Graduate and Continuing Studies provides quality student-centric undergraduate and graduate educational programs and noncredit programming to adults and nontraditional students that will enhance their intellectual, professional, and personal development. Educational programs are theory-based with practical applications that encourage students to respond to the evolving global world. Student-centric services are designed to assist students to become self-directed lifelong learners. Program quality and student learning are continually assessed to ensure that the educational experiences meet or exceed goals.
- Lifelong learning
- Our stakeholders: students, faculty, alumni, staff, and community partners
- Academic freedom
- Freedom to learn
- Civic engagement
- Assessment of programs, student learning, and faculty and staff
- Outreach: Graduate and Continuing Studies conducts outreach to adult learners by overcoming barriers of time, place, and tradition in order to create lifelong access to educational opportunities.
- Life and Career Planning: Graduate and Continuing Studies addresses adult learners’ life and career goals before or at the onset of enrollment in order to assess and align its capacities to help learners reach their goals.
- Assessment: Graduate and Continuing Studies stakeholders (of which the faculty is the leading body) define and assess the knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired by adult learners both from the curriculum and from life/work experience in order to assure the learning experience is rigorous and relevant.
- Financial: Graduate and Continuing Studies promotes choice, using an array of payment options for adult learning in order to expand equity and financial flexibility.
- Teaching/Learning: Graduate and Continuing Studies has credit and noncredit programming that prepares students for the global world and is taught by faculty who use multiple methods of instruction.
- Student Support Services: Extended Learning assists adult learners using comprehensive academic and student support systems in order to enhance students’ capacities to become self-directed lifelong learners.
- Technology: Graduate and Continuing Studies uses information technology to provide relevant and timely information and to enhance the learning experience.
- Strategic Partnerships: Graduate and Continuing Studies engages in strategic relationships, partnerships, and collaborations with employers and other organizations to develop and improve educational opportunities for adult learners.
The Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies offers asynchronous and synchronous courses in hybrid and and online formats. Hybrid classes are offered on the Main Campus in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Graduate Degree Programs
- Master of education in allied health education
- Master of arts in organizational development and leadership
Undergraduate Degree Programs
- Bachelor of Arts (majors in Liberal Studies, Psychology, and Organizational Development and Leadership)
- Bachelor of Science in Allied Health
- Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies [joint program with Delaware Law School]
- Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies
- Associate in Science (majors in Allied Health, Legal Studies, and Professional Studies)
- Minors (Allied Health, Applied Supervision, Criminal Justice, Psychology, and Sociology)
See Graduate Catalog at https://catalog.widener.edu/ for curriculum
- Allied Health
- Healthcare Education
- Human Resources Leadership
- Innovation in Healthcare
- Innovation in Organizations
- Leadership in Organizations
- Organizational Equity and Inclusion
- Workforce Development in Organizations
- Human Resources Leadership
- Organizational Equity and Inclusion
Adjustment of Charges
In case of total semester withdrawal, tuition will be adjusted on a pro rata basis. The specific schedule for adjustment of charges for each academic term is developed in accordance with regulations of the U.S. Department of Education. The adjustment chart can be found online by clicking on “Office of the Bursar” then “Guide to Fees and Payments” on the Enrollment Services web site at www.widener.edu/onestop.
Notice of Withdrawal
The effective date used for all adjustment of charges will be the date that a written notice of withdrawal is received by the appropriate program office of Widener University.
Financial Aid Adjustment
In the case of adjustment due a student who has been awarded financial aid, the adjustment becomes the amount available for distribution to the federal, state, and institutional fund accounts. The amount returned to the funding agencies is determined in accordance with federal and state regulations. Any balance remaining after required repayments to sources of financial aid is refunded to the student. The detailed worksheet of the distribution formula can be obtained from the Student Financial Services Office.
Undergraduate Graduate and Continuing Studies Scholarships
Graduate and Continuing Studies offers a number of scholarships to eligible adult and nontraditional students. Students can apply for all applicable scholarships offered through Graduate and Continuing Studies by contacting the Financial Aid office. Any resulting financial awards are generally made for the semester immediately following the date of submission.
Prospective Graduate and Continuing Studies students may be eligible for the Osher Reentry Scholarship, which provides tuition assistance for returning students who have been out of attendance for five years or more at the time of reentry. Students need not have been a student at Widener previously. For more information, visit our website at https://www.widener.edu/admissions-aid/adult-professional-studies-admissions/financial-aid.
Campus Security and Fire Safety Reports
Widener is committed to the safety and security of all members of the Widener University community. The university’s annual Campus Safety and Fire Safety Reports are on the Widener website and contain information on campus security and personal safety, including crime prevention, university law enforcement authority, crime reporting policies, disciplinary procedures, and other campus security matters. The Campus Safety Reports contain statistics for the three previous calendar years on reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings and property owned and controlled by the university, and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from campus.
The Fire Safety Report contains information on fire safety systems in on-campus student housing facilities, the number of fire drills held during the previous year, the university’s policies on portable electrical appliances, smoking, and open flames in student housing facilities, the university’s procedures for student housing evacuation in the case of a fire, policies regarding fire safety education and training programs provided to students and employees, a listing of persons or organizations to which fires should be reported, and plans for future improvements in fire safety. It also contains statistics for the three most recent calendar years concerning the number of fires and cause of each fire in each on-campus student housing facility, the number of persons who received fire-related injuries that resulted in treatment at a medical facility, the number of deaths related to a fire, and the value of property damage caused by a fire.
The annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Reports are available online:
Main Campus: www.widener.edu/campussafety
Delaware Campus: delawarelaw.widener.edu and click on Current Students then Campus Safety.
Harrisburg Campus: commonwealthlaw.widener.edu and click on Current Students then Campus Safety.
If you would like a printed copy of these reports, contact the Campus Safety Office at 610-499-4203 to have a copy mailed to you. The information in these reports is required by law and is provided by the Campus Safety Office.
Widener University is approved for the training of veterans for all degree and internship programs. Veterans enrolling for the first time should contact their local Department of Veterans Affairs to verify benefits. The DVA will authorize an application and provide the veteran with a Certificate of Eligibility. The certificateshould be taken to the coordinator of Veterans Affairs to establish receipt of benefits while attending Widener University. Veterans should apply at least six weeks prior to their expected date of enrollment.
Veterans transferring from another institution to Widener University are required to submit VA Form 22-1995 (Request for Change of Program or Place of Training) at least four to six weeks prior to the expected date of change.
Currently enrolled veterans are required to contact the campus coordinator of Veterans Affairs during each semester. This enrollment status requirement is designed to assist in avoiding delays in receipt of monthly benefits.
