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 four 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 during the summer and meeting you and your student this fall. Have a wonderful summer!
How to Support your Student this Summer
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 a team, which includes current W&J students, 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 summer.
In addition to the Gateway site, regular email (through the W&J email account) and social media communications will go out to students throughout the summer. These communications will help answer questions that the team frequently receives over the summer as well as help prepare new students for arrival. Everything from "what is FYS" to "what can I bring for my room on campus" are addressed over the summer.
What Your Student Will Find on W&J Gateway
Information to Help Students Prepare for Fall 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.
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. During the month of June, a team of experienced faculty (the Academic Guides) 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 June 1 deadline. However, we do ask that you please bring it with you at move-in in August. Physical examinations completed within the last 6 months with an immunization record will also be accepted.
The College offers Pre-Orientation experiences. The first is an on-campus experience on July 25: Gear Up. This event is for students and parents/guardians to help prepare for move in and the start of classes. Another extended Pre-Orientation experience is currently being planned and more information will be provided on this experience in a few weeks.
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 FYS instructors so that they assist in advising about campus connections.
Student ID Photo Instructions
The College allows students to submit their ID photo over the summer; 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 Over the Summer
Early April - Course Placements Become Available
The Gateway process began in early April 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 June 1 to ensure that the course placement process can begin for the student.
Week of July 20 - Course Schedules and Housing Placements Sent Out
The week of July 20, your student will receive an email to their W&J account with information on how to view their course schedule and housing assignment/roommate.
August 11 & 12 - New Student Move-in, Parent Orientation, and Matriculation
Students who are not playing a fall sport will move-in on August 11 & 12. Your student's specific move-in day and time is determined by their residence hall room and will be communicated the week of July 20.
May 6 - W&J Gateway Go Live
W&J Gateway will be available on May 6. We encourage students to take their time and read through the content on the site throughout the month of May. Updates and new information will be posted throughout the summer, students are encouraged to continue to check Gateway regularly.
June 1 - W&J Gateway Forms Due
All required forms in the "Forms" section are due on June 1. Please note, that the site is not "first come, first served" and all students will have until June 1 to complete their forms. After the form deadline, our Academic Guides 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.
Various Dates - Fall Sports Move-in
If your student is playing a fall sport that requires early move-in, such as football, they will likely move-in early depending on the sport. More details, as well as specific timing, will be provided by your student’s coach.
Move-in and Orientation
All new students (with the exception of fall athletes*) will move in on August 11 or August 12. A specific move-in date/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 the summer. 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.
*If your student is a fall athlete, their move-in dates and process will be provided by their respective coach at a later date.
Gear Up Pre-Orientation Event
We had planned to hold our Gear Up orientation event in person on Saturday July 25th, 2020; we decided to change this event to a virtual format. This will permit your student to participate in learning more about the college, your transition, student support services and even see our different residence hall options. Moving this event to a virtual format allows those of you who might not have been able to travel to Washington for this event, to be able to participate in this experience as well! The event will be accessible via the W&J Website, and we will communicate more details about the event as they become available in July.
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. At Orientation, they will also meet with your faculty advisor (FYS instructor) and their LINK, an upper-class peer mentor, both of whom are committed to facilitating your positive transition to life as a W&J student.
An overview schedule for Orientation will be sent in August and a full schedule will be provided at check in. Students should plan to attend all Orientation events.
In light of the adjusted fall semester and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are reworking plans for parent orientation. Stay tuned for more details!
Student Safety & Health Services
Campus & Public Safety
The College is committed to maintaining the safest possible environment for students. As part of this commitment, the following safety measures are in place:
- The Campus & Public Safety office is open 24/7 to answer calls, answer texts and to respond in-person to student concerns or emergencies
- Campus & Public Safety staff do regular patrols of campus
- Residence halls are ID access only
- Emergency call boxes are available in easily accessible locations across campus
- A 24/7 escort system where students can have Campus & Public Safety staff escort them across campus
- Security cameras around campus
- Well-maintained exterior lighting around all campus buildings and additional street and sidewalk lighting
- Support personnel who work with W&J Security Officers to maintain and inspect the safety of all facilities
- Campus & Public Safety works in partnership with local law enforcement
Members of the 17-person staff, include certified police officers as well as security officers who are focused on security, general safety and fire safety, and who are devoted to the safety of W&J's campus. The officers are empowered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to enforce laws, make arrests, and prosecute violators on property owned or controlled by the College and on adjacent streets and properties.
Residence halls on campus are locked 24 hours a day. Students have access to their building via their student ID card. The Swanson Wellness Center and James David Ross Family Recreation Center/Henry Gym are accessible via card swipe during open hours. Classroom buildings are open during the business hours, but several facilities allow ID card swipe access after-hours.
