Western Oregon University
|Western Oregon University|
|Location||Monmouth, Oregon, U.S.
|Campus||Rural College Town
157 acres (64 ha)
|Former names||Monmouth University
Oregon State Normal School
Oregon Normal School
Oregon College of Education
Western Oregon State College
|Athletics||NCAA Division II
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
|Sports||13 Varsity Teams|
Western Oregon University (WOU) is a public liberal arts college 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 6,200 students.
- 1 History
- 2 Tuition Promise
- 3 Tuition Choice
- 4 Textbook Rental Program
- 5 Academics
- 6 Departments and divisions
- 6.1 College of Education Division
- 6.2 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- 6.3 Other related Academic Programs
- 7 Athletics
- 8 Awards
- 9 Notable alumni
- 10 References
- 11 External links
In the early 1850s, a group of pioneers crossed the Oregon Trail. Upon arrival in the Willamette Valley, they founded both a church and a school. Monmouth University opened in 1856 with a small number of students. Elijah Barton Davidson, Jr. donated the land for the school.
Through the years, 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. Later the name was changed to Oregon Normal School.
A period of growth in the 1920s more than tripled the school's enrollment to nearly 1,000 students. In 1939, the Oregon Legislature again changed the name 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 school's name was changed to Western Oregon University.
Beginning with the 2007–2008 academic year, WOU guarantees that undergraduate students will have the same tuition rate for four academic years as the year they entered. 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 the new tuition choice. Students who choose 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. 
Textbook Rental Program
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 offers bachelor's degrees (BA, BS, BM, and BFA) 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), Management and Information Systems (MS), and History (MA). In 2011, U.S. News & World Report ranked Western as the 83rd best amongst the regional universities in the west.
Departments and divisions
College of Education Division
Health and Physical Education Division
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.
Special Education Division
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 bachelors 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.
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers 30 bachelor degrees in seven academic divisions (Business and Economics, Computer Science, Creative Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Psychology and Social Science). The Communications Studies Program received the 2008 Rex Mix Award for Excellence from the National Communication Association.
Business and Economics Division
The Business and Economics Division offers courses and training in accounting, finance, management, marketing, and production/operations management. The Economics Division prepares students for careers in the private and public sectors.
Creative Arts 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.
Computer Science Division
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. A Masters in Management Information Systems is offered jointly with the Business Division.
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 and the MA in History at the graduate level.
Natural Science and Mathematics Science Division
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.
Behavioral Sciences Division
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.
Social Science Division
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. Masters degrees are offered in Criminal Justice and History.
Division Extended Programs
The Division of Extended Programs serves as the continuing education and professional development office on campus. We work with the two academic colleges as well as community members to create lifelong learning & personal enrichment opportunities, online classes and workforce training programs. Some of our more popular programs include: Traffic Safety Education/Instructor Certification; Health Care Interpreter training; and online Master’s degrees programs in Criminal Justice, Interpreting Studies, Education, Curriculum and Instruction, and Information Technology.
Teaching Research Institute
The Teaching 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 Evaluation and Research Group (ERGo), and the Technology and Information Management Services Center (TIMS).
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.
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. 
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 environmentall 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.
- Kevin Boss – football player, Kansas City Chiefs,
- Jeff Charleston – football player, New Orleans Saints
- Marco Hernandez – First Latino to serve as U.S. district court judge in Oregon.
- Sara Tucholsky – NCAA Softball, Best Moment award at the 2008 ESPY Awards
- Ariana Richards – Actress
- Jason Slowey -NFL Player for the Oakland Raiders
- Dan Straily, starting pitcher for the Oakland Athletics
- "WOU continues to serve more students with new enrollment record". Western Oregon University, press release, November 11, 2010. Retrieved on February 13, 2011.
- Fall 2010 Enrollment Fact Sheet (PDF). Office of the Chancellor, Oregon University System, November 11, 2010, accessed July 7, 2011
- Ellis A. Stebbins and Gary Huxford, Since 1856...Historical Views of the College at Monmouth. Western Oregon State College, Monmouth, Ore., 1995. ISBN 0-9650625-0-3
- The Western Tuition Promise Frequently asked questions. Wou.edu, October 6, 2006. Retrieved on February 13, 2011.
- Oregon University System. Ous.edu. Retrieved on February 13, 2011.
- WOU: Tuition promise – frequently asked questions (FAQ)
- U.S. Department of Education (2010)FIPSE Grant Database
- Statesman Journal, October 27, 2010, by Justin Much, "WOU gets grant to aid textbook expenses", Salem, Ore., P6 of Polk Today section
- WOU: academic programs. Wou.edu. Retrieved on February 13, 2011.
- "WOU: Graduate Programs-western Oregon university- online masters". Wou.edu. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Siemers, Erik (September 14, 2011). "UofO 101st, OSU 138th in U.S. News rankings". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
- WOU: Teacher Education. Wou.edu. Retrieved on February 13, 2011.
- WOU: College of Education, Division of Special Education. Wou.edu. Retrieved on February 13, 2011.
- WOU: Division of Health and Physical Education. Wou.edu. Retrieved on February 13, 2011.
- Sorenson VRS. http://www.sorensonvrs.com/iep#Past_Winners
- "Teacher Standards and Practices Commission". Tspc.state.or.us. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
- AASCU Media Release. Aascu.org (November 19, 2010). Retrieved on February 13, 2011.
- "Communication department wins national award of excellence". Western Oregon Journal, by Billy Davis, October 10, 2008. Retrieved on February 13, 2011.
- WOU: Department of Music. Wou.edu. Retrieved on February 13, 2011.
- Educate to Career College Rankings Index. PRWeb. May 1, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
- "Insight Into Diversity Magazine Announces Recipients of Inaugural Higher Education Excellence In Diversity (Heed) Award". PRWeb. November 13, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- Zeigler, Ben (November 15, 2011). "America’s Top 10 Eco-Friendliest Dorms and Tips for Greening Yours". Green Home Authority. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- "10 greenest dorms in the world: Western Oregon University, Ackerman Hall | MNN - Mother Nature Network". MNN. Retrieved 2013-06-12.
- "Outstanding Advising Award Recipients". NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising, Kansas State University. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
- Graves, Bill (February 8, 2010). "Western Oregon University in top 10, not lead, in minority student graduation gains". The Oregonian. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- Some Public Colleges and Universities Are Making Gains, Closing Gaps in Graduation Rates for Minority Students | Education Trust. Edtrust.org (January 28, 2010). Retrieved on February 13, 2011.
- Graves, Bill (February 2, 2010). "Western leads nation in minority student graduation gains". The Oregonian. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
- Oregon universities try to recruit more Latino students. OregonLive.com. Retrieved on February 13, 2011.
- "2009 Facts and Figures" (PDF). OUS Fact Book. Oregon University System. January 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- "HACU Associate Member Institutions". Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- PARADE's College AList Small State Schools. Parade.com (August 22, 2010). Retrieved on February 13, 2011.
- Aaron Fentress, "New Orleans Saints defensive end Jeff Charleston enjoying undefeated season after long trek to the NFL", The Oregonian, December 10, 2009.
- Pope, Charles (February 7, 2011). "Senate Unanimously approves Marco Hernandez to be federal judge". The Oregonian. Retrieved November 23, 2013.