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Version 2019-Fall-Final-1.0, Revised 18 September 2019

CS-135 03 — Fall 2019

CS-135 Programming for Non-CS Majors

This is a LASC course and can be taken to satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

Credit and Contact Hours

3 credits

Lecture: 3 hours/week

Catalog Course Description

Introduction to programming. Emphasis on practical skills, working with data sets, doing analysis and visualization. No prior programming experience required.


Dr. Karl R. Wurst
(Pronouns: He/Him/His)
See for contact information and schedule.

Meeting Times and Locations

TR 1:00-2:15pm
ST 107

It's in the Syllabus

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Of course, not everything is in the syllabus, but many things are.

If you have a question, please check the syllabus first, and then ask if you can't find the answer.


Programming in Python 3
Bailey Miller
Textbook Website

  1. Sign in or create an account at
  2. Enter zyBook code: WORCESTERCS135WurstFall2019
  3. Subscribe

Additional information:

  • A subscription is $58. Students may begin subscribing on Aug 22, 2019 and the cutoff to subscribe is Dec 16, 2019. Subscriptions will last until Jan 15, 2020.

Required Materials

In addition to the textbook, to successfully complete this course you will need:

  1. Laptop Computer: You will need a laptop computer that you can bring to class and use at home. You must bring your laptop to every class session. The brand and operating system (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux) is unimportant — the software we will be using runs on all major operating systems and can be downloaded for free. The software you will need installed:
    1. Thonny — This is the Python programming environment we will be using to learn programming. We will download and install this software during the first laboratory session.
    2. Fork — We will use this Git software to share code during lab, and submit code to the instructor. We will download and install this software during the first laboratory session.
  2. Internet Access: You will need Internet access for access to:
    1. ZyBooks — Our textbook and Python code-writing practice.
    2. Blackboard — All course materials and announcements will be made available through the course site on Blackboard. Quizzes will be given on Blackboard. Students will be required to use Blackboard as the course tool.
    3. Google Docs — All in-class activites will be provided as Google Docs that you and your teammates will work on during class time, and use as review materials outside of class.
    4. WSU Gmail — You must check your WSU Gmail account on a regular basis. All communications to the class, such as corrections to problem sets or changes in due dates, will be sent to your WSU Gmail account.
    5. Piazza — This is an online service that lets you ask (and answer other students’) questions about the course assignments, materials, and topics.
    6. GitLab — This is where we will share and submit our code.

Where Does This Course Lead?

  • Programming and data analysis in your other courses
  • Your professional career

Course Workload Expectations

This is a three-credit course. You should expect to spend, on average, 9 hours per week on this class.

You will spend 3 hours per week in class. In addition, you should expect to spend, on average, at least 6 hours per week during the semester outside of class. (See Definition of the "Credit Hour" below under WSU Information, Services, and Policies.)


This course has a prerequisite of a math placement score 3 or above. This prerequisite can also be met by having taken a college-level math course for credit. A partial list of those math concepts that I expect you to understand is:

  • Arithmetic, fractions, decimals, percentages, rates, ratios, proportions, word problems, graphs and tables, signed numbers, variables, expressions, functions.

If you are missing any of this background, you should not take this course.


You are expected to attend every class. Past experience has shown that students who do not attend class do not do as well on exams and projects.

Course Objectives

From having taken one course in programing, a student – any student ([CS] major or not) – should walk away from [that] course and somewhere later in his or her career address a problem by thinking, “Hey, I’ll just write a program to solve that.”

– Punch and Enbody, The Practice of Computing using Python, 2011, p. xxi.

Course-Level Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the basic syntax and semantics of the Python programming language. (Emphasis)
  • Model an abstraction as a Python program. (Emphasis)
  • Manipulate integer and floating point values. (Mastery)
  • Code, test, trace, and debug simple procedural programs given a program design/specification. (Emphasis)
  • Write simple functions to access and manipulate data. (Emphasis)
  • Accept user input from the keyboard, as command-line arguments and read data from a text file. (Emphasis)
  • Generate output to the screen and to a text file. (Emphasis)
  • Manipulate and compare strings. (Emphasis)
  • Store and access data in lists and dictionaries. (Emphasis)
  • Perform simple exception handling. (Introduced)
  • Write code representing conditional and repetition control structures. (Mastery)
  • Trace code to determine the behavior of the code (Emphasis)
  • Draw a diagram representing memory and the object/reference relationships (Emphasis)
  • Write simple unit tests (Introduced)
  • Document code for other programmers, users of code, and users of programs (Emphasis)
  • Write programs that can display data in a variety of formats including tables, graphs and charts. (Emphasis)
  • Find and evaluate third-party program modules and incorporate them into their own programs. (Introduced)
  • Understand and modify code written by others. (Emphasis)

