International Student Handbook

Welcome to Washington State University!

We are delighted that you have chosen to come study with us. Our friendly staff can help you with English support, academic support, visas, and advice about off-campus activities. We’re here to help make your transition to the U.S. as easy as possible.

In your first days on campus, you will learn a lot of new information as you adjust to life in Pullman. This Student Handbook is designed to provide you with information and resources you can use throughout your time here.

This information is important, so please keep this handbook and refer to it often. Everyone at WSU is glad you are here and is ready to help you! Good luck with your studies, work hard, have fun, and make memories.

Intensive American Language Center
Department of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) Office of International Programs

Staff directory

Justine ArmentroutOffice ManagerBryan 335-6675
Rachel BrightTeaching Assistant ProfessorDaggy 335-0040
David ClarkTeaching Assistant Professor, ITA and CEA CoordinatorDaggy 335-7557
Kimberly CooperAssistant DirectorDaggy 335-4916
Lynn DilsTeaching Assistant ProfessorDaggy 335-1537
Sharon Fraser-AllenTeaching Associate Professor, AdvisorDaggy 335-2585
Kate HellmannDirectorBryan 335-0990
Ibtesam HusseinTeaching Assistant ProfessorDaggy 335-8653
Tammi ParkinsProgram Support Supervisor 4 (fiscal)Remote, please
Wayan YanaTeaching Assistant ProfessorDaggy 335-0040

Housing and dining options


Students whose Study Plan includes Undergraduate Foundation are required to live in university housing for one academic year (excluding summer sessions) unless the following exemptions are met:

The student is 20 years or older.

The student has attended an institution of higher education as a regularly enrolled student for at least two regular semesters or three regular quarters, excluding summer sessions.

The student is living with immediate family in a family situation (mother and/or father; legal guardian; aunt or uncle; or grandparents). Immediate family must live within a 40-mile radius of the WSU Pullman campus.

Students studying in Academic English are unlikely to have off-campus options for housing for the eight-week terms. Please plan to live on campus if you are studying in Academic English.

Residence halls

Students are assigned to residence halls by Washington State University Housing. Students should apply for a residence hall and choose dining packages on the Housing website. Students can access their housing assignment, contract, and dining package through the “My Account” button on the housing website.

Graduate and family housing is also available through WSU Housing.

View housing options. and more.

Residence hall housing changes or cancellation

If you would like to change, cancel, or extend your housing please call (509) 335-4577.

Meal plans

Meal plans may be provided as part of your housing plan. All students can increase their meal plan or purchase a meal plan upon arrival.

Living off campus

Students who are eligible to live off campus can find useful resources at Cougar Choice Housing. Cougar Choice Housing is a program created by WSU to help students find safe off-campus housing. This program will provide students a positive living experience by helping them avoid common mistakes.

Adjusting to living with people from other cultures

The key to living comfortably with anyone is communication. When you live with someone from another culture, communicating can be more challenging due to language barriers. Below are some topics that you should discuss with your roommate and residence hall neighbors to understand each other’s lifestyle better.


When do each of you like to get up and go to bed? Be respectful of each other’s sleeping time.

When do each of you like to have quiet time for studying? Respect each other’s study times.

You and your roommate may have some busy days around test times. Do not feel bad if you do not see or talk to each other much during these stressful times.


Before a friend visits you, you should talk with your roommate to make sure your friend’s visit will not disturb them. You can always take your friends to the lounge area of your dorm or another public campus area such as the International Center, the CUB, or the grassy outdoor spaces.

Overnight guests

You have a right to sleep in your room. If your roommate wants to have a guest sleep in your room when you are there and you do not feel okay about it, tell him or her that you are not comfortable with the situation. You do not have to sleep in the same room with your roommate and their partner. Again, tell your roommate when you do not feel okay with the situation. If this is a continual problem, please talk with Housing or the Advisor.


Decide about music. Do not be afraid to ask your roommate to turn down their music if it is disturbing you. Be courteous and use headphones when appropriate.


Keep your side of the room clean and neat. If you have concerns regarding your roommate’s neatness, discuss them together.


Do not expect your roommate to invite you everywhere and do everything with you. Your roommate has their own friends and life, and it will not be possible to spend all your free time with them. In other words, do not expect your roommate to entertain you the entire time you are here. Make other friends and do things with other people if you get lonely. If you would like additional information regarding campus clubs, student organizations, and social events, talk with the ISSS team, your instructors, or the Director.


It is your responsibility to make this time fun for yourself. Talk to your roommate about your living situation so you can establish good communication. Enjoy learning about the U.S. through your roommate and residence hall companions and be open about sharing your culture with them.

Campus dining options

Dining centers

Northside Café, Southside Café, and Hillside Café are the largest dining centers on campus. Choose from grilled foods, deli favorites, pizza and pasta, classic home-style dishes, vegetarian and halal options, international cuisine, and soups and salads.

Do you have food allergies or dietary restrictions? Registered dietitians are on staff to assist you with any concerns. They will help you find the right food to eat and where you can find it on campus.

Other markets and restaurants on campus

Need to grab something and go or pick up provisions for your room? You may shop at two markets on campus, Southside Market and The Market on Cougar Way. In the CUB, you can also find the Bookie Café and Market, Carlita’s Mexican Cuisine, Cougar Country, Freshëns, Panda Express, and Subway. Also on campus are the Cleveland Espresso Bar, the Lighty Espresso Bar, the Spark Starbucks, and Einstein Bros. Bagels in Global Scholars Hall.

Grocery stores off campus

317 W 6th St
Moscow, ID 83843
(208) 892-0938

PNW Halal Meats LLC
940 S Grand Ave
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 339-6294

430 SE Bishop Blvd
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 334-0803

Grocery Outlet
1450 S Grand Ave
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 336-2274

Shin’s Asian Market
1475 S Grand Ave
Pullman, WA
(509) 339-6084

Taj Grocery
409 W 3rd St
Moscow, ID 83843
(208) 882-1233

Walmart Super Center
1690 SE Harvest Dr
Pullman, WA 9916
(509) 334-2990

Moscow Food Co-op
121 E 5th St
Moscow, ID 83843
(208) 882-8537

Medical information

Immunization and health insurance

Proof of immunization

All students attending WSU will need proof of the following vaccinations as a condition of enrollment for students at WSU’s physical campuses: hepatitis B vaccine; measles (rubeola) or MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine; meningococcal vaccine (MCV4/ACWY); Tdap – tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine; varicella (chicken pox) vaccine; and tuberculosis screening for high-risk populations.

The following vaccines are highly recommended, but not required, for all students: hepatitis a vaccine, pneumococcal vaccine, polio vaccine, human papilloma virus, meningococcal B vaccine, and influenza (annually).

Submit your proof of immunization during WSU new student orientation directly to Cougar Health Services or through your Patient Portal.

Health Insurance

Washington State University requires all international students to maintain the international Student Health Insurance Plan (ISHIP) while enrolled. Incoming WSU students are automatically enrolled in the plan.

Spouses, domestic partners, and children are eligible to enroll in the university insurance plan.

You can visit the Insurance Office to ask questions or get help. They can tell you what your insurance will cover and how much you will have to pay yourself and help you with a medical bill. See location and hours of operation.

Pharmacies in Pullman

Cougar Health Services Pharmacy
1125 SE Washington St
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 335-5742

Walmart Super Center
1690 SE Harvest Dr
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 334-2990

Safeway Pharmacy
430 SE Bishop Blvd
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 334-0819

Sid’s Pharmacy
825 SE Summit Ct #301
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 332-4608

Rite Aid
1630 S Grand Ave
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 334-7222

Medical services in Pullman

On campus

Cougar Health Services (CHS)

Cougar Health Services (CHS) offers same-day and scheduled appointments to students. Call (509) 335-3575 or make an appointment online. Students should call 9-1-1 in emergencies.

CHS also offers the following medical services:

  • Allergy care
  • Immunizations
  • Laboratory & X-ray services
  • LGBTQ+ care
  • Mental health care
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Sports medicine and orthopedics
  • STI/STD testing
  • Travel clinic
  • Vision care

Off campus

The following locations provide medical services in Pullman. If it is not a life-threatening emergency, be sure to ask if the medical office accepts your health insurance.

By appointment

Palouse Medical
825 SE Bishop Blvd #200
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 332-8847

Pullman Family Medicine
915 NE Valley Rd
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 332-3548

Pullman Regional Hospital
835 SE Bishop Blvd
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 332-2541

Pullman Regional Hospital: Emergency
835 SE Bishop Blvd
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 332-2541

“Walk-in” or Immediate Care

Pullman ReadyCare: Walk-in Clinic
825 SE Bishop Blvd #200
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 332-8847

Cell phones in the US

There are two common options for cell phone service in Pullman.

Prepaid cell phone service. Prepaid service allows you to pay for a certain amount of data and minutes ahead of time. After you use all the credits, you can add more. You do not sign a contract. This option is ideal for a student who will be here for a short time.

Walmart Supercenter
1690 SE Harvest Dr
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 334-2990

Contract cell phone service. Contract service means you sign a contract, usually for two years. Under a contract, you have a certain number of minutes and data every month for a set price.

650 SE Bishop Blvd
Pullman, WA 00163

1652 S Grand Av
Pullman, WA 99163

1195 SE Bishop Blvd #4
Pullman, WA 99163

Banking in Pullman

Cash and credit/debit cards

  • U.S. currency: U.S. dollar (USD or $) divided into 100 cents
  • Coins: quarter (25 cents), dime (10 cents), nickel (5 cents), penny (1 cent)
  • Bills: $100, $50, $20, $10, $5, $1

Bank accounts

There are several on- and off-campus banking options. To open an account, you will need two pieces of photo identification (passport and WSU ID card), your U.S. mailing address, and money to deposit. Keep in mind that most ATMs (cash machines) will not allow you to withdraw more than $200-$500 per day, although you should not carry large amounts of cash with you. Debit cards will use money from your checking account. At large stores such as Safeway and Walmart, you can ask for cash back when you make a purchase with your debit card instead of making a withdrawal from an ATM.