For more information, visit online at www.widener.edu/vets or contact the coordinator of Veterans Affairs in Enrollment Services at 610-499-4414. The coordinator’s office is open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Graduate and Continuing Studies provides part-time programs for adult learners. The Graduate and Continuing Studies course schedule is based on students taking six to nine credits per semester. Students who wish to take more than nine credits in a semester or term must receive written permission from the associate dean.
Academic Support Services
Undergraduate Graduate and Continuing Studies supplies a range of academic support services, including:
- academic advisement
- educational planning
Mathematics and Writing Centers
Located on the Main Campus in Chester, the facilities of these centers are available to assist students in improving skills. Students may seek these services on their own initiative or at the suggestion of faculty.
Math Center—The Math Center offers individualized and group tutoring at all levels of mathematics. The center’s staff includes members of the mathematics faculty and experienced tutors. Faculty may refer students or students may seek assistance on their own at the first sign of a problem.
Writing Center—If a student needs help with any writing assignment, regardless of the course, the Writing Center is the place to go for assistance. Staffed by Widener professors, instruction is designed to deal with the student’s individual needs. The center is beneficial to both the good writer who wants additional polishing and the student who is having difficulty. Appointments are suggested. The Writing Center is located in the Old Main Annex.
Limited tutoring is available for a broad range of topics and courses. In some instances, students serve as peer tutors. In other instances, faculty and graduate students provide assistance. Call the Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies for more information.
Career Design and Development
Widener’s Career Design and Development office assists students with choosing a major; exploring career options; gaining experience through cooperative education, internships, and summer jobs; developing effective résumés; learning interviewing skills; creating individualized job search strategies; and applying to graduate school. These services are available to all Widener students. Individual assistance from a career counselor is available by appointment or during walk-in hours.
All students have access to Hanshake, an online service that offers job listings and an employer database, as well as the ability to post résumés to employer-accessible résumé databanks. Students may also participate in the Alumni Mentor Program. Career Services coordinates several career fairs annually, offering students the opportunity to meet with employers and to learn about full-time and internship opportunities. An active recruiting program brings employers from a variety of fields on campus to interview students for positions.
FOCUS, a Web-based career guidance system, is available to assist students with decisions related to choice of major and career. A career library is located within Career Services and houses career resources and graduate school materials. Visit the Career Services website for hours, a calendar of events, and career and job search resources: www.widener.edu/careers.
The Office of Student Accessibility Services
The Office of Student Accessibility Service provides a comprehensive support service for students who have physical, learning, and/or psychological disabilities. The Office of Student Accessibility Services offers individual academic coaching and counseling to students enrolled in one of Widener’s standard academic programs. Coaching typically focuses on development of individual learning strategies, academic planning, social or emotional adjustment, and linking students with Widener’s extensive academic support services. The Office of Student Accessibility Services serves as an advocate for student accommodations on campus. The Office of Student Accessibility Services is located at 520 E. 14th Street and also can be contacted at 610-499-1266.
Any student has the right to request reasonable accommodation of a disability. A student seeking accommodations needs to bring appropriate documentation of his or her disability to Student Accessibility Services. If the student has any questions or concerns about the response to a request, the student is encouraged to meet with the director to explore and discuss those concerns. If the student and director are unable to reach a satisfactory resolution, the student can meet with the provost to discuss possibilities for resolving the concerns or filing a grievance.
Academic and General Policies
- A student’s degree program and catalog are binding only after the student has been officially accepted into the degree and has enrolled and attended classes at Widener. If the student receives an official degree requirement sheet but delays enrollment, the student will be required to meet any changes that occur in his or her degree program.
- If a student enrolls in classes but does not complete the application process and is not an accepted student, the student will be required to follow the degree program in effect at the time he or she completes the application. For example: If you enrolled in classes in fall 2021, but do not send in transcripts from your transfer institution until fall 2022. You would be required to follow the 2022–2023 catalog; you would not be eligible to follow the 2021–2022 catalog..
- Students who are not enrolled for three consecutive years or more must reapply for admission and meet the program requirements in effect at the time of readmission.
- Students are responsible for knowing and meeting the graduation requirements for their degree program. Keeping in contact with the advisor, at least once a year, will help students stay on track.
- After official acceptance at Widener, a student may take a maximum of 9 credits at another institution but first the student must obtain written permission from the associate dean.
- A minimum grade of ‘C’ is required for all transfer credit. Some programs have a time limit on age of transfer courses.
- Students may take no more than 24 credits, in any combination, from the areas of ACCT, BLAW, BUS, EC, FIN, MGT, MHR, MIS, MKT, OPM, QA, SBAH, or SMGT.
- Graduation is not an automatic process; a student must fill out and submit a graduation petition and submit payment. The student’s record is then reviewed and the student notified of his or her graduation status and any requirements that need completion.
Requirements—Undergraduate Graduate and Continuing Studies maintains an open admission policy for adult (22 years of age and over) students. There is no testing requirement for admission. Some programs may require additional criteria, please see “Exceptions” below.
Exceptions—Students who have been dismissed from Widener or have administrative or academic holds must contact the associate dean. Please call Graduate and Continuing Studies at 610-499-4507 for more information.
Legal Education—The open admission policy does not apply to joint programs with the Legal Education Institute. Please contact the Legal Education Institute at 302-477-2205 for more information on legal and legal nurse consulting programs.
Widener-Crozer Partnership—The open admission policy does not apply to the joint program with Crozer-Chester Medical Center. Please contact the program advisor at 610-499-4507 for more information on this program.
International Students—The open admission policy does not apply to international students, or students under the age of 22 who are not direct transfers from a Graduate and Continuing Studies articulation institution. International students and those under the age of 22 must apply through the day admissions office at 610-499-4126.
Admission to Degree Status (Matriculation)—Students admitted to degree candidacy are called matriculated students.
If you have never attended college, matriculated status is attained by submitting to the Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies proof of high school graduation (in the form of a copy of the diploma, transcript, or GED certificate). Home school students are required to submit a curriculum validation along with their completed application.
If you have attended college and earned 12 or more credits, matriculated status is attained by submitting sealed transcript(s) from all colleges attended to the Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies.
- If you have attended college and earned less than 12 credits, college transcript(s) plus proof of high school graduation are required.
Admission to Nondegree Status (Undeclared)—Any individual who can demonstrate a need may be admitted to specific courses on a nondegree basis regardless of prior educational background. Students admitted to specific credit courses on a nondegree basis are called ‘undeclared’ students. All courses successfully completed by undeclared students may be applied toward a degree, if applicable, should the student decide to seek one later. Applicants are notified in writing of the action taken on their applications.
Undeclared Students—To become a degree-seeking student, an undeclared student must submit official transcripts from all colleges previously attended and proof of high school completion (if prior college work is less than 12 credits). An exception to this is a student who does not meet the grade point average requirements under the academic progress policy. A student may not be admitted to a degree program if he or she does not meet the minimum grade point average for the credits completed. Undeclared students will be accepted into the degree requirements in effect at the time of matriculation, not those that were current at the time of initial enrollment.