LASC Student Learning Outcomes

This course will contribute to the students’ ability to:

  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication.
  • Employ quantitative and qualitative reasoning.
  • Apply skills in critical thinking.
  • Apply skills in information literacy.
  • Understand the roles of science and technology in our modern world.
  • Understand how scholars in various disciplines approach problems and construct knowledge.

LASC Quantitative Reasoning Objectives

This course will:

  1. Acquaint students with formal systems, procedures and sequences of operations.
  2. Strengthen students' understanding of variables and functions.
  3. Apply mathematical techniques to the analysis and solution of real-life problems.
  4. Emphasize the importance of accuracy, including precise language and careful definitions of mathematical concepts.
  5. Understand both the underlying principles and practical applications of one or more fields of mathematics.
  6. Strengthen understanding of the relationship between algebraic and graphical representations.

Course Topics

The course outline will be covered on a best-effort basis, subject as always to time limitations as the course progresses.

  • How computers represent and process information
  • Algorithms
  • Strings Operations and Comparisons
  • Functions
  • Lists and Dictionaries
  • Text Processing
  • Input/Output
  • Exceptions
  • Testing and Debugging
  • Programming Languages vs. Natural Languages
  • Translation, Compilation, Interpretation
  • Syntax and Semantics
  • Documentation
  • Variables, Assignment, Operators
  • Control Flow
  • Repetition
  • Selection
  • Tracing code

Course Philosophy

During this semester we will be learning to design, write and test programs that can be used to manipulate data in a number of ways. The emphasis will be on solving real-life data analysis problems in a variety of disciplines. We will be using the Python programming language which has the advantage of being (relatively) easy to learn and has a large collection of modules contributed by other users. We will spend most of our class time working in groups or on the computer trying out new concepts and techniques. This will give us all a chance to learn new material with the support and help of the instructor and your classmates. Larger projects completed outside of class will lead toward more complete mastery of the material. Finally, we will work on individual or group final projects, developing a program to solve some problem in our own disciplines and learning from each other’s experience on these projects.

You are encouraged to help each other out, in and out of the classroom, as long as you do your own work. (See Academic Conduct below.)

Instructional Methods

This class will not be a traditional “lecture” class, and will incorporate some teaching methods that may be unfamiliar to you.


Rather than lecturing about the course content, you and your classmates will "discover" the content for yourselves through small-group work.The group work will be a very structured style called Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL). Through investigation of models of the concepts and answering questions that guide the team toward understanding of the models, your team will both learn the content and team process skills. In your POGIL groups each group member will have a specific role to play during the activity, and roles will be rotated so that everyone will get to experience a variety of process skills.

For more information on POGIL, see

Pair Programming

During labs, you will work in a pair with one of your classmates. One of you will type while the other makes suggestions, watches for errors, reads the assignment, and thinks ahead. You will switch roles frequently during the lab session.

You will be randomly assigned a new partner each lab. This will allow you to get to know the other members of the class, work with partners of different abilities and programming styles, and develop relationships that may extend beyond to classroom.

Grading Policies

I want everyone receiving a passing grade in this course to be, at least, minimally competent in the course learning outcomes and for that to be reflected in your course grade. Traditional grading schemes do a poor job of indicating competency.

As an example, imagine a course with two major learning outcomes: X and Y. It is widely considered that a course grade of C indicates that a student is minimally competent in achieving the course outcomes. However, if the student were to receive a grade of 100 for outcome X, and a grade of 40 for outcome Y, the student would still have a 70 (C-) average for the course. Yet the student is clearly not competent in outcome Y.

