Welcome New W&J Parents – Spring

Welcome to the W&J Community!

We are thrilled that you, by extension of your student matriculating at W&J, will also be a part of the spirit of W&J and we look forward to establishing a collaborative relationship with you as we work to support the academic and personal development of your student over the next few years on campus. We know that coming to college is a big step and we recognize and respect the investment this requires as a student and as a parent or family member. We look forward to connecting with you and meeting your student this spring.

 

How to Support your Student

We are excited to welcome your student to W&J Gateway; an informational resource and process for students to submit required forms, register for housing, and submit interests and preferences for our faculty to build their course schedule. W&J Gateway is supported by staff who are available to answer your calls, emails, and social media inquiries during business hours Monday through Friday. Students are encouraged to read through all of the content on the Gateway site as well as check the site and their W&J email regularly for updates throughout the next few weeks.

In addition to the Gateway site, regular email (through the W&J email account) will go out to students before arrival. These communications will help answer questions that the team frequently receives over as well as help prepare new students for arrival.

What Your Student Will Find on W&J Gateway

Information to Help Students Prepare for Spring Semester

W&J Gateway provides an abundance of general information to help your student prepare for their first semester. This includes information on campus life, housing, what to bring, and campus services. Additionally, information on orientation and arrival/move-in are provided.

Required Forms

Course Interest Form

To begin the course schedule building process, students need to submit a course interest form. This form invites students to indicate their intended major(s)/minor(s) and identify preference of courses. Through this form, your student will provide us with key information needed to build their course schedule. Once your student submits their Course Interest Form, faculty will begin constructing course schedules. This process is utilized to ensure that students have high quality course schedules that not only match their interests, but keep them on track with W&J's academic requirements in the framework of a liberal arts education.

College Medical Form

A completed Medical History form is required for all students. This form also contains a section for NCAA athletes, which must be completed for them to participate in their sport.

Physical Exam & Meningitis Forms

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we recognize that completing your physical examination may be difficult by the January 14 deadline. However, we do ask that you please bring it with you at move-in. Physical examinations completed within the last 6 months with an immunization record will also be accepted.

Gateway Form

The Gateway form is the College entrance form. It includes the following sections:

Emergency Contacts - Emergency contacts are kept on file on campus. Your student is asked to list a primary and secondary emergency contact.

Housing Preferences - This section is used to place your student in campus housing and to pair them with a roommate (if applicable). Encourage your student to fill it out honestly as possibly; this is especially helpful with roommate matching. Research shows that this when this form is filled out candidly, it leads to more successful roommate pairings and it supports healthier living environments.

Parking Pass Registration – All vehicles utilizing campus parking must be registered with Campus & Public Safety through this form. There is no fee for parking at W&J.

Tell us More About You – We ask all students to provide some insight about their activities and interests so that we can better connect them with campus opportunities. Additionally, this information is shared with their LINK mentors, Student Success Consultants (SSCs) and Advisors so that they assist in advising about campus connections.

Student ID Photo Instructions

The College allows students to submit their ID photo; instructions for acceptable photo submissions are available in the "Forms" section of W&J Gateway IDs will be ready at check in for student who submit a picture in advance.

Travel Shuttle Request

The College offers shuttle service to and from the Pittsburgh International Airport, Pittsburgh Greyhound Station and Pittsburgh Amtrak Station. The service is limited to specific times such as move-in, academic breaks, move-out. A $40 fee for each one-way trip is applied to your student’s bill. Additional options such Uber are also available. Freedom Transit also provides service to the east busway, which is near Amtrak, Greyhound and Megabus stations in downtown Pittsburgh.

How Gateway Unfolds Before the Spring Semester

December 20 - Course Placements Become Available

The Gateway process will being on December 20th with course placements. Students are required to complete both the math placement and a modern (foreign) language placement for each language that they studied prior to W&J, even if they do not intend on studying the same languages at W&J. For example, if they studied both French and Spanish, they should do a placement for each. These placements are instrumental in the process of schedule creation.

Please note that students will not receive a numerical score for their placement as there are several factors that play into how they are placed. High school transcripts, AP credits and transfer credits all contribute to their final placement. Placements must be completed by January 14 to ensure that the course placement process can begin for the student.

January TBD - Course Schedules and Housing Placements Sent Out

Your student will receive an email to their W&J account with information on how to view their course schedule and housing assignment, should they decide to live on campus this spring.

January TBD- New Student Move-in

Move-in will be sent to you via your W&J email closer to the beginning of the Spring semester. Specific move-in times will be assigned by the Office of Residence Life. Expectations and guidelines for move-in will be announced soon.

