West Chester University, located in southeastern Pennsylvania,
is the second largest of the fourteen Universities in the
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. As a modern,
public university, West Chester is committed to maintaining an
environment that promotes a comprehensive array of student
learning opportunities. Within this environment, the formal
instructional process is a principal focus with learning
occurring in the classroom and laboratory through interaction
between students and faculty.
However, as John Dewey has stated, the whole student comes to
the university. The Division of Student Affairs performs a
leadership role in offering services and activities which
support all students at this time of intense intellectual,
personal, social and emotional growth. Thus, the Division is
responsible for developing co-curricular experiences which
promote student learning both within and outside of the
classroom and prepares them to live in a pluralistic world.
The Division of Student Affairs exists to deliver quality
programs and services, and to promote student learning in the
areas of identity development, acquisition of complex cognitive
skills, life skills, leadership skills, a sense of community
responsibility and interpersonal skills. Achievement of these
outcomes is designed to promote students’ retention and
In order to successfully
accomplish its mission, the Division has identified core values
which are shared by the staff throughout the Division and are
used to make decisions and guide the programs and activities
conducted within the Division. Those core values include the
All individuals have value and deserve our respect; however
students are our priority and their values and individuality
must be understood and considered in the development of our
programs and services.
We appreciate the diversity the members of our community bring
to the campus and give fair and equitable treatment to all;
acts of insensitivity or discrimination against individuals
based on their race, gender, ethnicity, age, sexual
orientation, abilities, or religious beliefs will not be
The educational mission of the institution is preeminent and
linkages with academic units and faculty are integral to the
Student Affairs mission.
Student learning outside of the classroom is considered
essential to student growth and their environment -
co-curricular activities are essential to their learning,
satisfaction and retention.
Students develop at different rates and times and not always
as predicted by theory.
Development is not always painless; growth often occurs in the
wake of challenge or adversity.
Effective services/programs require ongoing assessment of
their quality and impact.
In addition to these principal core values, our Student Affairs
staff in the Division of Student Affairs also believe in certain
underlying assumptions which affect their interactions with
students and the delivery of services and programs.
adults and should be treated as adults and held responsible
for their behavior.
feelings and personal circumstances affect their learning.
should be involved in the development of policies and
decisions which affect them.
Affairs professionals are always learning and must keep their
of differences must be central in the planning of programs and
services throughout the Division.
The Division of Student Affairs has identified eight
essential functions from which a wide variety of programs,
services and other projects emerge. Those essential functions
are as follows:
Promote the educational mission of the University by providing
co-curricular programs, services and an overall environment
that supports students’ academic pursuits, aids in retention
of students and compliments the goals of a liberal education.
Develop strategies that value diversity and promote
multiculturalism. Ongoing program efforts, routine
departmental operations, and individual student contacts
should demonstrate sensitivity and respect for all members of
the campus community and should reflect a commitment to social
All members of the Division serve as student advocates by
articulating needs/issues related to their curricular and
co-curricular life by encouraging students to take full
advantage of the resources and opportunities available to them
through the University.
Develop and cultivate faculty relationships through special
programming efforts, University committee work, routine
department functioning and by participating in Academic
Affairs programs wherever possible. The formation of
partnerships and other collaborative efforts with faculty is
essential to enhancing the quality of student life.
The Division of Student Affairs must develop programs and
opportunities that provide students with experiences and
environments through which values and education can occur.
Ethical decision making and values development must be
emphasized through promotion of student leadership programs,
community services efforts, cooperative group living and
topical programming on such issues as Racism/Oppression,
Sexuality, Substance Abuse, etc.
The Division must strive to enhance its visibility on the
campus and in the community by frequent communication about
programs, services and opportunities provided by the Division
for our various constituents (students, staff, faculty,
parents, alumni, community members). This should include
communication with both on and off campus media as well as
other internal and external communication methods.
The Division will advance a philosophy of teamwork and
cooperation through collaborative programming among
departments, cross office consultation/support and an ongoing
program of Staff Development through which Student Affairs
staff members can improve their skills and knowledge base and,
subsequently, provide an optimal campus environment for
The Division will develop, implement and periodically evaluate
its goals and objectives within the Division so that each unit
can demonstrate and articulate a tangible assessment of the
quantity, quality and effect of the programs they provide to
meet student and institutional needs.