Recommended banks and credit unions near campus

US Bank
1500 Glenn Terrell Mall (WSU)

GESA Credit Union
1500 Glenn Terrell Mall (WSU)
1270 NW Washington St
1170 SE Bishop Blvd

WSECU Credit Union
1500 NE Terrell Mall (WSU)
405 SE Bishop Blvd

Chase Bank
205 N Grand Ave

Umpqua Bank
225 N Grand Ave


Getting around campus and Pullman

Pullman Transit buses are free for students, staff, and faculty. Show your Cougar Card to ride to nearby destinations on and off campus. You can use Google Maps or the Pullman Transit app to navigate the bus system.

To Spokane International Airport

Wheatland Express offers fee-based shuttle service to Spokane International Airport.

To Seattle

Wheatland Express runs buses to and from Seattle during vacations (Thanksgiving, winter, and spring breaks), as well as on weekends.

Other transportation


Tripick is a private online service that gives users a platform to offer and find rides with flexible customized prices. Great for commutes, road trips, and popular events.

Safe nighttime transit

Cougar Safe Rides is a volunteer-run program that offers free rides home at night to the WSU community. To qualify for a ride, passengers must be going to a noncommercial location and must be able to enter the car without assistance. Also, Cougar Safe Rides operates only within Pullman city limits.

Rental cars

Enterprise Rent-A-Car located on North Grand Avenue offers overnight car rentals. To rent a car in the U.S. from a rental service, drivers must be:

  • A licensed and insured driver
  • At least 21 years old

Taxi services

Driving in Pullman

You can apply for a Washington driver’s license at the Department of Licensing after you obtain a Social Security card or proof of residency. You must also pass both a written test and a road test. If you do get a license and purchase a vehicle, you are required by U.S. law to carry car insurance.

Paying for tuition and fees

You can find more information about tuition and fees here: direct-entry students and Academic English students. All tuition and fees will be posted to your myWSU account. Payment is due by the first day of classes, so it is recommended to pay before you arrive in Pullman or in person the day you arrive. Find more information about how to pay tuition and fees.

IMPORTANT: Failure to pay tuition and fees will result in you not being permitted to attend classes and could affect your visa status. You will receive a lot of guidance on how to pay to help ensure this does not happen.

Academic support services

International students and scholars can receive assistance with English, academic study, and other forms of support from IALC tutors.

Areas of academic assistance

  • English listening, speaking, reading, writing, pronunciation, and grammar
  • University coursework
  • Research skills
  • Formatting assignments, practicing presentations, and more

Tutoring schedule

Check our tutoring schedule for times they are available.

WSU also offers a wide array of academic support services. For more information about IALC tutoring or additional academic support services, contact or (509) 335-1537.

WSU Network ID

All students will get a WSU Network ID (NID) upon their arrival at WSU. Students must comply with WSU rules to keep their accounts. Inappropriate use of computers on the WSU network can result in the loss of network privileges.

The following important rules are related to the WSU network.

  • Do not share your account by giving anyone your password. Sharing your account by giving someone your password is against Washington state law.
  • Do not use your account to get access to other accounts. Using your account to get access to other accounts is against U.S. federal law.
  • Do not use your computer as a server or participate in P2P file sharing.

Students who forget their Network ID passwords or want to change them should contact the Information Technology (IT) Helpdesk at (509) 335-4357 or go to the Information Technology Building, room 2091, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m-5 p.m.

WSU email

Your WSU email is your Make sure you check your official WSU email regularly as this is how your instructors and WSU administrators will communicate with you. Please be aware that WSU faculty and staff cannot communicate using your personal or work email address.

When sending an email, make sure you have filled out both the subject line and the body of the email. If you do not, your email may be automatically filtered into the recipient’s spam or trash folders. If you are sending an attachment, use the body of the email to describe what it is.

English language WSU programs

Academic English

The Academic English (AE) program at Washington State University is an accredited, academic preparation Intensive English Program.

Mission statement

Provide high quality intensive English language instruction to the international community in a supportive, respectful atmosphere to help students meet their academic, personal, and professional goals.

Prepare our students academically and culturally by using innovative techniques and instructional methods to build and support the foundation for successful navigation of university life.

Increase Washington State University’s international standing by laying the foundation for all WSU students to become global citizens by integrating our students into all the different aspects of WSU, such as undergraduate and graduate degree programs, clubs, and events.

Levels of instruction

We offer instruction at seven levels:

Functional, communicative instruction

  • Level 0 Beginning
  • Level 1 High beginning
  • Level 2 Low intermediate
  • Level 3 Intermediate

Content-based, English for Academic Purposes instruction

  • Level 4 High intermediate
  • Level 5 Advanced
  • Level 6 High advanced

Class schedule

Full-time students must take 18 hours of class per week. Each level will span an eight-week term.

Core classes

Core classes are the foundation of the program. All students, unless excused from a full course of study, are required to take them. The core classes for each level are outlined below. Please note that a level 0 or true beginning level is also offered if a student places below level 1. Lower levels are offered only when appropriate.

5Academic reading
Academic composition
Academic listening and discussion
6Academic research and composition
Academic listening and discussion

Changing class level

A student’s level will not typically be changed after initial placement. However, if a student demonstrates exceptionally strong or weak skills at the assigned level during the first week, teachers may occasionally suggest a level change based on demonstrated English proficiency.

Auditing classes

Students are not allowed to audit classes. That means a student cannot attend classes without paying for them.


Most classes will include quizzes and tests, a midterm exam, and a final exam. Final exams are a large part of the grades, but many other assignments contribute to your grade as well. Please check your syllabi for details.

Final exam times

According to WSU academic regulations, “A student will not be granted special examinations for the purpose of leaving the institution before the close of the semester.” This means that final exams will be given only at the scheduled exam times. If a student has an emergency that prevents them from taking the final exam at the scheduled time, they should see the Advisor. An emergency is an unexpected and dangerous situation that a student must deal with immediately.


Homework is important. There will be homework for almost every class every day. Homework may be an important part of the final grade for a class. Students should check the syllabus of each class carefully to see what percentage of the final grade homework is worth. Be prepared to spend at least two hours working at home for every one hour you spend in class. This is an intensive program.

Proficiency guidelines

Proficiency scale for level advancement:

  • A: 100-93 | A-: 92-90
  • B+: 89-87 | B: 86-83 | B-: 82-80
  • C+: 79-77 | C: 76-73 | C-: 72-70
  • D+: 69-67 | D: 66-60
  • F | 59-0

Students must achieve 80% proficiency at levels 1-4 and 83% proficiency at levels 5 and 6 for level advancement. For more complete descriptions, see Academic English student learning outcomes.

Enrollment change policy

No changes to enrollment are permitted for AE students beyond first-week diagnostics and leveling procedures at end of week 1. For all Undergraduate Foundation and International Master’s students, no changes to enrollment will be made after the fifth day of term. Any requests outside of this time must be made and approved in writing by the Director and/or the Academic Program Manager.

Academic English student learning outcomes

By class and level

Level 0 learning outcomes

Listening and speaking

  1. Recognize oral letters and numbers.
  2. Recognize greetings and everyday social expressions.
  3. Respond appropriately to spoken English at the low-beginning level.
  4. Follow classroom instructions and imperative commands.
  1. Clearly pronounce names of letters, numbers, and common English vocabulary.
  2. Use greetings and everyday social expressions.
  3. Use basic vocabulary for social interaction.
  4. Ask and respond to simple questions in short phrases.
  5. Produce simple statements.


  1. Pronounce English alphabet sounds.
  2. Produce multisyllabic words with correct word stress.
  3. Produce questions and statements using the correct sentence-level intonation and pausing.


  1. Recognize and produce language using basic parts of speech.
  2. Recognize and produce affirmative and negative statements with the verb “be.”
  3. Recognize and produce questions using “be” in present and past tenses (simple Yes/No questions).
  4. Differentiate the meaning of Wh- words and produce simple Wh- questions, such as “What is your name?”
  5. Recognize and produce simple sentences in simple present, simple past, present progressive, and future “will” tenses.

Reading and writing

  1. Read and pronounce basic familiar words and short sentences.
  2. Answer questions about beginner level short texts.
  3. Comprehend simple signs, symbols, directions, and instructions.
  4. Read and identify information requested on paper and online forms.
  5. Identify the subject, verb, and object or complement in simple sentences.
  1. Write letters of the alphabet.
  2. Spell basic high frequency words using upper- and lower-case letters.
  3. Write punctuated simple sentences about everyday topics using the vocabulary covered in class.
  4. Fill out paper and on-line forms with personal information.
  5. Combine sentences to form a basic formatted paragraph.

Level 1 learning outcomes

Listening and speaking

  1. Identify spoken letters and words, cardinal and ordinal numbers, and sentence types (questions vs. statements).
  2. Respond appropriately to spoken English at the high-beginner level.
  3. Identify main ideas and specific information from aural input.
  4. Interpret spoken contractions and reductions.
  5. Follow classroom instructions and imperative commands.
  1. Use greetings and everyday social expressions.
  2. Use basic vocabulary for social interaction.
  3. Ask and respond to Yes/No and Wh- questions.
  4. Produce simple statements.
  5. Talk about familiar topics.


  1. Pronounce English alphabet sounds, names of letters, numbers, and common English vocabulary.
  2. Produce multisyllabic words with correct word stress.
  3. Produce common stress pattern in sentences.
  4. Produce questions and statements using the correct sentence-level intonation.


