Special Admission Opportunities

Students with documented learning disabilities can choose to apply for one of the following options:

1. Learning Disabilities Program - Banacos Academic Center

Westfield State University makes every effort to provide an enriching educational experience for qualified students with learning disabilities in the Banacos Academic Center.  Since 1979, the Learning Disabilities Program has had a distinguished record of success in providing free, comprehensive academic support to first-year students with learning disabilities or ADHD.

Massachusetts state law (M.G.I. Chapter 15A, Sec. 30) allows SAT scores to be waived for all students with documented learning disabilities. Additionally, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education allows students to substitute two college preparatory electives for the two required foreign language courses. Although by state law students are not required to disclose a learning disability, freshman applicants who wish to receive the SAT and/or foreign language waiver, special consideration in the admission process and comprehensive academic support after enrollment, must submit a copy of complete diagnostic testing (psycho-educational assessment).

Diagnostic testing, which includes both a cognitive and an achievement test, should have been administered within the last three years. Preferred tests include the WAIS-III or WAIS-IV (cognitive tests) together with any achievement test used by your school system, OR the complete Woodcock Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery (comprised of both cognitive and achievement tests). All diagnostic materials received will be kept confidential and will be used only within guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Applicants who submit a reflective personal statement and two academic recommendations will receive preferential review.  Applicants are also strongly encouraged to submit the most recent IEP or 504 plan.  Freshman applicants may be required to interview with the staff of the Learning Disabilities Program.

PRIORITY DEADLINE for applications to the Learning Disabilities Program is February 1.

For further information, contact the Banacos Academic Center at (413) 572-8789 or visit the Learning Disabilities Program website.

2. SAT and/or Foreign Language Waiver

Students with documented learning disabilities who do not want to be considered for Westfield's Learning Disabilities Program can choose to apply through the general admission process by selecting the option to be considered for the SAT and/or foreign language waiver only.  Applicants who wish to receive the SAT and/or foreign language waiver, must submit a complete copy of diagnostic testing (psycho-educational assessment) as stated above in the Learning Disabilities Program section as a substitution for the stardardized test and foreign language requirement.

To request reasonable accommodations for any disability and learn more about Disability Services, please contact the Access Advisor at (413) 572-5789 or visit the Disability Services website.


Urban Education Program

The Urban Education Program provides first generation students from diverse educational, economic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds a unique admission opportunity based on their potential to succeed at the university level.  For over forty years, the program has provided intensive support, advising and encouragement to students who have the desire to achieve personal, academic and professional success.

The Urban Education experience begins during the summer after high school graduation.  First-year students are accepted to the University on a conditional basis and must successfully complete the 5-week Summer Bridge Program and New Student Orientation to gain full matriculation.

Program eligibility criteria include an interview with the Urban Education staff, letters of recommendation and final approval of the Program Director.

PRIORITY DEADLINE for applications to the Urban Education Program is February 1.

For further information, contact the Urban Education Program at (413) 572-5391 or visit the Urban Education website.