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 catalog.wcu.edu.
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
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 here!
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
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
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
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).
OrgSync 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.
ScholarCat An online system which students use to apply for university scholarships. It usually
opens at the beginning of October and the deadline is at the beginning of February.
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
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 dos.wcu.edu 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
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.
Provides academic advising support for undergraduate students at WCU.
214 Killian Annex
Campus Recreation and Wellness:
Where there is something for everyone!
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.
205 Killian Annex
Center for 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
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.
114 Scott East
Financial Aid Office:
118 Killian Annex
176 Central Drive
Provides an inclusive environment that examines, recognizes, accepts and affirms human differences and similarities.
2nd Floor A.K. Hinds University Center
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.
455 Stillwell Building
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.
144 Killian Annex
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
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.
224 Killian Annex
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
114 East University Way
Creates a community where ALL students feel valued and celebrated.
1st West Scott Hall
Student Health Services:
Meets student health care needs.
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 Admission:
102 Camp Building
Writing and Learning Commons:
Provides tutoring, academic skills consultations, and online learning resources.
207 Belk Building