not a course is a credit bearing course is clearly noted on student transcripts. This is also explained in the catalog, policies and procedures manual, and through the Transfer Admissions Advisement Office.

Student records and transcripts are complete, accurate, protected from destruction, are backed-up with duplicate files, and are covered with disaster recovery provisions. All personnel who have access to student records are trained in applicable FERPA regulations and follow appropriate information-release policies to protect student privacy. The computing system access is based on usernames and strong passwords.

Standard 3.D – Student Services

According to the Utah State Board of Regents and the university mission statement, WSU focuses on providing excellent educational experiences for students through offering associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. As WSU is an open-enrollment institution, all undergraduate students are admitted based on policies consistent with our mission. Weber State University is a multi-campus institution, and student services offered at the Ogden campus are also provided at WSU Davis.

Enrollment statistics are tracked and monitored at the institutional level. In accordance with the mission statement, Student Affairs promotes student learning, well-being and success through comprehensive services and programs provided in an inclusive environment. Student Affairs serves the needs of a diverse student population by offering educational experiences, leadership opportunities, and academic support, which advances the social, intellectual, cultural, and civic development of students. Within Student Affairs, department goals and learning outcomes are focused on the mission statement including serving the needs of a diverse student population.

WSU has a mandatory assessment and placement policy, which focuses on ensuring proper course placement in mathematics, reading, and English to foster academic success. All students have the ability to benefit from instruction at WSU, and they are required to take the SAT, ACT, or Accuplacer in order to be placed in math, reading, and English classes.

The paragraphs below include a description of the services provided by each department within Enrollment Services and Student Affairs in addition to major changes that have occurred over the past five years.

Registrar

Official policy outlines the requirements for students to remain in good academic standing and the consequences of being placed on warning, probation, and suspension. This policy also covers termination, readmission and disqualification from regulated programs. This information is also available through the Student Success Center website and through the registrar.

Degree requirements for certificates, associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees are clearly explained in the official catalog and in University policy. Information on degrees awarded and graduation rates can be found on the WSU Institutional Research website. Updated graduation rate data (http://www.weber.edu/IR/3t08.html) as well as retention data (http://www.weber.edu/IR/BEnrollment.html) is also available through Institutional Research. This information is also reported to IPEDS and the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE). Compliance with The Student Right to Know Act is publicized annually on the University Police and Health Education/ Drug & Alcohol websites.

Financial Aid

The Financial Aid & Scholarship Office assists students in financing their education through a variety of federal, state, and institutional loans, as well as, grants, scholarships, tuition waivers, and work programs. Staff members work directly with students, parents, and secondary school personnel in explaining programs, answering questions, providing general assistance. Accountability for financial aid and scholarship funds is accomplished through regular internal, state, and federal audits.

Financial aid in the form of grants, loans, and scholarships is communicated to students in admission packets, through published brochures, during orientation and on the WSU Financial Aid website. In a financial aid survey administered in spring 2009, 84% of students reported that the financial aid and scholarship process was somewhat to very clear. One suggestion provided by students was to publicize due dates better for financial aid. This information has since been incorporated on the Financial Aid website as this was the resource most cited on the survey as to where students find financial aid information.

Institutional loan default rates and student loan programs are regularly monitored. Default rates for FY 2004, 2005, and 2006 (the most recent report available) are all under 4%. Student loan recipients are required to complete both entrance and exit counseling. Links to the Stafford, Perkins, and Mapping Your Future site are available from the financial aid website so that students may complete both entrance and exit counseling. If the student does not complete the Mapping Your Future exit counseling, hard copy documents are mailed to the students.

The Loan Servicing Department conducts orientation, counseling, exit interviews, loan billing, and collections relating to the Federal Perkins student loan program, short term institutional loans, Pell Grant over awards and tuition repayment.

Orientation

All new students are invited through a postcard and invitation to attend new student orientation. Multiple one-day sessions are offered during the year, and students register for orientation online. In past years, sessions were 3-4 hours long, only including advising, registration, and basic information. In summer 2008, the format of orientation changed to be more of a campus event. Now, along with advising and registration, students are taken on a campus tour, have a chance to meet all clubs, organizations and departments through the Activity Showcase, and are grouped according to majors so they can get to know students in like groups. As a result, attendance for orientation has increased dramatically. A complete report analyzing the changes to orientation and examining student attendance is available in the Accreditation Resource Room. Transfer and non-traditional student orientation is offered twice each month. In addition, specific offices on campus provide supplemental orientation information to student sub-populations such as students with disabilities, multicultural students, and international students. Graduate student orientation is coordinated by each graduate program.