Policy on Disclosure of Criminal Convictions
All applicants and students must disclose the existence of any pre- or post-admission criminal convictions, excluding minor traffic offenses. Applicants must disclose criminal convictions on the application form where indicated. Students must disclose any inaccuracy, corrections, or changes to the information provided on their application form in writing to the associate provost and dean of students. Students must also disclose in writing any post-admission arrests or criminal convictions to the associate provost and dean of students.
Pre-Admission Conviction and Pre-Admission Disclosure (Applicants)
Upon pre-admission disclosure, from any source, of an applicant’s conviction of a crime, whether misdemeanor or felony, the university will refuse admittance in all instances involving violence, child abuse, sexual misconduct, or illegal drugs, and may refuse admittance with respect to other convictions. However, upon refusal of admittance based upon a pre-admission disclosure by the applicant, the affected applicant may submit additional materials or request a meeting with an Admissions Office representative for further consideration.
Pre-Admission Conviction and Failure to Disclose (Students/Applicants)
Upon discovery, from any source, of an undergraduate applicant’s or student’s failure to disclose a pre-admission criminal conviction, whether misdemeanor or felony, the applicant/student will be subject to refusal to admit, immediate revocation of acceptance, or dismissal. A student’s dismissal will be in accordance with Student Handbook procedures.
Post-Admission Conviction and Timely Disclosure (Students)
Upon timely disclosure by the student, of the student’s postadmission conviction of a crime, whether misdemeanor or felony, the student will be subject to discipline in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Student Handbook.
Post-Admission Conviction and Failure to Disclose (Students)
Upon discovery, from any source, of a student’s failure to disclose a post-admission conviction of a crime, whether misdemeanor or felony, the student will be subject to immediate dismissal. The student’s dismissal will be in accordance with Student Handbook procedures.
Nothing contained in sections 1 through 4 above shall in any way limit the university’s right and authority as set forth in the Student Handbook, “Policy on Protective Action,” to take immediate action when, in the sole judgment of the university, the health, safety, or welfare of the college community or the student is threatened or endangered.
Leave of Absence/Readmission
It is assumed that students who are pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree may not be able to enroll in courses continually each semester from the time of matriculation until graduation due to the demands of family, career, or personal issues. If an Graduate and Continuing Studies student must stop taking classes, he or she may return to the college without penalty and continue to complete the degree requirements that were in effect at the time of matriculation, providing the absence is less than three consecutive years. A student who does not attend classes for three consecutive years (36 months) will be considered officially withdrawn and must reapply. A student returning to Graduate and Continuing Studies after three years or more will have to meet the degree requirements in effect at the time of his or her reapplication and re-enrollment in Graduate and Continuing Studies.
Readmitted students are responsible for all qualitative and quantitative requirements for the degree that are in effect at the time of readmission, as opposed to those that might have been in effect during the period of prior attendance. Students readmitted to Widener University following an absence of three or more years may, at their option, have their prior credits recognized (in a similar manner to those of transfer students) in accordance with the following:
- All courses completed with grades of C or higher will be recognized as credit with no qualitative value.
- Earlier courses in which a grade of F was earned are not carried forward. For students with a GPA of at least 2.00 at the time of re-entry, courses with grades of C–, D+, or D may be used to satisfy curricular requirements consistent with the school’s/college’s policy on the transfer of C– or lower grades.
- The determination as to which of the courses are acceptable in satisfying specific degree requirements will be made by the associate dean.
- Calculation of the student’s new GPA will begin at the point of re-entry. All courses taken at Widener will be listed on the transcript.
- Honors will be awarded on the basis of the cumulative GPA under the same conditions applicable for all transfer students. Students interested in this option should contact the associate dean.
Medical Withdrawal/Leave of Absence
The associate dean, in consultation with and upon the recommendation of university physicians, psychologists, or psychiatrists or other professionals, may invoke the university’s right to require a student to withdraw from the university or take a leave of absence for medical or psychological reasons. Such reasons include but are not limited to situations where a student may cause imminent harm to himself/herself or others: situations where a student cannot be effectively treated or managed while a member of the university community; or situations where one’s medical or psychological state seriously impedes the academic performance or social adjustment of the students or others in the academic community. Prior to any decision regarding readmittance to the university, the associate dean may require a student completing a medical leave of absence to be evaluated by the university medical and/or psychological staff or other professionals.
Students needing a transcript of their Widener University academic record should go online to www.getmytranscript.com to order an official transcript. A fee is be charged for each transcript.
Graduate and Continuing Studies welcomes students who wish to transfer from other colleges or who have attended college in the past. After completing the application and forwarding official transcripts of all prior college work, transfer students will receive complete information showing how the college courses transfer. Students who do not disclose prior college records at the time of application are subject to dismissal or expulsion at any future time when prior attendance is discovered. The following are considered in awarding transfer credits:
- Course work must come from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning recognized by the appropriate professional body. An original transcript with institutional seal and registrar’s signature is required.
- Course work is accepted and placed against requirements of a chosen curriculum either as equivalent to a required course or as an elective. Other eligible courses are accepted on the transfer credit statement with an appropriate notation. Transferred electives are designated in a particular discipline area such as humanities, science, or social science, if appropriate.
- Credit will not be awarded for developmental, basic, community service, or physical education courses or programs.
- Transfer credits will be awarded for not more than one half of the courses required in the major subject area of an academic program.
- Grades of C– or lower may not be transferred if the cumulative GPA from all prior institutions is lower than 2.00.
- No course with a grade of C– or lower may be transferred if it is a required course for the student’s major.
- Credit for English 101 may not be given for a course with a C– or lower grade.
- No course credit may be given for a C– or lower grade to satisfy any general education requirement.
- In sequential courses in which mastery of the first course is required for success in the second course (e.g. Calculus I and Calculus II), credit will be given if the second course’s grade is equal to or greater than C.
- No D or lower grades are permitted for transfer credit.
- No more than 24 credits of business courses may be transferred.
- Credit will be awarded to graduates of hospital-based programs in approved allied health professions only toward the allied health degree. The amount of credit awarded will be determined by the associate dean based upon specific technical certification (see BLOC credit).
- There is no time limit on transfer credit, except that the content of accepted courses must be such as to contribute to the readiness of students to progress through the program in the major area of study.
- Transfer credit decisions are guided by flexibility and common sense and have as a central concern the educational well-being of the student, the student’s educational goals, and the goals of the Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies.
- The final determination of transfer credit awarded is made by the associate dean.
- Graduate and Continuing Studies maintains articulation agreements with many colleges and programs on the national level.
