Information For Parents

Connecting our family with yours

  • Student at campus mailbox

    We here at Saint Francis University are always available to help families make it through the transition smoothly. Whether its through residence life, student health, safety & security, or technology, we provide services that help you and your child focus on what's important - academics.

  • Parents Frequently Asked Questions

    These questions were submitted by parents of current students.

    What type of protocol does a student need to follow if he/she is having problems with his/her roommate?

    For any challenges in the residence halls, especially with roommates, students should first talk to their Resident Assistant (the student staff member) that lives on the floor. The RA will be able to help the student come up with a plan to resolve the issue. Many times, this resolution comes in the form of a mediation conducted by the RA with both roommates. Our main goal is for students to feel safe, secure, and comfortable where they live and the staff is there to help and support that goal.

    What type of services does the J.F.K Student Center offer the students?

    The JFK Center provides many services for the members of the SFU student body and campus community. We are the primary event location for most of the activities and events on campus.

    The upper level of JFK is also the home of the Center for Student Engagement, which oversees student transportation services, fundraising and facility scheduling, student activities, student government, Greek Life,leadership development, and new student orientation.  Our Lounge area is available for students and student groups 24-hours per day, Sundays through Thursdays.  The Auditorium serves as the ideal location for most comedians, speakers, musicians, theatre productions, and other large-scale performances.  The JFK Information Desk provides “go-to” information for students and visitors regarding events, locations and directions to various points on campus, a directory to find a member of the Faculty or Staff, a student-friendly printer(as part of the students’ technology fee), and helpful, courteous assistance from our student staff.

    The lower level of JFK is where students find their campus mailboxes, Barnes and Noble campus bookstore, offices for various student organizations, including the Student Activities Organization, as well as the Frankies café which includes two conference rooms for student-organization use,flat-screen TV’s, an arcade, and a small stage for weekend programming such as comedians, and musical performances.

    Where is the University Police located and does the office offer protection by walking a student to his/her vehicle at night or back to his/her residence hall?

    The Saint Francis University Police Department exists to provide quality Police and Safety services to all people within the Saint Francis Community. They enhance the quality of life of our community members by providing a safe and secure environment, enforcing laws and University regulations, prevention and detection of crime, and the apprehension and prosecution of violators. University Police is located in Raymond Hall and is open 365 days a year. Our officers are available 24 hours a day for concerns and to assist our community members.  Escort services on campus are available by calling University Police.

    Is there a computer lab open 24/7?

    Since all undergraduate students have laptops provided by the University, the need for a 24/7 computer lab has lessened.  The Laptop Help Desk has a bank of loaner laptops in the event that a student needs a laptop repaired.  Access to the wireless network via student’s wireless network cards along with network jacks in the residence halls limits the need for computer labs.  Students do have access to printing stations located at various areas across campus, some of which are available 24/7. 

    Currently, there is a computer lab on the first floor of Scotus Hall. Students have access to that lab as long as Scotus Hall is open.  This area is used by many students for quick access to 6-7 laptop computers and printing functions. The Library Circulation Desk has a collection of laptops that are available for students to borrow.

    Do you provide transportation off-campus? 

    Does Saint Francis offer transportation for students to the bus and train stations, and airports? 
    Over the years what we have observed is that when students from outside the local area arrive at Saint Francis, many of them will make contact on their own with other students who are from their hometowns or surrounding areas or who live along the way – and they often arrange ride-sharing among themselves. 
    Students who need still require transportation to a local bus or train station or a local airport can arrange for the service through the Center for Student Engagement. Students are to arrange their train, airline or bus tickets on their own and then visit the Center for Student Engagement (found in the upper level of JFK), in person, to complete a shuttle service form four days prior to needing the transportation. The Center for Student Engagement employs a pool of student-drivers who are certified by University Police to operate University vehicles. Upon each request these student-drivers are then contacted to provide the driving services. 

    Does Saint Francis offer transportation to Pittsburgh International Airport?
    Yes. We provide shuttle service to, and/or from, the Pittsburgh International Airport for all academic breaks and major holidays (i.e. start and end of academic semesters, mid-semester breaks, Thanksgiving break, and Easter break). NOTE: Outside of these scheduled shuttles, we do not provide regular service to the Pittsburgh International Airport.