Advisement

Advising for undecided or general studies students is provided by the Student Success Center, which is staffed with professional academic advisors. Each of the seven colleges at WSU has one, or more, trained academic advisors, which provide program advising to students with majors in their college. WSU faculty participate in curriculum planning and advising students within their respective majors/minors. Faculty are afforded opportunities for specific training in the University’s degree evaluation tool. WSU is implementing DegreeWorks, which will allow great flexibility for students when mapping their coursework and when selecting or changing majors. Finally, faculty members and Career Services personnel provide students with information about various careers opportunities.

Career Services

WSU Career Services provides career counseling and advisement, career exploration, assessment and interpretation, on-campus interviews, and student employment opportunities. Employment opportunities include on-campus hourly and summer employment, work-study job referrals, student internships, and job search features.

In response to student feedback, Career Services has expanded its online services to include 24/7 access to online programs such as resume examples, career assessments, and the Discover program. In addition to providing these services, Career Services has completely redesigned the website in collaboration with MBA students. These changes have allowed Career Services to provide both high-tech and high-touch services. Career Services has also moved the Career and Life Planning course online. The online course now has higher enrollment numbers than the course offered within the Career Services Center. The on-site Career Services Library has also been redesigned and expanded to be more user-friendly. The Career Services Annual Report is completed on an annual basis in addition to tracking program outcomes and student learning outcomes in the 6-column model, which can be found on the Student Affairs Assessment and Research website.

Student Health

The Student Health Center serves all students through health care and health education services. The following information is included on the health center website: the Student Wellness and Health Education/Drug & Alcohol programs, current monthly health topics, HIPAA privacy policy and compliance, and means of providing on-line patient feedback.

The Student Wellness program was initiated in 2008 in order to expand health education from simply drug and alcohol programs to more needs based/evidence based programming. The Student Wellness program will cover such topics as stress management, nutrition, life management, and relationships.

The Counseling and Psychological Services Center (CPSC) offers individual, couples, family, and group counseling, at both Ogden and Davis campuses, to all students. Crisis intervention and psychiatric services are also available on the Ogden campus. The CPSC website provides students with a variety of helpful mental health resource links, including self-assessments and community referrals.

The Student Health Center, HEDA program, and Counseling and Psychological Services Center evaluate goals and student learning outcomes on an annual basis.

Housing and Residence Life

Campus Living Villages (CLV) manages student housing at Weber State University in very close partnership with WSU Student Affairs. WSU Housing and Residence Life consists of nine residence halls led by the housing director. Other staff members include an assistant director, marketing director, three area coordinators, and 24 resident assistants. Resident assistants receive on-going training throughout the year in addition to the intensive training sessions at the beginning of each semester.

In addition to conducting health and safety inspections 4 times a year, Housing and Residence Life works closely with the police, fire, and safety offices around campus to provide the best service possible to residents.

Housing and Residence Life aims to maintain an environment that positively contributes to the learning and development of on-campus residents. This is accomplished through passive programming and other educational programs (e.g., sustainability, study skills, and alcohol workshops). Common area spaces and a computer lab are maintained to create an open study environment.

In recent years, living and learning communities have been attempted without much success, and this structure is being reexamined for implementation in the coming years as 25% of students indicated on a housing needs assessment in fall 2008 that they were interested in taking part in a living/learning community. This survey was also used to gather student opinion on floor plan designs for future housing plans. This information was instrumental in drafting the housing master plan, which was finalized in spring of 2009. The housing master plan was created in order to create more bed space, renovate existing facilities, provide new, up-to-date facilities, and to provide more living space closer to campus.

In addition to the housing needs assessment, focus groups are conducted as well as individual student and resident assistant feedback. Every year a quality of life survey is administered, and this year the survey was conducted through Educational Benchmarking Incorporated (EBI). One of the findings on this survey was that students’ satisfaction with housing and with Weber State University had a strong correlation with whether or not they felt they had opportunities to improve their study skills within housing. As such, residence life is looking to incorporate more workshops in 2009-10 focusing on time management and study skill workshops.

For the first time in many years, housing was full to capacity in the 2007-08 academic year with approximately 675 students. Housing was again full in 2008-09. This is due, in part, to partnerships created with the athletics department and the WeberEdge program. The WeberEdge program is a scholarship program that provides on-campus housing to out-of-state students.