  1. Identify and use parts of speech in sentences.
  2. Identify and produce verb tense using time words (tomorrow, next…) and adverbs of frequency.
  3. Create positive and negative sentences in simple present, simple past, present progressive, and future tenses (will, be going to).
  4. Produce, interpret, and respond to spoken and written Yes/No and Wh- questions in simple present, simple past, present progressive, and future tenses (will, be going to).
  5. Identify and create sentences with possessive adjectives, count and non-count nouns, articles, quantifiers, and direct and indirect objects. 

Reading and writing

  1. Identify topics, main ideas, and supporting details in high beginner reading material.
  2. Comprehend and respond appropriately to reading material at the high-beginning level.
  3. Identify the meaning of words covered in class.
  1. Form simple and compound sentences using the conjunctions “and,” “but,” and “or.”
  2. Respond to questions using grammatically correct sentences using Level 1 Grammar.
  3. Write complete questions using Level 1 Grammar learning outcomes.
  4. Write sentences on a single topic in the format of a paragraph. 
  5. Use and spell vocabulary and selected verbs in the appropriate tense to write about everyday topics.

Level 2 learning outcomes

Listening and speaking

  1. Identify main ideas, supporting details, and specific information in a listening passage.
  2. Distinguish between questions, statements, and commands.
  3. Determine meaning based on rhythm, stress, and intonation.
  4. Distinguish complex, cardinal, and ordinal numbers.
  5. Comprehend and respond appropriately to spoken English at the low-intermediate level.
  6. Recognize vocabulary covered in all classwork.
  1. Use descriptive language and key words in short presentations and conversations.
  2. Narrate both simple sequential and concurrent events using appropriate transition words and tenses.
  3. Give directions for locations and instructions.
  4. Ask Yes/No, Wh-, and tag questions with accurate intonation.
  5. Use sentences, phrases, and thought groups with correct rhythm, stress, intonation, and word endings.
  6. Use targeted vocabulary from thematic units from all coursework.


  1. Use sentences, phrases, and thought groups with correct intonation, stress, and rhythm.
  2. Divide words into syllables and identify stress patterns in words.
  3. Produce correct past tense and plural endings.


  1. Recognize a variety of parts of speech and produce sentences using them.
  2. Recognize and produce affirmative and negative sentences using simple present, simple past, present progressive, past progressive, and future (with be going to, will) tenses.
  3. Identify and produce compound sentences using conjunctions and complex sentences using subordinators.
  4. Produce sentences in the simple past using irregular verbs.
  5. Recognize and use the present progressive and the simple present tense to express future actions.
  6. Use modals in affirmative and negative sentences.
  7. Answer and produce questions using modals, simple present, simple past, present progressive, past progressive, future (with be going to, will) tenses.
  8. Identify and form sentences with possessive pronouns and quantifiers.
  9. Construct sentences using articles referring to generic, general/specific, and old/new information.
  10. Construct sentences using prepositions of location.

Reading and writing

  1. Identify topics, main ideas, and supporting details.
  2. Identify pronoun referents.
  3. Make simple inferences.
  4. Answer comprehension questions accurately.
  5. Use context clues to infer meaning of unknown vocabulary.
  1. Write simple, compound, and complex sentences.
  2. Write well-structured basic and narrative paragraphs using grammatically correct sentences on different topics.
  3. Use and spell low-intermediate vocabulary within written work.

Level 3 learning outcomes

Reading and composition

  1. Apply reading techniques such as skimming and scanning to texts.
  2. Differentiate between main ideas and supporting ideas using various reading techniques.
  3. Answer comprehension questions.
  4. Define words using morphology and context clues.
  5. Infer the author’s meaning.
  6. Differentiate between the author’s opinion and facts.
  7. Connect the pronoun to the referent in texts.
  1. Write paragraphs using a variety of sentence types.
  2. Use and spell vocabulary learned in the course.
  3. Employ all steps of the writing process including prewriting and revision.
  4. Write descriptive, compare, and contrast paragraphs using adequate, clear, and logical support.
  5. Write short essays using adequate, clear, and logical support.
  6. Paraphrase at the sentence level using Level 3 texts.


  1. Produce and respond to Yes/No and Wh- questions in present perfect and present perfect progressive constructions.
  2. Produce determiners (articles and quantifiers) when using a variety of nouns.
  3. Interpret and use the present perfect and present perfect progressive tenses in a variety of contexts.
  4. Use modals of advice and necessity/obligation.
  5. Use adjectives (including participial) and adverbs in comparative and superlative forms.
  6. Produce commonly used irregular verbs in the base, simple past, and past participle forms.
  7. Identify and use infinitives and gerunds as they occur in context.

Listening and speaking

  1. Identify main ideas, supporting details, and specific information in a listening passage.
  2. Apply listening strategies to aid comprehension.
  3. Comprehend and respond appropriately to spoken English at the intermediate level.
  4. Identify the meaning of new vocabulary using context clues.
  5. Determine meaning based on rhythm, stress, and intonation.
  1. Discuss a topic using conversation strategies.
  2. Express and support an opinion.
  3. Design and deliver presentations.
  4. Use descriptive, compare, and contrast language.
  5. Interpret unknown words using context clues and morphology.
  6. Use culturally appropriate body language.


  1. Use phrases and/or thought groups with correct intonation, stress, and rhythm.
  2. Divide words into syllables and identify stress patterns in words.
  3. Produce correct past tense endings.

Level 4 learning outcomes

Reading and composition

  1. Distinguish between main ideas and relevant supporting ideas.
  2. Use reading strategies such as scanning, skimming, questioning, and inferring.
  3. Answer comprehension questions accurately.
  4. Infer the meaning of new vocabulary using context clues.
  5. Identify cause/effect rhetorical modes.
  6. Use online databases to locate appropriate sources.
  1. Employ all steps of the writing process including prewriting, drafting, revision, editing, and publishing (i.e., portfolio).
  2. Summarize, synthesize, paraphrase, and cite information using APA style. 
  3. Produce coherent, well-structured writing using level-appropriate grammar, vocabulary, transitions, mechanics, and sentence variety.
  4. Respond to prompts and draw connections between readings and personal experience, world knowledge, and/or other sources.
  5. Write a cause/ effect essay using adequate, clear, and logical support.
  6. Use editing strategies and feedback to improve writing.
  7. Use and accurately employ grammar and vocabulary learned in this level.


  1. Use and differentiate between the common English verb tense and aspect, (including irregular verbs).
  2. Use gerunds and infinitives.
  3. Use past modal verbs to express speculation, conclusion, disbelief/impossibility, regret, and advisability.
  4. Use real and unreal conditionals.
  5. Use passive voice and differentiate between active and passive.

Listening and speaking

  1. Identify main ideas, supporting details, and specific information in a listening passage.
  2. Distinguish between important and tangential information in a listening passage.
  3. Comprehend and respond appropriately to spoken English at the upper-intermediate level.
  4. Use note-taking strategies.
  5. Identify compare/contrast and cause/effect discourse markers in listening passages.
  6. Identify and interpret visual and oral cues when present.
  7. Identify and infer meaning from level-appropriate grammar and vocabulary.
  1. Use conversation and discussion strategies.
  2. Summarize information orally.
  3. Express and support an opinion.
  4. Use compare/contrast and cause/effect language.
  5. Deliver a presentation effectively.
  6. Produce level-appropriate grammar and vocabulary.


  1. Produce comprehensible speech using appropriate rhythm, intonation, volume, word and sentence stress, and phrasing.
  2. Self-correct spoken English to improve intelligibility and accuracy.

Level 5 learning outcomes

Academic reading

  1. Use pre-reading, during reading, and post-reading strategies.
  2. Distinguish between main ideas, claims, supporting ideas, and explicit and implicit meaning in texts.
  3. Identify the organizational pattern used in texts.
  4. Read, annotate, discuss, and respond to advanced reading materials verbally and in writing.
  5. Evaluate arguments and the types of support material.
  6. Interpret data from charts, graphs, and tables.
  7. Identify and analyze figurative language in readings.
  8. Infer the meaning of unknown words using word structure and context clues.
  9. Identify academic vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation usage.
  10. Find appropriate academic source materials such as journal articles, books, and other research materials.

Academic listening and discussion

  1. Use various note-taking strategies such as abbreviations, symbols, reduced forms, and graphic organization.
  2. Differentiate between main ideas and supporting ideas, and between essential and tangential information.
  3. Identify common speech reductions and meaning conveyed by rhythm, intonation, word and sentence stress, and phrasing.
  4. Distinguish the parts and structure of a lecture by identifying transitions and other cues.
  5. Identify discrete information in a lecture.
  6. Clarify key vocabulary meaning and usage.
  7. Answer comprehension questions and participate in academic discussion using lecture information and notes.
  8. Critically analyze the strength and validity of arguments, stance/position, explicit and implied information, and figurative language.
  9. Produce comprehensible speech in discussions and presentations.

Academic writing

  1. Employ all steps of the writing process including pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing (i.e., portfolio).
  2. Compose effective thesis statements.
  3. Summarize and respond to academic text(s).
  4. Synthesize information from credible sources. 
  5. Cite sources using APA format by paraphrasing and quoting.
  6. Produce coherent, well-structured summaries and responses and synthesis essays using adequate, clear, and logical support as well as problem/solution and argumentative language.
  7. Employ appropriate transitions and other writing strategies to connect ideas and paragraphs.
  8. Use and accurately spell vocabulary learned in the course.
  9. Write a variety of sentence types using advanced grammar.
  10. Revise and self-edit written work for grammar, word choice, spelling, and other errors.
  11. Reflect on personal writing development.