Therefore the grading in this course will be handled in a different manner:

  • All assignments will be graded on a Meets Specification / Does Not Yet Meet Specification basis, based on whether the student work meets the instructor-supplied specification.
  • A minimum collection of assignments, indicating competency in the course learning outcomes, must be completed in a Meets Specification manner to earn a passing course grade (D).
  • Higher passing grades (A, B, C) can be earned by completing more assignments and/or assignments that show higher-level thinking and learning skills.

Assignment Grading

  • All assignments in this course will be graded exclusively on a Meets Specification / Does Not Yet Meet Specification basis.
  • For each assignment, you will be given a detailed specification explaining what is required for the work to be marked Meets Specification.
  • Failing to meet any part of the specification will result in the work being marked Does Not Yet Meet Specification.
  • There will be no partial credit given.
  • If you are unclear on what the specification requires, it is your responsibility to ask me for clarification.
  • It will be possible to revise and resubmit a limited number of assignments with Does Not Yet Meet Specification grades (see Revision and Resubmission of Work below).

Course Grade Determination

Your grade for the course will be determined by which assignments and/or how many assignments you complete in an Meets Specification manner.

Base Grade

Assignment Earn Base Grade
Earn Base Grade
Earn BaseGrade
Earn Base Grade
Attendance and Participation
  — In-class Activity Classes (out of 18)
  — Final Project Work Classes (out of 7)




Readings Quizzes Average ≥ 90% ≥ 80% ≥ 70% ≥ 60%
zyBooks Practice
  — Participation Activities
  — Challenge Activities

≥ 90%

≥ 90%
≥ 80%

≥ 80%
≥ 70%

≥ 70%
≥ 60%
Laboratory Assignments (n ≈ 8) n n n n-1
Programming Projects (n ≈ 6)
  — Submitted (see explanation below)
  — Meets Specification




Discussion Logs
  — Lab Assignments (n ≈ 8)
  — Programming Assignments (n ≈ 6)
  — Final Project (out of 4)




Final Project
  — Proposal Meets Specification
  — Presentation Meets Specification
  — Submitted presentation and code

Exam Grade Average (2 exams) > 50% > 50% > 50% ≤ 50%
  • Failing to meet the all the requirements for a particular letter grade will result in not earning that grade. For example, even if you complete all other requirements for a B grade, but fail to submit 4 Programming Assignment Disussion Logs that meet specification, you will earn a C grade.
  • Failing to meet the all the requirements for earning a D grade will result in a failing grade for the course.

Plus or Minus Grade Modifiers

  • You will have a minus modifier applied to your base grade if the average of your exam grades is lower than 60%.
  • You will have a plus modifier applied to your base grade if the average of your exam grades is 85% or higher.
  • Each unused token remaining at the end of the semester can be used to increase the exam average by 2 percentage points.


  • WSU has no A+ grade.
  • I reserve the right to revise downward the required number of assignments needed for each base grade due to changes in number of assignments assigned or unexpected difficulties with assignments.

Attendance and Participation

For In-Class Activity Classes

Because a significant portion of your learning will take place during the in-class activities and as part of your team, class attendance and participation are exteremely important.

For your attendance and participation to be considered to Meet Specification, you must:

  • Arrive on time and stay for the entire class session.
  • Participate fully in the in-class activity:
    • Fulfill all responsibilities of your team role.
    • Contribute to the team's learning and answers to questions.
    • Work as part of the team on the activity (not on your own.)
    • Work on the in-class activity (not some other work.)

You will be using your computer within your group activities and labs. You should only be using your computer for the classwork. You should not be checking sites that are unrelated to the course, or messaging friends. If I see that you are doing other things on your computer and not participating in your group, I will warn you. If I have to warn you a second time during that class, you will lose your participation points for that class.

For Final Project Work Classes

The Final Project Work Classes are important to provide you and your partner with a consistent, guaranteed time when you can meet to discuss the design of your application, troubleshoot development difficulties, and get advice and help from your instructor. Software development is not a solitary activity, and teams make more progess at face-to-face meetings than they do at virtual meetings.

For your attendance and participation to be considered to Meet Specification, you must:

  • Arrive on time and stay for the entire class session.
  • Work on your project (not some other work.)
  • Work with your partner to coordinate work that will happen individually between class sessions.

Quizzes on Readings

You will take quizzes on the readings so that I may assess where students are having conceptual difficulties with the material. In addition to giving an answer to the quiz questions, you will required to explain your reasoning for the answers you chose.

