Why Send a Parents Prospectus?
Because no college is right for everyone, it is important for parents, as well as their college-bound children, to examine the merits of each school under consideration. This booklet is offered as a guide to the programs and activities which contribute to the quality and tradition associated with a Westminster College education. The booklet is presented in a question-and-answer format based on questions most often asked by the parents of students interested in attending Westminster.
Westminster has one of the highest graduation rates in the nation. Our graduation rate is 30 percent higher than the national average among similar institutions. Why? We concentrate on recruiting students who are a natural match for our environment.
Is Westminster Recognized by any National Organizations?
Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top tier liberal arts college, a national leader in graduation rate performance, and a "Great School, Great Price," according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 38th among liberal arts colleges, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 373 Colleges" and "Best in the Northeast" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.
How Good is the Academic Program at Westminster?
For years, Westminster College has been well-respected for its rigorous academic curriculum.
Building upon that solid foundation, the College's faculty revised the curriculum to integrate student learning with Westminster's multimillion dollar telecommunications network, TitanNet. Students can research assignments using the Internet and are able to produce multimedia presentations using one of the College's 16 "smart classrooms" equipped with state-of-the-art computer and audio-visual technology.
TitanNet also provides students with access to e-mail, library card catalogs and a campus-wide network, accessible from their residence hall or from numerous other locations on or off campus.
Westminster undergraduate students can choose from 40 different majors and several pre-professional programs. An exploratory major, which exposes undecided students to a variety of possible areas of study, is also available.
Westminster's faculty provides students with necessary direction and support as well as instruction in academic subjects. Each new student is assigned a faculty adviser who serves as a consultant for course selection and related academic matters. To ensure a quality classroom experience, the College employs no graduate assistants to teach underclassmen. All classes are taught by faculty members, 89 percent of whom have their doctorate or terminal degree. The ratio of students to faculty is 13:1, and the average class size is under 25.
Do All of Your Students Live in Residence Halls?
Because Westminster is a residential college, all students are required to live on campus unless they are commuting from home. Students live in one of eight single-sex residence halls located within walking distance of classroom buildings. The College's five national sororities each have suites in Ferguson Hall, and the five national fraternities have off-campus houses nearby. The College does conduct an off campus lottery for students in their third and fourth year. A small, predetermined number of students will be awarded the privilege of off campus housing each year.
Campus residence halls are equipped with free washers and dryers. The lobbies have a color television, comfortable furnishings, vending machines and a microwave oven.
The majority of Westminster's residence hall rooms are designed for two occupants, and all are equipped with ports linking students to the campus network.
Since Westminster has no coed residence halls, visitation hours for members of the opposite sex are established in the halls. The third floor of the predominately first-year men's and women's building have limited visitation-with visiting hours from 1 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. during the weekends. All other floors and residence halls have open visitation, meaning that visiting hours are from 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 24-hour visitation on weekends. Roommates must be in agreement regarding visitors. Males must always be escorted when in a female residence hall, and vice versa.
National fraternities and sororities with campus chapters represented at Westminster are:
- Alpha Gamma Delta,
- Alpha Sigma Phi,
- Kappa Delta,
- Phi Kappa Tau,
- Phi Mu,
- Sigma Kappa,
- Sigma Nu,
- Sigma Phi Epsilon,
- Theta Chi, and
- Zeta Tau Alpha.
Who Provides the College's Dining Services?
Sodexo provides dining service for all students living on campus. Students may choose one of three meal plan options available, and individuals with specific dietary needs may arrange to have special meals prepared for them. At least three entrees are served at every meal, with a deli bar and salad bar available at both lunch and dinner. A wide variety of foods is available at each meal, and second helpings are not a problem.
When students are not in the mood for the dining hall, they may elect to eat at the TUB in the McKelvey Campus Center.
What if My Son or Daughter Develops a Health Problem?
Westminster's Health Center is open 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and a doctor is on campus to treat students weekdays from 8-9 a.m. At other times, the College physician has office hours in town, as do several other physicians. In addition to providing treatment and some medications, the Health Center makes a variety of health information and materials available to students. The Center also sponsors forums for health-related issues at campus-wide events scheduled throughout the school year.
For emergency treatment, Westminster students go to Jameson Hospital in New Castle (8 miles from campus).
Is Westminster's Campus Safe?
Yes. As students and area residents can testify, the borough of New Wilmington and Westminster College have negligible crime rates. The consumption of alcohol and/or any other controlled substance on campus is strictly prohibited.
To ensure student safety, the College maintains an effective campus security program. The College's Office of Safety and Security patrols campus 24 hours a day, and an escort service is available day or night. The main sections of the campus residential area are brightly illuminated after dark and emergency phones are located outside of academic buildings.
Annual campus security/fire reports are available online at www.westminster.edu.
At the College Bookstore students can purchase books, academic supplies, and other personal items from T-shirts and College banners to posters and greeting cards.
Habitat for Humanity is the largest service organization on campus. This nonprofit, ecumenical Christian ministry has a goal of eliminating homelessness in America and around the world.
Westminster is a Presbyterian College, but We Are Not Presbyterians. Will that be a Problem?
