West Chester University of Pennsylvania: Wikis


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West Chester University of Pennsylvania
West Chester Seal
Established 1871
Type Public
Endowment US $12.3 million[1]
President Greg R. Weisenstein
Faculty 800
Undergraduates 12,800 full-time
Postgraduates 2,150
Location West Chester, PA, USA
39°57′08″N 75°36′00″W / 39.95219°N 75.60010°W / 39.95219; -75.60010Coordinates: 39°57′08″N 75°36′00″W / 39.95219°N 75.60010°W / 39.95219; -75.60010
Campus Suburban, 388 acres (1.57 km2)
Colors Purple and gold
Mascot Golden Rams
Website http://www.wcupa.edu/

West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCUPA) is a public university located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, about 34 miles (54 km) west of Philadelphia. It is one of the 14 state universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). West Chester was ranked 69th in the Master's Universities (North) category by U.S. News & World Report for 2009.[2] The school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS).



Entrance to the destroyed Old Main Building, reconstructed on High Street opening onto the Quadrangle

The university traces its roots to West Chester Academy, a private, state-aided school that existed from 1812 to 1869. The academy was supported by the Chester County Cabinet of the Natural Sciences during the pre-American Civil War decades. It was recognized as one of Pennsylvania's leading preparatory schools and its experience in teacher training.

As the state began to take increasing responsibility for public education, the academy was transformed into West Chester Normal School, still privately owned and state certified. The normal school admitted its first class, consisting of 160 students, on September 25, 1871. In 1913, West Chester became the first of the normal schools to be owned outright by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

West Chester became West Chester State Teachers College in 1927 when Pennsylvania initiated a four-year program of teacher education. In 1960, as the Commonwealth paved the way for liberal arts programs in its college system, West Chester was renamed West Chester State College, and two years later introduced the liberal arts program that turned the one-time academy into a comprehensive college.

In 1981 the West Chester State College Quadrangle Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The buildings included in this historic district are Philips Memorial Building, Ruby Jones Hall, Recitation Hall and the Old Library. Except for Philips, these buildings are all constructed of native Chester County serpentine stone.

With passage of the State System of Higher Education bill, West Chester became one of the 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education on July 1, 1983. Along with its new name— West Chester University of Pennsylvania—the institution acquired a new system of governance and the opportunity to expand its degree programs.

West Chester has received growing recognition as the nation's center for formal poetry. Its annual conference on form and narrative in poetry began in 1995 and is now the nation's only conference devoted to New Formalism. It has established a poetry center that sponsors readings and an annual book competition oriented toward formal poetry. It has also established Iris Spencer awards recognizing undergraduate achievement in formal poetry.

Programs of Study

The Bachelor of Arts is offered in American studies, anthropology, art, biology, communication studies, communicative disorders, comparative literature, English, French, geography, German, history, Latin, liberal studies, literature, philosophy, philosophy–religious studies, political science, political science–international relations, political science–applied public policy, psychology, Russian, social work, sociology, Spanish, theater arts and women's studies.

The Bachelor of Science is offered in accounting, athletic training, biochemistry, biology, biology–cell and molecular biology, biology-ecology, biology–medical technology, biology-microbiology, chemistry, chemistry–biology (premedical), computer and information sciences, criminal justice, economics, finance, forensic chemistry, geoscience–earth systems, geoscience–environmental geosciences, geoscience–geology, health and physical education, health science–general, health science–respiratory care, liberal studies–science and mathematics, liberal studies–professional studies, prebusiness-economics, prebusiness-finance, prebusiness-management, prebusiness-marketing, pharmaceutical product development, physics, physics-engineering, public health–environmental, public health–health promotion and public health–nutrition.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the Bachelor of Fine Arts (studio arts), and the Bachelor of Music (general, instrumental, keyboard, music education, and vocal) degrees are also offered.

The Bachelor of Science in Education degree is offered in biology, chemistry, citizenship education, communication, early childhood education, earth-space science–astronomy, earth-space science–geology, elementary education, English, French, German, Latin, mathematics, physics, Russian, social studies, Spanish and special education.

Paraprofessional studies are available in law, medicine, and theology. In cooperation with the Pennsylvania State University, West Chester University offers a 3-2 dual-degree program combining liberal arts, physics, and engineering. Also available are early admission assurance programs with Drexel School of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Temple University School of Medicine. The university provides special admission opportunities and scholarships to the Widener School of Law–Harrisburg Campus.

Certification programs are available in health and physical education teacher certification, driver education and safe living, and outdoor recreation.

Interdisciplinary areas of study with transcript recognition include American studies, ethnic studies, Latin American studies, Russian studies, peace and conflict studies, women's studies, and linguistics.