All quizzes can be attempted an unlimited number of times before the due date/time.

zyBooks Practice

The zyBooks textbook contains both Participation activities, where credit is given simply for trying the activity, and Challenge activities which require a correct answer.

All activities can be attempted an unlimited number of times before the due date/time.

Laboratory Assignments

The laboratory assignments provide you with the chance to explore the Python language and development tools in an incremental, guided way. This will help you develop confidence and mastery before you are asked to complete programming projects on your own.

Programming Projects

The programming projects will give you a chance to apply the material to larger tasks. These projects will require you to interpret the problem description, do some planning and design, possibly research and evaluate third-party modules, implement your program, and test and debug it.

Submitted means that the project has been submitted on time, has all or most of the appropriate code and functions to complete the solution, runs (but maybe not correctly in all cases), but may need some cleaning up to really meet the specifiations. Generally, the student has put in sufficient effort, but the solution is just a little bit "off the mark".

Discussion Logs

Discussion logs will give you the chance to reflect on your learning, helping you to "cement" your learning.

Lab Assignments

Lab Assignment Discussion Logs will also give you the chance to reflect on how you work with others on a project, and how you can improve in the future.

Programming Projects

Programming Project Discussion Logs will also give you the chance to reflect on how your own work process, and how you can improve in the future.

Final Project

Because you will be working independently (of the instructor) on your Final Project, your discussion logs will keep your instructor aware of what you have learned and whether you are having difficulties with the project.

Final Project and Presentation

For the last 5 weeks of the semester we will work on individual or group programming projects. You will work on some data from your particular major or area of interest. With the instructor’s guidance you will determine what analysis you wish to perform on your data, and develop a program to perform that analysis.

During the scheduled final exam period, you will present your final project to the class. Our Final Exam period is scheduled for Tuesday, 17 December - 12:30-3:30pm


There will be two exams given during the semester. Both exams will be given during a regular class period.

  • Exam 1 is tentatively scheduled to be given during class on 8 October 2019.
  • Exam 2 is tentatively scheduled to be given during class on 12 November 2019.


All work will be submitted electronically through a variety of tools. The due date and time will be given on the assignment. The submission date and time will be determined by the submission timestamp of the tool used.

Please do not submit assignments to me via email. It is difficult for me to keep track of them and I often fail to remember that they are in my mailbox when it comes time to grade the assignment.

It is strongly recommended that you keep copies of your projects. Students are responsible for reproducing any lost work including unreadable files.

Graded assignments (with comments and solutions) will be returned to you electronically. Please make sure that you review the comments and solutions provided, so that you can improve your future assignments. Ask me questions about the comments if you do not understand them.

Late Submissions

Late work will not be accepted. (See Tokens below.)

Revision and Resubmission of Work

If you receive a Does Not Yet Meet Specification on any assignment you may revise and resubmit the assignment one time only without the use of a token. If you need to submit an assignment a third time, you will have to spend a token.

  • You must have submitted the original assignment on time, (or one day late with the use of a token.)
  • You must submit your revision within one week from the date when the "Does Not Yet Meet Specification" grade was posted in Blackboard and comments were posted in GitLab. (You may use a token to submit the revision one day late.)
  • You may ask me for clarification of the assignment, or of the comments I made on your submission.
  • You may ask me to look at your revised solution to see if it addresses my comments.
  • If you address all the comments in an acceptable fashion, your grade will be converted to Meets Specification.
  • You must let me know by a comment in GitLab when you resubmit the assignment, so that I know to regrade it.


Each student will be able to earn up to 5 tokens over the course of the semester. These tokens will be earned by completing simple set-up and housekeeping tasks for the course.

Each token can be used to:

  • replace a single missed class session (up to a maximum of 2 missed class sessions)
  • turn in an assignment late by 24 hours
  • revise and resubmit an assignment that was judged "Does Not Yet Meet Specification" beyond the second attempt. Any work to be revised and resubmitted must have been submitted by the original due date.

Token Accounting

  • Unused tokens will be kept track of in the Blackboard My Grades area.
  • Tokens will not be automatically applied. You must explicitly tell me by email when you want to use a token, and for which assignment.

