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Information for MAPS Families

Welcome to the MAPS Parents as Partners page! MAPS understands that families can be a major source of support and information for the student. As a result, MAPS works hard to keep families up to date with important WCU information, but also support families in their support of their student. Resources include the Parents as Partners webinar series and a collection of important dates, tips, terminology, and catalog of services available to students.

What parents can do

Remind your student of the tutoring services (the Math Tutoring Center for Math, the Writing and Learning Commons for other course tutoring and writing assistance) offered on campus or encourage your student to visit professors during office hours to get help or discuss academic performance.

Resource Highlight

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) serves to assist students to be successful at WCU. CAPS has a strong commitment to meeting the needs of diverse students by providing high quality, culturally sensitive services and by creating a welcoming environment for all people.

CAPS staff provide counseling within a goal-directed, short-term model. When you first come into CAPS, a counselor will spend some time to understand your current symptoms and struggles along with your goals for counseling. Your counselor will then refer you to the appropriate service, which may include connecting you to other offices on campus, such as Advising, OAR, or ICA. 

Enrolled students who have paid the student health fee are eligible to receive services. All students are eligible to participate in groups, workshops, emergency services, and to use the self-help resources on the CAPS website .

To schedule an appointment, contact CAPS at 828.227.7469 during routine business hours (8am to 6pm). CAPS does offer telemental health appointments. In person services are also available; clients choosing in person must be screened for COVID symptoms before entering the Bird Building. 

CAPS also offers after-hours and weekend emergency coverage for trauma and life-threatening situations such as a suicide and sexual assault. To activate the after hours clinician, contact 828.227.7469 and press "0" when prompted.

Ways to Help Your Student Learning Online

Create A Study Plan

If you want to help your student be successful in the coming months in their online classes, be sure to sit down and go over their study plan with them if they have one. If they don't, work on one together and ask them how you can best support them during this time.

Designate A Study Space

Having a space where your study can work is important. With this sudden change of moving home, your student lost what might be their most consistent study space while away at school. Ask them what they need out of a study space, and then help them plan accordingly to where they will do their work. 

Eliminate Any Distractions

Whether in the dorm or at home, no space is free of distractions. Students moving home may find this transition difficult due to distractions they did not need to deal with while away or may find temptations with ones they often don't have issues with. Work together with your students on when they plan on doing their work so you know when to do activities in their proximity that might be considered distracting.

Limit Social Media Use

While you can't necessarily tell your student to not use social media while working, it is important to remember that we are currently in a situation that is fluid & ever-changing. COVID-19 is new, and developments on the outbreak are constantly being put in the media. Reading/listening to these can disrupt a student's routine and/or make them anxious. With this in mind, consider making a pact to only use social media when not in a study space.

Below is a partial list of terms that you and your student will come in contact with on campus with brief definitions.

Academic Dishonesty This can refer to a range of various offenses, but most commonly includes plagiarism (i.e., taking credit for someone else’s work), cheating, and copying assignments.  These are serious charges and may result in failing a course, having a student conduct hearing, and/or being dismissed from the university.

Authorized User A person who has been given access to view and receive updates for a student’s financial account.  Students can set up this access through their MyWCU student account.

Catalog An online resource that provides information about academic policies, procedures, course requirements and descriptions.  It can be found at

Chancellor’s List An academic honor given to students who earn a 3.8 GPA or higher during the semester.

Course Withdrawal A process for a student to remove a course from his/her schedule after the drop/add period ends.  The student will receive a grade of W, which will not impact their GPA, but may impact their academic status and/or financial aid eligibility.  Students are encouraged to consult with an academic advisor prior to withdrawing from a course.  The withdrawal deadline is in the middle of the semester.

Dean’s List An academic honor given to students who earn a 3.5 GPA or higher during the semester.

Degree Audit An online document that tracks a student’s completion towards fulfilling their degree requirements.  This is accessible through MyWCU and should be checked often to ensure that the student is on track for completing their degree in a timely manner.

Drop/Add A period of time at the beginning of each semester when students can make changes to their class schedule without any penalties.  These changes do not show up on a student’s permanent academic record (i.e. transcript).  This is typically the first week of classes for a regular (i.e., fall and spring) semester.

