Jun 15, 2024  
Fitchburg State University 2013-14 Undergraduate Catalog 
Fitchburg State University 2013-14 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Support Services

Fitchburg State University is committed to the academic success of its students. Several programs are available to advise, assist, and guide students through the Academic Success Centers. Students are encouraged to take advantage of these programs throughout the academic year.

Academic Advising

The advisor is a critical resource for all students during their academic career. Every student is assigned a faculty advisor. The advisor fulfills many important functions for a student, including:

  • Being the primary resource in the planning of a course schedule each semester
  • Advising students regarding any problem or concern involving their academic program

Advisor Availability


All faculty have at least three office hours during the week set aside for meetings with their students. Hours are posted on doors of faculty offices, and in the office of the secretary of the major academic department, and are also available through the Office of Academic Affairs. Advisors are available for extended hours the month prior to registration each semester.

Graduate and Continuing Education Students

For general advising purposes, the Coordinator of GCE Advising and Support Services is available Monday through Thursday, 9:30–6:30 pm and on Fridays, 8 am–5 pm. All matriculated GCE students are assigned a faculty advisor at the time of their acceptance.

Academic Advising Center

The Academic Advising Center specializes in assisting undergraduate day students who:

  • Have not declared a major
  • Challenge courses via Life Experience Credit Award Program (LECAP)
  • Are experiencing academic difficulty
  • Are needing help in interpreting specific academic regulations
  • Are pre-majors assigned to the Focus on the Future program

The center is staffed by two full-time administrators chosen for their specific expertise in assisting students to make the best possible use of their academic experience.

The Advising Center is located on the third floor of the Hammond Campus Center. Please refer to the Web site at www.fitchburgstate.edu/advisingctr, or call (978) 665-3319 or 3321.

Academic Success Center

The Academic Success Center is a group of 12 programs and services that work collaboratively to support students toward their academic success and assist students to achieve their Fitchburg State University degree. The collective approach is proactive and student centered.

Students are encouraged to investigate these programs and services and consider how the center’s staff can assist them to address their concerns and realize their goals.

The following programs and services comprise the Academic Success Center: Academic Advising Center, Counseling Services, Career Center, Disability Services, Expanding Horizons, International Education Office, Mathematics Center, Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness, Placement Test Center, Tutor Center, and the Writing Center.

For further information, visit the Academic Success Center’s Web site at www.fitchburgstate.edu/success.

Mathematics Center

The Mathematics Center offers peer tutors who specialize in one-on-one tutoring on a walk-in basis. Tutoring is available for fundamentals of arithmetic and algebra through upperlevel mathematics courses. Tutors will guide you and provide an explanation of the concepts and steps to solving your specific mathematics questions. Peer tutors focus on effective learning strategies that develop student’s understanding and skill.

The Mathematics Center is open Monday & Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Wednesday & Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Students affiliated with Multicultural Student Services, Disability Services and the Expanding Horizons Program can request individual math tutoring by contacting the Tutor Center. All other students must use the Mathematics Center walk-in service. A listing of specific subject specialties and tutors’ hours are posted at the Math Center and on its Web site at www.fitchburgstate.edu/mathctr.

Placement Test Center

The Placement Test Center administers the required placement tests in algebra, reading, writing and foreign languages for all new freshman and transfer students. Students also receive advisement on the required beginning sequence of courses appropriate for them at Fitchburg State University.

Please visit the Web site at www.fitchburgstate.edu/placementtest for further information regarding waivers, test dates, test registration and test preparation resources.

Tutor Center

Overview of the Tutorial Services

The Tutor Center’s 60 peer tutors offer free individual peer tutoring, in 80 subjects, representing 19 majors serving freshmen to seniors. The Fitchburg State University Tutor Center has earned the prestigious College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) International Tutor Program Certification status. This provides the Tutor Center the authorization to award Peer Tutor Certification to tutors who meet the four standards of quality (selection, training, evaluation and experience) required by the CRLA.

Our goals are to improve students’ academic achievement, ability to learn, to apply knowledge and to help students develop critical thinking skills. Students become more self-confident and self-directed learners because of their tutorial relationship. Tutors meet with students in the library and are available by appointment seven days a week at mutually agreeable times during the day, evening or weekends.

Individual Tutoring

Tutoring sessions focus on reviewing and explain concepts and specific topics. Tutors also introduce study and learning methods that assist students to develop new habits for learning.

Students can request a peer tutor who they can study with twice weekly. On average 850 students each year use one or more of the 20-plus tutoring services available to assist them to develop their study habits, improve their understanding of topics and concepts, prepare for tests, and increase their grades.