Food Services

Weber State University offers an array of dining options on campus for residents and the campus community. On-campus residents living in traditional style residence halls are required to purchase a meal plan; however, all students living on campus (including those in University Village apartments) can purchase a meal plan. All services are supervised by professionally trained food service staff and meet recognized nutritional and mandated health and safety standards. Nutritional information, operating hours, contact information, and food service evaluations are available online in addition to many other features. While the primary food service provider is Sodexo, there are other options ranging from sandwiches and vegetable and rice bowls, to a full range of vending options featuring snacks and beverages. In addition, the campus offers the "Off Campus Solution" program, which allows students to utilize their student ID card for purchases at participating local restaurants.

In the fall of 2008, WSU Dining Services launched an electronic coupon and notification campaign. This system will periodically text coupons to students, and the students can bring their cell phone with the text to receive the special. In the first week, more than 350 students signed up. The hours of operation in both the main dining facility (Shepherd Union) and the convenience store in the residential complex were extended based on student focus groups and feedback. Product mix was expanded and weekend offerings also increased based on student feedback.

Student Involvement and Leadership (SIL)

The department of Student Involvement and Leadership (SIL) supports the mission of the University and Student Affairs by promoting the development of the whole student through co-curricular opportunities, leadership experiences, and community involvement in an inclusive environment. In order to fulfill this mission, programs and activities are offered at varying times and locations. Accommodations are provided to “meet students where they are." WSUSA Student Senate advocates for and addresses the needs of under-represented students by having numerous special constituency senate seats. The Center for Diversity and Unity focuses on providing programs and services for students to enhance cultural competence at WSU, and the Community Involvement Center (CIC) serves to facilitate a civically engaged experience for Weber State University students. The CIC annual report references accomplishments from 2008-2009 including the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

The Department of Student Involvement and Leadership works to be proactive in its approach to guiding student organizations by providing education, training, and consultation. Information addressing policies and procedures for student organizations and other governing documents can be found on the SIL website.

The Student Involvement and Leadership Office tracks student learning outcomes and goals on an annual cycle through the 6-column model. In addition to the 6-column model, this year, a campus activities survey was administered to the university population to gather information on improving student activities and programming. The summary can be found on the Student Affairs Assessment and Research site.

Academic Support Centers and Programs

Academic Support Centers and Programs (ASCP) promote students’ academic success and life-skills development by providing tutoring, testing, technology, and college-readiness initiatives. Through collaborations with university and community partners and the implementation of best practices, ASCP delivers effective learning support for all student population. ASCP includes outreach programs, tutoring, supplemental instruction, testing centers, and technology related services.

Education Access and Outreach Programs

In 2006, Weber State University was awarded the Educational Talent Search (ETS) federal grant, which has been a very successful program in reaching out to hundreds of low-income students in the Ogden School District of Weber County, Utah. In 2008, WSU was also awarded a GEAR-UP federal grant, which will allow WSU to further increase the educational opportunities for students in Weber County. In 2007 the SmartStart program was created to serve as a summer bridge program for students entering WSU. This program is intended to ease first-generation, low-income students into college by allowing them to enroll in clustered remedial English and math courses over the summer. Many ETS students transition into the SmartStart program and then into Student Support Services. Student-to-Student is another program unique to WSU, which allows students the opportunity to provide mentoring and tutoring assistance to students in local high schools and junior high schools. Student-to-Student and SmartStart are both WSU funded initiatives while GEAR-UP is a federal program through the Department of Education.

WSU also receives federal grant money for the Veteran’s Upward Bound and Upward Bound programs. In addition to fulfilling federal grant objectives and requirements, TRiO programs, Student to Student, GEAR-UP, and SmartStart also track student learning and program outcomes in an annual 6-column model.

Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction Programs

Tutoring services provide quality, one-on-one learning assistance by certified tutors who encourage and guide students in the development of their potential as independent learners. The Supplemental Instruction Program (SI) provides opportunities for students in specific freshman level courses as designated in the class schedule. The Appointment Tutoring Center, Math Tutoring Center, Writing Center, and the Supplemental Instruction Program started the certification process for the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE) in fall of 2007.

