May 2018

The WWU Family Connection newsletter is produced by Western's Office of Communications and Marketing and New Student Services/Family Outreach.

a student works the controls in the KUGS radio station

At KUGS, Western’s on-campus radio station, senior and liberal studies major Jeremy Meehan DJs during the blues radio hour. KUGS can be found on the airwaves at 89.3FM.
Photo By Rose Carr | WWU Communications and Marketing.

Important Dates

Choosing a Major workshop: Wednesday, May 2

Declaring a Major drop-in lab: Thursday, May 3

Go Abroad Again -- Work, Teach, Research & Volunteer Overseas: Thursday, May 3

Registration begins for Summer Session: Tuesday, May 8

Last day to apply to graduate spring quarter: May 11

Last day for spring graduates to apply to attend spring quarter commencement without a late fee: May 11

Registration begins for fall 2018: Tuesday, May 15

Career Center LinkedIn Workshop: Wednesday, May 16

Building a Resume Online in Optimal Resume workshop: Thursday, May 17

Go Abroad Again event May 3:30 to 5 p.m. Miller Hall 112

WWU Alumni Weekend: May 18-20

Spring Family Event at Bellewood Acres: Sunday, May 20

Womxn of Color Empowerment Dinner: Thursday, May 24

Memorial Day, University Closed: Monday, May 28

WWU Give Day: Friday, June 1

Final Exam Week: June 11 to 15

Volunteer at Graduation Celebration: Wednesday, June 13 or Thursday, June 14

Move-Out Madness: Friday, June 15

Housing deposit due for 2018-19: Friday, June 15

Spring commencement: Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16

Don't miss our Spring Family Event at Bellewood Acres

Spring Family Event During WWU Alumni Weekend, Sunday, May 20

BelleWood Acres is one of Northwest Washington's largest apple orchards and first true "Farm to Glass" distillery. This event is a fantastic opportunity for WWU students and their families to see the beauty of Whatcom County. Two tour options available for purchase:

BelleWood Acres Family Brunch and Blossom Tour (all ages)
Event includes charter bus from campus to the orchard for a private train tour guided by the owner of BelleWood Acres. Following the "in bloom" tour you'll enjoy a full brunch buffet including eggs, bacon, scalloped potatoes, flourless chocolate torte, mimosa bar, BelleWood's famous apple cider, and more. There will be ample time to play and explore BelleWood. Tickets available at the WWU Box Office, $40 students/ $45 general. Depart C-lots at WWU @ 9:30am, returning @ 1:30pm

BelleWood Acres Family Brunch and Distillery Tour (21+)
Event includes charter bus from campus to the orchard, a full brunch buffet including eggs, bacon, scalloped potatoes, flourless chocolate torte, mimosa bar, BelleWood's famous apple cider, and more. Following brunch guest will learn how BelleWood grows, harvests, ferments, and distills while enjoying their premium spirits. Tickets available at the WWU Box Office, $45 students/ $50 general. Depart C-lots at WWU @ 10:30am, returning @ 2:30pm

Purchase tickets by phone at the WWU Box Office: (360) 650-6146 or online: Click here for tickets to the Brunch and Blossom Tour or click here for tickets to the Brunch and Distillery Tour.

Sponsored by New Student Services/Family Outreach. For disability accommodations please contact (360) 650-4546,

Join us for WWU Alumni Weekend this month

WWU Alumni Weekend, Catch Up on Campus!

You’re invited to WWU Alumni Weekend, formerly Back2Bellingham. Enjoy exploring the campus with your student, meet the president, deans and professors, see a planetarium show, enjoy lunch on Old Main Lawn, meet alumni who have shaped their Western experience into careers, and so much more. Go to for more information and register today!

Get to know the Tutoring Center

Group photo of the WWU Tutoring Center staff

Tutoring Center Hiring Season

The Tutoring Center is hiring now. Students should apply by May 4

Many students find a home in the collaborative learning community of WWU’s Tutoring Center (TC). In fact, almost half of all Western students use TC services during their time at WWU. Centrally located in Wilson Library 280, open 60 hours a week, and supporting subjects like math, chemistry, and physics, this busy drop-in center is a hot spot for academic success that gives students an edge in completing their GURs or getting into a competitive STEM field. A friendly, energetic vibe welcomes students and allows them to focus on their coursework and the development of critical thinking skills. No appointment is necessary to access the free tutoring; textbooks, solutions manuals, calculators, a group-study room and other resources are available on-site.

Tutor-facilitated study groups are also available for many courses. These small, interactive sessions are led by experienced TC tutors in communication with course instructors. In addition to subject-specific tutoring, the TC offers individual academic-skills coaching in time management, note taking, reading, test taking and more.

Each spring quarter, the TC hires up to 40 students to join a dynamic team of tutors and peer advisors. An internationally-accredited training program, professional development opportunities, and consistent reinforcement of foundational skills prepare our staff for post-graduate opportunities while making an impact of the lives of countless students. Encourage your student to apply by May 4, 2018.