Level 6 learning outcomes

Academic reading and research

  1. Identify main ideas, supporting details, organizational patterns, evidence, and arguments in academic texts.
  2. Use annotation techniques to interact, comprehend, and evaluate a text at the graduate level.
  3. Predict reading assessment questions and answer short essay questions at the graduate level.
  4. Critically analyze and evaluate reading material by making inferences, determining a writer’s purpose and tone, and recognizing bias and hidden assumptions.
  5. Interpret data from charts, graphs, and tables.
  6. Formulate a clear thesis statement for a piece of writing.
  7. Locate, evaluate, summarize, paraphrase, and synthesize information into a coherent piece of writing using their discipline’s citation and rhetorical style.
  8. Plan, compose, and revise texts at the graduate level using appropriate tone, effective support and organization, academic English grammar, mechanics, and sentence varieties.
  9. Recognize and avoid plagiarism.
  10. Use citation style conforming to the student’s field of study.
  11. Use common phrases, vocabulary, and collocations in the student’s major field of study.
  12. Use academic English grammar and correct sentence structure.
  13. Evaluate own and others’ writing and incorporate feedback.
  14. Use digital literacy skills in research and writing.

Academic listening and discussion

  1. Use note-taking strategies effectively.
  2. Differentiate between main ideas and supporting ideas and explicit and implicit information.
  3. Identify bias, divergent points of view, facts and opinions, purpose, tone, and degree of certainty/uncertainty.
  4. Critically analyze the strength and validity of arguments, stance/position, and explicit and implied information in listening events.
  5. Comprehend complex narratives.
  6. Infer the meaning of vocabulary from context.
  1. Recognize, analyze, and discuss arguments, bias, explicit, and implied information.
  2. Design and give presentations.
  3. Participate in and lead academic discussions.
  4. Interpret and explain visual data.
  5. Produce speech with minimal interference due to grammar errors in discussions and presentations.


  1. Produce comprehensible speech using appropriate rhythm, intonation, volume, word and sentence stress, phrasing, and pausing.
  2. Use and pronounce discipline-related vocabulary.

Undergraduate Foundation

The Undergraduate Foundation program is designed to be completed in one or two semesters. At a U.S. university, a bachelor’s degree may take four to more than five years. WSU does not guarantee a specific time to degree program completion. The Undergraduate Foundation program includes English language courses and WSU core academic courses. All course offerings are subject to change as appropriate.

Failure to attend courses and/or make what is defined as normal progress may result in dismissal from the university. Normal progress means attending all courses, participating, turning in homework, and seeking academic assistance or other support as needed in a clear effort to be a successful student. It also means passing classes per WSU’s academic regulations and maintaining academic standing. Additional requirements to help students make “normal progress” may be more clearly defined by a Designated School Official. All of this information will be sent in writing to students at midterms and explained at orientation.

International Master’s

WSU offers International Master’s programs designed to help students enter a master’s degree program in their field of study. The International Master’s programs are designed to be completed in one or two semesters followed by another two to three semesters to complete the full master’s. Students who do not meet progression requirements after their normal course of study may be allowed to study one or two additional terms based on approval from their departments or colleges and at the discretion of the WSU graduate school. Students will not be allowed to study in the International Master’s program for more than four semesters. If a student in a single-semester program does not meet progression requirements, they may remain in the program and repeat courses that they have not passed if those courses are offered at the appropriate time for a term or two. All progression requirements are upheld by the WSU Graduate School, which makes the official decision and notification for progression based on several factors. For details, please see the WSU Graduate School.

The International Master’s program includes English language courses and WSU core academic courses. All course offerings are subject to change as appropriate.

Failure to attend courses and/or make what is defined as normal progress may result in dismissal from the university. Normal progress means attending all courses, participating, turning in homework, and seeking academic assistance or other support as needed in a clear effort to be a successful student. It also means maintaining minimum academic standards as set by the Graduate School. Additional requirements to help students make “normal progress” may be more clearly defined by a Designated School Official. This will be explained during orientation and also sent in writing at midterms.

UGF and IM

For all Undergraduate Foundation and International Master’s students, no changes to enrollment will be made after the fifth day of term. Any requests outside of this time must be made and approved in writing by the Director and/or the Assistant Director.

Undergraduate Foundation and International Master’s classes are not offered during the summer term.

Grading policies

WSU uses a weighted grading scale to determine a Grade Point Average (GPA.) This means that the grade you get in a class is combined with the number of credits a class is worth to determine a standard GPA. 4.0 is the highest GPA a student can achieve.

Standard grading conversion table

Letter gradePercentage %Grade point for a 3-hour class

Factors that affect grades

When classes begin, students will receive a syllabus for every class. The syllabus explains the percentage each of the factors below plays in grading for the class. If a student is not sure how they will be graded in a class, they should check with the teacher of that class.

Progression and attendance policy

Academic English (AE)

Progression policy

All students enrolled in the AE program must make normal progress in each level to progress to the next level. Failure to attend courses and/or make what is defined as normal progress may result in dismissal from the university. Normal progress means attending all courses, participating, turning in homework, and seeking academic assistance or other support as needed in a clear effort to be a successful student. It also means maintaining minimum academic standards for GPA as set by the university for undergraduate and graduate students. If additional and specific requirements are needed, they will be sent in writing to students.

Academic English (AE) full course of study

Each level of Academic English can be taken up to three times, which is how normal and adequate progress is defined for the AE program. This means a student can repeat each level of Academic English two times. The maximum amount of time for a full course of study from levels 1 to 6 would be 18 eight-week terms or 3.5 years, if a student was placed in level 1 and needed to go all the way through level 6, repeating each level twice. The average student, however, is in the Academic English program for one to three terms and repeating is not common. The repeat policies are explained in orientation and then sent in writing at midterms for students who are not passing the AE program at midterm based on the minimum thresholds for GPA as specified below.

Normal and adequate progress
Levels 1-4Students must maintain a cumulative (overall) GPA of 2.7 (80%) to progress to the next level.
Levels 5-6Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (83%) to progress to the next level.
Repeat policy
Levels 1-4If a student does not receive an overall GPA of 2.7 (80%), the student must repeat the level.
Levels 5-6If a student does not receive an overall GPA of 3.0 (83%), the student must repeat the level.

Students may repeat an AE level only two times (each level may be taken three times maximum). If a student fails to meet academic requirements on the third attempt, the student may be dismissed from the program.

Students who do not pass a level in AE will receive the following actions.

Fails to pass the first attempted semesterMeet with Advisor, given a warning
Fails to pass the second attempted semesterMeet with Advisor, given a final warning
Fails to pass the third attempted semesterMeet with Advisor, possible dismissal, meet with Assistant Director if needed

Attendance policy

  1. Students must attend 80% of all classes by end of week 2. If you do not attend 80% of all classes, you will be sent a written warning from the Advisor and placed on attendance probation.
  2. Students must attend 80% of all classes by midterms. If you do not attend 80% of all classes, you will be sent a written warning from the Advisor, and you might be removed from the school at end of term if your attendance does not improve. Those decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis with the Advisor and Director.
  3. At finals, the Advisor will review attendance. If a student has not attended 80% of all classes, they may be placed on attendance probation for the following term OR removed.

Undergraduate Foundation

Academic expectations

Undergraduate Foundation students must maintain good academic standing. Check academic regulations, especially 38 (a) & (b).

38. Academic Notice and Recess for At-Risk Students

(a) Undergraduate students whose semester (excluding winter and summer session) or cumulative grade point average drops below a 2.0 for the first time must apply for reinstatement to continue their enrollment at Washington State University. Students are placed on academic notice after being reinstated. Academic departments may release students from the major who are on academic notice. See rule 53.

(b) First-time, first-year undergraduate students are recessed from the university after their first term of enrollment if their semester grade point average is below 1.0. Individuals are recessed from the university for one full semester (fall or spring). To re-enroll for courses offered through any WSU campus students must apply for reinstatement. Recessed individuals may not seek status as a non-degree seeking student. Recessed students may enroll in summer session.

Undergraduate students are in good academic standing if both their current WSU semester and cumulative grade point averages are at least 2.00 (please note that a higher GPA may be required for certification or graduation). Students not meeting these requirements are considered academically deficient and will need to apply for reinstatement for continued enrollment.

Attendance policy

Failure to attend courses and/or make what is defined as normal progress may result in dismissal from the university. Normal progress means attending all courses, participating, turning in homework, and seeking academic assistance or other support as needed in a clear effort to be a successful student. If additional and specific requirements are needed, they will be sent in writing to students.

International Master’s

Progression policy

WSU International Master’s students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA with a grade of “B” or better in all courses to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward program completion. At the end of each semester, GPAs are calculated and academic progression is determined by the WSU Graduate School. Students who do not show evidence of satisfactory progress may be placed on probation, repeat/extend the program, or be dismissed.

If a student receives a semester GPA of less than 3.0 and/or receives a grade of B- or below in any of the International Master’s courses, the student will need to repeat the course or a comparable course and may be placed on academic probation.

If a student receives a semester GPA of less than 3.0 while on probation or repeating/extending, the student faces second semester academic probation and possible academic dismissal.

International Master’s repeat policy

Students will need to repeat a course in which they have received a grade of C- or below (undergraduate) or B- or below (master’s), or a withdrawal (W), or an incomplete (I).

Courses are allowed to be repeated only once.

When a course is repeated, only the most recent grade contributes to the GPA and total hours earned.

Additional repeats maybe allowed by special permission from the academic unit offering the course.

Students will be allowed to take no more than four semesters of Undergraduate Foundation or International Master’s to ensure satisfactory progression toward program completion. Any requests to take additional program semesters will need to be reviewed and approved by the ISSS Director or Assistant Director.

Attendance policy

Failure to attend courses and/or make what is defined as normal progress may result in dismissal from the university. Normal progress means attending all courses, participating, turning in homework, and seeking academic assistance or other support as needed in a clear effort to be a successful student. If additional and specific requirements are needed, they will be sent in writing to students.