The NADE Certification process allows WSU to conduct a review of practices as defined by professional research and literature of the field and conduct an analysis of baseline and comparative evaluation data to demonstrate the use of continuous and systematic assessment and evaluation. The program components eligible for certification are Tutoring Services, Course-based Learning Assistance, and Developmental Coursework.

Applicants validate their use of theory by providing required information on their theoretical framework(s), and they demonstrate their use of quality practices by submitting a summary of a self-study using the appropriate section of the NADE Self-Evaluation Guides (document available upon request). Applicants demonstrate their use of continuous assessment to improve services and student learning by collecting, analyzing, and discussing at least two years of baseline data and at least two years of comparative data to confirm that the program component is constantly improving and evolving to meet its mission and goals.

In addition to NADE, tutoring programs work closely with the Developmental Math and English Departments at WSU. All developmental English students are required to attend at least three tutoring sessions per semester. The effectiveness of this program is being tracked through student usage and course grades in addition to a rubric completed by each tutor concerning the tutee’s engagement in and preparation for the tutoring session. Developmental Math students who score less than 39 on the Accuplacer will also be required to take part in a tutoring lab starting in the fall of 2009. This lab will take place once a week and will be worked into the course syllabi. Supplemental Instruction and tutoring programs track their goals and outcomes annually in the 6-column model.

Student Affairs Technology

Student Affairs Technology (SAT) at WSU is responsible for supporting technology used in Academic Support Centers and Programs and the Student Affairs Division. The Student Affairs Technology Department is responsible for all open student computer labs, programming within Student Affairs, and technology support for the Student Affairs Division. WSU and SAT were recently recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education and Apple for the recent transitions of many labs on campus from PC computers to dual-boot Mac labs.

International Student Services

International Student Services serves to advise and assist international students with their personal, cultural, and academic adjustment to WSU. Each semester, the International Student Office provides orientation for international students in order to provide specific information concerning immigration rules and regulations, visas, work permits, and adjusting to life in the United States. The International Student Office provides weekly “coffee breaks” where students have a chance to share information about their home country with other students, faculty, and staff.

In recent years, the International Student Office has added a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Coordinator and an International Student Advisor. These additions were made because of increased oversight required with SEVIS tracking after 2001. Because of an increase in international student applications, the International Advisor position was created in order to allow the International Student Office to process new student admission applications. This will allow for the admission process to be streamlined. The International Student Office annually assesses departmental learning outcomes and goals in the 6-column model.

Multicultural Student Services

In alignment with the Division of Student Affairs mission statement, the Multicultural Student Center (MSC) is committed to planning, developing and implementing services, programs and interventions that foster the learning and personal development of the various students served. Services provided include: mentoring, advising, and scholarship assistance. In addition to these services, each multicultural counselor advises a student senator and assists in organizing area council activities (e.g., planning emphasis weeks). The Multicultural Student Center also organizes the annual Multicultural Youth Conference, now in its 16th year, which serves to provide information to high school juniors and seniors about financial aid, scholarships, and support services available to them.

In spring 2008, the Multicultural Student Center began a pilot program to more effectively work with students and provide early interventions if students were identified as academically at risk. This program was pilot tested with approximately 20 scholarship students where students would complete a mid-term grade check form and meet with a counselor. This mid-term grade check program now includes those students receiving activity waivers (approximately 40-60 students each year). The Multicultural Student Center administers an annual satisfaction survey, which has been recently revised and moved online. The MSC also assesses departmental learning outcomes and goals in the 6-column model on an annual basis. This can be found on the Student Affairs Assessment and Research website. In addition to the 6-column model, this year, a diversity/ multiculturalism/inclusivity survey was administered to the university population to gather information on diversity and diversity related learning opportunities at WSU. The summary can be found on the Student Affairs Assessment and Research site.

Services for Students with Disabilities

The Services for Students with Disabilities Office serves to insure an equal educational opportunity for all individuals with disabilities, Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) provides access to all university functions, activities, and programs. This department provides specialized services, technology, and advisement to meet the specific needs of each qualified disabled student. In recent years, SSD has added additional positions, such as an interpreter, based on the expanding population of students with disabilities and current legal issues. SSD is also adjusting to the revisions of the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAA).

In addition to these changes, SSD is in the process of moving to an in house server to more effectively track the services provided to students. In addition to sending a satisfaction survey to faculty members to see if students were requesting accommodations properly, SSD started a mentoring program for SSD hourly staff to further enhance the ability of these students to support professional staff and enhance the program’s ability to meet student needs. Other information concerning SSD goals and outcomes are tracked in the 6-column model and are annual highlights in relation to university initiatives which are shared on the SSD website.