West Chester University of Pennsylvania offers graduate study leading to the M.A., M.B.A., M.Ed., M.M., M.P.H., M.S., M.S.W., M.S.N., and M.S.A. degrees. The Master of Arts is offered in communication studies, communicative disorders, English, French, geography, history, Holocaust and genocide studies, mathematics, music history, philosophy, physical sciences (earth science), psychology (general, clinical, and industrial/organizational psychology), Spanish and teaching English as a second language. The Master of Business Administration is awarded in four concentrations: economics/finance, general business administration, management, and technology and electronic commerce. The Master of Education and/or certification is available in early childhood education, elementary and secondary school counseling, elementary education, French, German, history, Latin, reading, school health, secondary education, Spanish and special education. The Master of Music is offered in music education, music theory or composition and performance. The Master of Science is offered in biology, computer science, criminal justice, educational research, environmental health, higher education counseling and physical education. The Master of Science in Administration is awarded in eight concentrations: health services, human resource management, leadership for women, long-term care, public administration, sport and athletic administration, training and development, and urban and regional planning. West Chester University also offers the Master of Public Health, the Master of Social Work, the Master of Science in Nursing, and the Master of Science in applied statistics degrees. Certificate programs are offered in administration, computer science, geography, gerontology, Holocaust and genocide studies, integrative health, leadership for women, literacy, music, teaching English as a second language, and teaching and learning with technology.

Institute for Women

The Institute for Women is an independent body designed to represent the interests of women on the campus. It serves as the parent organization for the Women's Center, the Women's Studies Program, and the Title IX and Sex Discrimination Board. The institute is headed by a director and a board of directors.

The institute sponsors a number of activities to enhance the self-esteem and career success of women at the university: the Woman-in-Residence Program, Grace Cochran Research on Women Award, Visiting Professor Program, Graduate Grant and Endowed Book Funds. The institute prepares periodic reports on the status of women at the University and has also secured Charlotte W. Newcombe Scholarship Grants for mature or second-career women. The Institute for Women is located in 211 Main Hall.

The Frederick Douglass Society

The Frederick Douglass Society of West Chester University is the organization of African-American faculty and staff at West Chester. Named in 1983 for Frederick Douglass, the 19th century abolitionist, the organization is oriented toward self-help and improvement. The society annually raises money for scholarship funds in order to increase the economic options available to the student body in general and to African Americans and other ethnic groups in particular. It also seeks to promote an intellectual standard that is rooted in the public mission of higher education.

Frederick Douglass gave his last public speech at West Chester University.

Off-campus programs

West Chester University opened an International Programs office to aide in sending students abroad.[3]

West Chester sponsors a number of annual courses, which include study abroad during spring, summer, and winter breaks.[citation needed]

West Chester University participates in the National Student Exchange Program, in which students spend up to a year at any one of more than 170 member schools across the United States. Transfer of credit is a part of this program.[4]

Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium

West Chester University surrounded by the rest of West Chester, Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium supports West Chester University by providing a grant for the Summer Space Program and through the support of two academic scholarships for West Chester University students enrolled in Mathematics and Science degree programs. Each academic year, applications from qualified students for the these scholarships are reviewed by a committee of three faculty members (Geography/Planning, Mathematics, Geology/Astronomy departments).

Marching band

The West Chester University Golden Rams Marching Band, which has over 300 members, performs pre-game, halftime, or post-game at all home and select away WCU football games in Pennsylvania and in Delaware. The band performs in parades and high school marching band competitions. The Golden Rams have performed in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day parade, Philadelphia Eagles games, and the annual Collegiate Marching Band Festival in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

The marching band attended the 2009 Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis, an honor given to only two college bands in the United States each year (the other being the University of Michigan).


The athletic teams at West Chester University of Pennsylvania are named the Golden Rams. Students participate in NCAA Division II athletics in the PSAC and the ECAC. West Chester University has won national championships in women's basketball, women's lacrosse, women's swimming (the team was the DGWS champion in 1972), women's field hockey (including four AIAW titles from 1975-78), and men's soccer. West Chester won the first ever women's basketball national championship in 1969 and was on the losing end in the final game each of the following three years.[5]

In 1961, the men's soccer team won the NCAA Championship. Jerry Yeagley was a player on West Chester's championship team before going on to win six NCAA Championships and six National Coach of the Year Awards as the men's soccer coach at Indiana University. In addition, prior to the NCAA instituting a tournament format to decide the champion in 1959, the Golden Rams were voted the National Soccer Champions in 1950 by the Intercollegiate Soccer Football Association.

In 1977, the boxing team won the National Collegiate Boxing Association national championship.[6]

West Chester University's football program has won 20 PSAC East championships (1960, 1961, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2008), has appeared in the NCAA Division II playoffs 9 times (5-9 record) (1988, 1989, 1992, 1994, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008), and was the ECAC team of the year in 2006 and 2007.

In 2008, West Chester defeated C.W. Post College 13-12 to win the Division II women's lacrosse title. It was the second national title in the women's program history.

Notable alumni


External links



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