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Continuing Education

Frequently Asked Questions - Cornerstone

  1. What are the benefits of the CWU Cornerstone Program?
  2. How is the CWU Cornerstone Program different from Running Start?
  3. Will my grade appear on a transcript?
  4. Are CWU Cornerstone courses hard?
  5. Who teaches Cornerstone Program courses?
  6. Will this program improve my ability to be accepted to my college of choice?
  7. What courses are available?
  8. Are teachers required to use CWU syllabi?
  9. How do I qualify for the program?
  10. Is there a placement test?
  11. When can I register?
  12. Can I take the course first and then apply for credit?
  13. What is the cost per credit and how do I pay?
  14. Will I receive a bill from CWU?
  15. Is it possible to withdraw and receive a refund?
  16. Can I transfer my CWU credits to another college?
  17. How do I transfer my CWU credits to another college?
  18. How can I obtain a copy of my CWU transcript?
  19. What are my CWU ID number and PIN?
  20. How do I get my Novell Username and Password?
  21. How can I get a copy of my grades?
  22. How do I access Safari?
  23. What is GroupWise?
  24. Can I use the CWU Library?
  25. What about Financial Aid?
  26. What is the Connection Card?
  27. What else should I know?

What are the benefits of the Cornerstone Program?

Students who participate in this program benefit from early exposure to college level course expectations and study requirements and are better prepared for college when they graduate from high school. Cornerstone Program courses offer an educational experience that is similar to that of students enrolled in the same courses on CWU's campus in terms of learning objectives, tests, instructional materials, course work, grading standards and course design.

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How is the Cornerstone Program different from Running Start?

In both programs high school students take college-level courses while attending high school. However, unlike Running Start, where students must leave their high school to attend classes at the community college or university, Cornerstone courses are offered to you right in your high school during the regular school day. The classes are taught by high school instructors who have been approved as CWU lecturers.

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Will my grade appear on a transcript?

You will receive two separate grades for each Cornerstone course: one for your high school transcript and one for your CWU transcript. College grades will remain on your transcript and follow you throughout your college career.

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Are Cornerstone courses hard?

Cornerstone courses are challenging since they are the same courses that are offered on the CWU campus. These courses will prepare you for college level course expectations and study requirements.

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Who teaches Cornerstone Program courses?

Cornerstone courses are taught by highly qualified high school teachers who are approved by CWU as lecturers for the Cornerstone Program.

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Will this program improve my ability to be accepted to my college of choice?

Credits earned through the Cornerstone Program enhance your progress toward a degree, reduce the cost of college and strengthen your chances of being accepted to your college of choice.

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What courses are available?

CWU Cornerstone courses are drawn from many disciplines: the Humanities, Social and Physical Sciences, Mathematics, English, Music, Information Technology and Law and Justice. The course list is available online here. Not all courses are taught at all high schools. Check with your school administrator to see what courses are offered at your high school.

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Are teachers required to use CWU syllabi?

Teachers will receive copies of course standards and the liaison will approve their syllabi. 

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How do I qualify for the program?

Central Washington University does not require a specific grade point average for acceptance into the program. However, some individual courses have prerequisites. For example, students who wish to register in the English and Math series must first meet the prerequisites for those courses. High school counselors can help you identify the courses that have prerequisites and how you may fulfill these prerequisites in a timely manner. Review the Cornerstone website for a list of courses and their prerequisites here.

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Is there a placement test?

Students must take the COMPASS test for English placement. The test fee ($25.00 per test) must be paid at time of sign-up.

Students must take the Math Placement Test for Math 101, 102, 130, 153, 154, 172. The test fee ($25.00) must be paid at time of sign-up. 

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When can I register?

Registration takes place at an orientation session or on the first day of your classes. Like all CWU students, you must register during the first week of instruction to earn credit.

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Can I take the course first and then apply for credit?

Cornerstone courses follow the same registration procedures as other university courses, i.e., students must register during the first week of instruction to earn the credit.

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What is the cost per credit and how do I pay?

Cornerstone courses are offered at the reduced tuition rate of $55 per credit compared to $264 on campus. Central Washington University accepts personal checks or money orders, as well as Visa and MasterCard. Tuition will be collected at your high school at the time of registration.

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Will I receive a bill from CWU?

Students enrolled in Cornerstone classes may receive bills from Central Washington University until the tuition payment is posted to their accounts. Even if their school districts pay their tuition, students may receive bills until the payment is posted. If the local district is paying for your tuition, disregard any bills. Further questions regarding this can be answered by calling the Office of Continuing Education at 509 963 1526.

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Is it possible to withdraw and receive a refund?

A limited number of uncontested (peremptory) withdrawals from individual courses will be permitted from the sixth day of the quarter through the end of the sixth week of instruction according to the schedule outlined on the Cornerstone Program website: http://www.cwu.edu/ce/withdrawal-cornerstone-course

There are no tuition refunds in cases of withdrawal from individual courses.