In the event of an emergency the College notifies students in several ways. The first is through emergency text messages. An email to students' W&J email account will follow the text with additional details. In extreme emergencies, the College website will also display notifications.
In less severe situations, Safety Alerts are sent to students' W&J emails. These are very important alerts, but not to the severity level to warrant an emergency text.
Students can sign-up for the text system via their Gateway form. If you are interested in receiving the text alerts, you can sign-up by following the instructions here.
Student Health Services
The Student Health and Counseling Center is located on the ground floor of New Res Hall and is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The center provides basic health services for students as well as counseling services. A College Nurse sees student by appointment and on a walk-on basis. The Washington Hospital (5 minutes away) serves as our campus clinic. While students can go to the full-service clinic at any time, dedicated appointment times are available each afternoon and on some evenings.
A full counseling center is available to students on campus. Appointments can be made in advance and counselors also see students on a walk in basis. Additionally, the counseling center provides educational testing services, health and wellness screenings, group counseling (in additional to individual) and programs and outreach.
For medical emergencies, students should contact Campus & Public Safety, 911, or go to the Washington Hospital.
Medical Resources & After Hours Care
College staff (student and professional) are available 24/7 during the school year in the event of an emergency. If your student needs help, they can contact their Resident Assistant (RA) in their Residence Hall or contact Campus & Public Safety at 724-223-6032 or by text message at: 724-255-3968.
Transportation is available to the Washington Hospital Clinic during the week. Students can either access public transportation options or contact Campus & Public Safety for an escort.
Students have access to on-campus wellness resources including the Swanson Wellness Center, the James David Ross Family Recreation center, Henry Natatorium, and many other athletic and recreation spaces.
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:
- 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.
- Coffeemakers - Coffeemakers and other devices with hot plates are not permitted, Keurigs and comparable coffeemakers are allowed.
- 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.
- Room Furniture - The provided furniture cannot be removed from their room. It also cannot be altered or painted.
- 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.
- Carpets and Rugs - Students can bring a carpet or rug, but it cannot be adhered to the floor.
- Lighting - Holiday lights and lights with halogen bulbs are not permitted.
- 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).
- Candles - Candles and other devices with open flames are not permitted.
- Weapons and Explosives - Guns, incendiary devices (such as fireworks), and other weapons are not permitted in the Residence Halls.
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. Shopping List
Student Clubs & Organizations
There are a variety of clubs and organizations that students can join. The Involvement Expo, which occurs during the first few weeks of the fall semester, provides students with an excellent opportunity to find out more or to sign-up and become a member of many of these organizations. Students have the ability throughout the school year to create new clubs and organizations based on their interests!
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.
Monticello’s (Monti’s)- Student run and open every Friday and Saturday night, come enjoy free snacks, milkshakes and entertainment! Monticello’s 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.
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.
Freedom Transit provides local transportation as well as transportation to and from Pittsburgh. For any questions, please call 724-223-2442.
Student Support Services
First Year Seminar
First Year Seminar is a course designed especially for new students at W&J. First Year Seminars are small, innovative courses on unique topics – FYS courses build up college skills while also including hands-on experiences and activities. The structure offers support to help students adjust and succeed: the FYS instructor is also your student's academic advisor, and a dedicated peer mentor will work with each class. Through FYS mentoring and advising, students learn about campus resources and opportunities that will help students succeed for the next four years.
In First Year Seminar, students will experience:
- A course on an innovative topic.
- Experiential learning and activities in a small class environment.
- A dedicated academic advisor who is also your FYS instructor.
- A peer mentor (LINK mentor) who is an accomplished upper-level student.
- Opportunities to build up foundational college skills.
- Opportunities to learn about campus resources.
Information on FYS will be sent to students in mid-May.
Student Success Consultants
The Student Success Consultants, Jill Gregory and Rachel Stalker, 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 the students in a group of first year seminar (FYS) courses, meeting individually three 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 later this summer.
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 (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
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 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 Fall Semester.
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.
PrezGuide is the official W&J student app. It contains contact information for campus offices, the dining menu for the Commons, a listing of local business discounts, W&J Weekly (more details below) and much more! Download PrezGuide on your app store for free today to check it out.
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.
Outside of W&J Weekly and PrezGuide, students can learn about major campus events through the events calendar on the College website.
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 over the summer as the Gateway team will be using email to contact students throughout the summer.
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
Your admission counselor will continue to support you during your transition to W&J.
Feel free to call/email W&J Gateway this summer 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
- Move-in and Arrival
Contact by email at email@example.com 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
For the academic schedule, click here to view a printable PDF of the 2020-2021 academic calendar.