Electives Courses that a student takes for credit which do not count towards the specific requirements for a major or minor, but do fulfill hours towards overall completion of the student’s degree.

Emergency Alerts WCU Alerts is a system that allows students, faculty, staff and parents to receive a message in case of emergency. Messages can be sent to e-mail, cell phone or home phone.
Sign up!

FAFSA The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) asks students and parents (of dependent students) to provide information related to personal income and federal taxes in order to determine eligibility for federal grant, loan, and work-study programs, as well as other types of financial aid.

FERPA The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.  See Release of Student Information for additional information.

Full-time Course Load A student is enrolled in at least 12 credit hours per semester.  Before dropping below 12 credit hours, a student should consult with an academic advisor and the financial aid office.

GPA Grade Point Average (GPA) measures a student’s academic performance.  The calculation is based on the point value of each letter grade.  The total number of points earned is divided by the number of credit hours attempted.  This determines a student’s academic standing, along with Satisfactory Academic Progress (see definition below).

  • Semester GPA: a calculation based on the student’s academic performance for a given term.
  • Cumulative GPA: a calculation based on the student’s overall academic performance for their entire enrollment at WCU.  Note: transfer credits do not calculate into a student’s WCU GPA.

HIPAA The Health Information and Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) federal guidelines refer to the privacy and security regulations concerning the protection of patient health information.  This means that parents and family members may not have access to a student’s health records.

JobCat 2.0 WCU’s on-campus job database.  In addition, it offers job and internship postings, a list of upcoming career and networking events, and other resources for students and alumni.

Liberal Studies A required set of courses that are part of a student’s bachelor’s degree program.  Liberal Studies requires a total of 42 semester hours, distributed in the following way: The Core (21 hours), The First-Year Seminar (3 hours), and The Perspectives (18 hours).

Engage An online directory that provides a list of all registered student clubs and organizations.  Students can create an account and sign up online.

Major A student’s primary field of study.  Students must complete a set number of courses to fulfill their program requirements.

Minor A secondary field of study or area of specialization.  Some majors require student to have a minor as part of their degree.

Release of Student Information A six-digit code which is set by a student through their MyWCU account and provides a way for university personnel to verify a student's identity before discussing the student's academic records by telephone.  Student consent is required before any WCU administrative office can discuss most specific issues pertaining to a student’s records with third parties. The student can choose to assign a different six-digit code to another person, so that they can contact university personnel for information.

Satisfactory Academic Progress In order to remain in good standing, a student must complete at least 67% of attempted credit hours per semester as well as over their entire enrollment at WCU.

Syllabus An outline of an instructor’s plan of action for a class.  It usually provides the purpose and goals of the course as well as student requirements, grading structure, due dates, and assignment schedule.

Term/University Withdrawal A process for a student to remove all courses from their schedule after the drop/add period ends.  The student will receive grades of W, which will not impact their GPA, but may impact their academic status and/or financial aid eligibility.  Students must complete this process through the Advising Center.

Transcript A student’s permanent academic record which provides an official listing of courses taken and grades received during a student’s college career.  This also includes their major, degree, grade point averages, and academic standing.

Below is a partial list of University faculty and staff you may encounter.

Academic Advisor A faculty or professional staff member who provides guidance to students regarding course requirements, completion of their degree, academic and personal goals, and career planning.

Area Coordinator Master’s level professional staff member who oversees the Resident Assistants (RAs) for specific residence halls.

Career Counselor Professional staff in the Center for Career and Professional Development that administer assessments and meet with students one-on-one and help students explore future career options and the education needed for that career.

Counselor Counseling Center staff that work with students on emotional issues such as depression and anxiety that might interfere with the students’ academic performance.  Students can walk-in or call 828-227-7469 for an appointment.

Dean of Students The Dean of Students office serves as a resource for all students with the goal of cultivating a supportive campus community for everyone. The office also serves as a primary contact for parents and families of WCU students.  Visit for more information.

Instructor/Professor Doctoral or Master’s Level faculty serving as the lead teacher in a class.  The Instructor decides how the class will be taught, what material will be covered and how student’s knowledge is measured.