    Does Saint Francis offer transportation for students to get to local medical appointments?
    Transportation service can be arranged for non-emergency medical appointments. If a student makes an appointment with a local medical professional (i.e. optometrist, orthodontist, etc.), or if is necessary to see a physician or specialist at home and need to take a bus, train, or plane to get there, they should immediately visit the Center for Student Engagement to complete the shuttle service form. The Center for Student Engagement will then activate the same process detailed above to meet the request. For a listing of local medical offices, please visit life.francis.edu/Local and browse the listings found in the “Medical & Emergency” contact book.

    In the event of a medical emergency, students are directed to call the local Emergency Response Dispatch by dialing 9-1-1.

    NOTE: Requests for individualized transportation service should be limited to the Johnstown Airport, the Altoona Transportation Depot, or local medical offices. SFU does not offer personalized taxi services nor do we lend vehicles for students to drive themselves. For a listing of local taxi-cab services please visit life.francis.edu/Local and browse the listings found in the “Transportation Vendors” contact book.
    If you are in need of transportation, please visit
     life.francis.edu/Transportation to review information and policies regarding our transportation services and to view the current semester’s shuttle schedule. For additional questions please contact the Center for Student Engagement 1t 814.472.3005.

    Does the University offer transportation for shopping and other activities off-campus?
    The Center for Student Engagement coordinates nightly shopping trips to the local shopping malls and plazas (i.e. Altoona, Ebensburg, and Johnstown). The nightly shopping shuttles are offered free of charge to all SFU undergraduate students. The Student Activities Organization (SAO) also offers other recreational trips each semester to provide an opportunity for students to get off-campus. Students have had the opportunity in the past to travel to a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game; Cedar Point and Busch Gardens amusement parks; Broadway tours of plays and musicals appearing in State College, Johnstown and Pittsburgh such as "Wicked", “Footloose” and “Les Miserables”; and other local theme parks, hockey games, and semi-professional baseball. Our most popular trip is the annual day trip to New York City in November. Other trips have gone to Baltimore Inner Harbor, Washington DC, museum exhibits in State College, and any number of other places within one to five hours of driving time from Loretto. These types of trips are offered at ticket or admission cost or many times reduced cost to our students with free transportation offered either via van or charter bus. 

    Visit life.francis.edu/Transportation for more information on our transportation services including our scheduled nightly shopping trips.

    If a student is interested in joining a club on campus has the campus experienced any initiation-type problems, and if so, how were they handled?

    Student involvement in clubs and organizations is necessary for their overall enjoyment in college and for the development of important social and leadership skills.  The university maintains a strict position against harassment and hazing.  Any time a student experiences any problems while being a member of an organization that is along the lines of harassment or hazing, the university’s student development personnel will investigate the issue and determine the best course of action to protect the welfare of each student.

    If a student becomes sick, is there somewhere he/she can go to receive immediate attention?  What are the hours of operation?

    Students who become ill can be seen in the Student Health Center, located on the ground floor of the DiSepio Institute. Sick visits are free of charge, not billed through insurance.  Most medications needed to treat common illnesses are provided free of charge to the students as well.  Hours are Monday through Friday 8:30am-4:00pm, with extended hours on Wednesday evening until 7:30pm.  Students can make an appointment by calling 472-3008. Walk ins are accepted, but appointments are preferable.

    After hours and weekend illnesses can be treated at the Med Well urgent care center in Ebensburg, located in front of Walmart. 

    How do the meal plans work and do the students have the option of changing once they are signed up for a particular plan?

    Saint Francis Dining Services’ goal is to match students with the perfect dining plan that exceeds their expectations. These plans give diners total control and flexibility along with the best value for the dollar.Students can use their Student ID Card for the safety and convenience of cashless dining.  Incoming residential students can select from three meals plans: Platinum Plan with unlimited meals per week, Gold Plan with 14 meals per week,, or Silver Plan with 10 meals per week. Each meal plan also comes with a various amount of Bonus Dollars that can be used at Frankies, Padua Express, or Café Gubbio.  Incoming students are defaulted to the Platinum Plan.  Students are able to change their meal plan when they sign their housing agreement or at the Office of Residence Life by the deadline posted.  Dining options are also available to serve the needs of our commuter students.