December 20 - W&J Gateway Go Live

W&J Gateway will be available on December 20. We encourage students to take their time and read through the content on the site throughout the next month. Updates and new information will be posted before the start of the semester, students are encouraged to continue to check Gateway regularly.

January 14 - W&J Gateway Forms Due

All required forms in the "Forms" section are due on January 14. Please note, that the site is not "first come, first served" and all students will have until January 14 to complete their forms. As forms are received, faculty will begin building course schedules and Residence Life will begin housing students. It is vital that your student gets their forms in on time, so that these processes can begin for them.

Move-in and Orientation

Move-in will be in January TBD. A specific move-in time will be sent to students based on their housing placement. Be sure to encourage your student to keep an eye on their W&J email and W&J Gateway for updates throughout December and January. Specific move-in instructions, such as where to unload and park are available on W&J Gateway.

Please note: as the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, these dates could be subject to change based on guidance from state and federal authorities.

New Student Orientation: Forge Your Foundation

Orientation is designed to aid your student in their transition, integrate them into the life of the W&J community, and introduce them to the broad opportunities available at W&J. During Orientation, they will be introduced to academic expectations, the diversity of the college, and the importance of community as a whole, both within W&J and beyond campus. More specifically, they will have opportunities to connect with faculty members, learn more about resources and services on campus, hear about community roles and traditions from upper-class students, and establish relationships with their peers in their new home.

More information about Spring Orientation will be made and communicated to incoming students in the near future.

Student Safety & Health Services

Campus Life & Student Support Services

The College believes that life on campus is a powerful piece of your student’s overall educational experience. Through living with others and their experiences outside of the classroom, students learn crucial communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills which will aid in their development. These so called “soft skills” are increasingly more sought after by employers and help students be more effective as leaders beyond W&J. Throughout their time at W&J, a variety of opportunities and experiences will be available to them to shape their experience.

Living on Campus

Here are some important things you should know about living on campus:

  1. Fridges - Students can bring a refrigerator, but it must be less than 4 cubic feet. Microfridges (which include a microwave unit) can be rented here.
  2. Coffeemakers - Coffeemakers and other devices with hot plates are not permitted, Keurigs and comparable coffeemakers are allowed.
  3. Air Conditioners - Air conditioners cannot be installed in room windows, if students need an air conditioner for a medical reason they will have to complete College Accommodation Form.
  4. Room Furniture - The provided furniture cannot be removed from their room. It also cannot be altered or painted.
  5. Wall Art - Students can hang art on the walls with tape or command strips, but they cannot puncture the wall with nails, screws, etc. They also cannot paint the room. Hanging tapestries are not permitted.
  6. Carpets and Rugs - Students can bring a carpet or rug, but it cannot be adhered to the floor.
  7. Lighting - Holiday lights and lights with halogen bulbs are not permitted.
  8. Cooking Devices- Microwaves, toaster ovens, portable grills and items with an exposed heating element (such as hot plates) are not permitted. However, there is a microwave in every building and students can rent a MicroFridge (which shuts the power off to the fridge unit when the microwave runs, making it safer for large buildings).
  9. Candles - Candles and other devices with open flames are not permitted.
  10. Weapons and Explosives - Guns, incendiary devices (such as fireworks), and other weapons are not permitted in the Residence Halls.

Shopping List

Residence Life offers list to help students prepare for life on campus. This list will aid you in your shopping and packing. In addition, the bottom section contains all prohibited items which are not permitted in Residence Hall rooms for safety reasons. Click Shopping List to view the list of items you may want to prepare for.

Student Engagement

Student Clubs & Organizations

There are a variety of clubs and organizations that students can join. Students have the ability throughout the school year to create new clubs and organizations based on their interests! For more information about student clubs and organizations, you can contact the Coordinator of Student Activities and Organizations, Lyssa Gomez, at lgomez@washjeff.edu.

On Campus Activities

There are many ways for your student to enjoy campus life and get involved during your time at W&J! Campus offices and student organizations sponsor dozens of events each semester. Twice a week, students receive an electronic newsletter (W&J Weekly) which will provide more details on events for the week. In addition, campus events are posted via flyers around campus. Listed below is a small sampling of activities that are available to students (in alphabetical order).

Big Bingo- A bingo event where thousands of dollars in prizes are given away. Admission is free!

DIY (Do it Yourself) Events – Learn from fellow students, staff, and/or faculty about the ‘how to’ of the latest trending DIY crafts and projects.