No. Westminster is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, but the College welcomes students of all faiths. Nondenominational chapel services are held weekly, and attendance is voluntary. Catholic mass is held on campus every Saturday evening, and vespers on Sunday evening. Jewish students may worship at synagogues in nearby New Castle, Sharon and Youngstown. Church attendance is encouraged, but not mandatory.
Is Westminster a Suitcase College?
Most Westminster students come from less than 100 miles away, but the College is a busy place on weekends. Students take advantage of the wide variety of extracurricular activities, programs and events available on campus. More than 85 organizations, from academic honoraries to club sports, enrich campus life at Westminster.
The College's Campus Programming Committee schedules regular weekend entertainment ranging from stand-up comedians to rock-and-roll bands in the Club Room (Westminster's non-alcoholic pub) in the McKelvey Campus Center. The 85-seat Mueller Theater, also located in the McKelvey Campus Center, is a showcase for recent hit movies every weekend.
Westminster's highly acclaimed Celebrity Series brings international, national, and regional cultural shows to campus throughout the school year. Theatrical productions, music recitals and concerts, fraternity and sorority shows, dance theatre, campus radio and television broadcasts, and Westminster's renowned athletic teams all contribute to the quality of daily college life.
How Will Westminster Prepare My Daughter or Son for a Job or for Graduate School?
As a result of the many educational and career resources available to Westminster students, approximately 98 percent of Westminster's students are employed or enrolled in graduate school with one year of graduation.
Westminster's curriculum is based on the belief that a liberal arts education offers the best preparation for success in a constantly changing job market. Preparing for future jobs requires that students have a broad knowledge of the world around them, well-developed communication skills and the flexibility to adapt to change. Employers want quick learners who can think on their feet and develop new ideas. At Westminster, students are preparing for positions of leadership in the 21st century.
As early as their first year, students begin working with the Career Center to determine their special skills and interests, which provides them with valuable information about possible majors or careers. The Career Center also conducts an annual Senior Seminar to give students hands-on instruction on résumé writing, networking, interviewing, and using computer technologies in the job search. Westminster students use these important skills when meeting with the numerous recruiters who visit campus, as well as conducting their own job search prior to graduation.
Students also prepare for a career through our internship program. By serving an internship in a specific field, students gain firsthand knowledge of the inner workings of that career-the daily routines, responsibilities of the position, the working environment and possible fringe benefits. A good internship enables students to apply classroom theory to real-life situations. An added benefit is that organizations often hire their interns. Even when a position is not available, the intern's supervisor can be an invaluable reference.
Is Westminster Affordable?
Yes. A comprehensive financial aid and scholarship program contributes to Westminster's overall affordability. Westminster awards more than $23 million in financial aid annually to a student population of approximately 1,500. If eligible, your student could qualify for a merit scholarship ranging in value from $500 to $15,000, with or without demonstrated need.
It is worth noting that many families qualifying for scholarship or financial aid dollars find they can provide Westminster's quality private education for about the same amount of money it takes to send their children to less prestigious public universities.
Call (724) 946-7102 or visit the financial aid Web site at www.westminster.edu/admissions for more information.
Westminster's Office of Admissions is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., throughout the year. Saturday hours are in effect from 8 a.m. to noon, September through May. (Saturday visits are by appointment only.)
Where is Westminster Located?
The campus is located in the small residential borough of New Wilmington (pop. 2,000). Nestled in the tranquil, rolling hills of Western Pennsylvania, Westminster is about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh, on Route 208, 15 minutes west of Interstate 79 (I-79) and 20 minutes south of Interstate 80 (I-80). Fast food, department stores and malls are easily accessible in the nearby cities of New Castle and Sharon (Pa.), and Youngstown (Ohio). Access to a big city is just 60 minutes south in Pittsburgh, or 90 minutes northwest in Cleveland.
What Do We Do Next?
Now that you've acquainted yourself with some of the facets of a Westminster College education, you may want to:
- discuss the college with your daughter or son;
- make arrangements to visit campus together, if you haven't done so already;
- be sure your daughter or son has submitted an application for admission to the College, if she/he hasn't done so yet;
- make sure you have specified Westminster to receive your FAFSA results (Westminster's code # 03392);
- submit the $200 nonrefundable deposit (due by May 1) to reserve a place for your daughter or son in the incoming class.
This booklet is designed to provide parents with an inside look at some of the special qualities of Westminster College. You may have a number of questions or concerns not addressed within these pages, and, if this is the case, we encourage you to call, write or visit the Office of Admissions so that we may answer your questions directly.
Westminster College Information DirectoryListed below for your convenience are phone numbers of the Westminster College offices and departments most often contacted by prospective students and their families seeking specific information.
|Athletic Department||(724) 946-7307
|Business Office||(724) 946-7140|
|Chaplain's Office||(724) 946-7115|
|Dean of the College/Academic Affairs||(724) 946-7122|
|Financial Aid||(724) 946-7102|
|Graduate Program||(724) 946-7180|
|Student Health Services||(724) 946-7927|
|McGill Library||(724) 946-7330|
|J.S. Mack Science Library||(724) 946-7046|
|Student Affairs||(724) 946-7110|