Academic Credit for Prior Learning
Graduate and Continuing Studies recognizes that college-level learning may occur in settings other than the traditional classroom. Students may be awarded credit for learning acquired as the result of work experience or other self-directed learning activities. Not more than one half of the total credits required in the major subject area of an academic program can be earned through nontraditional methods. Also, it should be remembered that students still must satisfy the in-residence requirements—the final 30 credits for a bachelor’s degree and 15 credits for an associate’s degree.
Credit may be earned in the following ways (since no grades are given for credit earned from these sources, such credit has no effect on a student’s academic average):
- Advanced placement.
- Advanced standing (BLOC credit)—for approved programs.
- Educational experiences in the Armed Services—verified by The American Council on Education.
- Training programs—”The National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs” and “The Directory of the National Program on Non-Collegiate Sponsored Instruction” (PONSI) verified by The American Council on Education.
Portfolio Assessment—Credit may be earned through the development of a portfolio that provides evidence and documentation that the student has achieved in a nontraditional setting the learning outcomes of specific courses. A portfolio is a file or folder of information compiled by the student about specific past experiences and accomplishments. The portfolio is evaluated by a faculty member who is expert in the field of the student’s area of learning. An advising/counseling session is required prior to the development of a portfolio. Contact the associate dean for more information.
Transfer Credit After Acceptance
Once accepted into a degree program, a student is expected to continue his or her course work at Widener University. A student may request to take courses at another institution, and the associate dean may approve petitions for transfer back of credit under the following conditions:
- The student is in good standing with a GPA of 2.0 or better.
- No more than nine credits may be transferred back.
- No more than six credits in the major remain to be completed elsewhere.
- The student submits a catalog from the transfer institution and receives written approval to take specific courses prior to registration.
- The normal regulations for transfer credit apply.
Courses taken at other institutions have no effect on the student’s cumulative average at Widener since quality grade-point credits will not be transferred. A minimum grade of C must be earned in a course to have the credits transferred to Widener.
Here is the scale of grades and the equivalent in quality points:
|P (Pass: pass/no pass course)
|NP (No Pass: pass/no pass course)
|AU (Audit: no credit)
*Passing but below the required average for graduation.
The plus/minus grading system is optional, the decision resting with each instructor.
Students receiving W or F in any course are required to repeat the course to obtain credit. They cannot enroll in any course for which the failed/withdrawn course is a prerequisite until the prerequisite course is successfully completed.
Pass/No Pass Grading Option (P/NP)—Students may elect to take certain courses on a pass/no pass basis. Pass/no pass forms are available in the Graduate and Continuing Studies Office and must be submitted to the associate dean before the end of the second week of a semester, or before the end of the first week of a summer session. Whether a student receives a grade of pass or fail, the course and grade will be recorded on the transcript but will not affect the cumulative GPA. The following conditions apply to pass/no pass:
- A student must have matriculated status and may elect the pass/no pass option after completing 30 credits of study.
- No more than one course each semester or summer session may be graded on the pass/no pass basis.
- The course cannot be (1) within the major field, (2) one that is required for graduation, or (3) one that satisfies Widener University general education requirements.
- A maximum of six courses may be taken as pass/no pass.
- The student may request that a course be graded pass/no pass—or, if pass/no pass was originally opted, that the traditional letter grade be recorded instead—by no later than the second week of the semester or the first week of the summer session.
- No courses in a minor may be taken on a pass/no pass basis. Consult with your academic advisor to be certain that a course to be taken meets the above requirements.
Auditing (AU)—A student may elect to audit a course, that is, to enroll but receive no academic credit. Such a student must formally register, paying the same tuition and fees as if the course was taken for credit. The student is not subject to any of the usual academic requirements (class attendance, examinations). A decision to audit a course must be made when registering. Once enrolled as an audit student, one cannot seek to change status and receive credit.
Incomplete (I)—A grade of I is given to a student who has failed to complete course requirements because of excusable reasons. To receive a final grade for the course, the student must complete all requirements by the midterm of the next semester following the semester in which the Incomplete was given. This date will be printed in the academic schedule. The next working day after this date, the Registrar’s Office will change all remaining Incompletes to Failures. The instructor may stipulate that the work be made up prior to the midterm date.
Any student who receives an incomplete grade (I) in two consecutive semesters or terms will be subject to the following:
- The student will be limited to six credits for the following two semesters/terms (six credits for the entire summer term).
- The student must sign an academic contract prior to registration and meet at least twice during the semester with an academic advisor during which time strategies for successful completion of the contract and the student’s academic progress are discussed.
Credit—The unit of credit is the semester hour.
Dean’s List and Honors
At the close of each semester, the Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies identifies students who have earned academic distinction. To be selected for the Dean’s List, the student must be currently enrolled in a degree program, have carried at least six semester hours, and have achieved a semester GPA of not less than 3.50. Students who carried at least six semester hours in the semester and earned an average of 3.00 to 3.49 will be awarded Academic Honors for that semester.
Academic Integrity Policy
The Academic Integrity Policy was approved by the Faculty Council. Additional regulations are excerpted and paraphrased from the “Minutes of the Academic Council.” These regulations explain Widener University’s expectations regarding students’ academic conduct and describe procedures related to those expectations. Exceptions to the regulations may be made only by special action of the school/college academic councils of the Academic Review Board. References in this catalog refer to all Graduate and Continuing Studies students.
Statement on Academic Integrity
Widener University strongly supports the concept of academic integrity and expects students and all other members of the Widener University community to be honest in all academic endeavors. Cheating, plagiarism, and all other forms of academic fraud are unacceptable; they are serious violations of university policy. In some circumstances, students’ conduct may require review under the research integrity policy, the freedom to learn policy, the judicial review policy, and other university policies. Widener University expects all students to be familiar with university policies on academic integrity, as outlined in this catalog. The university will not accept a claim of ignorance—either of the policy itself or of what constitutes academic fraud—as a valid defense against such a charge.
Violations of Academic Integrity
Violations of academic integrity constitute academic fraud. Academic fraud consists of any action that serves to undermine the integrity of the academic process or that gives the student an unfair advantage, including:
- inspecting, duplicating, or distributing test materials without authorization.
- cheating, attempting to cheat, or assisting others to cheat.
- altering work after it has been submitted for a grade.
- using or attempting to use anything that constitutes unauthorized assistance.
- fabricating, falsifying, distorting, or inventing any information, documentation, or citation.
Each student’s program may have on record additional specific acts particular to a discipline that constitutes academic fraud. These specific acts are specified in relevant handbooks or course syllabi.
