West Coast University
|West Coast University|
|Chairman||David A. Pyle |
|President||Dr. Barry Ryan|
|Location||Irvine, California, United States|
|Campus||Los Angeles, CA
West Coast University (WCU) is a private, for-profit health-care-oriented university located in southern California and Dallas, Texas. Its campuses are located in Los Angeles, Anaheim and Ontario, California, with its newest campus in Dallas. It is not related to a school of the same name  operating out of Panama. American Career College was founded by David Pyle in 1979 under the name of American College of Optics. Originally the school focused only on optical dispensing. In May 1997, Mr. Pyle purchased West Coast University, which was founded in 1909, out of bankruptcy and planned to develop a program for the training of registered nurses.
West Coast University was founded in Los Angeles in 1909 as a small ophthalmology school. Over the next 50 years, its program offerings varied from aeronautical engineering, applied sciences and mathematics to locomotive diesel engine repairs. As it developed, West Coast University became one of the forerunners in offering Bachelor degree programs designed to meet the needs of working adults to aid their careers. These programs were offered in non-traditional settings. For example, in 1953, the University began offering evening-only programs based on a schedule of six two-month academic terms. The success of this approach led the University to expand and diversify its programs to include offerings in the areas of business and management, computer science, industrial technology, and pre-health science. Associates degrees in Science as well as Master Degree programs were introduced in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1981, the University reorganized into three distinct colleges: the College of Business and Management, the College of Engineering, and the College of Letters and Sciences. The University was led by the late Dr. Victor Elconin, whose direction was instrumental in developing the University’s solid reputation in the business and academic community.
In May 1997, WCU was reorganized under the leadership of its current Chairman, David Pyle . The new leadership team was committed to refocusing the institution’s offering of programs to those that were highest in demand and would be most beneficial to working adults. Therefore, educating health care professionals became the University’s singular focus in 2004. Just four years later, West Coast University became the first privately held university in California approved to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. The following year, in 2009, the University achieved additional programmatic accreditation for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at their California campuses from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). That same year, WCU was awarded initial accreditation by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) to offer a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene in Orange County. WCU’s Dental Hygiene program is one of only 4 CODA-accredited bachelor degree in Dental Hygiene programs offered in California. West Coast University chose Henry Schein to design a new dental hygiene teaching facility in its Anaheim, California campus which opened its doors on April 13, 2009. Also in 2009, Dr. Barry Ryan was appointed president of WCU.
West Coast University’s Los Angeles campus received approval in 2010 to award Master of Science degrees in Nursing and Health Care Management. That same year, the advanced Simulation Center for Nursing opened at the Orange County campus. The Simulation Center is built into the nursing curriculum and features high-fidelity mannequins that mimic human responses and current health care technology in realistic patient care settings. A year later, Simulation Centers were opened in the Los Angeles and Ontario campuses.
In 2011, the University achieved institutional accreditation through the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Associate of Schools and Colleges (ACSCU/WASC).
West Coast University’s newest campus in Dallas, Texas opened in 2012. WCU-Dallas is located in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex, features a Simulation Center, and is the University’s first Texas campus.
West Coast University has been a participant in the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program or YRP) since 2010.
One notable alumnus of WCU is Greg Jarvis, one of the astronauts on the Space Shuttle Challenger. He was scheduled to receive his diploma, for a management science degree, on the shuttle, and would have been the first person to receive a degree in space. To honor his memory, West Coast University posthumously awarded Jarvis with a distinguished alumnus award on May 15, 2011. The University also offers a scholarship in Jarvis’ name.
West Coast University currently offers four Bachelor degree programs.
(The Dallas, Texas campus offers only the BSN program.)
These programs are offered year-round, with ten week terms.
Additionally, WCU offers Master of Science programs at the Los Angeles campus.
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
- Nurse Educator Certificate (NEC) - 2 semesters, 13-unit course
- Master of Science in Health Care Administration
- Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
West Coast University has four locations. The Los Angeles campus is located at 12215 Victory Boulevard, in North Hollywood, California. The Orange County campus is located at 1477 South Manchester Avenue in Anaheim, California. The Ontario campus is located at 2855 E. Guasti Road in Ontario, California. The Dallas campus, designed by Los Angeles space-planning firm Shlemmer Algaze, is located at 8435 Stemmons Freeway in Dallas, Texas.
Each campus includes classrooms, computer labs, science labs, skills labs, and advanced simulation centers. WCU boasts high-tech facilities at its Simulation Centers for Nursing and its no-cost dental hygiene clinic in Orange County, where students may provide care and practice their skills at no cost to actual patients in underserved populations.
West Coast University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACSCU/WASC), a regional accreditor, and the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, at all California campuses, is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing.
In 2009, the California campus BSN programs achieved programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing.
The BSN program at the Dallas campus is approved by the Texas Board of Nursing.
- "Mission & Values". West Coast University. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- "West Coast University - Anaheim, California (Dental School)".
- "Dr. Barry Ryan Appointed President".
- "Challenger astronaut remembered in O.C.". Orange County Register. May 13, 2011.