Getting Help

If you are struggling with the material or a project please see me as soon as possible. Often a few minutes of individual attention is all that is needed to get you back on track.

By all means, try to work out the material on your own, but ask for help when you cannot do that in a reasonable amount of time. The longer you wait to ask for help, the harder it will be to catch up.

Asking for help or coming to see me during office hours is not bothering or annoying me. I am here to help you understand the material and be successful in the course.

Contacting Me

You may contact me by email (, telephone (+1-508-929-8728), or see me in my office (ST 110A). My office hours are listed on the schedule on my web page ( or you may make an appointment for a mutually convenient time.

If you email me, please include “[CS-135]” in the subject line, so that my email program can correctly file your email and ensure that your message does not get buried in my general mailbox.

If you email me from an account other than your Worcester State email, please be sure that your name appears somewhere in the email, so that I know who I am communicating with.

You may expect that I will get back to you within 24 hours of your email or phone call (with the exception of weekends and holidays), although you will likely hear from me much sooner.

Student Responsibilities

  • Contribute to a class atmosphere conducive to learning for everyone by asking/answering questions, participating in class discussions. Don’t just lurk!
  • When working with a partner, participate actively. Don't let your partner do all the work - you won't learn anything that way.
  • Seek help when necessary
  • Start assignments as soon as they are posted. Do not wait until the due date to seek help/to do the assignments
  • Make use of the student support services (see below)
  • Expect to spend at least 9 hours of work per week on classwork.
  • Each student is responsible for the contents of the readings, handouts, and homework assignments.

Academic Conduct

Each student is responsible for the contents of the readings, discussions, class materials, textbook and handouts. All work must be done independently unless assigned as a group project. You may discuss assignments and materials with other students, but you should never share answers or files. Everything that you turn in must be your own original work, unless specified otherwise in the assignment.

Students may help each other understand the programming language and the development environment but students may not discuss actual solutions, design or implementation, to their programming assignments before they are submitted or share code or help each other debug their programming assignments. The assignments are the primary means used to teach the techniques and principles of computer programming; only by completing the programs individually will students receive the full benefit of the assignments. If you are looking at each other’s code before you submit your own, you are in violation of this policy.

Students may not use solutions to assignments from any textbooks other than the text assigned for the course, or from any person other than the instructor, or from any Internet site, or from any other source not specifically allowed by the instructor. If a student copies code from an unauthorized source and submits it as a solution to an assignment, the student will receive a 0 for that assignment.

Any inappropriate sharing of work or use of another's work without attribution will result in a grade of zero on that assignment for all parties involved. If you do so a second time, you will receive an “E” for the course.

See Academic Honesty below under WSU Information, Services, and Policies.

If you have a serious problem that prevents you from finishing an assignment on time, contact me and we'll come up with a solution.

Student Work Retention Policy

It is my policy to securely dispose of student work one calendar year after grades have been submitted for a course.

WSU Information, Services, and Policies

Academic Calendar with Important Dates

You can access Worcester State University’s official Fall 2019 Academic Calendar by clicking on , and then on the PDF symbol immediately to the right of “2019/2020,” in the “Academic Calendar” column. The academic calendar includes a listing of key dates, including:

  • September 10 — The last day to ADD a regular day course
  • September 17 — The last day to DROP a regular day course
  • September 17 — The last day to ADD or DROP an evening or graduate course
  • October 10 — The last day to DECLARE or CHANGE a major or minor
  • November 1 — The last day to WITHDRAW from a course or school
  • November 8 — The last day to elect the PASS/FAIL option for a course

The schedule also includes the final exam schedule as well as dates for Continuing Education and Graduate courses.

Definition of the “Credit-Hour”

Worcester State University follows a modified Carnegie Foundation definition of the credit-hour, known as the “Carnegie Unit.” For Worcester State courses, 1 credit hour is equivalent to 1 hour of classroom instruction coupled with a minimum of 2 hours of expected coursework outside of the classroom by the student, over a semester of approximately 15 weeks. Please note that “1 hour of classroom instruction” is actually 50 minutes. A 3-credit course would thus entail approximately 45 classroom hours of instruction (= approximately 37.5 actual hours in class) and a minimum of approximately 90 hours of work outside of class. This standard is maintained for a six-week summer session and a two-week winter, so that the 45 + 90 hours will be distributed over six weeks or two weeks, depending on the session. Students receive one credit for each credit hour of courses taken.