Statement on Plagiarism
One of the most common violations of academic integrity is plagiarism. Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional. However, since each student is responsible for knowing what constitutes plagiarism, unintentional plagiarism is as unacceptable as intentional plagiarism and commission of it will bring the same penalties. In many classes, faculty members will provide their definitions of plagiarism. In classes where a definition is not provided, students will be held to the definition of plagiarism that follows:
Definition of Plagiarism
Plagiarism—submitting the work of others as one’s own—is a serious offense. In the academic world, plagiarism is theft. Information from sources—whether quoted, paraphrased, or summarized—must be given credit through specific citations. When a student paraphrases a work, it is still necessary to cite the original source. Merely rearranging a sentence or changing a few words is not sufficient. The citation style should be appropriate for the discipline and should clearly indicate the beginning and ending of the referenced material. All sources used in the preparation of an academic paper must also be listed with full bibliographic details at the end of the paper, as appropriate in the discipline.
Faculty and Student Responsibilities
- Every student, faculty member, and administrator is responsible for upholding the highest standards of academic integrity. Every member of the Widener community shall honor the spirit of this policy by refusing to tolerate academic fraud.
- When expectations for a course are not addressed in this policy, it is the responsibility of the instructor to provide students with additional guidelines for what constitutes “authorized” and “unauthorized” assistance.
- It is the responsibility of every student to seek clarification if in doubt about what constitutes “authorized” and “unauthorized” assistance. In cases of collaborative work, all students within the collaborative group may be responsible for “unauthorized” assistance to any individual student within the collaborative group.
- Students are required to obtain permission prior to submitting work, any part of which was previously or will be submitted in another course. The instructor has the option of accepting, rejecting, or requiring modification of the content of previously or simultaneously submitted work.
A student who suspects that a violation of academic integrity has occurred should report that violation to the associate dean. In this report, the student should describe any action taken, such as talking with the person involved or with a faculty or staff member. Every effort will be made to preserve the anonymity of the student reporting the incident; however, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.
Resolution at the Faculty/Student Level
- A faculty member who becomes aware of possible academic fraud should inform the suspected student(s) in writing and send a copy to the associate dean.
- The faculty member will also provide the student with the opportunity to respond to the charges within five business days. If the student fails to respond to this opportunity, the student forfeits any right to appeal the decision to the college level and the faculty member will determine the penalty.
- The faculty member and student will discuss the academic fraud and agree to pursue student/faculty resolution, or, if no such agreement is reached, the matter will be referred at the college level where the course is taught.
- If the faculty member is not satisfied with the sanctions available, he or she may refer the case at the college level by informing the associate dean.
- If the student does not accept responsibility for the academic fraud or disagrees with the sanction imposed by the faculty member, the student may appeal the outcome at the college level.
The suggested penalty for academic fraud in any course is failure in the course. However, faculty members may take alternative steps. Penalties available to faculty members include:
- Formal warning.
- Reduction in grade for the assignment.
- Reduction in the grade for the course.
- Failing grade for the assignment.
- A failing grade (F) in the course.
- A failing grade (XF) in the course (a grade of XF will appear on the transcript and be defined on the transcript as failure as a result of academic fraud).
Reporting, and Offenses Subject to Expulsion
In all cases where a faculty member informs a student of possible academic fraud, the faculty member will inform the associate dean as the office of record.
In cases where a faculty member takes action for a case of academic fraud, the faculty member will send a report describing the academic fraud and the penalty being imposed to the student and the associate dean.
All reports of academic fraud will be reviewed to verify whether reports have been received indicating that the student has been found responsible for any other act of academic fraud. In cases where the associate dean finds that the case is a repeat offense where the student has received a failing grade (F or XF) in a course for each offense or a case where a student has stolen or attempted to steal an examination, the associate dean will refer the case to the associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs. This individual will expel the student from the university. The student may appeal cases resulting in expulsion to the Academic Review Board.
Resolution at the College/School Level
- Cases of academic fraud outside the class will be referred to the associate dean.
- Upon receiving the case, the associate dean shall notify the student in writing of the charge of academic fraud, the penalty to be imposed, and all rights of appeal.
- If a student wishes to contest the charge of academic fraud, the student may do so according to the process stipulated in the Student Handbook. In such a case, the student will also be informed of the process.
- In cases where the penalty results in dismissal of the student, the student may appeal the decision at the university level in writing or by e-mail to the associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs.
The maximum penalty imposed in school or college resolution for individuals convicted of academic fraud shall be dismissal from the school or college. Lesser penalties may include:
- Formal warning.
- Reduction in grade for the assignment.
- Reduction in the grade for the course.
- Failing grade for the assignment.
- Failing grade (F) in the course.
- A failing grade (XF) in the course (a grade of XF will appear on the transcript and be defined on the transcript as failure as a result of academic fraud).
- Required attendance at an academic integrity workshop or tutorial.
Reporting, and Offenses Subject to Expulsion
The associate dean will send a report describing the academic fraud and the penalty being imposed to the student, the affected faculty member(s), and the Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs.
All reports of academic fraud will be reviewed by the associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs to verify whether reports have been received indicating that the student has been found responsible for any other act of academic fraud. In cases where the associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs finds that the case is a repeat offense where the student has received a failing grade (F or XF) in a course for each offense or a case where a student has stolen or attempted to steal an examination, the associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs will expel the student from the university. The student may appeal cases resulting in expulsion to the Academic Review Board.
Resolution at the University Level
The associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs will review all reports of academic fraud.
- If the associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs finds the case is a repeat offense where the student has received a failing grade (F or XF) in a course for each offense, the associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs will expel the student from the university. The student may appeal the case to the Academic Review Board.
- If the associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs finds the case is a repeat offense where the student has not received a failing grade for both offenses, the case will be referred to the Academic Review Board.
- If the student has stolen or attempted to steal an examination, the associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs will expel the student from the university. The student may appeal the case to the Academic Review Board.
The maximum penalty imposed by the Academic Review Board for individuals convicted of academic fraud shall be expulsion from the university. Penalties include:
- An XF grade in the course (a grade of XF will appear on the transcript and be defined on the transcript as failure as a result of academic fraud).
- Removal of the privilege of representing the university in extracurricular activities, including athletics, as well as the privilege of running for or holding office in any student organization that is allowed to use university facilities or receives university funds.
- Suspension from the university for up to one academic year. Students suspended for academic fraud cannot transfer into Widener any credits earned during the suspension.
- Dismissal from the university. Students dismissed for academic fraud must apply for readmission according to the Academic Review Board guidelines. Readmission applications by students suspended for academic fraud must be approved by the Academic Review Board.
- Expulsion from the university without the opportunity for readmission.
The associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs will send a report describing the academic fraud and the penalty being imposed to the student and the affected faculty members, as well as maintain a copy as the office of record.
Appeals/Decisions on Academic Integrity
When a student is expelled or dismissed from the Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies, the student may initiate his or her appeal to the Academic Review Board by notifying the associate dean for Continuing Studies in writing of the request for an appeal, together with a concise statement of the grounds for the appeal.