To request a tutor please visit or call the Tutor Center to make a 20 minute appointment. Students benefit most from tutoring by requesting a tutor within the first five weeks of the semester and study with the tutor twice weekly.

Writing Tutoring

Individual peer tutoring for writing assignments in any subject is also available by request. With a focus on clear communication, the peer tutors work together with writers at all levels, in all stages of the writing process from planning, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading. Each meeting begins in the same manner with a discussion of the assignment. What happens next depends on where the student is in the writing process and what their needs are. Tutors do not write on or edit the students’ papers. The student is the author, problems are addressed together, but the student makes the final writing decisions. Further information on the writing process and writing resources can be found at www.fitchburgstate.edu/writingctr

Learning Strategy Sessions

Individual Study and Learning Strategy Sessions are available. Students are assisted to design a study plan that builds effective learning habits, long-term memory and improved reading, note-taking and test-taking skills.

Students request an appointment are asked to bring their course syllabus, textbooks and class notes. We maximize your time as we study together a topic before the next class. Students are introduced to and practice new study methods that will improve comprehension, long-term memory, test preparation and even save time studying. The end result is that students can earn better grades and maximize their learning by consistently applying these new methods that are the best fit for their learning style and the course requirements.

Group Tutoring

Group tutoring and supplemental instruction services are available. Group tutoring occurs weekly lead by a peer tutor trained in effective study group processes. Students are matched into groups if one-on-one tutoring is not available. Also groups of two to five may request a group tutor for up to 14 hours for the semester. The peer tutor’s goal is to maximize each members learning and critical thinking through group discussion and supplemental instruction activities.

Supplemental instruction study groups are offered after each class for selected courses. A tutor trained in research based supplemental instruction methods selects activities to enhance students’ learning of the main topics and concepts from each lesson.

Academic Success Seminars

Learning research based college study methods save students time studying and maximize their learning. Attending these one-hour seminars provide students with specific step-by-step actions and initial practice with the study method. The success realized motivates students to further develop these effective learning principles and strategies into habits that help students achieve their academic goals.

MTEL Test Preparation

Freshmen Education majors enrolled in Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle School, Special Education are required to pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Communication and Literacy Skills Test (CLST) Reading and Writing sub-tests prior to completing two semesters.

The Tutor Center offers a six session twelve hour preparation seminar facilitated by professional instructors to assist students to prepare for this test. Students can also request individual peer tutors, who have passed the test, to provide further assistance to prepare for the CLST Writing sub-test. Individualized professional tutoring is also available to assist students with preparing for the CLST Reading sub-test.

Students can enroll in this Seminar (offered in October, February and April) by contacting the Tutor Center and using web4.fitchburgstate.edu listed as EDUC MTEL-CLST Preparation Seminar

The Tutor Center is located in the Library 3rd floor room 310. To make an appointment to request services call 978-665-3499 or visit the Tutor Center office. Further information on Tutor Center Services can be found at www.fitchburgstate.edu/tutoring

Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness

The Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness (CDI) lays the foundation for Fitchburg State University to be a place that creates and nourishes a culturally diverse community by educating students, faculty and staff so that attitudes of racism, bigotry, hate, prejudice, and intolerance, on any level, are overcome. The center will provide the tools of understanding, sensitivity, and acceptance to diversity in its many varied forms. It is CDI’s charge to the Fitchburg State student and its community that they:
•    Be exposed to cultural diversity
•    Learn to be accepting of people and ideas not their own
•    Acquire sensitivity & knowledge of cultural differences
•    Develop techniques on how to best deal with diversity issues
•    Advance personal skills and demonstrate competencies’ in understanding diversity.
The members of the Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness, in addition, will design, plan, and oversee the delivery of various programs such as Heritage Month Celebrations, multicultural education, and cultural activities designed to contribute to a positive campus culture of appreciation and respect for differences. The center advices active, diverse student organizations such as Black Student Union, Latin American Student Organization, Asian Cultural Society, World Integrated Nations, and Gay Straight Alliance on topics such a program planning, leadership development, heritage celebration, diversity, etc., including such multicultural events as Latin American Heritage Month, Black History Month, Native American Month, Asian Pacific Month, Woman’s History Month and Gay Pride Week.
The Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness, a division of Academic & Student Life, works diligently towards the goal of maintaining a truly diverse and engaged campus environment, where students feel comfortable, respected, appreciated and challenged. Anyone is welcomed to be a member of the Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness! The staff welcomes you to call them at (978) 665-3399 or visit the office on the second floor of Conlon Hall Room 220. Additional information can be found on our Web site www.fitchburgstate.edu/cdi/ 

Expanding Horizons Program

Expanding Horizons is a student support services program designed to promote the academic success of Fitchburg State University students who are from low-income backgrounds, families where neither parent has attained a baccalaureate degree, and/or students with disabilities. Funded by the federal government, Expanding Horizons is part of the nationwide network of TRIO Programs, established more than 30 years ago, that have helped an estimated two million students enter and graduate from university despite barriers due to race, ethnic background, socio-economic circumstances, or disability.