Worcester State University’s Core Values

As a public institution, Worcester State University embraces the belief that widespread access to high-quality educational opportunities is the cornerstone of a democratic society. Members of the Worcester State community share the following core values:

  • Academic Excellence: We are committed to providing opportunities to excel in a close-knit learning environment characterized by distinguished faculty, excellent teaching, and creative linkages between classroom learning and real-world experiences.
  • Engaged Citizenship: We are committed to promoting community service, social justice, the democratic process, environmental sustainability, and global awareness to prepare students to be active and informed citizens.
  • Open Exchange of Ideas: We are committed to inviting and considering the most expansive range of perspectives in teaching and learning, in scholarly and creative work, and in the governance of a complex, diverse institution.
  • Diversity and Inclusiveness: We are committed to being an inclusive community in which our diversity enhances learning for all and in which people from all cultures and backgrounds have the opportunity to participate fully and succeed.
  • Civility and Integrity: We are committed to respecting the dignity of all members of our community and to demonstrating this commitment in our interactions, decisions, and structures.

For more on Worcester State’s core values, mission, and the plan for achieving them, see the institution’s Strategic Plan at

Accessibility Statement

Worcester State University values the diversity of all of our students, faculty and staff. We recognize the importance of each student’s contribution to our campus community. WSU is committed to providing equal access and support to all qualified students through the provision of reasonable accommodations so that each student may fully participate in programs and services at WSU. If you have a disability that requires reasonable accommodations, please contact Student Accessibility Services at or 508-929-8733. Please be aware that accommodations cannot be enacted retroactively, making timeliness a critical aspect for their provision.

Academic Advising

Each student at Worcester State University is assigned a Faculty Advisor. This advisor will be in your major department or, for undeclared students, assigned from among faculty across the campus. If you are unsure of who your faculty advisor is, you can check on WebAdvisor, with your major department’s administrative assistant (if you have a major), or with the Academic Success Center (if you do not have a major). Your Faculty Advisor will assist you in course selection, setting and achieving academic goals, acquiring relevant information and services, and making responsible decisions regarding their interests, goals, and academic requirements. At a minimum, you should make an appointment to meet with your advisor prior to preregistration, but your advisor is available throughout the academic year to answer questions and to have discussions about your academic life.

Support for Students from the Academic Success Center

The Academic Success Center is available to students who have advising and registration questions. The ASC works closely with Faculty Advisors to ensure students are supported with major and LASC information. The ASC also provides workshops for students to deliver academic advising information. Tutoring Services for a variety of courses are hosted in our area. We also offer testing services related to CLEP and Accuplacer Placement Test. General information about the ASC is available at The interactive ASC webpage is available through the student portal, “MyWSU.”

Math Help from the Math Center

The WSU Math Center provides services to enhance student learning and success in any course with mathematical content, including Business, Computer Science, Psychology, Physics, and Math Courses up to Calc 2 (MA 201). Placement test materials and preparation support are also available. The trained tutors have taken the course they tutor for and understand the material well. Tutoring is on a drop-in basis in Sullivan 140 and overseen by Math Professors Eileen Perez and Elizabeth Gilbert. Semester hours begin the Monday of the first full week of each semester and will be published by the center.

Writing Help from the Writing Center

Worcester State University's Writing Center is located in Sullivan 306. Staffed by friendly consultants, many of whom students may know from around campus, the Writing Center is a space where students have productive conversations about their writing.

Students can schedule an appointment with us in-person or by email ( While we prefer scheduled appointments, we are often available for walk-in appointments, as well.

Alternatively, the WSU Writing Center offers an Online Writing Lab service whereby students can submit papers and writing projects and receive feedback. Students can submit to us using this Google Form. Please note, we reserve the right to take up to 72 hours to respond.

All services at the Writing Center are offered free of charge. For more information about our mission and policies, visit our main page here.

Help for Students from the Counseling Center

The Worcester State University Counseling Center is here to provide confidential, therapeutic support to students with mental health concerns and/or facing pressures unique to college students. Services are also provided to students that are in crisis. Your instructor is available if you would like my guidance in seeking services. Your instructor may also consult with a counseling center staff member and/or make a referral on your behalf. You can contact the center directly via email or via telephone at (508) 929-8072.