Written notice of the student’s request for appeal, together with the concise statement of the student’s grounds for the appeal, must be received by the associate provost no more than ten business days following the decision of the faculty, college, or university.
The results of all appeals to the Academic Review Board, permitted in the Academic Integrity Policy, shall be final.
Any matter submitted to a faculty member, the school/college, or the university for decision or review under this policy shall be decided in a timely manner and the parties shall use their best efforts to conclude the proceedings within the semester in which the alleged offense has occurred or the appeal is received; provided, however, that any delay in the proceedings shall in no way operate as a waiver of the university’s right to assess any or all of the sanctions permitted hereunder.
Since it is assumed that learning cannot take place without regular communication between the student and teacher, class attendance is important whether it is face-to-face or through participation in an online course. It is recognized that some adults will find it necessary to miss a class for serious reasons such as illness or job responsibility. No indiscriminate absence from classes is permitted. Instructors are within their prerogative to consider a student’s attendance when assigning a final grade, and instructors list their attendance policies in the course syllabi.
All class work, quizzes, examinations, and other assignments missed because of absence must be made up to the satisfaction of the instructor. At the instructor’s request, warning letters will be sent to those who are excessively absent.
Missed Examinations and Quizzes
Students who miss any examination or quiz given during a scheduled class, may, with the permission of the instructor, take the missed examination or quiz in the Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies during office hours. This is done by appointment only. Since space is limited, the student must call the Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies to schedule an appointment. No exams or quizzes can be taken on a walk-in basis.
Academic Grievance Appeal Procedure
If a student has a grievance concerning a class in which he or she is enrolled, the student will first try to resolve the problem with the instructor of the class. If it is impossible to resolve the matter at this level, the student must place the grievance in writing and can then appeal to the next higher level. The student should inquire at the office of the dean responsible for the course in question for the proper appeal procedure if the student’s grievance is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction after appeal to the instructor.
Computation of Academic Average Upon Change of Major
Students who change their major must meet all the requirements of the new curriculum.
- The student may request, when changing to the new major, that the grades earned for no more than four courses completed under the former major and not required in the new major be omitted from the computation of the cumulative GPA and changed to pass/no pass. Such courses may be applied to the new major only as free or limited electives.
- All course work and grades received under the former major remain part of the student’s academic record. However, the student’s cumulative GPA will be recomputed effective with the change to the new major. (Original grades are used to compute academic honors at commencement.)
- Students should consult with their academic advisor and submit a written request to the associate dean.
Dropping and Adding of Courses
All dropping and adding of courses can be accomplished only by contacting the Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies. Notice to the instructor of intention to drop is not acceptable. A student who does not drop a course officially will receive a grade of F (failure) for the course. Students who are veterans and who have changedthe number of credits (semester hours) for which they are enrolled as a result of dropping or adding must immediately notify the coordinator of Veterans Affairs. For specific dates and the effect of dropping and adding courses on the transcript, please consult the academic calendar or call the Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies.
Repetition of Courses (Voluntary)
A student may repeat any course, regardless of the grade, to change a cumulative GPA on the permanent record. The conditions are:
- No course may be repeated more than once without written permission from the associate dean.
- Courses previously taken under the standard grading system (A through F) may be repeated under the pass/no pass option. However, they must fall within the regulation for pass/no pass, and the student must receive a passing grade in order to effect any change on the transcript.
- When a course is repeated, the former grade remains on the transcript but carries no credit and is not used in calculating the student’s cumulative GPA. The latter grade replaces the original grade for credit and quality points on the transcript. This applies even when the latter grade is lower than the former. If a student withdraws from a repeated course, no change will be affected. Please note that in cases of academic fraud, this policy does not apply.
- Permission to repeat a course for cumulative GPA change must be approved by the academic advisor.
- A student may not repeat a course to earn academic honors.
- “Repetition of Course” forms are available in the appropriate campus office. The completed form must be presented to that office when the student enrolls in the course.
Courses, once attempted at Widener, cannot be repeated at another institution without the permission of the associate dean, and in no case can the repeat affect the Widener University cumulative grade-point average.
Substitution of Courses
Another course may be substituted for a required course under special circumstances. This requires approval of the associate dean. Students desiring this option should consult with their academic advisor and submit a written request.
Waiver of Courses
Certain courses may be waived if a student has achieved a passing grade in a higher level course in the same subject. Only a required course can be waived. In lieu of the waived course, a course of the same credit value is to be scheduled, such course to be determined by the academic advisor in consultation with the associate dean. Approval of a course waiver is made by the associate dean. Students must submit the request in writing.
Credit by Examination
College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)—Any student may take CLEP tests to demonstrate college-level competency. There are two test categories. The “Subject Examination” measures achievement in college courses that the Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies equates to its offerings. The “General Examination” measures achievements in subject matter that can be credited as electives. If an upper-level course has been taken, a student cannot register for a CLEP test at a lower level in the same subject area.
DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSSTs)—The DANTES program is a testing service conducted by Educational Testing Service. These tests have been used by U.S. military personnel to obtain credit toward a degree. In 1983, the tests were made available for the first time for use by civilians. Graduate and Continuing Studies recognizes the recommendation for credit made by the American Council on Education, and awards credit for subjects that can be equated to Graduate and Continuing Studies courses.
The Undergraduate Writing Program
Writing is more than simply a means of communication, and good writing is a skill that should be mastered by all students. Writing is also a means of thinking and learning, and as such it is an important tool that faculty can use as part of the learning process. In order to develop good writing in all students, Widener University has developed a university-wide writing program.
UENG 101 is required for all Graduate and Continuing Studies students. All incoming students who do not need to take UENG 101 will need to complete the writing sample during their first semester on campus. Each school/college periodically uses a writing sample administered by the Writing Center to document the writing progress of their students. Students who need to raise their level of writing have the opportunity to complete a personal writing instruction plan coordinated by the Writing Center. Alternatively, students with a serious deficiency also have the option to take an appropriate course to addresses the deficiency.
The following table lists the timeframe during which a Graduate and Continuing Studies student must complete the writing sample administered by the Writing Center. The table gives the minimum scores students are expected to obtain without having to complete additional work. Certain majors may require higher scores than those listed.
|Credits Toward Degree
|1 - 27
|28 - 73
|74 and above
Writing Enriched Courses—All students must complete courses that are designated as “writing enriched.” A writing enriched course has three or more writing assignments that include student editing and revision so that students learn to correct their writing errors. The multiple writing assignments, including revisions, total at least 25 pages. Writing enriched courses are specifically designated on the schedule of course offerings with the notation “W.” Certain programs may require specific courses to satisfy this requirement and a student may have to take more than four writing enriched courses to complete his or her degree. Students may be required to take as many as four writing enriched (W) courses according to the following:
|Credits Toward Degree
|1 - 27
||4 W courses
|28 - 73
||3 W courses
|74 and above
||2 W courses
Please note: Transfer courses may not count toward writing enriched courses.