Nontraditional Student Center

The Nontraditional Student Center has a lounge, kitchen, computer lab, study area, and Hourly Childcare Center to help meet the needs of students who are over 25, married, parents, divorced, or widowed. As the Nontraditional Student Center serves a wide range of students, the center offers a variety of programs and services often including children and families. The Nontraditional Student Center also provides students with low cost, hourly childcare options. With the Nontraditional Student Center recently moving to the Shepherd Union Building, childcare services have been integrated into the space adjacent to the Nontraditional Student Center.

In response to student suggestions, the Nontraditional Student Center has created a bi-annual publication, Epiphany, which is a collection of fiction, flash fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and informative non-fiction articles that provide information to students about the various opportunities available to nontraditional students.

The WSU Nontraditional Student Center also coordinates a nontraditional student honor society, Pinnacle Honor Society. This is a national organization focusing on community service and the development of leadership skills. The Nontraditional Student Center tracks goals and learning outcomes for students on an annual basis in the 6-column model.

Veterans’ Services

Veterans' Services at WSU assists military members and entitled family members in using their educational benefits. This department helps students through the process of eligibility, admissions, registration, and paying for their education.

In order to be more accessible to students, Veterans’ Services recently changed office locations to be closer to registration, admissions, and other student services. In response to post 9/11 GI Bill changes, Veterans’ Services has expanded the services offered and information provided to potential students. Veterans’ Services maintains a close partnership with Veterans’ Upward Bound to provide the highest quality programs and services for veterans. Veteran students have a representative who serves on student senate, and a new student organization for veterans, Student Veterans of America (SVA), is being initiated on campus as part of a coalition of colleges and universities across the United States.

With the large number of veterans entering WSU (as Hill Air Force Base is located near campus), Veterans’ Services has a close working relationship with Continuing Education in order to help students select programs and to maximize their transfer credit from their time working in the military. The staff also visit local military armories to tell National Guard and Reservists about GI Bill benefits and encourage them to attend WSU. Veterans’ Services is working with other WSU administrative staff to develop a military friendly admissions website. This initiative has sparked interest in improving our system of reviewing transfer of credits from other institutions and nontraditional educational sources. The coordinator for Veterans’ Services has attended several seminars to prepare WSU for the new Post 9/11 GI Bill set to begin August 1, 2009. Veterans’ Services assesses departmental learning outcomes and goals in the 6-column model on an annual basis.

Women’s Center

The Women’s Center is continually developing programs and services to meet the changing needs of women. Services include one-on-one advising, scholarship options, conferences/fairs, support groups and awareness programming. The Women’s Center assists students in overcoming barriers to enrollment and provides on-going support to meet their academic goals. Because of difficult financial times, one counselor and one secretary currently staff the Women’s Center. The Women’s Center lost two counselor positions in the last year. In order to remedy these challenging changes, the Women’s Center shares space with the Nontraditional Student Center; and the two offices work closely when designing programs and services, such as a parent conference that is offered each fall. The Women’s Center tracks goals and learning outcomes on an annual basis in the 6-column model.

Campus Recreation

The primary purpose of the Campus Recreation Department is to provide wellness, sport, and recreation opportunities for University students with secondary support for faculty, staff, and community members. This is accomplished through a variety of programs and services utilizing experiential opportunities that enhance lifelong learning, critical thinking skills, and the promotion of interpersonal relationships. The WSU Department of Campus Recreation offers opportunities in Club Sports, Intramural Sports, Fitness and Wellness, Aquatics, and Outdoor Programs. This includes 15 active Club Sports teams (e.g., Baseball, Billiards, Bowling, Cycling, Fencing), several of which are nationally ranked; Intramurals featuring both team league and tournament play; Aquatics including informal drop-in lap swim, swimming lessons, water fitness classes, lifeguard and water safety instructor training; Fitness & Wellness programming including: informal drop-in resistance and cardio training, group exercise classes, wellness education; and Outdoor Recreation including: equipment rental, clinics and trips, challenge education/course, and climbing wall.

Fitness and wellness and intramural programs conducted satisfaction surveys in 2008-09 to ensure that they were providing quality programming with which students were satisfied. Campus Recreation also administered the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Campus Recreation Benchmark Survey in spring 2009. The survey indicated that 60% of students utilize campus recreation in some capacity supporting the expansion of full-time staff to include a coordinator for club sports and intramural programs. The Department of Campus Recreation conducts annual learning outcome and program goal oriented assessments through their 6-column model.