Support for Students from the Student Intervention Team

Worcester State University is committed to the safety and success of all members of the campus community. To support this initiative, WSU has a Student Intervention Team which works to support campus community members, including students, by reaching out and providing resources in areas where an individual may be struggling or experiencing barriers to their success. The program allows faculty to be proactive, supportive, and involved in facilitating the success of our students through early detection, reporting, and intervention. As your faculty member, I may contact the Student Intervention Team if I sense you are in need additional support which individually I may not be able to provide.

Title IX: Policy Against Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

Worcester State University is committed to respecting the dignity of all members of our community and to demonstrating this commitment in our interactions, decisions, and structures. We must create a safe and supportive community for all in order to fulfill our mission to equip our students with knowledge and skills necessary for lives of professional accomplishment, engaged citizenship, and intellectual growth. Therefore, Worcester State University takes all complaints and accusations of sexual discrimination, harassment, and assault seriously.

WSU encourages students, employees, or guests who believe they have been harmed by discrimination or sexual harassment on or off campus to discuss their concerns and file an informal or formal complaint with WSU's Title IX Coordinator, Jennifer Quinn, at 508-929-8243 or

Procedures and Key Dates Regarding Bill Payment

  • Early June — Pre-bill notifications were sent to students.
  • July 11 — Bills were issued to students.
  • August 6 — Bill due date
  • August 8 — Students with a $3,000 or greater remaining balance will receive a non-payment hold on their accounts. This hold will prohibit students from adjusting class schedules.
  • August 15 — Overdue notices are sent to students with remaining balances of $500 or greater. Students with a $500 or greater remaining balance will receive a non-payment hold.
  • September 4 — Classes begin. Students with remaining balances should attend class.
  • September 5 – 17 — Multiple messages will be sent to students with non-payment holds encouraging them to clear their bill. Starfish flags will be raised to alert students and their instructors. Students should continue to attend class.
  • September 10 — Overdue notices are sent to students with remaining balances of $300 or greater. Students with a $300 or greater remaining balance will receive a non-payment hold. Students should continue to attend class.
  • September 18 — Students who have taken no action on their bills will have their Blackboard accounts suspended (not deleted). Once students are suspended they will no longer be visible in Starfish. Students should continue to attend class.
  • September 30 — Last day for reinstatement. Students who have taken no action on their bills will be dropped from courses. Dropped students should no longer attend class.
  • Students with questions about billing dates, registration holds, financial aid statuses, and Blackboard suspensions can be referred to the following offices:
    • Student Accounts 508-929-8051
    • Financial Aid 508-929-8056
    • Enrollment Management 508-929-8497

Financial Help from the Student Emergency Fund

The Student Emergency Fund was created to assist WSU students who encounter an unforeseen financial emergency or catastrophic event which would otherwise prevent them from continuing their education at Worcester State University.

Our goal is to help students during a time of need to stay in school and make progress toward a degree. An award is intended to be a major step for the student in the return to financial stability.

How to Apply for Emergency Funds: Visit the Dean of Students Office, located on the third floor of the Student Center, Room 344, or call (508) 929-8077.

Food Assistance for Those in Need

Thea’s Pantry provides food and other essentials to students, staff, and faculty in need. The pantry is located in the Student Center on the 3rd Floor, Room 345. It provides a confidential service for those in need. The only requirement for making use of the pantry is possession of a WSU OneCard. Additional information and hours of operation can be found online at

In addition, the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education (DGCE) provides an informal “pop up” food pantry for those in need. It is located just outside the elevator on the 4th Floor of the Administration Building.