Writing Requirements for Graduation—Associate’s degree candidates must complete a minimum of one writing enriched course and attain a level 4 competency on the writing sample to graduate. Bachelor’s degree candidates must complete the number of writing courses based on the credits at the time of enrollment (see table above) and attain a level 5 competency on the writing sample to graduate. All final writing samples must be completed within 18 months of graduation.
Program Support—Writing Center
The university maintains a Writing Center to assist students with writing assignments in any course. Professional tutors in the center work individually with students and coordinate their efforts with instructors. The center is equipped with a network of computers for students to use. Faculty encourage students to use the center from the first draft of an assignment through to the final revision. Call the center at 610-499-4332 for more information.
All students must demonstrate proficiency in mathematics prior to graduation by successfully completing a mathematics course (UMAT 111 or higher).
Academic Progress Policy
Standards for Cumulative GPA
To be in good standing, students must meet the following academic progress standards:
|Semester Hours Completed
|15.5 or fewer
|16 - 30.5
|31 - 60.5
|61 and more
Graduate and Continuing Studies students who do not meet these standards will have their records reviewed by the associate dean to determineif they should be dismissed or if they should be allowed to continue their studies. If students are allowed to continue, they may be required to meet specific conditions established by Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies administrators.
In addition, students may be required to submit a written academic plan on improving their academic average and meet on a regular basis with their advisor. This provision may be continued until a 2.00 cumulative GPA is attained.
Mandatory Repetition of a Course
Any student falling below the appropriate minimum GPA standard who fails a required course in his or her major, must repeat the course in the next regular semester (i.e., fall or spring) that it is offered.
Standards for Semesterly Progress
Grounds for dismissal for academic failure include:
- Failing to achieve the minimum GPA necessary for good standing consistent with “Standards for Cumulative GPA.”
- Failing six or more credits in one semester.
- Failing to meet the specific requirements and conditions stipulated by the Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies, including failure to make adequate academic progress.
Note that the two summer sessions comprise one semester.
Students who are dismissed have the option to petition the Center for Extended Learning for reinstatement under specific requirements and conditions.
Standards for Eligibility for Junior Level Courses
Some programs require a GPA higher than the minimum GPA on the progress ladder in “Standards for Cumulative GPA” or stipulate other conditions for continuation into the junior year. To learn about such standards and conditions, students should consult with their academic advisor.
Academic Residency Policy
An Graduate and Continuing Studies student seeking a bachelor’s degree must be enrolled for the last 30 semester hours (15 semester hours for the associate’s degree or a minor/certificate program) in courses offered by Widener through the Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies or one of its other schools or colleges.
- Not included in the last 30 semester hours is academic credit earned through prior learning (such as successful scores attained in the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or the awarding of credit for life/learning experiences) or credit awarded for courses taken at other institutions.
- A minimum of 50 percent of credits in the student’s major program area must be taken at Widener.
- A student is expected to continue his/her studies in the Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies once matriculated status has been established.
- Requests for “transfer back of credit” occur in cases in which a student who is close to completion of a degree must withdraw from Graduate and Continuing Studies because of a move to another geographical part of the country, or a student needs a course to graduate that is not being offered (requests in this case must be completed prior to the final semester). This policy provides for exceptions to be made to the college’s residency rule, which states that the last 30 credits (15 credits for associate’s degree) must be taken at Widener University.
A student who anticipates qualifying for graduation should arrange for an advising session when 90 credits have been earned if seeking the bachelor’s degree, or 50 credits if seeking the associate’s degree. At this session, remaining course requirements will be confirmed.
When the student has determined the expected graduation date, a graduation petition is completed online. The university confers degrees three times a year but only one ceremony is held (in May). If the expected graduation date is May, the petition must be submitted by November 1 of the previous year; if August, by March 1 of that year; and if December, by July 1 of that year.
When the graduation petition is received, the student’s academic record is reviewed. The student is notified by email regarding approval or denial of the petition.
All details and instructions regarding the commencement exercises are posted online at www.widener.edu/commencement in the spring. The site is updated regularly, so check back often for important information.
To graduate from the Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies, students must:
- Satisfactorily complete all required courses in curriculum and have cleared any “I” (incomplete) grades.
- Have at least a 2.00 overall GPA and, if applicable, the minimum GPA for the major courses.
- Satisfy residency requirement by taking the last 30 credits of classroom instruction at Widener University. (15 credits for associate degrees.)
- Take at least 50 percent of the major courses at Widener University.
- Take the required number of writing enriched courses.
- Earn the required score on the writing sample within 18 months of graduation.
- Submit no more than three credits of successfully completed developmental courses toward fulfillment of his/her graduation requirements.
- Demonstrate math proficiency by completing UMAT 111 or higher.
- Submit a Petition to Graduate form with payment by the deadline.
Any student who intends to take a CLEP examination, a challenge examination, or who needs a score of 5 on the writing sample (4 for associate’s degree students) must do so by March 1 for a May graduation date, August 1 for an August graduation date, and November 1 for a December graduation date.
August Graduate Participation Policy
Students who have a cumulative grade-point average equal to or greater than 2.00 and who have no more than nine credits (bachelor’s degree) or four credits (associate’s degree) remaining to complete the requirements for the degree may petition for permission to participate in the May commencement ceremony. To petition for permission to participate in the ceremony, the student must, before February 1:
- Verify through consultation with the associate dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies that the minimum academic requirements as stated above are met.
- Submit for approval a written summer course plan to the associate dean detailing completion on or before August 30 of these credits.
- Receive written permission from the associate dean to participate in the commencement exercises.
- At the time of the participation petition, the student must also petition for August graduation.
- If a grade of “F” or “I” is received for a course taken during that final summer, the student must re-petition for a later graduation date.
Note: Graduation honors are not announced for students who are participating in the ceremony under this policy. Honors are not calculated until the degree is completed and the student’s graduation is approved.
Conferring of Degrees
Students who complete their graduation requirements by the end of the spring semester and petition to graduate will have degrees conferred at the commencement exercises in May. Students who complete their work and petition to graduate during either the summer or fall semester will be listed as having completed work in either August or December of that year, respectively. There will be no graduation exercises at that time, but students may elect to attend the commencement exercises the following May.