The Expanding Horizons Program at Fitchburg State University strives to create a smaller learning community within the larger campus community. Expanding Horizons staff work with students to facilitate the adjustment to university and enhance their ability to attain their fullest academic potential. Expanding Horizons offers a number of programs and services.

To be eligible for Expanding Horizons, a student must be a citizen or national of the United States or meet the residency requirement for federal financial assistance, be enrolled or accepted for enrollment at Fitchburg State University and have an academic need for services. In addition, students must:

  • Meet federal low income guidelines
  • Be a first generation college student (neither parent has achieved a baccalaureate degree)


  • Be a person with a disability

For further information, or to be a participant in the Expanding Horizons Program, visit the office on the third floor of the Hammond Campus Center or call (978) 665-3064.

International Education Office

Fitchburg State University encourages a global perspective on campus by promoting programs for international students as well as for students who want to study in another country. Both types of students enrich the cultural and ethnic diversity of the university community. The Office of International Education benefits international students, those who wish to study in another country, and those who are interested in an on-campus international experience.

Services offered to international students include assistance with their transition to university, cultural awareness programs, and guidance when completing the necessary paperwork and communications with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Fitchburg State University encourages students to consider a semester or a year of study in another country as part of their educational experience. The university has established a number of study abroad programs with colleges and universities throughout the world. For specific information about international study possibilities, contact the Office of International Education, (978) 665-3089.

Disability Services

Fitchburg State University encourages students with disabilities to participate fully in all academic programs and student activities. Disability Services is the primary support system for students with disabilities taking classes in the day and evening division.

The objective of Disability Services is to promote independence, build skills, and facilitate achievement of educational goals for individuals with disabilities. A number of services are available through the office. Some examples of services and academic accommodations are listed below. Please note that this list is not exhaustive.

  • Adaptive software and computer equipment
  • Testing accommodations (for example, out of classroom testing, extended time testing)
  • Alternate format materials (for example, Braille or electronic text)
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Reduced course load
  • Skill-building workshops and coaching

To be eligible for academic accommodations, students must request services themselves and must provide appropriate documentation to support the need for such services. Requests for accommodations must be made in a timely manner and must be reasonable given the nature of the disability.

For comprehensive information about obtaining accommodations, please contact the department secretary at (978) 665-4020 (voice) or visit the Web site at www.fitchburgstate.edu/disability. Note: If the telephone does not suit your communication preferences, please contact the department via Mass Relay (dial 711) or use e-mail.

Career Center

The Career Center provides a variety of programs and activities to assist students and alumni in planning for career decisions during and after Fitchburg State University. The center provides all aspects of career guidance and counseling, as well as assists students in the school to work, undergraduate to graduate transition.

Services are accessible through the Career Center’s Web site at www.fitchburgstate.edu/offices/student-services/career-services/.

The center is located on the third floor of the Hammond Hall, room 318 and can be contacted at (978) 665-3151 or careersvs@fitchburgstate.edu.

Counseling Services

The Counseling Services Office provides confidential short-term counseling to students at no charge. Clinicians are available for individual, group and couples counseling, crisis intervention, educational programming, outreach workshops, community referrals, and inservice training.

Counseling Services offers a variety of outreach programs to educate students in the areas of sexual assault and violence prevention, body image, stress and anger management, eating disorders, depression, and substance abuse.

The Counseling Services Office is located on the third floor of the Hammond Hall. The hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Appointments can be made in person or over the telephone (978) 665-3152. For more information, see the Web site at www.fitchburgstate.edu/counseling. Students can see a clinician without an appointment during the walk-in time, which is from 2 p.m.–3 p.m., daily; however it is strongly encouraged that students schedule appointments if at all possible.

Counseling Services Office provides 24-hour emergency response to the university during the regular academic year. The counselor-on-call can be reached through the Campus Police Department at (978) 665-3111, or by contacting Housing and Residential Services staff.

