Student Handbook

The Washington College Student Handbook provides students with information about their rights, responsibilities, and resources as members of the Washington College community. Upon accepting the College’s offer of admission, each student agrees to follow the policies and guidelines established by the College. All students are expected to familiarize themselves with the material contained in the Student Handbook online so that their conduct within and beyond the classroom is in accord with established Washington College standards. When upheld by all members of the community, these policies foster a learning environment characterized by academic and personal excellence.

This Handbook will help students locate important information about College policies and resources. Washington College publishes this Handbook annually, but the policies and procedures are subject to change during the academic year.

Statement of Community Standards

At Washington College, we celebrate both individuality and a strong sense of shared community values. Students who enter this community make a commitment to a healthy and respectful exchange of ideas and acknowledge that living in a community requires tolerance, compromise, and sensitivity to others.

Students are expected to treat other students, faculty, staff, and College guests with respect, dignity, and understanding to create a community where civility is valued. Students are expected to establish appropriate personal boundaries and to fit individual freedoms into the broader context of responsibility to the student community and to the values of the College. In addition, students must understand that Washington College is not a sanctuary isolated from the rest of society. Consequently, all students are subject to local, state, and federal laws, as are other residents of Chestertown, MD. Students are recognized as adults and therefore receive the respect and assume the responsibilities that come with this status.

Within our community, students are expected to:

  • Develop a mature and responsible style of relating to others and exploring interpersonal relationships.
  • Practice appropriate self-management, health, and wellness skills.
  • Understand and broaden their appreciation for cultural and lifestyle differences.
  • Ensure that their actions or the actions of others do not infringe upon the rights of others or the fundamental integrity of the living and learning environment.
  • Embrace the principle that all members of the community shall have access to its educational facilities, activities, and programs without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability.
  • Create and sustain a climate of civility and ensure that all discourse is respectful of the individual, regardless of whether there is disagreement on matters of substance, taste, politics, or evidence.
  • Uphold the standards of the Honor Code by respecting the ideas, well-being, and property of others.

Mission Statement

Washington College challenges and inspires emerging citizen leaders to discover lives of purpose and passion.

Core Values

We share these values of our founding patron, George Washington: integrity, determination, curiosity, civility, leadership, and moral courage.

We offer academic rigor and self-discovery in a supportive, residential community of well-qualified, diverse, and motivated individuals. We develop in our students the habits of analytic thought and clear communication, aesthetic insight, ethical sensitivity, and civic responsibility.

Unhurried conversation and close connections with an exceptional faculty and staff complement a broad curriculum of study. A beautiful campus, ready access to exciting cities and the Chesapeake Bay, and engagement with cultures and communities locally and around the world afford our students ample resources and opportunities for personal exploration and shared challenges.

We prepare our students for rich and fulfilling lives; for myriad and unpredictable opportunities; for a lifetime of learning, leadership, and productive endeavor.

Vision Statement

The enduring values of Washington College—critical thinking, effective communication, and moral courage—move the world.

Commitment to Diversity, Tolerance, and Inclusiveness

Washington College accords students the opportunity to learn about life, to challenge their own values and the ideas and values of others, and, in so doing, to become responsible members of the College community. The College believes that the diversity of its community is its greatest strength and that differences of race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity/expression, socioeconomic class, ability, age and religious belief are to be respected by all members of the community. While the College imposes no specific moral standard upon its students, each student is expected to uphold standards of civility and engage in constructive and reasoned discourse to express differences of opinion.

The Washington College Diversity Statement was approved by the Board of Visitors and Governors.

We, the students, faculty, staff and Board of Visitors and Governors of Washington College, welcome, invite, value, and support a diverse community of individuals.  We strive to create a space where all can study, work, and thrive.  We believe in the worth, dignity, and safety of human beings of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, gender identities and/or expressions, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, cultural backgrounds, cognitive or physical abilities, emotional and behavioral characteristics, ages, and educational levels.  In the pursuit of academic excellence, we endeavor to be a community made up of people from a variety of backgrounds with differing perspectives, life experiences, religious, philosophical and political beliefs, lifestyles and ideologies.  We pledge to create a respectful and supportive environment for collaboration, empathy, and the building of meaningful relationships among members of Washington College.  We commit to fostering a more equitable, inclusive, and engaged community that embraces all the complexity that each person brings to campus.

  • We will empower all members to contribute ideas, ask questions, contest assumptions, and revise points of view through civil debate.
  • We will confront and challenge attempts to dehumanize others through prejudiced attitudes, behaviors, and practices that exclude, demean, or marginalize any individual or group.
  • We will encourage alumni, parents, visitors, guests, and the wider community to respect and embrace the values and behaviors that we embody.

Our promise is to cultivate a continuous desire and ability to understand and meaningfully engage with different perspectives and experiences, including those of historically underrepresented and marginalized groups.  We seek to contribute to the full intellectual and emotional development of every person and to the enrichment of our local, regional, and global communities.

Policies and Procedures

Campus policies and regulations apply to all matriculated Washington College students and their guests, regardless of whether students live on or off campus. All students, both full-time and part-time, are expected to abide by the policies governing behavior both on and off campus. The College will be guided by the policies published here or in other official College publications, including the College website. On rare occasions, when college officials determine circumstances warrant (such as the need to maintain or restore an appropriate educational environment for students, faculty and staff), the College reserves the right to interpret, amend and differ from these policies without prior notice to students.