In recent years, Campus Recreation has also implemented a fee allocation system for club sports based on merits and other indicators. This system was designed to create equity based on effort and performance of the teams and the individuals on the teams. The Club Sports Council, which includes students, faculty, and staff, revised its constitution in fall 2008 and serves to allocate student activities waivers within club sports and other funds. More information on the point system as well as the club sports forms, handbook, and Club Sport Council Constitution can be found on the Campus Recreation site.

Bookstore

Weber State University Campus Stores is a self-supporting, auxiliary enterprise, owned by Weber State University and operated by university employees. The mission of the bookstore is to efficiently provide students and the campus community with educational materials, WSU merchandise, convenience items, and excellent service. The bookstore supports faculty, students, staff, and administration in creating an enjoyable and positive student-centered learning environment. Thanks to the support of the students, faculty, and staff of Weber State, Campus Stores provides significant annual contributions to the University Community through its Reinvestment in Campus Initiative.

Campus Stores maintains specific email addresses and networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, designed to allow students, faculty and staff to communicate directly with the department and provide input and suggestions. The WSU Bookstore also uses YouTube to advertise the services at the WSU Ogden location. Videos are also available on the Facebook site mentioned above.

One recent example of Bookstore changes in policy and procedures is a significant increase in Bookstore Hours at our Davis Campus Location. Campus Stores participates in a number of customer feedback initiatives including a Davis Campus Survey of faculty, staff and students. As a direct result of feedback from this group, the Davis Bookstore location shifted its hours of operation to better match the unique student population on this campus.

Student Media

Weber State University has a 75-year history with student media on campus and has allowed media to operate without any form of censorship. The university supports student media by providing facilities to operate. The Department of Communication funds a part-time faculty advisor for student media groups on campus. Examples of student media include: the Signpost, Metaphor, and WeberFM. Policies on student publications can be found at the following link: http://documents.weber.edu/ppm/7-09.htm

Standard 3.E – Intercollegiate Athletics

Intercollegiate Athletics

Weber State University is a member of NCAA and the Big Sky Conference. As such, Weber State University is required and committed to compliance with all rules, regulations and policies of the NCAA and Big Sky Conference. WSU sponsors 16 sports, 7 men’s teams and 9 women’s teams. The Athletics Director oversees departmental operations and reports directly to the Vice President of Administrative Services (see the departmental organizational chart).

Additional oversight is provided by the WSU Athletics Board, which was created to ensure the department is operating within its mission and the mission of the University. The Chair of the athletics committee reports to the Vice President of Administrative Services who reports directly to the President of the University. The Athletics Board meets semi-annually to review reports on departmental policy, budget, equity issues, and student-athlete well-being concerns, including student-athlete exit interviews and student-athlete well-being surveys.

Weber State is required by the NCAA to conduct a self-study and undergo a certification process every 10 years. The institution just concluded the 2nd cycle re-certification and received certification status in April of 2009. The self-study report is available for review at: http://weber.edu/AthleticCertification.

Additionally, the department has undergone additional external reviews. In the fall of 2007, the Big Sky Conference provided an external review of compliance operations. The WSU Internal Auditing department performs an NCAA compliance audit covering areas such as certification of eligibility, playing and practice seasons, athletic interests, complimentary tickets, equipment and apparel, camps and clinics, student-athlete employment, extra benefits and coaching limits.

The mission of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is to support the greater mission of Weber State University in meeting the educational needs of Utah by stimulating and improving athletic programs for students designed to develop and promote skills that assure an excellent chance of success in athletics participation, college, and career. The Intercollegiate Athletics Department enhances the development and success of student athletes within a diverse and inclusive environment in supporting equitable opportunities for all, including women and minorities, by acting affirmatively in the recruitment and selection of athletes, coaches, and staff who are representative of society.

The goals of the Intercollegiate Athletics Department are:

  • Support student athletes’ intellectual development and graduation;
  • Prepare student athletes for a lifetime of productive achievement pursuing excellence through personal development and teamwork;
  • Enhance the health and safety of student athletes through compliance with sports medicine guidelines and development of physical fitness and athletics skills;
  • Promote student athlete development of personal integrity, responsibility, and respect for self and others by encouraging cooperation and concern for others, embracing diversity, and exhibiting patience, self-control and poise;
  • Maintain financially viable and fiscally responsible programs;
  • Provide the institution public awareness and recognition with nationally competitive programs;
  • Foster unity among faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the local community.