Fitchburg Anti-Violence Education (FAVE)

Fitchburg Anti-Violence Education (FAVE) is a campus-wide effort to prevent interpersonal and relationship violence, and sexual assault, and support those affected by violence.  In collaboration with all University departments and offices, FAVE seeks to create a safe and respectful community for all members by providing educational programmming and training opportunities, promoting victim services, and reviewing policy.  FAVE is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, through the Grants to Reduce Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking on Campus Program.  The project is directed by Dr. Jannette McMenamy and Erin Travia, LMHC; for more information, contact the Program Coordinator, Brenda Coleman at bcoleman@fitchburgstate.edu.

Student Health Services

Russell Towers
(978) 665-3216/3643
Martha Favre M.S., F.N.P., Director

Health Services provides ambulatory care, health education/promotion and maintains health records for all full-time undergraduate and graduate students at the university. Services include:

  • Urgent care of acute illness and injury
  • Evaluation, treatment and/or referrals as needed
  • Tuberculin skin testing (PPD)
  • Health education and health promotion
  • Women’s health care, such as breast exams, gynecologic exams, contraception, and morning after pill
  • Men’s health care

Students can schedule an appointment at Health Services with an appropriate provider.  The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm by appointment by calling 978-665-3643/3216.  Usually a student can be seen the same day or within 24 hours.  If we cannot see the student that same day and they need medical care the student will be referred to either Urgent Care at the Burbank Hospital, Health Alliance or the Leominster Hospital Emergency Department.  Health Services will help the student coordinate transportation to the hospital.  If a student has an emergency after 5 p.m., they should call Campus Police at (978) 665-3111 for assistance.

A laboratory facility is part of the clinic. Routine tests are offered free of charge. Any specimens that need to be analyzed by the commercial laboratory will be charged to the student’s insurance.

Health and Immunization Requirements

The following immunizations are required by Massachusetts State Law:

  • Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap) - International Graduate Students need 3 Tetanus, one of which is a TDAP (Tetanus/Diptheria/Pertussis).
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) - 2 doses on or after first birthday.  People born before 1957 are considered immune and are not required to have 2 doses.  If unable to document 2 doses, laboratory evidence of immune titers is required.
  • Hepatitis B - 3 doses.  If unable to provide documentation, laboratory evidence of immune titer is required.
  • Varicella Vaccine - 2 doses or documented proof of disease or laboratory evidence of immune titer.
  • Meningococcal vaccine - within 5 years (for newly entering residence students) or a signed Massachusetts waiver that acknowledges the risk but declines the immunization.

Fitchburg State University Health Services requires the following:

  • Physical exam within the past year
  • TB test performed in the USA is required if you answer “yes” to any of the three questions on the TB Risk Assessment Form.  If the TB test is positive, a report of the chest x-ray is required.

Part-time and Full-time Matriculated Undergraduate and Graduate Nursing Student Requirements

  • Annual physical
  • Annual PPD (TB test) or proof of a negative chest X-ray if the PPD test was positive;
  • Hepatitis B Titer;
  • State required immunizations as stated above

Failure to comply with these requirements will prohibit your registration for classes.


Fitchburg State University Health Services is legally and ethically obligated to protect the patient’s right to privacy. Student medical records are strictly confidential. All Fitchburg State University Health Services staff are required to sign a statement of adherence to confidentiality policies. No one other than Fitchburg State University Health Services staff has access to student medical records without a patient’s prior written permission. This restriction includes parents, faculty and staff or outside agencies. In life-threatening emergencies, only pertinent information will be released to appropriate parties.

If a student is younger than 18 years of age, any care that is sought or provided related to reproductive health is also a confidential matter and will not be disclosed to a parent unless Health Services has prior written permission from the student. In the event that a student reports abuse or there is suspected abuse the providers at Health Services are mandated to report the abuse to the Massachusetts Department of Social Services.

If a student wishes to have their records released to themselves or another facility, they must sign the medical release of records form that is available in Health Services.

Limited Exceptions

Certain communicable diseases need to be reported to the Department of Public Health and patients will be informed of this action prior to Fitchburg State University Health Services notifying the department.

Absences Due to Illness

It is the responsibility of students to contact their professors if they will miss classes because of illness. In the event of an extended absence, you are advised to contact the Dean of Student and Academic Life.

Student Health Insurance

Every student registered for nine or more credits is required by law to purchase health insurance. Students must purchase the school sponsored health plan or show proof of comparable coverage in an alternate health plan in order to enroll in classes.

After a student registers they will receive an enrollment/ waiver form. All students must complete this form by either choosing to be enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Program or waiving participation by providing the policy number of an alternate insurance plan.

