|Oregon University System|
|Students||6,058 (Fall 2014)|
|Undergraduates||4,992 (Fall 2014)|
|Postgraduates||1,066 (Fall 2014)|
Monmouth, Oregon, U.S.|
Rural College Town|
157 acres (64 ha)
|NCAA Division II - GNAC|
Western Oregon University (WOU) is a public university located in Monmouth, Oregon, United States. It was originally established in 1856 by Oregon pioneers as Monmouth University. Subsequent names include Oregon Normal School, Oregon College of Education, and Western Oregon State College. Western Oregon University incorporates both the College of Education and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Enrollment is approximately 6,000 students.
Founded in 1856 as Monmouth University, WOU has undergone seven name changes. In 1865, it merged with another private institution, Bethel College, in Bethel and became Christian College. In 1882, the Oregon State Legislature approved the college's bid to become a state-supported teacher training (or "normal") school, Oregon State Normal School.
In November 1910, an initiative petition (Measure 10) to establish a normal school at Monmouth, passed by 55.6%. The name was changed, for the fourth time, to Oregon Normal School. On the same ballot were two other measures to additionally establish normal schools in Ashland and Weston: both failed.
A period of growth was experienced in the 1920s during which the school's enrollment more than tripled from 316 in 1920 to peak at the 990 mark in 1927. With the coming of the Great Depression attendance tailed off slightly, with an average attendance in 1930 of 705 students, hitting a nadir in the 1933-34 academic year. Attendance rebounded later in the decade, topping the 1,000 mark for the first time during the 1938-39 academic year, with a total enrollment including summer session of 1,017.
In 1939, the Oregon Legislature changed the name for the fifth time, to Oregon College of Education. The school entered an extended period of growth, except for a period during World War II when college enrollments dropped nationwide. New programs were added in the areas of liberal arts and sciences.
In 1979, the institution was renamed Western Oregon State College to reflect the school's growing academic programs in the liberal arts fields. In 1997 the name was updated to Western Oregon University, reflecting the university's broader academic mission and profile.
Beginning with the 2007-2008 academic year, WOU began "Tuition Promise," issuing a guarantee that undergraduate students will have the same tuition rate as the year they entered for four academic years. WOU is the only public university in the western U.S. to offer this guarantee.
Beginning with the 2011-2012 academic year, WOU allows students to choose between their Tuition Promise or a new Tuition Choice. Students electing to pursue the tuition choice will have a 2012 tuition that will be no more than 1% above the 2011 tuition but with annual increases that could be between 5% and 10% per year. Students and their families will likely pay less their first year or two but will pay more in years three and four.
Using a 2010-11 federal grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), WOU has developed a textbook rental program that will result in significant savings to students. Students rent textbooks at a cost of 38% of the purchase price for new textbooks.
Western Oregon University provides many support services to veterans and their family members:
Western Oregon University offers bachelor's degrees (BA, BS, BM, BFA), and AB through its two colleges: the College of Education and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Master's degrees are available in Education (MAT and MSEd), Rehabilitation Counseling (MS), Criminal Justice (MA), Music (MM), and Management and Information Systems (MS). In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked Western as the 77th best amongst the regional universities in the west.
The Division of Health and Physical Education (HPE) delivers programs and courses that meet the needs of multiple audiences. Undergraduate degree programs prepare professionals in the fields of school health education, physical education teacher education, community health education, and exercise science. Also offered are minor areas of study in Health Education, Physical Education, and Sport Leadership.
The Division of Special Education offers undergraduate and graduate degrees that are designed to prepare students to begin or advance their careers to provide unique communication, rehabilitation, and educational services to individuals with disabilities or special needs. Undergraduate degrees offered include American Sign Language Interpreting, and American Sign Language Communications. Graduate degrees are offered in Interpreting Studies (delivered by distance with one summer in-person session), Rehabilitation Counseling, and Special Education. The ASL Interpreting Studies program received the Sorenson VRS Award of Excellence in 2008.
The Teacher Education program is the first teacher education program in Oregon accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and offers over 30 teaching endorsements including Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle and High School. The College also offers a bachelor's degree in bilingual education. Graduate degrees are offered Teaching and Information Technology. The Teacher Education Program was recognized in 2010 by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities as the recipient of the Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers 30 bachelor's degrees in seven academic divisions (Behavioral Science, Business and Economics, Computer Science, Creative Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Social Science). The Communications Studies Program received the 2008 Rex Mix Award for Excellence from the National Communication Association.
The Gerontology and Psychology degrees are designed to provide the student a broadly based program in behavioral science. The both majors may be pursued as a component of a general liberal arts background, as preparation for a variety of service-oriented occupations, or as a basis for graduate study in psychology and related fields. The emphasis of these degree programs differs from the usual undergraduate psychology major offered in many other institutions. A primary concern at Western Oregon University is the understanding of human behavior and experience with a focus on applications of this knowledge. The division also offers Applied Baccalaureatte degrees in Gerontology and Psychology. Applied Baccalaureatte degrees are designed to support the education needs of non-traditional students who have already completed a significant number of credits at other colleges or universities.
The Business and Economics Division offers courses and training in accounting, finance, management, marketing, and production/operations management. The Economics Department prepares students for careers in the private and public sectors. Transfer students can choose to pursue the Applied Baccalaureatte degree in Economics.