The WSU athletics department offers expectations for its employees and potential employees in job descriptions and job postings. Upon acceptance of a position, the goals and objectives are stated in head coaching contracts. Annual performance evaluations for coaches and staff members in the athletics department review job performance and outline expectations and goals as it relates to the mission and objectives of the WSU athletics department, the Big Sky Conference and the NCAA.

The athletics department provides rules education to its staff, coaches, and student-athletes on a continual basis. Coaches attend a mandatory monthly rules education meeting while student-athletes attend mandatory rules meetings twice annually. In addition, administrative staff attends a rules education meeting each semester. The compliance staff issues tips and rules interpretations each month.

The WSU compliance office produces a policy manual for staff and a student-athlete handbook for student-athletes which details all policies relevant to each group and clearly defines the duties and authority of the director of athletics, faculty athletics representative, committees and other individuals or groups involved in policy making and management of the athletics department. Additionally, the department adheres to all institutional policies and is committed to compliance with these policies by staff, coaches, and student-athletes.

The athletics department has established a compliance committee that meets monthly to discuss issues pertinent to rules compliance at WSU. The committee is represented by administration, faculty, staff and coaches. The committee is made up of participants from the registrar’s office, admissions, financial aid, faculty, student-athletes, athletics department staff, coaches and administration.

Annually, all staff members must complete the NCAA Certification of Compliance Certificate. By signing this certificate, the staff members are verifying that they have not knowingly participated in any violations of NCAA rules and regulations. The President of the University then signs this certificate and the form is kept on file, according to NCAA policy, in the athletics department.

Admission requirements, academic standards, degree requirements, and financial aid awarding is the same for student athletes as it is for all students. However, student athletes must also meet all NCAA requirements.

To ensure academic achievement is not overlooked, all head and assistant coaches’ contracts include written expectations concerning academic achievement and successful graduation of student-athletes. During annual evaluations, the athletics director uses commitment to academics as a component of the evaluation. Coaches are also evaluated on adherence to departmental, institutional, Big Sky, and NCAA policies as well as other performance based criteria.

To ensure academic integrity, the eligibility of each student-athlete is certified each semester by a group of individuals working in and outside of the athletic department. The following individuals review the certification of each student-athlete: The Faculty Athletic Representative, the Eligibility Coordinator in the Registrar’s office and the Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance and Support. Written policies for eligibility are reviewed and updated annually. An academic progress rates (APR) committee meets every other week to discuss issues pertinent to the institutions APR ratings for each sport.

Admissions

All student-athletes must meet NCAA and Big Sky eligibility standards and Weber State University admission standards. The university does not extend special admission status for student-athletes. The WSU Admission Office extends admission of student-athletes in the same manner as admission for all students at Weber State University.

Financial Aid

The athletics department administers all athletically related financial aid within the limitations outlined by the NCAA, Big Sky, and Weber State University. The athletics department recommends all awards with final authority over the award authorized by the WSU Financial Aid Office. All student-athletes whose awards are non-renewed, cancelled, or reduced are notified in writing of their opportunity for an appeal. The appeals are administered outside of the athletic department through the WSU Financial Aid Office.

The Athletics Financial Operations Office manages the athletic department budget with regular review and scrutiny by WSU Financial Services. The athletic department operates a booster club as a subset of the department wherein all revenues and expenditures receive the same management review and approval as the rest of athletics. The athletic budget is set under the direction of the Vice President for Administrative Services and managed on a daily basis by the Director of Athletics and the Athletics Department Financial Operations Manager. An external audit is performed annually as required by the State and the NCAA. (Budget available upon request.)

Compliance

The Weber State Compliance Office is committed to uphold the rules and regulations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Big Sky Conference and Weber State University. The compliance office monitors the processes and activities associated with such rules and regulations. It is the objective of the compliance staff to educate institutional staff members, student-athletes and external constituents regarding such rules, regulations, processes and activities.

In addition, the athletics department is committed to fair and equitable treatment of all student-athletes. It ensures participation, financial aid, student-support services, equipment and access to facilities is not limited for participants on the basis of gender, race or any other discriminatory factor.

