Banacos Academic Center

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Welcome to the Banacos Academic Center—empowering students and providing support for all!

The Banacos Academic Center is your dedicated resource for support at Westfield State University. Through Disability Services and collaboration with the CARE Center, we offer tailored academic strategies for all students. Additionally, the Banacos Center proudly houses our admissions-based Learning Disabilities Program. At Westfield State, our commitment extends beyond academics—we create a dynamic learning, working, and living environment that values the diversity of our community. We are dedicated to providing a University experience that empowers, supports, and prepares students for success.


The Banacos Academic Center provides a welcoming environment for students who want assistance with academic support and disability-related matters. We aim to foster independence in students through providing guidance on developing a clear understanding of their needs, rights, responsibilities and capabilities as well as guiding students on how to use the academic supports available at our Center and throughout campus. These goals help students to maximize independent learning and build healthy identities.

The Banacos Academic Center aspires to provide students with access to comprehensive well-rounded academic support, state of the art accessible technology and instructional materials, continuity of services and access throughout campus, and sufficient staffing and services to provide comprehensive individualized assistance.

The Banacos Academic Center staff continually works to maintain the community’s respect and recognition of its programs and participating students as integral to the campus and the diversity on campus and to educate the community on matters regarding access to the educational environment including the benefits of universal design in and out of the classroom and the growing necessity to consider accessibility in policy decisions for the Westfield State University community.

The History of Jimmy Banacos

Jimmy Banacos former WSU student the Banacos Academic Center is named after.

Jimmy Banacos was a student at Westfield State from 1969 to 1973. Affectionately known as Mr. Personality, he majored in Education, embodying a passion for learning and connecting with others. His vibrant presence extended beyond the classroom to the sports field, where he participated in varsity cross country, lacrosse, and intramural sports.

However, in a fateful lacrosse game in 1970, Jimmy faced a life-altering moment when a hard hit tragically left him paralyzed from the neck down. Although Jimmy passed away in 2005, his spirit continues to echo through the halls of Westfield State, leaving an enduring legacy of resilience and impact on the University community.

Disability Services

At our University, inclusivity is a top priority, especially for those with disabilities. We foster collaboration among University units, providing access and support for everyone. Striving for excellence, our programs and services prioritize fairness and tailored assistance for all students. Disability Services empowers students to advocate for themselves, providing a range of reasonable accommodations to support those facing learning, physical, psychological, or health-related needs. Join us on a journey where every student thrives and succeeds in University life.

Learning Disabilities Program (LDP)

Westfield State University's Learning Disabilities Program offers individualized academic support for first-year students with learning disorders or ADHD, and it's completely free. This program has been around since 1979, creating a welcoming space for students to thrive. As part of the program, students get their own Program Advisor who helps them throughout their entire time in college. This support helps students discover their strengths and become independent learners.

Explore support services and resources, from academics to wellness, enhancing your University experience.

  • Photo of University Hall Archway with Flowers

    Explore our centralized page for forms and documents, where everything you need is conveniently available in one place.

  • Nestor the Owl, with arms spread wide, beneath a sign that says, "It's a great day to be an owl"

    Discover how you can engage with us as a prospective student seeking information about the services offered by the Banacos Academic Center or simply to gain a deeper understanding of our role at Westfield State.

  • Alex Moore teaching students in a classroom

    At the Banacos Center, we work closely with faculty to create an inclusive classroom experience. Our commitment to supporting diverse learning needs is evident in our collaborative efforts. Explore additional resources to enhance classroom accessibility and enrich the educational journey for every student.

  • Nestor, a blue colored Owl mascot, reads a book with a white owl face on its cover.

    Discover the dedicated examination room at the Banacos Academic Center, designed to provide reasonable accommodations for students.

Looking for Additional Student Support Services?

Explore our Academic Support page for additional services and take the next step towards enhancing your educational journey!

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Contact Us

Banacos Academic Center
Parenzo Hall - Banacos Academic Center