Whom to see with problems/questions

TopicWhom to see
Scheduling, dropping/adding coursesAcademic Program Manager
Academic concerns and progressionAdvisor
Immigration status, withdrawal/transferInternational Advisors in Bryan Hall 206
Housing, health insurance, personal, social, or cultural mattersAdvisor
Tuition and feesStaff Financial/Fiscal Specialist
Undergraduate admission to WSUInternational Undergraduate Admissions
Graduate admission to WSUWSU Graduate School
OtherInternational Student and Scholar Services Program Assistant (

Academic Expectations


Students are accepted into the program with the strict understanding that they will attend ALL classes. Attending class regularly is important to academic success. Excessive absences will require meetings with the academic advisor and possible placement on an attendance contract; the student could possibly be suspended if the situation does not improve.


Arrive on time or early to all classes. Classes begin at the time written on your schedule. If you are late, enter and sit down quietly. Do not interrupt the class to apologize or explain your lateness. If you are more than 10 minutes late, the teacher may not allow you to enter the classroom; you may be marked late or absent. Three marked occurrences of tardiness will be recorded as an absence.


If you are absent, contact your instructor and/or a trustworthy classmate to get any assignments so you will be ready for the next class. Ask your instructor about the policy on missed tests (instructors do not have to let you make up missed exams). If you know you will be absent, tell your teacher at least a few days in advance and try to do the assignment before your absence. Check your syllabi for specific policies on attendance.

If you are sick do not come to class. Contact your instructors as soon as you know you aren’t feeling well.


Raise your hand if you would like to say something. When the instructor calls on you, you may speak. Do not speak when someone else is speaking. Please be respectful when speaking in class. Do not interrupt others and participate in class according to the class guidelines.


Listen carefully and politely to your classmates and your teacher. Be patient and try to understand people in your class who have a different accent from your own.

Classroom courtesy

Show respect for your instructor and classmates by paying attention in class and not causing a distraction. Turn your cell phone off and do not send text messages or talk on your phone in class. Keep it in your backpack or purse during class unless given teacher permission. Also, do not sleep in class. Sleeping in class is equal to one absence.

Keep our buildings clean. Do not write on the desks. Throw trash into the garbage can, not on the floor.

Diverse opinions

Respect the opinions of others. You and your classmates come from different countries with different languages, religions, politics, customs, beliefs, and values. You will be expected to work in a group with people from backgrounds different from yours. Consider the classroom to be a safe space for learning. You may disagree with others’ opinions, but you must learn to express that disagreement politely and respectfully.


Preparedness means that you should come with assignments completed and ready for class. It also means you should have all materials needed for class: books, paper, pen or pencil, etc. You should not need to borrow anything. You must buy all required materials for each class within the first week of class. Failure to purchase materials means that you are not making “normal progress” as defined earlier. This may result in numerous actions.

Problems in the classroom

When you have problems in your class, you should always speak with faculty first. Most situations are resolved with clear communication between instructors and students. You can see your instructor during office hours or email them for an appointment. Your syllabus will tell you how to contact the instructor. If your problem is still not resolved, contact the Advisor.

Academic Dishonesty


You are responsible for reading WSU’s Academic Integrity Policy, which is based on Washington state law.

Academic integrity is the cornerstone of higher education. As such, all members of the university community share responsibility for maintaining and promoting the principles of integrity in all activities, including academic integrity and honest scholarship. Academic integrity will be strongly enforced in this course. Students who violate WSU’s Academic Integrity Policy (identified in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 504-26-010(4)) will receive the sanctions detailed below. Furthermore, they will not have the option to withdraw from the course pending an appeal and may be reported to the Center for Community Standards.

Academic dishonesty

  • Cheating on a quiz/exam (e.g., talking during an exam, copying information from another student, allowing answers to be taken from your paper, and using electronic devices)
  • Copying another student’s homework
  • Submitting work that was not done by the student
  • Submitting the same work in multiple classes without the permission of the teacher
  • Submitting previous work from another term without the permission of the teacher
  • Making minor revisions to a graded material and then submitting it as a new piece of work
  • Giving improper aid to another student in the completion of an assignment
  • Committing intentional plagiarism: Copying entire or parts of documents (print or online) without properly citing the source, including copying and pasting from the internet or another student’s paper
  • Submitting work produced by AI as if it were your own original work

If you have any questions about what is and is not allowed, ask your course instructor.

You may also be reported to the Center for Community Standards.

When cheating goes to the Center for Community Standards

  • You have the right to appeal the decision. If you want to ask for a change in the decision about academic integrity, use the form at the Center for Community Standards website. You must submit this request within 21 calendar days of the decision.
  • You will not be able to drop the course or withdraw from the course until the appeals process is finished.

If you have any questions about what you can and cannot do in a course, ask your instructor.

Plagiarism may be unintentional when it is the result of a lack of knowledge and skills, but it is the student’s responsibility to learn how not to plagiarize. For more information about plagiarism, please see the WSU Libraries website and WSU Center for Community Standards. For more information about how to avoid plagiarism, see the IALC’s Plagiarism Video series.

Consequences of academic dishonesty

Academic integrity is strongly enforced at WSU. Repeated incidents of academic dishonesty could result in disenrollment.

  • For a first-time incident of unintentional plagiarism, a student will receive a warning from the teacher and will have a chance to correct the plagiarism in the assignment. Any further incidents will be treated as intentional plagiarism.
First offense in any classCheating: Receive a zero on the assignment.
Plagiarism: May correct the plagiarism, but the grade will be dropped by up to 10%. The incident will be reported to the Student Advisor with a copy of the assignment and the teacher’s report with proof of the offense.
Second offense in any classCheating: Receive a zero on the assignment.
Plagiarism: May correct the plagiarism, but the grade will be dropped by up to 50%. The incident will be reported to the Student Advisor with a copy of the assignment and the teacher’s report with proof of the offense. The Student Advisor will meet with the Assistant Director to discuss the consequences, which may include an academic integrity contract.
Third offense in any classCheating/Plagiarism: Receive a zero on the assignment. The Student Advisor and the Assistant Director will meet with the student to discuss the violation of the contract and possible consequences, which may include failing the course, failing the level, or disenrollment.

Grade reports

Midterm grade reports are available on myWSU at the end of midterm week for AE and Undergraduate Foundation. International Master’s students should directly ask faculty for midterm grades as they are not typically posted on myWSU. These reports help students see how they are performing in each class. If students are not passing their level at midterm, they should discuss their grades with their teachers. Students are required to meet with the Student Advisor to discuss strategies for success.

Students may also receive progress reports at other times to indicate whether their performance (grades, attendance, etc.) is satisfactory. Students should discuss these reports with their teachers if they have questions. The program will hold a study plan fair after midterm grades come out so students know what they may expect the next term.

Final grades are available on myWSU after the end of each semester. Each final grade report includes the beginning and end dates of the given semester and can be used as a document to verify enrollment.

Grades should also be available to students throughout the session/semester via the Canvas course spaces for each class. If you cannot see or find your grades on Canvas, visit your instructor during office hours to ask about them.

Reduced course load

All F-1 students are required to be full-time students. A student can request a reduced course load only by completing the request for reduced course load (RCL) form in your myPassport account. This form must be signed by the Student Advisor and Designated School Official. Reducing a course load will extend the number of semesters needed to complete the program. You may apply for an RCL only once.

Teacher office hours

Instructors keep regular office hours each week. During these hours, students are free to visit their instructors without an appointment. At the beginning of each session, the instructors will tell their students where their offices are located and when they will have office hours. Students should contact teachers at these times if they have any problems with their classes.


For additional tutoring outside of teachers’ office hours, please go to our Academic Support Services webpage. Here you can find the tutoring schedule and links to Zoom tutoring sessions. In American academic culture, tutoring is an expected, normal part of studying at a university. Our tutors want to help you achieve academic success by guiding you through assignments and providing you with valuable resources and materials you may use for future independent study. Tutors can help you with any area of English: listening, speaking, reading, writing, pronunciation, and grammar. They can also assist you with research skills, the WSU library website, formatting assignments in Word, practicing presentations, and with other academic questions you may have.

Other academic support services

Additional tutoring resources

Name of Center & LocationDescription
IALC Tutoring – ZoomThe IALC offers English language tutoring, writing support, and general academic support.
Academic Success and Career Center (ASCC) – Lighty 160-180 and residence halls (check website for hours and locations)The ASCC offers peer tutoring in almost every subject offered at WSU.
Undergraduate Writing Center – CUE 303 and Terrell Library (check website for hours or to make an appointment)This Center provides peer tutoring for all stages of writing.
Graduate Writing Center – Smith CUE 402G (check webpage for hours or to make an appointment)This Center provides writing support to graduate students for all stages of the writing process.
Math Learning Center – Cleveland 130 (check website for hours)Peer tutoring for most math courses is provided by the MLC.
Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture (VCEA) (check website for locations and times)Tutoring is available for a wide variety of VCEA courses.
International Center – CUB L 46  The IC offers English language conversation practice and social activities.
eTutoring – Online (check website for times for individual subjects) A wide variety of tutoring is available online 24/7.

Program evaluations

Near the end of each session/semester, students will be asked to fill out a course evaluation for each course, and at the end of fall semester, a program evaluation. The information that students provide on these evaluations is taken into consideration when we make changes to improve the program. They are also confidential. This means that teachers and administrators will not see the original evaluation sheets. The information from the evaluations will be collected and given to teachers, the ISSS Director, and the IALC Assistant Director after the session in which the evaluation is completed. These evaluations will not affect students’ grades in any way. Giving honest and thoughtful answers on the class and program evaluations can help make the program a better place for students.

Student complaints

Classroom confusion

If you are unsure of what your faculty member’s expectations are in the classroom, you need to ask. In these situations, students should go directly to the faculty member and try to learn more.

If meeting with the teacher doesn’t work and you still have a complaint concerning an instructor or another person/entity at WSU after speaking to them about it directly, a more formal complaint is needed. You should pick up a WSU Formal Student Complaint Form from the Advisor or the Assistant Director.


If you have a complaint about your class or any other concerns about the IALC programs specifically, please first talk directly to the person about your concern. This might solve the problem. If this does not work, please follow these procedures for complaints about the program unrelated to compliance or civil rights.