DUBJAM- An annual celebration of the end of the school year that, in the past, has included things such as carnival rides, live animals, game booths, a drive in movie, and laser tag. At the end of the day, Student Government Association hosts the big concert of the year. In the past, bands such as Third Eye Blind, The Clarks, Uncle Kracker, Mike Stud, Kid Ink, and Wale have performed.

Feel Good Friday - Throughout the fall and spring semesters, various offices on campus host "Feel Good Friday" events during lunchtime on Fridays, in which they do giveaways of prizes or free food to students.

Free Friday Bowling - Students can enjoy 2 free rounds of bowling and free shoe rentals at Alpine Lanes in Washington with your W&J ID. Occurs every Friday from 1-3pm.

Late Nite Breakfast (pictured above) - Each semester, students are invited to the dining hall at night for a free breakfast served by staff members. This is one of the most popular events offered each semester.

DubJay's Diner - Student run and open every Friday and Saturday night, come enjoy free snacks, milkshakes and entertainment! DubJay's Diner also hosts frequent Karaoke nights and special theme nights. Sponsored and run by the Student Activities Board (SAB).

President's Events - President Knapp and his wife Kelly host a variety of events at their home for students throughout the year.

Produce to People - Every month students, faculty, and staff members volunteer to help distribute fresh food to the local community.

Symposium on Democracy - Held on Presidents Day each year, the symposium is led by expert speakers, participants examined a range of topics including the challenges inherent in founding and sustaining a democracy, the intersection of democracy and technology, and a holistic analysis of the founding fathers – particularly our namesakes – from a 21st century perspective.

A Taste of Washington - Local businesses come to campus throughout the semster and provide information on their student discounts as well as a sampling of their food or services.

College Shuttles

Student Life sponsors various shopping, entertainment, and service shuttles. These include the shuttles listed below as well as providing access to local shopping and dining.

Shopping Shuttles - Weekly shuttles are available to take students to various shopping destinations.

The Pittsburgh Pipeline - Takes students to various points in downtown Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Pipeline runs Saturday afternoons and evenings. This service is available during the academic year.

Academic Break Airport Shuttle Service – Available during academic breaks, this service provides transportation to the Pittsburgh International Airport. This service is available during the academic year and students must present W&J ID and pay a minimal fee.

Local Transportation

Freedom Transit provides local transportation as well as transportation to and from Pittsburgh. For any questions, please call 724-223-2442.

Student Support Services

Student Success Consultants

The Student Success Consultants, Yafeu Rougier and Molly Verostick, are professionals dedicated to assisting students as they transition to college life and act as a guide through their first year at W&J.

Each Student Success Consultant works with new students meeting individually two times in a semester to support the students’ acclimation to College. Topics like navigating the campus, engaging with College resources and staff, getting involved in campus activities and reducing communication barriers are covered. The consultants also will have open office hours when students can drop by and ask questions without needing an appointment.

Your student will be introduced to their Student Success Consultant prior to the start of the semester.

LINK Mentors

The W&J LINK Mentor Program, a collaborative effort between Student Life and Academic Affairs, matches an upper-class student with a group of new students for their first year at W&J. LINKs assist new students in adjusting to the academic and social transition between high school and college and to help prepare them to achieve educational, personal and career goals. LINKs provide this help through small group interaction and one-on-one attention during the fall and spring semesters. A LINK will serve as a resource for your student throughout their entire first year at W&J.

Resident Assistants

Resident Assistants (RAs) are upperclass students who live in the residence halls and provide support to new students in their living environments. At the beginning of the semester, RAs will work with new students on roommate and community agreements. Throughout the academic year, RAs will run programs in their areas to build community and help students get acquainted with campus services.

Learn More About W&J

Washington & Jefferson College (“W&J”) was founded in 1781 and is the nation’s eleventh oldest college. Now in its third century, the College, a Phi Beta Kappa institution, adheres to the belief that a liberal arts education is not only the best vehicle for personal intellectual growth, but that it also provides the ideal preparation for professional success. Committed to providing undergraduates with a top-ranked, four-year, co-educational education, W&J aspires to graduate students with a life-long passion for learning, compassion for others, and the ability to translate academic study and personal concern into effective leadership and action in their communities and the world. Ranked as one of the top liberal arts colleges, W&J is above all focused on student success and embraces a holistic approach to the student experience.

The W&J student is an individual who earnestly and honestly wants to excel both inside and outside of the classroom. These students understand the power of education to provide them with a better life as well as a foundation for building the futures they envision. W&J attracts students from all backgrounds and all walks of life and encourages them to engage with ideas and projects that will challenge their boundaries. These students are attracted to the rigor of the institution, the strong connections they establish with a talented faculty and staff, and the solid and proven outcomes of their W&J education.