Students can track their progress with Degree Works

Degree Works: chart your path to graduation.

Western has recently introduced Degree Works — a new academic planning and degree progress tool designed to help students stay on their path to graduation.

Degree Works provides many benefits for Western students and advisors, including:

  • Checklists to help students easily monitor their progress online, anywhere they have internet access.
  • A clear picture of WWU degree requirements to help students navigate the most effective path to graduation.
  • Help for students planning their class schedules by showing what courses and requirements still need to be completed.

Students can access the new tool in the Student Records area in Web4U. More information on Degree Works can be found on the Registrar’s Office “Degree Works for Students” webpage, which has step-by-step instructions for students.

Important things to know about declaring a major

Majors at Western vary in the prerequisite coursework and requirements to declare. Students are encouraged to learn the steps specific to their intended major and incorporate them into their academic planning. The Programs of Study in the University Catalog and academic department websites are essential resources to learn more about and apply for majors at Western.

It is okay to be undecided about a major and students are encouraged spend time considering all of their possibilities. Resources are available to help students explore and declare a major through Academic Advising, Career Services, and Student Outreach Services.

The general timeline for major declaration:

  • By 60 credits students should meet with the academic department where their major of choice is housed, for individual major advising.
  • Apply to their major of choice by 90 credits. If students are considering a pre-healthcare plan of study or majors in natural sciences, environmental sciences, engineering, languages, business, or fine and performing arts, it is often important to begin appropriate coursework in their first year, sometimes first quarter, to graduate in a timely manner.
  • Students who have not declared a major or pre-major by the time they complete 105 or more credits (including transfer credits) are required to communicate with an advisor prior to registering. Students entering Western with 105 or more credits are not required to connect with an advisor until their second quarter at Western. This process exists to ensure students are on track to declaring a major and graduate.

There are several benefits to declaring a major early, some of which include:

  • Advising by the academic department specific to the major
  • Gaining access to major restricted courses
  • Finding out about major-related opportunities within the department such as scholarships, clubs, internships, and more
  • Graduating in a timely manner

The Career Services Center website features “What Can I Do with This Major?” listing multiple job titles, employers and strategies to use in pursuit of each job type. The Job Market Information page offers links to well-respected sources with current data on jobs, salaries and job market growth.

Where students can fix things when they break

Western has excellent services available to students, especially in those crisis moments when things break. Whether they call about the flat tire on their bike, a virus on their laptop, or a sprained ankle, you can help direct them to the available resources on campus.

AS Outdoor Center Bike Shop
Located on the first floor of the Viking Union, the AS Outdoor Center is the hub for outdoor-related opportunities and activities for all students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The Bike Shop has four work stations, two truing stands, free assistance, and for only $2 a variety of tools available for use. They sell parts such as lights, fenders, locks, tires, tubes, brake pads, cables and replacement parts. Open Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Contact the main office at 360-650-3112 or check out

ATUS Help Desk
The ATUS Help Desk is dedicated to providing reliable and accurate help for all WWU students, staff, and faculty on campus. They are happy to assist with laptop troubleshooting, campus wireless networks, malware and virus removal, software updates and assistance, Office 365/ Microsoft Outlook. The Help Desk has laptop office hours for troubleshooting any issues related to personal computers. Contact ATUS Help Desk or call 360-650-3333.

Student Health Center
The Student Health Center, staffed by a team of physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and support staff, provide a broad range of affordable health care to eligible students. Their services include injury and rehabilitation, mental health, vaccines, women’s health, STI testing. Located at the south end of campus in the Campus Services Building. Visit or call 360-650-3400.

Support what's close to your heart on WWU Give Day

Powered by passion -- WWU Give Day 6-1-18

Save the date! The Third Annual WWU Give Day will be on June 1, 2018. Support your family’s favorite scholarship, department, club or program and a percentage of every gift will be matched.

Please encourage your student to participate too. A generous donor has provided a 2:1 match for gifts made by students! Visit for more info and encourage your student to sign up to be an ambassador.

Viking Spotlight: Parent Volunteers in Action

Breann Lay, WWU mom and vice president at Philips Healthcare visited campus on March 6 to talk with students about the Philips Aspire program and careers in healthcare. The health care and social assistance sector is projected to add nearly 4 million jobs by 2026 and companies like Philips are eager to welcome talented WWU students into the industry once they graduate.

Lay and colleague from Philips met with students and shared information about opportunities available in research, technology, administration and more. Philips is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer and home care. Thank you Breann for helping students in this way. The Philips visit was also made possible because of funding from the WWU Parents Fund. Thank you parent donors.

WWU news from Western Today

Western Today banner

Western Reads Selects ‘Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements’ for 2018-2019 School Year

Western Student Jacob Bernado Merges Art Forms to Support Local Cause with 'Patchwork'

WWU to host the 2018 Microtonal Adventures Festival May 18-20

Here's good news for Whatcom's rebounding construction industry | The Bellingham Herald

She spent decades creating this Lummi Island retreat. Now she's giving it away. | The Bellingham Herald