  1. Complete the WSU Formal Student Complaint Form (page 2). If your complaint is confidential, please put the form and any additional documentation in an envelope and give it to the Office Manager in Bryan Hall 206 to be given to the Director. 
  2. So that your complaint may be investigated carefully, please describe your complaint in as much detail as possible and include the following: 
    1. The subject(s) of your complaint
    2. Any attempts you have already made to informally resolve the issue
    3. A timeline of events that have led to the complaint
    4. People you have already spoken to regarding the issue
    5. Any supporting documentation or testimony that supports your complaint
    6. What outcome you hope to see
  3. Once your complaint is received, it will be delegated by the Assistant Director or Director to the appropriate staff member to investigate.
  4. Following the investigation, a plan of action will be developed to resolve your complaint and you will be informed.
  5. All activity and information on your complaint will be confidentially and securely stored by the Assistant Director.
  6. If the issue is related to the Academic English or Undergraduate Foundation or International Master’s programs, expect a resolution within seven business days. If the issue relates to a college or another entity at WSU, we will work with you to go through the appropriate university process.

Washington State University (WSU) seeks to resolve all student concerns in a timely and effective manner. Resources are available for the resolution of a current or prospective student grievance. Complaints associated with WSU should be directed to the appropriate university office or department.

If a student feels their concerns have not been adequately addressed through the established WSU processes, they may contact the Washington Student Achievement Council, which has authority to investigate student complaints having to do with the university not following published policy or state law. Find more information regarding the WSAC Student Complaint process.

If a student feels they are being discriminated against or has a complaint specific to compliance or civil rights, those should be reported to Compliance and Civil Rights (CCR) at WSU. CCR is the central resource office for complaints of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, and sex- and gender-based violence. CCR is a central resource for technical guidance regarding Title IX, HIPAA, Clery, and other compliance laws and regulations. CCR promotes a culture of knowledge and compliance with regulatory and legal requirements. CCR promotes and supports WSU’s strategic goals and values through thoughtful, equitable, and ethical compliance assessment, technical guidance, and investigation.

Withdrawal policy

Students with F-1 student status MUST attend classes full time while enrolled. However, a student may withdraw from classes for special situations (medical illness, emotional stress, family emergency). These special situations must be documented and approved by the IALC Assistant Director and the ISSS office before students may officially withdraw from a class or the program. A student wanting to withdraw should make an appointment to see an International Advisor, or come to open advising Monday-Friday from 1-3 p.m.

A student who withdraws during a session must either enroll immediately in another Immigration and Customs Enforcement-approved school or leave the U.S. in the time specified by the SEVIS coordinator. If a student transfers to another school in the middle of a session, the student should have an I-20 from the new school before withdrawing. If a student withdraws in the middle of a session and remains in the United States, the student will not be in lawful status and may face serious immigration penalties.

Working on campus

Any F-1 foreign student who is a full-time student is legally permitted to work up to 20 hours per week on the WSU campus. During students’ annual vacations, they are permitted to work up to 40 hours per week on campus. A student who has finished the program and plans to transfer to another school cannot legally work until the student receives a new I-20 from the next school. A student may work only at the school having jurisdiction over the student’s SEVIS record.

Students interested in working on campus should check with an International Advisor in Bryan Hall, room 206, during open advising hours.

Visa and staying in status

By following these regulations, you will be considered “in status” or “maintaining your visa status.” A Designated School Official (DSO)/International Advisor can answer questions and help you maintain your status. However, it is your responsibility to know and follow the regulations. If you do not follow the rules and regulations, you might not be able to complete your program of study at WSU. It is important to always ask a DSO if you have a question. Do not ask your friends for advice related to F-1, J-1, or H1-B status. Questions about immigration, visa status, and travel can be sent to

Important documents


The form sent to you by WSU International Admissions that allowed you to apply for an F-1 student visa is called your I-20. Page 2 of your I-20 must be signed by a DSO for you to return to the U.S. following a trip abroad. You can apply for a travel signature using your myPassport account.


This is the form sent to you by WSU International Student and Scholar Services, which allowed you to apply for a J-1 visa. Page 1 of your DS-2019 must be signed by a DSO for you to return to the U.S. following a trip abroad.

Your I-20 or DS-2019 must not expire while you are enrolled in a program at WSU. This form is as important as your passport and student visa. Please make sure your information on the I-20 or DS-2019 is always current.

F-1/J-1 visa

This is a stamp inside your passport that gives you permission to request entry into the U.S. You do not need a current visa stamp to remain in the U.S. You DO need a current visa stamp to leave the U.S. and reenter in most cases. You can renew your visa only outside the U.S. at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, preferably in your home country.


The I-94 is the electronic record that goes with the stamp you receive each time you enter the United States. Your I-94 stamp at the Port of Entry gives you permission to stay in the United States until the date written on it, or duration of status (D/S). D/S means that you may remain in the U.S. as long as you are enrolled in a program of study and follow the immigration rules for international students. You can access your I-94 record online after you have entered the country. Please speak to a DSO for additional guidance if you are asked for your I-94 record.


Make sure your passport is always valid. You can renew your passport in the U.S. through your country’s embassy or consulate. If your passport will expire within six months, you must renew it.

Immigration regulations

For F-1/J-1 WSU Academic English, Undergraduate Foundation, and International Master’s students

  • Academic English (AE), Undergraduate Foundation, and International Master’s students must be full-time students. Exceptions must be approved by a DSO.
    • Academic English students are registered in and must complete at least 18 contact hours each session.
    • Undergraduate Foundation students are registered in and must complete 12 credits each semester.
    • International Master’s students are registered in and must complete at least 18 hours each semester with six credits in their major area.
  • Attend all your classes. Do not skip classes. You MUST have good attendance in all your classes.
  • Get good grades and pass all your classes. You must be making normal progress in your studies.
  • Do NOT engage in unauthorized employment.
  • Attend the school that issued your I-20. To transfer to another school, follow the transfer procedures.
  • Keep your I-20 or DS-2019 and passport in a safe place.
  • Make sure your F-2 and J-2 dependents have current travel signatures from a DSO before traveling.


Remember that travel is NOT an excuse to miss class. If you travel, you must always carry your valid passport with your student visa and I-20 or DS-2019 with you when you travel inside the U.S.

You will need a travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 if you travel outside the U.S. while you are a WSU student. Travel signatures are valid for up to one year (12 months) or until the program end date on your I-20 or DS-2019, whichever comes first. When you plan to travel outside the U.S., request a travel signature at least two weeks before the date you plan to travel. You do NOT need a travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 if you plan to travel inside the U.S.

Please request a travel signature from an International Advisor thorough your myPassport portal online.

Also, be aware that there have been significant changes to travel requirements by country and airline since the COVID-19 outbreak. Traveling may be more difficult than in the past, and you may see significant delays in visa appointments and other travel-related regulations.

Transferring to a new school

If you want to transfer from WSU to another school, you must:

  • Be admitted to the school you want to attend.
  • Talk to an International Advisor and complete and submit the F-1 Transfer Out Form.
  • Work with the new school to receive an I-20.
  • Report to the new school’s DSO within 15 days of beginning classes.

Cultural adjustment

Adapting to the culture of another country can sometimes be like riding a roller coaster. In other words, there can be some major emotional “ups” and “downs” as you adjust to living in another country. Sometimes people call the “down” times “culture shock.” Simply, culture shock is feeling uncomfortable because many daily activities are either different, added to, or missing from the activities you are accustomed to in your home country. 

Feeling “ups” and “downs” as you adapt to the U.S. is normal. However, knowing how cultural adaptation typically progresses may help you understand and cope with your feelings.

Stage 1
The new culture seems new and exciting, but this makes you feel tired. “Wow, isn’t this wonderful?” “Look at the side of the road they drive on.” “The toilets are different.”
Stage 2
Culture shock
The newness and excitement wear off. You feel the cultural differences. Even simple parts of daily life become very difficult. “Aren’t these Americans weird?” “I’m so tired of using English.” “Why do they do things like that?” “Who am I.” “What am I doing here?”
Stage 3
Gradual adjustment
Your sense of humor returns. You can be realistic about your goals and are not afraid of making mistakes. You feel comfortable in the new culture.
Stage 4
Unresolved problems
You gradually lose your idealistic image of the new country. You start to face the reality of your unique situation. This may include confronting your own mistakes and dealing from a distance with the challenges that your friends and family may face at home.
Stage 5
You can accept the differences between the new culture and your home culture. You may not agree with the way everything is done in the new culture, but you can enjoy it and live confidently in it. You may think, “Yes, I can make it here!”
Stage 6
Reentry culture shock
This refers to the “culture shock” you may feel when you return to your home country. Undoubtedly, you will notice things you have never noticed before and see things from a new perspective. You may feel pressure from others’ expectations of you, as well as anxiety about how you fit in your home culture. You may feel isolated until you have time to integrate your experiences in a foreign country into your new life in your home country.

Ways to minimize culture shock

  • Make friends and surround yourself with supportive people.
  • Listen to music from your country/culture.
  • Make food from your country/culture.
  • Talk with someone who speaks your native language. There are many campus Registered Student Organizations from different nations and cultures.
  • Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, eat well, and exercise.
  • Take a break every day. Watch TV, go shopping, or go to a movie.
  • Be positive. Keep a list of your enjoyable experiences so your outlook remains positive.