IT Services Staff Staff and students who specifically trained to work with all computer issues that arise.  Students can contact the IT Help Desk at 828.227.7487 for assistance or visit the Technology Commons on the bottom floor of Hunter Library.

Resident Assistant (RA) An undergraduate student who lives in the residence hall and has been trained to assist students and uphold residential living policies within each building.

Residential Case Manager Master’s level professional staff member with a background in Student Development, Counseling, or closely related field.  The Residential Case Manager serves as a support for students who may be having difficulty with adjusting to college life or handling social and academic issues.  They provide individual follow up with students and make referrals to campus services as needed.

Reference Librarian Hunter Library Staff specifically trained to aid students in research and use of reference materials.

Teaching Assistant (TA) A graduate student who may serve as the instructor of an introductory course or assist a faculty member with lab instruction, group work, or grading assignments.

Tutor WCU offers tutoring in many subjects and offers writing tutors who assist at any point of a written assignment.  Tutors are trained to work one-on-one or in small groups with students outside of class, helping the student assess the material presented in class.  Students can make an appointment for tutoring through their MyWCU account.

Below is a list of Campus offices you might interact with at WCU.

Advising Center: Provides comprehensive academic advising to undeclared and declared undergraduate students at WCU.
1st Floor, Killian Annex
Phone: 828.227.7753
Fax 828.227.7022  

Campus Recreation and Wellness: Where there is something for everyone!

Career Services: Assists WCU students with finding non-work study student employment, choosing a major and career path, identifying internships, creating job search documents, and securing employment after graduation.
150 Reid Building
Phone: 828.227.7133  

Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning: Connects students, faculty, and staff with service opportunities in the region and supports the University’s commitment to civic engagement. Explore your community, while making a difference in it!
273 Belk Building
Phone: 828.227.7184  

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): Student privacy, urgency of assistance, and confidentiality are top priority.
225 Bird Building

Dean of Students & Student Affairs Serves as a resource to address issues of student concern and wellbeing.
227 H.F. Robinson Administration Building
Phone: 828.227.7147  

Financial Aid Office:
105 Cordelia Camp

Hunter Library:
176 Central Drive

Intercultural Affairs: Provides an inclusive environment that examines, recognizes, accepts and affirms human differences and similarities.
2nd Floor A.K. Hinds University Center
Campus Map
phone: 828.227.2276
fax: 828.227.7620  

Mentoring and Persistence to Success (MAPS): Coordinates summer learning communities and provides services, resources, and academic support to first generation, low income, and financially independent students.
205 Killian Annex

Mathematics Tutoring Center: Provides tutoring support in mathematics and related courses.
2nd Floor, Killian Annex

Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR): Collaborates with students, campus and community members to remove barriers and ensure equal access for all qualified students with disabilities.
137 Killian Annex
Phone: 828.227.3886  

Office of Leadership & Student Involvement: Catamount life is ongoing and full of opportunities for students to become involved and make an impact on campus and within the surrounding community!
3rd floor A.K. Hinds University Center
Engage Website  

Office of Student Transitions: Aims to foster a holistic approach that will empower students to succeed as they transition to college life and discover a passion for learning.
107 Killian Annex

OneStop: A centrally-located service center that makes it quick and convenient for students and parents to conduct university-related business involving financial aid, Cat Card activity, Registrar, cashiering, and general student services.
132 Killian Annex

WCU Police Department:

WCU Police Department
114 East University Way
Cullowhee, NC 28723
Phone: 828.227.7301
Emergencies: 828.227.8911  

Residential Living: Creates a community where ALL students feel valued and celebrated.
1st West Scott Hall
Phone: 828.227.7303  

Student Employment:
Reid Hall

Student Health Services: Meets student health care needs.
Bird Building

Suite 201 (Teacher Recruitment, Advising and Career Support): A centralized office in the College of Education and Allied Professions that provides support services to students from recruitment through the beginning years of teaching.
Suite 201, Killian

Undergraduate and Transfer Admissions:
110 H.F. Robinson Administration Building

Writing and Learning Commons: Provides tutoring, academic skills consultations, and online learning resources.
207 Belk Building

Office of Web Services