LASC (Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum)

LASC is Worcester State University’s general education system. It supplements courses in a student’s major(s) (and minor(s) and interdisciplinary concentration(s)) with an opportunity to study a broader set of subjects and issues. LASC includes two foundation areas, eight different subject areas, and three areas integrating different educational goals (development of writing skills, math skills, and diversity experience and understanding) into courses across the curriculum, as well as a capstone experience meant to bring together into a cohesive whole a student’s work in her/his/their/zeir major or LASC courses. For those who begin their higher education careers at Worcester State as incoming first-year students, LASC also includes the First Year Seminar. Not only does the LASC system offer students important opportunities for intellectual and personal growth and enrichment, but it also provides opportunities to develop skills and knowledge supporting engaged citizenship as well as the intellectual flexibility and broad-based abilities necessary to succeeding in the “new economy” of fluidly evolving, emerging, and disappearing professions in which students can expect to have multiple careers across many areas. For more information on LASC, ask your Academic Advisor and use this link:

Academic Honesty

Academic Honesty is an important foundation of a teaching and learning community and taken very seriously by Worcester State University. For the full statement of the Academic Honesty Policy, please go to Among other elements, this policy includes definitions of relevant terms such as “plagiarism” and student appeal procedures. Please note that there are three main ways that academic dishonesty is dealt with at Worcester State. First, instructors may impose sanctions within a course, which might include such things as mandatory rewrites or reduced or failing grades. Second, in conjunction with what they do in class, instructors may file reports of academic dishonesty instances in the Academic Central File. Such reports form a record of conduct that is tracked at the university level, and allows both instructors and the Worcester State administration to determine if a student has been reported for multiple violations. While having a report filed in the Academic Central File about one’s academic dishonesty does not in itself carry any penalty for the student, reports in the file can be used for evidence in formal judicial processes. In addition, faculty members can request to be told if a student has a prior report on file and the Worcester State administration can institute formal judicial processes based on Academic Central File reports.

IT – Information Technology Services

If you need help with a computer, email, Blackboard, or another technology issue, IT is there for you!

  • Help Desk: Located in the Learning Resource Center Room: LRC-310, Phone: 508-929-8856
  • IT Services: If you need any assistance, you may submit a ticket to the IT Help Desk, by going to and clicking the "Submit a Help Desk Ticket" button. You can also find help desk office hours for the semester at this link.
  • Laptop Support: If your laptop needs repairs, you can drop it off at the Laptop Repair Depot, located on the 3rd floor of the LRC. It typically takes 24 to 48 hours to complete a repair.
  • myWSU Portal: Classes, OneCard, WebAdvisor, and Gmail are all accessible through this portal.
  • Free Software Download: Available for download at for Windows 8.1, and 10. The Adobe Creative Suite can also be obtained at low cost here.
  • Microsoft Office: This software can be downloaded at for FREE. Click “Sign In” at the top right hand corner of the screen and use your WSU email address and password, in order to gain access to the download.

Worcester State University Library

For research help, go to the Library!

The Worcester State University Library (, located on the second and third floors of the Learning Resource Center, provides access to print materials and items on course reserve in addition to a wide variety of full-text online resources accessible both on- and off-campus, including e-books, journal articles, newspapers, and magazines. Articles and book chapters not available in full-text through the Library’s resources can be obtained through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). With a little planning, ILL expands your ability to get credible sources about topics you pursue in your coursework. Additionally, as a member library of the ARC consortium (, WSU students can also access resources at other college libraries.

The librarians at WSU can help you develop research questions, identify research strategies, search for relevant and reliable information and data, select the best sources for your paper or project, and cite that information. A librarian can visit your class, meet with you in person (one-on-one or in groups), and provide assistance via email, phone, or chat. While every WSU Librarian is able to help students with a project in any discipline, each department has a designated librarian to support the research needs of the students in that department. You are welcome to stop by their office, or make an appointment! For more information, go to


This schedule is subject to change.

  Tuesday Thursday
Week 1 3 September — No Class
Classes have not started yet
5 September
Week 2 10 September
12 September
Week 3 17 September
19 September
Week 4 24 September
26 September
Week 5 1 October
3 October
Week 6 8 October
Exam 1
10 October
Week 7 15 October
17 October
Week 8 21 October
24 October
Week 9 29 October
31 October
Week 10 5 November
7 November
Week 11 12 November
Exam 2
14 November
Working on Final Project
Week 12 19 November
Working on Final Project
21 November
Working on Final Project
Week 13 26 November
Working on Final Project
28 November — No Class
Thanksgiving Recess
Week 14 3 December
Working on Final Project
5 December
Working on Final Project
Week 15 10 December
Working on Final Project
12 December — No Class
Final Exams
17 December
Final Presentations
19 December — No Class
Final Exams

Copyright and License

© 2019 Karl R. Wurst, Worcester State University

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