Withdrawals after the sixth week of instruction or when the allotted peremptory withdrawals have been used, will be granted only for reasons of hardship and then only upon written petition to and written approval by the Registrar. Please contact the Cornerstone Program Coordinator or review the website for complete withdrawal and refund policy information.

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Can I transfer my CWU credits to another college?

You can expect the credits earned through the CWU Cornerstone Program to be fully accepted by most colleges and universities. However, standard practices of higher education institutions require that any type of transfer credit be made on a case-by-case basis. A student should check with the institution he or she plans to attend to determine what its policy is regarding university credit earned in high school.

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How do I transfer my CWU credits to another college?

To transfer CWU credits you must send your final transcripts from CWU to the school of your choice.

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How can I obtain a copy of my CWU transcript?

To obtain a copy of your CWU transcript, go to the following link, download and complete the transcript request, and mail it with the appropriate fee to the address listed: http://www.cwu.edu/registrar/request-transcripts

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What are my CWU ID number and PIN?

These are numbers unique to each student. At the time of your first Cornerstone registration, you are assigned a CWU ID number and PIN which are sent to you in a letter by CWU Admissions. If you are unable to locate these numbers, call the Registrars' Office at (509)-963-3001 for assistance.

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How do I get my Novell Username and Password?

To get your Novell username and password, you must first have your CWU Student ID number and PIN (see above). Then go to the CWU homepage at http://www.cwu.edu and click the Wildcat Connection paw. Click the word "here" in the sentence "Click here for help with the Wildcat Connection." On the next page click on the word "here" in the first sentence. Complete the form using your Student ID and PIN, and click on the "Agree and Submit" button at the bottom of the page. The next page that appears will confirm that your password has been accepted and will show your username. If you have questions or problems, contact the ITS Help Desk at 963-2001, option 3. Visit the following links for additional related information: http://www.cwu.edu/helpdesk/student_faq.html http://www.cwu.edu/its.

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How can I get a copy of my grades?

Grades are now available online. CWU no longer sends grade reports through the mail. To see your grades, you will need to access Safari.

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How do I access Safari?

To begin the Safari experience, navigate to http://www.cwu.edu. Select Wildcat Connection. Log in using your Novell username and password. Click Safari from the menu on the left-hand side of the page. Important CWU information will be displayed here. Once you have read the information, scroll to Safari Links at the bottom of the page. To enter Safari, click on the "I read and accept" link. At this point click on SA Self Service > Learner Services > Academics > View my Grades. For more information go to the following link: http://www.cwu.edu/registrar/how-log-safari.

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What is GroupWise?

GroupWise is the e-mail system used by CWU faculty, staff and students. It is imperative that you check your CWU e-mail account frequently because the Registrar, Office of Financial Aid and other student services use e-mail to send important notices. For information on activating your CWU GroupWise e-mail account, go to http://www.cwu.edu/its.

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Can I use the CWU Library?

The CWU Brooks Library maintains a web site at http://www.lib.cwu.edu. Most of the resources that the CWU Library offers electronically may be accessed from off-campus. To log in to the library from off-campus, insert a zero in front of your eight-digit CWU ID Number. See http://www.lib.cwu.edu/RemoteAccessAndLoginHelp for more information.

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What about Financial Aid?

Cornerstone students are not eligible for Financial Aid. Credits earned through the Cornerstone Program will count toward your maximum undergraduate Financial Aid limit. Limits are based on 270 attempted credits or 1.5 times the credits required for your degree.

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What is the Connection Card?

The Connection Card is YOUR Central Washington University student ID card. Students, faculty, and staff can use the Campus Debit Plan (as long as you have a balance on your account). The plan allows you to purchase meals (all dining locations), buy supplies (University Store), and make copies (Library Fishbowl).

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What else should I know?

See http://www.cwu.edu/student-success/student-rights-and-responsibilities for a description of CWU student rights and responsibilities.

Request for Survey Participation and Grade Disclosure:

At Cornerstone we ask for your opinion to make sure that our courses are successfully preparing you for further academic achievement. We will contact you in the first year after high school graduation, inviting you to share your perceptions about the effectiveness of our program. We will contact some of you again in the fourth year after graduation; at which time you will know more about the long-term benefits of your involvement with Cornerstone.

Why are you requesting a release of my undergraduate grades?

We ask that you authorize the release of your undergraduate grades for research purposes. The information enables us to measure Cornerstone's effectiveness in preparing students for their college experience. All information is kept strictly confidential.

Limitation of Liability:

The University's total liability for claims arising from a contractual relationship with the student in any way related to classes or programs will be limited to the tuition and expenses paid by the student to the University for those classes or programs. In no event will the University be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages, including but not limited to, loss of earnings or profits.

If you are interested in visiting Central Washington University, contact Continuing Education at (509) 963-1504 to arrange the following:

  • Tour Central's Ellensburg campus
  • Obtain your Connection Card
  • Participate in a Chimposium
  • Tour the Brooks Library
  • Have lunch in a dining hall

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For more information or if you have any questions, email us at cornerstone@cwu.edu

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