At W&J the heart of the academic enterprise is the relationship between students and their faculty. There are 156 faculty members, 111 of whom are full time. Faculty members engage in vital professional lives that encompass scholarship and research, but they are at W&J because they are dedicated first and foremost to teaching.

W&J in the Community

Photo above was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students, faculty, and staff are actively involved in the local community. Students collectively put in over 20,000 hours of service work in the community each year. Through partnerships with 35 local non-profit and community organizations, there a variety of ways for students to get involved. With on-campus philanthropic and advocacy efforts all the way through extensive community-based field experience programs. Students have a chance to get engaged with service through the First Year Week of Service, through nine community service-based student organizations, through the Community Outreach Team work-study positions, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Alternative Spring Breaks, and more. Although there are ways in which students can get involved with the community directly through the programs of the office, many students volunteer through their Greek organization, athletic team, or other student organizations. W&J students truly are responsible citizens, and are prepared to contribute substantially to the world in which they live!

Local Business Partnerships

In an effort to strengthen the College's connection with the local community, Student Life launched the Local Business Ambassador's Program. The goal of this program is to highlight businesses which provide a discount to students at W&J through joint promotion and marketing. Over the past several years the program has quickly grown to include over 50 businesses. Participating businesses offer discounts when W&J students show their school ID card.

How and When to Connect

Ways We Keep Students Informed

W&J Weekly

W&J Weekly is a multimedia compilation of announcements and events which is designed to inform the W&J community on a week by week basis. The Weekly consists of a print version, which are on the tables in the campus dining venues and two email newsletters. The main email comes out every Monday and highlights all of the campus happenings for that week. The second (weekend specific) email comes out every Thursday and lists all of the events and news for the coming weekend. Many W&J students, faculty, and staff use the Weekly as their primary source of campus news.

Your student will be automatically signed up for W&J Weekly before the beginning of the Spring Semester.

PrezPoint

The Offices of Communications and Student Life work collaboratively to engage with students on social media through PrezPoint. PrezPoint can be followed on a variety of social media platforms for updates on campus events and announcements.

 

Emergency Notifications - Safety Alerts and Texts

In the event of a campus emergency, students will receive a text message to the number they provide on their Gateway form. Emergency texts are only sent when absolutely necessary. As a family member, you are also welcome to sign-up to receive emergency texts. More information on how to sign-up is available here.

For all other safety alerts, students will receive an email to their W&J account. These alerts are also posted to the Campus & Public Safety webpage.

College Calendar

Outside of W&J Weekly and PrezGuide, students can learn about major campus events through the events calendar on the College website.

Email

W&J email is the primary communication tool of the College. Please encourage your student to keep checking their email throughout the day, every day as a student. Major announcements, safety information, course changes, and other important information is sent to students via email. Students are encourage to get in the habit of regularly checking their email prior to the start of the spring semester as the Gateway team will be using email to contact students.

A Note for Families on the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, prohibits the College from sharing information about students with other individuals. This means that, as a parent, your student needs to provide consent for the College to be able to share information with you about them specifically.

How FERPA Works

The College cannot tell third parties the balance of a student's account or the amount of their loan check. The College cannot tell third parties if students have paid their statement, or the amount and date of the payment.

Grades and information concerning your enrollment status cannot be released except to state and federal agencies requesting specific information necessary to service students appropriately.

Transcripts are only released under a student's explicit written authorization.

The College recognizes that this limitation may cause occasional inconvenience to students, their family, and other interested parties, but the College is bound by law to protect every student's right to privacy.

Students may choose to allow certain individuals access to their information. In order to consent for release of records, students can provide proxy access through their Self Service account. More information on how to set a proxy will be provided at check-in.

For more information on FERPA, visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

Who to Call

Admissions Counselor

Your admission counselor will continue to support you during your transition to W&J.

W&J Gateway

Feel free to call/email W&J Gateway with any questions you may have. The Gateway team is happy to direct your call, in the event they cannot answer your question. You are encouraged to call Gateway with any questions pertaining to:

  • On Campus Housing and Commuting
  • Course Schedules
  • What to Bring
  • Required Forms
  • Orientation
  • Move-in and Arrival

Contact by email at gateway@washjeff.edu or by phone at 724-229-5120.

Billing, Payment, and Tuition Insurance Questions

Contact the Office of Business and Finance at 724-223-6014.

Scholarships and Aid Package Questions

Contact Financial Aid at 724-223-6019.

Transfer Credit Questions

Contact the Registrar at 724-223-6017

Academic Calendar

For the academic schedule, click here to view a printable PDF of the 2021-2022 academic calendar.