If a student does not complete the enrollment/waiver form, the university will automatically enroll them in the health plan and include the cost of the insurance in the tuition bill. Students will be enrolled in the plan unless they inform the school that they do not wish to participate in the school insurance program by showing proof of comparable coverage.

For more information regarding the Student Health Insurance Program, call the Student and Academic Life Office at (978) 665-3130 or visit the following Web sites:

  • Qualifying Student Health Insurance Program site, found by going to www.massresources.org, then click on “Health Care Specialized” and scroll down to “Student Health Program”.
  • 2010-2011 Student Health Insurance Plan of the Massachusetts State University System offered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield at www.universityhealthplans.com. Click on “find your school” and then enter Fitchburg State University to access the university’s specific policy.

Campus Police Department

The Campus Police Department, located at 32 Clinton Street, is committed to maintaining the highest level of community policing with its basic philosophy being deeply rooted in service to the entire university community. The department operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week utilizing cruiser, bike, motorcycle, and walking patrols of the entire campus and employs many students in various capacities.

Student Security Team/Student Safety Escort

The Student Security Team of the Campus Police Department provides walking escorts anywhere on campus and within a 10 minute walking radius of the campus. The student security officers have direct radio communications with campus police officers. Student escorts are available from 8 p.m to 1 a.m., seven nights a week during the school year. Escort requests at other times are handled by campus police officers. To request an escort, please call (978) 665-3111.

Emergency Call Boxes

Emergency call boxes with blue lights that connect directly to Campus Police are located throughout campus at strategic spots. When used, an officer will immediately be dispatched to that location.

Crime Prevention Programs and Presentations

Campus Police provide numerous presentations to students on a wide range of issues including theft, rape, alcohol and drug abuse. The nationally recognized R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) Program is offered free of charge to female staff, students and faculty by certified R.A.D. instructors from Campus Police.

Operation Identification Program

The Operation Identification Program can help identify stolen property, record the serial numbers, model numbers, brand names and description of personal property. Engravers and forms are available from Campus Police to mark personal property as a theft deterrent.

Parking Regulations

Fitchburg State University provides parking facilities for more than 1,600 vehicles. The university requires that all vehicles utilizing the parking facilities must display a valid permit. Permits may be obtained at the Housing and Residential Services Office, located in Aubuchon Hall. Parking permits are available to both resident and commuter students, who must pay the required permit fee before the permit will be issued. Resident students with less than 24 earned credits are not eligible to purchase a resident parking permit, but may park at the Wallace Civic Center. Shuttle service from the Civic Center to campus is provided at no cost. Anyone using campus parking facilities must adhere to all parking regulations.

Handicapped Parking Permit

All permanently disabled motorists who wish to utilize the university’s handicapped parking facilities need a parking permit from Housing and Residential Services and also should display a state issued handicapped plate or placard. Motor vehicles displaying a state issued parking permit or state issued plates are eligible to park in all designated university handicapped spots.

Fitchburg State University Shuttle Bus and Additional Parking

Administrative Services oversees the university shuttle service which continuously transports students, staff and faculty to and from the Wallace Civic Center parking lot (John Fitch Highway) and the main campus. The Fitchburg State University parking shuttle operates on class days during the academic year, non-stop. The schedule for shuttle service is as follows:

Sunday 4:30 p.m. midnight
Monday–Thursday 6:30 a.m.–midnight
Friday 6:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
Weekday holidays 4:30 p.m.–midnight

EXCEPTIONS: Sundays preceding a holiday—no service

Thanksgiving Recess—service will end at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday November 27, 2013.

During heavier usage hours an additional shuttle is available.

Expanded MART Service reaches into the Community

Fitchburg State University has partnered with MART to provide free, comprehensive transportation service for all Fitchburg State students. You will be amazed where your Student ID will bring you throughout the Fitchburg/Leominster area. At a nominal fee, there is additional MART service to Gardner. Services run Monday–Saturday (for more details visit: www.mrta.us/)

Parking Services

Campus Police and Housing and Residential Services jointly operate Parking Services functions for Fitchburg State University. The Parking Committee reviews policy and planning related to parking functions for the university, and includes student, faculty, and staff representatives. Parking lot maps and the current Parking Rules and Regulations guide are also available at both offices. The university is not responsible for any loss or damage to vehicles while parking in lots on the main campus or at the Civic Center. For more information please visit www.fitchburgstate.edu/parking/.

Motorist Assists

Dead batteries and keys locked in vehicles are events with which Campus Police can provide assistance. Call (978) 665-3111 or use an emergency call box.

Campus Police Web Site

For additional information about the Campus Police Department, please visit the Web site at www.fitchburgstate.edu/campuspolice.