For graduation with the bachelor’s degree, honors will be calculated on all work completed in Graduate and Continuing Studies, including the original grades in the case of substitute and repeated courses and approved course work taken at other schools while an Graduate and Continuing Studies student. A minimum of 45 credits of registered in-class course work must be taken in Graduate and Continuing Studies to be eligible for honors. The minimum grade-point averages for honors are:
||Cum Laude (with distinction)
||Magna Cum Laude (with high distinction)
||Summa Cum Laude (with highest distinction)
For students with transfer credit, the average of all courses taken in Graduate and Continuing Studies (a minimum of 45 registered credits) will be considered for a preliminary review. For those who have averages indicating honors in Graduate and Continuing Studies, and only those, the grades of all prior courses taken at other institutions will be averaged in to determine final eligibility. The final average may not exceed the average earned in Graduate and Continuing Studies.
For transfer or re-entry students who have been out of college for three or more consecutive years, the prior record will be omitted for honors calculation, provided the student has at least 45 credit hours of classroom work in Graduate and Continuing Studies. If a former Graduate and Continuing Studies student has not earned the minimum 45 credits since reentering, all prior Graduate and Continuing Studies classroom work and transfer credit will be included in the honors calculation.
Expectations, Rights, and Responsibilities: The Widener Compact
Widener University is a corporation, chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of Delaware, with authority vested in its Board of Trustees. Appropriate authority, then, is specifically delegated by the board to the president of Widener University, and through the president to other members of the administration and faculty and to individuals and groups throughout the institution. The following policies and procedures articulate specific rights or privileges the university grants students and the expectations it has for them.
The Office of Student Affairs will handle reports of violations of the Widener Compact directly by settlement or by referral to the appropriate hearing boards or administrator. At the discretion of the dean of Student Affairs, parents of students will be notified of disciplinary action or potential problems. Officers and faculty advisors should note that the Office of Student Affairs might withdraw university recognition from student groups or organizations for just cause.
The Right and Freedom to Learn
Widener University is a comprehensive teaching institution. As members of our academic community, our students are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in sustained and independent study. Free inquiry and free expression in an environment of individual and group responsibility are essential to any community of scholars. The following guidelines have been developed to preserve and protect that community.
In the Classroom
- Students are responsible for thoroughly learning the content of any course of study, but they should be free to take reasonable exception to the data or items offered, and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion. Therefore, students should be evaluated by their professors solely on the basis of their academic performance.
- Widener University is prepared to protect a student through orderly procedures against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation by a faculty member.
- Protection against improper disclosure of information concerning a student is a serious professional obligation of faculty members and administrative staff that must be balanced with their other obligations to the individual student, the university, and society.
Out of the Classroom
- Campus organizations, including those affiliated with an extramural organization, must be open to all students without regard to sex, disability, race, age, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, marital status, status as a veteran of the Vietnam era or other covered veteran, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
- Widener University students and university-sponsored or university- recognized organizations are free to examine and discuss any issue and to express opinions, publicly or privately, and are free to support causes by orderly means that do not disrupt the regular and essential operations of the university. Any such expression must comply with university guidelines governing free expression activities (see Student Organizations—Protocols). The participation by any student in any unlawful or disruptive activity that fails to comply with university guidelines or disrupts or interferes with the programs, functions, or conduct of the university is a serious offense punishable by suspension, dismissal, or expulsion.
- The student press is free of censorship, and its editors and managers are free to develop their own editorial policies and news coverage; however, Widener expects accurate reporting, correct writing, and good judgments in matters of taste.
- As constituents of the academic community, students are free to express their views on institutional policy and on matters of general interest to the student body, provided they do so in a manner that is lawful and organized and complies with university guidelines regulating free expressive activities (see Student Organizations—Protocols). For this purpose, students elect representatives to the Student Government Association. There is also Student Services Committee, chaired by a member of the faculty, on which student members sit.
Additional Student Rights and Responsibilities
The policies and procedures contained in this bulletin are premised on several basic rights for all members of the Widener community. In addition to the rights articulated in the “The Right and Freedom to Learn” section of this bulletin, students have the following additional basic rights and responsibilities:
The Right to Safety and Security
In order to assist Campus Safety and to promote security on campus, individuals must assume responsibilities for their own safety and security and for those of others. Students share this responsibility by carefully following all university and community rules and regulations.
The Right to a Clean Environment
All members of the Widener community share the responsibility for maintaining a clean environment.
The Right to Communal Property
For the general welfare of the university, all students have a responsibility to exercise reasonable care in the use of personal or university property.
The Right to an Environment Suitable for Study and for Community Living
Academic study requires a reasonably quiet environment. Community living requires that all members of the Widener community respect one another and each person’s property and share a responsibility for maintaining a clean and safe environment.
The Right to Safe and Secure Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s educational records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access.
Students should submit to the registrar, associate dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
Students may ask the university to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write to the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the university will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to university officials with legitimate educational interests. A university official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including, without limitation, law enforcement unit personnel, health staff, athletic coaches and trainers, and admissions counselors and recruiters); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a person assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
A university official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility and/or to perform his or her job duties.
Upon request, the university discloses education records without consent to officials of another university in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Widener University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-4605
- The right to withhold public disclosure of any or all items of “directory information” by written notification to the Registrar’s Office of the university or the school of law, as applicable, within two (2) weeks after the commencement of the fall or spring semesters of any given academic year. Under current university policy, the term “directory information” includes, without limitation, a student’s name, home and campus address, electronic mail address, home and campus telephone number, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, enrollment status, degrees, honors and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.
Student Code of Conduct
Graduate and Continuing Studies students must read and adhere to the Widener University Student Code of Conduct, which can be found in the Student Handbook at widener.edu/studenthandbook.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs
General Education Goals and Objectives
- A liberally educated graduate communicates effectively.
- Gives clear presentations before a group.
- Writes papers that require locating, analyzing, and formally referencing information sources to support conclusions.
- A liberally educated graduate thinks critically.
- Makes claims and draws conclusions that require the analysis and evaluation of evidence.
- Synthesizes divergent content, methodologies, and models.
- Makes and assesses ethical judgments.
- Demonstrates an awareness of different points of view and analyzes how these are informed by factors that may include culture, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender identity, age, disabilities, language, religion, sexual orientation, or geographical area, among others.
- A liberally educated graduate uses quantitative methods effectively.
- Solves problems using mathematical methods.
- Interprets, makes inferences, and draws conclusions from data.
- Determines whether numerical results are reasonable.
- A liberally educated graduate has developed a wide range of intellectual perspectives and methodologies.
- Evaluates the workings of the natural and physical world using theories and models that can be tested by experiments and observations.
- Evaluates social science theories and research methods related to questions of human behavior, mental processes, communication, social and cultural structures, and institutions.
- Evaluates philosophical, historical, and aesthetic arguments, evidence, and artifacts.
Developmental courses enable students to master fundamental knowledge that they need to succeed in their curricula at Widener. The following courses are designated as developmental:
Developmental courses do not satisfy distribution requirements. No more than three credits of developmental coursework may be counted toward graduation.
ProgramsAssociate in ScienceBachelor of ArtsBachelor of Science