Possible differences between the US and your home country

  • When meeting for the first time, people sometimes shake hands.
  • It is considered rude to interrupt someone who is talking.
  • Smoking is illegal inside or within 50 feet of buildings or on WSU campus. Smoking in prohibited areas may result in a ticket and fine.
  • Men and women deserve and receive equal levels of respect, in and out of school.
  • Americans do not usually bargain over prices.
  • Cell phones are not allowed in class.
  • It is normal for two people in a romantic relationship to show affection in public, like holding hands and/or kissing.
  • People here sometimes speak loudly in conversations.
  • People usually stand at least an arm’s length away from each other and do not touch other than a handshake.
  • It is offensive to say negative things about people based on their country, skin color, sexual orientation, or religion.
  • It may be fine in your home country to hug or kiss children you meet in public, but this will upset American parents.
  • In America, if someone offers you something you want, say yes the first time. If you are trying to be polite by refusing the offer, Americans will not understand this and will not ask you again.
  • Americans generally have no religious or cultural food restrictions. If they offer you food that you can’t eat, politely tell them this. They will understand and not be offended.

Student conduct policies and procedures

Students are expected to behave appropriately toward their teachers, fellow students, and others they meet. These policies take effect when a student is accepted and enrolled until the student is no longer enrolled.

Academic behavior problems

Any student who repeatedly fails to complete assignments or repeatedly does not follow classroom instructions will meet with the Advisor. After meeting with the student, if the Advisor finds that the student repeatedly failed to complete assignments or repeatedly disobeyed classroom instructions, the Advisor will issue a written warning to the student. If a student fails to complete assignments or follow instructions following a written warning, the Advisor will meet with the student to determine if a subsequent violation has occurred. If the Advisor determines a second violation has occurred and a sanction is warranted, the Advisor will forward their findings and sanction recommendation to the IALC Assistant Director and/or ISSS Director. They will review the Academic Advisor’s findings and recommendation and impose any sanction, including disenrollment. A student may appeal written warnings or any educational program or sanction imposed as outlined in the Student Complaints section.

Nonacademic student conduct

Minor behavior problems

Minor behavior problems are behavior problems that interfere with the education of other students or violate any policy, rule, or regulation of WSU that does not meet the classification of a serious behavior issue under the definition issued under Student Conduct’s Article 2, “Proscribed Conduct.” In this case, for minor problems the Advisor will meet with the student to review the problem. The Advisor will then provide the student with written documentation of the behavior problem via WSU email. The Advisor may impose educational programs or sanctions as appropriate. The Advisor will write a report detailing the findings and decision. A student may appeal any sanction imposed as outlined in the Student Complaints section.

Serious behavior problems

Serious behavior problems are behaviors that violate the WSU Standards of Conduct for Students.

If WSU suspects that a student committed a serious behavior problem, we will act according to the following process.

  • The Advisor will notify the student in writing of the alleged behavior, the basis for the allegation, and a date, time, and place for a meeting to discuss the matter.
  • When either the Advisor, Assistant Director, or the Director considers the alleged behavior to pose an immediate danger to the health, safety, or welfare of any member of the WSU community, he or she may impose an interim suspension from courses and other activities.
  • The notice of interim suspension will be in writing and state the following:
    • the basis for the decision
    • a date, time, and place for a meeting to discuss the matter 
  • At the meeting, the Advisor will explain the alleged behavior problem and any relevant information. The student will have an opportunity to explain his or her view of the matter at this meeting. The Assistant Director will also attend the meeting. The Assistant Director, in consultation with the Advisor, will decide whether the student likely engaged in the behavior. Any interim suspension will be lifted if the student is found not to have committed a violation. If a violation is found, the Director will determine whether a sanction should be imposed for the behavior. This sanction can include suspension or disenrollment.
  • Within 10 days of the meeting, the Assistant Director will send the Advisor and the student his or her decision, reasons for the decision, and information about how the student may appeal the decision.

Additionally, serious behavior problems may be reported via the WSU Community Standard or other appropriate unit pending the nature of the behavior.

Accommodating major cultural and religious holidays

According to the WSU Educational Policies and Procedures Manual, “Washington State University is committed to providing people of diverse religious backgrounds access to education. In addition, law requires reasonable accommodation of religious beliefs and practices. Because religious observances do not always conform to state and university holidays, tests or examinations that fall on these religious observances require reasonable accommodation. The university will provide reasonable accommodation consistent with the fair, efficient, and secure administration of its programs.” This means that we accommodate major cultural holidays (e.g., Eid, Chinese New Year, and others). Official policy is sent to students 5-7 business days beforehand. Requests for accommodation should be submitted to the ISSS Director.

Staying healthy

If you are sick, do not come to class. Email your instructor before class to let them know you aren’t feeling well and to get the assignments you missed. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested as soon as possible and stay home.

Symptoms of a common cold

  • Sore throat
  • Tiredness, exhaustion
  • Fever and chills (hot and cold flashes)
  • Aching all over, especially in your joints
  • Plugged or runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing  

Symptoms of COVID-19

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Ways to prevent catching communicable illnesses

Here are some ideas to help you avoid getting a cold:

  • Do not have close contact with people who have colds.
  • Keep your hands clean and wash them often.
  • Keep your fingers away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Don’t allow yourself to get overly tired by going without sleep or by fad dieting.
  • Exercise and get fresh air every day.
  • Use a vaporizer in your bedroom to keep the air cool and moist.

What to do when you are sick

  • Sleep.
  • Don’t exercise or exert yourself too much.
  • Drink lots of liquid and fruit juice.
  • Dress warmly! It is important to stay warm and dry.
  • Stay inside (in bed if you can).
  • Use a mist vaporizer in the bedroom to keep air moist and cool.
  • If you have a high fever, consult a doctor.
  • Avoid alcohol and cigarettes.
  • To avoid infecting others, sneeze or cough into a tissue and keep some distance from those who are still well.
  • Wear a mask if you must leave your room.

When to see a doctor or a nurse

See a doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent, severe vomiting or diarrhea for longer than 24 hours
  • A bad cough that does not go away; presence of any green or yellow mucus discharge
  • Severe pain when breathing
  • Severe headache
  • A fever of 102° F (39° C) or higher for more than 24 hours
  • A sore throat that lasts longer than 48 hours

Dressing for winter

In Pullman, the weather often stays cold from mid-November until February or even March. If you dress appropriately, you can be comfortable.

  • Layer clothing for warmth. 
  • Wear waterproof boots when there is snow or heavy rain.
  • Wear wool socks with thin synthetic socks underneath.
  • Long underwear of cotton, silk, or synthetic fabric will keep you dry and comfortable.
  • “Down” (goose or duck feathers) coats and jackets are especially warm. 

American laws, penalties, and consequences

As in any country, the United States has laws designed to keep people well and safe. Breaking these laws can have serious and costly results. Below are a few basic laws and the penalties for breaking them. Learn what the laws are and follow them to avoid legal problems.


Driver’s license

You must have a valid driver’s license and car insurance to legally drive a car in Washington. A nonresident driver can operate a motor vehicle in Washington state for up to one year if they have a valid driver’s license from their home country (RCW 

Speed limits

You must follow posted speed limits on all roads and highways. If a police officer sees you speeding and follows behind you with their lights flashing, you must pull over to a safe place on the side of the road and stay seated while you wait for them to approach your car. Do not get out of your car unless they ask you to.

Auto insurance

If a police officer finds you driving a car without auto insurance for the car, you may have to pay a fine of at least $450. You must always carry your auto insurance card with you when you are driving. If you are stopped by a police officer and you do not have the card with you, you may have to pay a $450 fine.

Seat belts

All persons driving or riding in a car are required by law to wear seat belts. Everyone not using a seat belt will be charged a fine of $124. The driver of the car must pay the fine of any passenger under the age of 16.

Cell phones

It is against the law to use a cell phone while driving. It is also against the law to text message while driving. A driver may use a hands-free device such as a speakerphone or Bluetooth. The fine for cell phone use is between $136 and $234.

Car accidents

Any time you have a car accident, get a police report. This is necessary information to report to your automobile insurance company so the company will help pay for the cost of the accident.

Motorcycles and bicycles

In the state of Washington, a person riding a motorcycle is required to wear a helmet. For safety, bicycle riders should also wear helmets and those under 16 are required to by law. Motorcyclists and bicyclists are required to follow the same traffic laws as people driving cars. For example, you must stop at stop signs and red lights.

In the state of Washington, bicycles may ride in the road or on the sidewalk, but you must give the right-of-way to those who are on foot if you are using the sidewalks.

Drinking alcohol

Drinking alcohol is something that many students do when living in the US. The drinking laws in the U.S. are strict and the penalties for breaking these laws are serious.

Drinking laws and penalties for the state of Washington

Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI)

In the United States, it is prohibited to drive while under the influence of alcohol. In Washington, a person is considered “under the influence of alcohol” if his/her blood alcohol level is .08%. Drinking more than one drink (one beer or one glass of wine) per hour usually makes a person’s blood alcohol reach this level. If a police officer finds a person to be DUI (driving under the influence), the person will have to stay one day to one year in jail, lose their driving license, go to court, pay a fine, and possibly do community work or attend special alcohol-awareness training. The person may also have immigration problems due to their DUI. If you are a licensed professional (medical professional, veterinary professional, engineer, etc.) you may lose your license if you are issued a DUI.

Drinking alcohol in public places

If you are caught opening or drinking alcohol in a public place, you can expect to appear in court and pay a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to 90 days in jail. 

Minors in possession of alcohol

If you are under 21 years of age and you are caught buying, drinking, or with alcohol, you can expect to appear in court and pay at least a $250 fine for your offense. 

Providing alcohol to minors

If you get caught buying alcohol for, or giving alcohol to a minor, you will need to appear in court and can expect to pay a fine of up to $5,000 and possible jail time.

Note: All of these offenses could possibly result in your being deported from the United States.

Using illegal drugs

In the United States, having, using, or distributing illegal drugs is a punishable crime and may have serious consequences. Unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illegal drugs may result in penalties, including paying fines, doing community service work, going to prison, or being deported.

Marijuana use

While marijuana is legal in the state of Washington, it is not legal under U.S. federal law. Any individual in the U.S. on a federal visa must follow all federal laws. The use of marijuana by an individual on a U.S. federal visa could result in their arrest and loss of visa. 