The Compliance Office has a three-part mission, which outlines its commitment to each of its constituencies:

  1. Implement: Responsible for the development and implementation of programs to assist all individuals within the Athletics Department, Weber State community, boosters and alumni. These programs allow all individuals the opportunity to become involved in the success of Weber State athletics while functioning within the rules and regulations of the University, NCAA and appropriate conference.
  2. Educate: The Compliance Office is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all campus constituencies. Educational opportunities include interpretive support, documentation, publication, brochures, presentations and other methods which can best help individuals create and maintain a culture of compliance.
  3. Monitor: Designed to monitor all aspects of the athletic program to ensure compliance, the Compliance Office identifies and reports all instances in which compliance has not been achieved and affirms that appropriate corrective actions are taken.

Annually, the department compiles required data to complete the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act Report (EADA) as required by the NCAA and U.S. Department of Education. (EADA report is available upon request.)

While the athletics department is committed to the highest level of competition, safeguards are in place to ensure student-athletes are students first. Scheduling policies for practice and competition are clearly defined in the student-athlete handbook, and all NCAA and Big Sky rules and regulations concerning practice time limitations and missed class time are strictly enforced. Further information concerning academic support services for student athletes can be found at Weber State Athletics Academic Support Services.

Policy 3.1 Institutional Advertising, Student Recruitment, and Representation of Accredited Status

Advertising, Publications, Promotional Literature

At WSU, educational programs and services offered are the primary emphasis of all advertisements, publications, promotional literature, and recruitment activities both online and in print. One of WSU’s largest advertising campaigns is the “Get Into Weber” campaign. Information on this campaign can be found in print materials and online.

The WSU catalog and other official publications are readily available in print and online and accurately depict the institutional mission and goals; entrance requirements and procedures; basic information on programs and courses, with required sequences and frequency of course offerings explicitly stated (suggested course sequences are in the online catalog only; most course sequences are on individual department advising sheets); degree and program completion requirements, including length of time required to obtain a degree or certification of completion (total credit hours required listed in catalog by program, some year by year course sequences are listed in online catalog, most of this information is located on individual department advising sheets); faculty (full-time and part-time listed separately) with degrees held and the conferring institution; (full-time faculty and part-time faculty who are contract salaried faculty are included in the catalog; part-time adjunct faculty are not included in the catalog but are available from individual departments); institutional facilities readily available for educational use (computing labs, Shepherd Union); rules and regulations for conduct (information is located within the catalog and the policies and procedures manual); tuition, fees, and other program costs (this information is also located on the Cashier’s website); opportunities and requirements for financial aid; policies and procedures for refunding fees and charges to students who withdraw from enrollment (this information is also available on the Cashier’s website); and the academic calendar.

The catalog also delineates national and/or state legal requirements for eligibility for licensure or entry into an occupation or profession for which education and training are offered by program and any unique requirements for career paths, or for employment and advancement opportunities in the profession or occupation described.

Student Recruitment for Admissions

Well-qualified admissions officers and a variety of other WSU faculty and staff conduct recruitment activities. All individuals are credentialed and paid by WSU. The Admissions Office also utilizes the services of both paid and volunteer students (who are fully trained by Admissions personnel) and occasionally uses carefully selected alums from around the nation. WSU does not use independent contractors for recruitment purposes.

When recruiting students to WSU, staff members do not make promises regarding any employment arrangements or job placement, nor do staff members misrepresent job placement and employment opportunities for graduates. When job placement and employment opportunities are discussed/presented as part of the recruitment process, the facts and data are derived from Academic units and/or Career Services.

Costs of attending WSU are well publicized and located in print and online. WSU admissions staff do not misrepresent the abilities required to complete various programs. If students who are admitted to specific programs do not perform at acceptable levels, academic advising is available for those students to explore other programs better suited to their skills and abilities. The WSU Admissions Office does not offer any agencies or individuals money or inducements in exchange for student enrollment.

Standard 3 Documentation:

3.1  Student Affairs organizational chart
  Enrollment Services organizational chart
3.2 The components of the student handbook are combined with the institutional catalog
3.3 Weber State University Common Data Set
  Weber State University Institutional Profile
  Weber State University Fast Facts
3.4 Retention Rate and Graduation Rate Data, 2006, 2007, 2008
3.5 Admissions Report, Table #1
3.6 Student Affairs Staff Profile, Table #2
3.7 Description of procedures for policy development (see Standard 3.B - General Responsibilities: Institutional Governance)