The Computer Science Division covers the Computer Science and Information Systems majors, and offers both Majors and Minors in Computer Science and Information Systems, falling into BS and BA degrees. An Applied Baccalaureatte in Computer Science is also available for transfer students. A Masters in Management Information Systems is offered jointly with the Business Division.
The Creative Arts Division comprises departments in Art, Music and Theatre/Dance. The Music Department offers four degrees. The BA and BS in Music are liberal arts degrees with a third of all coursework in music. The Bachelor of Music in Contemporary Music is a professional degree with two thirds of all coursework in music. The Master of Music in Contemporary Music is perhaps the only degree of its kind in the US. Music programs at WOU are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.
The Humanities Division is divided into four academic departments: Communications Studies, English Writing and Literature, Modern Languages, and Philosophy and Religion. It offers undergraduate degrees in all the above fields.
The Division of Natural Science and Mathematics consists of four departments; Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Physical Science, and the Mathematics Department. The Division offers BA/BS degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, and Mathematics. The Division also offers minors in the above areas including a Physics option.
The Social Science Division is a cluster of disciplines concerned with the characteristics and interactions of humans in their social and physical settings. These include anthropology, criminal justice, geography, history, political science, and sociology. The Social Science Division also includes programs in public policy and administration and international studies. The BA and BS degrees are offered. Master's degrees are offered in Criminal Justice.
The Center for Academic Innovation serves as the continuing education and professional development office on campus. It works with the two academic colleges as well as community members to create lifelong learning & personal enrichment opportunities, online classes and workforce training programs. Programs include: online master's degrees programs in Criminal Justice, Interpreting Studies, Education, Curriculum and Instruction, and Information Technology.
The Research Institute (TRI) houses seven Centers focused on informing and facilitating change in educational and human service systems to improve the quality of life for all individuals. The Centers conduct programs of research, develop evidence-based interventions that are provided through technical assistance and professional development, and increase system capacity to effect change. TRI Centers include the Center for Educator Preparation & Effectiveness (CEPE), the Center on Early Learning (CEL), the Center on Deaf-Blindness (CDB), the Child Development Center (CDC), the Education Evaluation Center (EEC), The Center on Research, Evaluation and Analysis (CREA), and the Technology and Information Management Services Center (TIMS).
Students at Western Oregon University who are interested in serving in Army ROTC can do so, despite the school not having its own battalion. These Cadets are members of the Oregon State University Army ROTC battalion, and participate in training labs, field training exercises, and staff duties in Corvallis or nearby National Guard installations, while conducting military science classes and physical training at the WOU campus.
Western Oregon University's sports teams are called the Wolves and compete in the NCAA's Great Northwest Athletic Conference at the Division II level. WOU sponsors 13 intercollegiate sports. Within their history under the NAIA prior to their transition to the NCAA, Western Oregon won multiple NAIA national titles in women's basketball. The Baseball team on campus has experienced much success in the GNAC, winning ten consecutive conference titles since 2001. The Track and Field teams have also performed well within the conference, with the men's team winning four consecutive GNAC Indoor Track titles since 2008. In the fall of 2010, the men's and women's cross country teams earned their first berths in school history to the NCAA National Championships where they placed 20th and 21st, respectively. Most recently the men's basketball team has won back to back conference titles.
Listed as the top mainland public university for enrollment of Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander students
The "Economist Magazine" ranked WOU as the top mid-sized Liberal Arts university in the Pacific Northwest.
Rated as the top Liberal Arts college or university in Oregon for the social mobility of its graduates.
Profiled by the Education Trust as a Standout Institution for the Graduation of Pell Students.
In 2014 WOU was recognized as one of the top 100 colleges or universities in America and the only one in the Pacific Northwest in adding economic value and benefit to its graduates.
The Society for the Advancement of Native Americans in the Sciences (SACNAS) recognized WOU as one of the Top 200 Colleges in STEM for Native Americans.
WOU was an inaugural winner of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award recognized by Insight Into Higher Education on November 15, 2012. This award recognizes universities and colleges that have demonstrated the highest level of commitment and action towards fostering a campus community that celebrates all the many facets of diversity.
Ackerman Residence Hall, opened fall 2010, has received multiple awards for its environmentally friendly design and operations. Green Home Authority named Ackerman as one of the ten eco-friendliest dorms in the country in 2011.Mother Nature Network also listed Ackerman as one ten greenest dorms on the planet in 2010.
The National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) has recognized fourteen Western Oregon University faculty and staff for academic advising (three in 2008, one in 2009, two in 2010, two in 2011, one in 2012, four in 2013, and one in 2014).
On January 2010, The Education Trust named WOU in the top 10 of the nation for improved graduation rates among underrepresented minorities. WOU also ranked ninth in closing the gap between minority and nonminority graduation rates. WOU is one of the most diverse universities in Oregon and has the highest percentage of Latino students in the Oregon University System. Between 2000 and 2009, enrollment of Latino students increased 75%, Asian-American students by 53%, African-American students by 115% and Native American students by 63%, for an overall increase of these student populations of 73%. The successful growth in Latino students has resulted in WOU being accepted as a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.
On May 18, 2012, the school was introduced to its first traditional Greek life with the organization and initiation of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, Sigma Tau chapter . The schools Greek system now consists of one traditional fraternity, one non-traditional fraternity and one non-traditional sorority. The school is set to welcome Alpha Chi Omega, its first traditional sorority in the fall of 2015. On November 29, 2012 The Beta Kappa chapter of Omega Delta Phi fraternity was founded. Kappa Delta Chi is the other non-traditional sorority on campus.