Shoplifting means taking something from a store without paying for it. In the United States, shoplifting is a punishable crime and may have serious consequences. If you are accused of shoplifting, you will be taken to the police station and a report will be filed. You may have to pay a fine and appear in court. If you are found guilty, you will have to pay a fine and your immigration status might be affected.

Domestic violence

Hitting, slapping, pushing, threatening, or physically or emotionally injuring someone you live with are examples of what is called domestic violence. Such actions are types of assault and are punishable by law in the United States.

If the police are called to help settle an argument or fight between people who live together, and the police have reason to suspect that one person physically or emotionally injured or might physically or emotionally harm another person at the home, the police will take the suspect to jail. 

The suspect will later need to appear in court. If the suspect is found guilty, they will have to pay a fine and may have to go to jail. 

A student suspected of participating in domestic violence may be disenrolled from the program and may need to leave the United States.


Foreign students must get special permission from the Department of Licensing to legally carry lethal weapons (RCW 9.41.173). It is a serious crime for an international student to have a dangerous weapon without permission. If an international student is caught with a weapon without permission to have one, they can expect to pay a fine, go to jail, and be deported.

No weapons are allowed on the WSU campus, including in the residence halls. This includes airsoft guns, BB guns, pellet guns, paintball guns, etc. 

Safety in Pullman

The safety and security of students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the campus is important to WSU. The mission of the Washington State University Police Department, in partnership with the campus community, is to cultivate an atmosphere that supports the educational process and promotes academic and personal achievement and community prosperity.

Safety tips from the WSU Police Department

  • Most crime is committed because of opportunity, so the best prevention is to eliminate opportunities.
  • Keep your residence doors, including dorm rooms, always locked.
  • Limit or restrict access to your living area.
  • Lock up wallets, purses, jewelry, cameras, and other valuables.
  • Report suspicious persons or activities when you see them.
  • Report safety hazards, unsafe lighting, and defective equipment.
  • Avoid walking alone at night. Let people know where you are going.
  • Plan your walk by choosing a safe, well lighted, and populated route.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Know where you are and where you are going. Know what to expect.
  • Get to know your roommates and neighbors. Encourage checking on each other often.
  • Do not carry large sums of money on you or keep it in your room.

Staying safe

Although Pullman is a relatively safe city, some individuals have experienced sexual harassment (unwanted sexual advances) and sexual assault (attacks) here. The best way to prevent such bad experiences from happening is to keep away from situations that might be dangerous.

Situations to avoid

Walking alone

It is not safe to walk alone at night or in isolated places. If you want to walk, run, or bike somewhere during the day, take main roads that many people use. Do not go to isolated places by yourself. If something were to happen to you, no one would be around to help you. If you need to walk outside at night, go with a group of friends (including men) or use one of the special transportation services available to women students at WSU.

Date rape

Sometimes individuals are forced into sex by people they believe to be their friends. Although having time alone with someone you care for can be a good thing, be sure that you are in a place where you can get immediate help, if needed, especially if you do not know your date very well. 

Sometimes people put drugs in others’ drinks that make the person pass out or not know what is happening around them. When you are at a party or drinking something with friends, get your own drink, hold on to it, and watch it carefully so that no one can put anything harmful in it.

Resources for safety assistance

  • Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse (AVTP): (509) 332-4357, (509) 432-9971 
    • Provides a safe place to stay for those experiencing violence in relationships.
  • Counseling Services WSU: Washington Building, Room 202, (509) 335-4511 
    • Provides confidential individual counseling and has a 24-hour crisis line: (509) 332-2159.
  • Cougar Health Services: (509) 335-3575
    • Provides medical exams, lab tests, nutrition counseling, and sexual health care.
  • Police Services
    • Call 9-1-1 for emergencies.
  • Residence Hall Staff 
    • Each dormitory has Residence Hall Advisors (RAs) and a Residence Hall Director (RHD) who can help you get information and solve many kinds of problems. If you do not know who your RAs and RHD are, check at the Front Desk of your residence hall.
  • Women’s Resource Center: Wilson Hall, Room 8, (509) 335-6849 
    • Has information about women’s issues and safety in Pullman.

Emergency blue light phones

In an emergency on campus, if you need immediate help look for a blue light. The blue light identifies the location of an emergency telephone. Simply press the emergency phone button (no dialing is necessary) to be connected to the Whitcom 911 Communications Center. Describe your emergency to the operator. Every call placed from a blue light phone is responded to by a police officer. Note the location of the blue light telephones as you move about the campus. You may never need to use one, but they are there for emergencies.

Emergency notifications

In times of crisis or when critical information must be shared, the university provides emergency information and guidance to WSU personnel and students. Based upon the nature of a given event, the university may use one or more of the methods described below.

WSU crisis communication system

WSU Crisis Communication System provides direct emergency notification to students, faculty, and staff through landline and cellular telephone using voice and text messaging and email. To receive notifications, WSU personnel and students must register their telephone numbers and email addresses through the myWSU portal.


WSUALERT provides direct email notices to all faculty, staff, and student email addresses that appear in the WSU online telephone directory. WSUALERT provides notice on the WSU Alert website at

WSU main web page

The WSU main web page provides notice on the weather emergency condition levels.

Bringing your children to Pullman

WSU child care resource and referral

WSU Child Care Resource and Referral is a community service organization dedicated to the provision and development of licensed, quality, affordable early learning environments for all families in Whitman and Asotin Counties. They provide parents with information on evaluating child care and understanding child development and other parenting issues.

Finding child care

Many child care centers have waiting lists for interested families, so you should begin your search well in advance of the time you will need care. Infant and toddler care can be especially difficult to find due to high demand and small group sizes, so you may need to begin your search for infant care from the time you learn you are pregnant or scheduled for an adoption. For center-based care, try to visit several centers at least one year before you anticipate needing care. To find out about the availability of care in your area, contact the WSU Child Care Resource and Referral office.

Many family child care providers do not have a waiting list and fill openings as they arise, so it is a good idea to start your visits four to six months before you need care. Depending on availability, you might have to wait longer than you had planned, so having a back-up child care arrangement to cover you until a slot opens is important.

Questions to consider and ask during your visit:

  • Does the center have a waiting list?
  • How many children are on the waiting list for your child’s age group? How often is the list updated?
  • Many centers have a sibling-preference policy; how many siblings are on the list and how will this affect your chances of getting a slot?
  • How does the enrollment process work? Is it open or rolling enrollment, or is enrollment done only once a year?
  • Is there an application fee for getting on the waiting list?
  • If you are considering a family child care home, will the provider keep in touch with you as openings occur?

Child care subsidy

Child care can be expensive. You may qualify for some financial assistance. Working Connections Child Care is a state program that helps working families earning less than 200% of the federal poverty level to pay for child care. Call (877) 980-9220 to see if you qualify or visit Working Connections Child Care.

Some child care providers also offer rates on a sliding scale based on income, scholarships, multi-child discounts, vouchers, or other tuition breaks. During your visit with the provider, ask about any available tuition support.

Child care in Pullman

WSU Children’s Center
1425 Olympia Avenue
Washington State University
Pullman WA 99164
(509) 335-8847

Community Child Care Center
530 NW Larry St.
Pullman WA 99163
(509) 334-9290

Montessori School of Pullman
115 NW State St #109
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 334-4114

Building Blocks Child Care
805 SE Klemgard St.
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 332-0161

The Learning Center, Inc.
115 NW State St. Rm B10
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 334-1234 This is a place where you can search for local babysitters, nannies, child care, and more.

School-age care and education

A child can be enrolled in the public school system for kindergarten in August if they are 5 years of age by August 31. When you arrive and have an address in Pullman, locate the local school in your neighborhood and go there to ask about enrolling your children.

Pullman Public Schools
240 SE Dexter Street
Pullman, WA 99163
(509) 332-3581

Laws and recommendations for child safety

Car safety seats

When riding in a car, children need to be in an approved safety seat or booster seat until they are 4’9” (1.45 meters) tall or 8 years old. It is dangerous and illegal for a child to ride in a car without a safety seat. The Pullman Police Department has its own certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and provides complimentary car seat checks for all stages of child restraint. The sole purpose of this program is to help reduce the incidence of the improper installation of car seats.

Home alone

According to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), you should not leave your child alone until they are 10 years old or older. State authorities agree that leaving a 12-year-old alone at home for an hour or two is acceptable, however someone this age should not be responsible for other children.

Bike helmets

Everyone should wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Children under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle.

Resources and things to do at WSU and in Pullman

Student Recreation Center (SRC)

This facility is free to you while you are enrolled in classes. All you need to do is present your WSU Cougar Card for entry. The facility has over 200 pieces of cardio and weight equipment, seven courts for basketball, volleyball, and badminton, a 31-foot (9.45 meters) high climbing wall with a bouldering cave, roller hockey, indoor soccer, floor hockey, and inline skating, four racquetball courts, a five-lane lap pool, a leisure pool, a 53-person spa, activity rooms, an elevated 4-lane running/walking track and more!

Check the UREC facility hours.

The Pullman community

Pullman, and the whole Palouse, is a beautiful place to live. Many outdoor activities and events are throughout the area to enjoy. Pullman also has a high number of resources available for residents of the community.

Important Phone Numbers

Fire, medical, or police9-1-1
IALC front desk(509) 335-6675
International Student and Scholar Services(509) 335-4508
Care and Conduct(509) 339-3156
Women’s Transit(978) 267-7233
Cougar Health Services (open hours)(509) 335-3375
Cougar Health Services (after hours)(509) 332-2541
Pullman Quick Care(509) 332-8847

WSU emergency phone

(509) 339-3156

If you have an urgent problem when WSU is closed, you can call this number to reach a member of Student Services 24 hours a day: (509) 339-3156. Please consider what is and is not an emergency prior to calling.

Remember to call 9-1-1 for fire, medical, or police emergencies.