    What is the deadline for a student to declare a major or a minor and what is the protocol to change if it is necessary?

    While there is only an “official” deadline to declare a major for student-athletes as required by NCAA (by the end of sophomore year),we do not require students to declare by a specific date.  However, I highly encourage students to declare at some point in their second year at the university.  The majority of students will declare a major by the end of their first year.  To declare a major, the student will need to complete an official change of major form from the Registrar’s office. They will need to meet with the chair of the department in which they want to declare the major, and the chair will appoint an academic advisor.  The chair will also review the student’s transcript and ensure they meet the requirements of the major, if there are any (ie minimum grade point average, progression standards, etc).  There are also some professional health science majors in which a student may not be able to change their major to. The student should meet with the chair of these majors to discuss requirements into these programs.  The student’s current advisor will also need to sign the form as well to ensure a seamless transition into the new major. To declare a minor, a form is available at the Registrar’s office as well.  The student’s academic advisor needs to sign off on any minor being declared.

    Can you make changes to your class schedule? And if so, what is the process?

    As an in-coming freshman, a student will receive their schedule at SOAR in the summer.  The student will also meet their academic advisor at that time.  If a student would like to change a class, they would contact their advisor over the summer or a staff member at the Center for Academic Success.  For all students, the last day to make schedule changes (drop and add a class) is the seventh class-day of the semester. For this fall, it would be September 4.  A student always has the option to withdraw from a class,however, until approximately two-thirds into the semester. For this fall semester, the last date to withdraw from a class is November 5.  The official dates to drop/add and withdraw from a course are found on the official academic calendar from the university.  To officially drop/add or withdraw from a course,the student will need to meet with their academic advisor.

    What major renovations are on the horizon for the university?

    Saint Francis University is constantly striving to address the needs of our student and support the vision of the institution.  Evidence of this is our commitment to fund capital projects on campus.  The recently completed DiSepio Institute for Rural Health & Wellness is the first phase of a three-phase plan to address the vision of the sciences and health sciences.  The 30,000-square foot education and research center opened its doors in April 2009.  Phase two is the New Science Center and evidence of the building can already be seen. This building will be a flagship facility for science and technology programs on campus.  Construction will begin this Spring and a Fall 2013 opening is anticipated.  The final phase of the project includes the renovation of Sullivan Hall.  The facility will be renovated to house modern classroom and lab space tailored towards the need of health science students. An additional project centered on academic facilities includes the renovation of Schwab Hall in an effort to house the School of Business.   

    Saint Francis University will continue the on-going effort to invest in residence hall renovations.  Annually the university has committed to renovating student living space.  Recent renovations include Giles Hall as well as Amici Hall.   This summer Saint Agnes Hall will receive renovations that include new heating, water and electrical in addition to new carpet, renovated lobby space and room closets.  Saint Joan of Arc Hall bathrooms will be updated and additional suites will be added to Saint Elizabeth Hall.  Two media rooms will be established inside residence halls on campus.    

    How many advisors are assigned to a student?

    All students at Saint Francis University are given an academic advisor the summer before they attend in the fall.  This will be the student’s advisor for the first-year of college, unless the student changes his/her major.  Within a major, some departments change advisors after the freshman year, but most will keep the students with the same advisor throughout all four years.

    Are there opportunities for the students to study abroad?

    There are many opportunities for students to study abroad and Saint Francis University highly encourages students to do so.  The Center for International Education and Outreach is dedicated to helping students solidify a study abroad experience that best matches their educational needs.  The Center’s premier program is the Semester in France Program located in Ambialet, France.  The Semester in France Program is an opportunity for students to live for four months in a restored monastery located in beautiful Southwest France.  The program costs the same as a semester in Loretto, except for transportation costs.  Other study abroad opportunities are available in just about any country and formats vary (summer, spring break, etc).

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