Western Oregon University: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Western Oregon University
Established 1856
Type Public
President Dr. John P. Minahan
Provost Dr. Kent Neely
Faculty 176
Staff 313
Students 5,654[1]
Undergraduates 4,875
Postgraduates 779
Location Monmouth, Oregon, U.S.
44°51′10″N 123°14′22″W / 44.85278°N 123.23944°W / 44.85278; -123.23944Coordinates: 44°51′10″N 123°14′22″W / 44.85278°N 123.23944°W / 44.85278; -123.23944
Campus Rural College Town
157 acres (635,356 m²)
Former names Monmouth University
Christian College
Oregon State Normal School
Oregon Normal School
Oregon College of Education
Western Oregon State College
Sports 13 Varsity Teams
Colors Crimson     
Nickname Wolves
Mascot Wolfy
Athletics NCAA Division II
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Website www.wou.edu
WesternOregonUniversity Wordmark.png

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 5,000 students.



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.[2]

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. The college's teacher education programs brought the school national recognition.[citation needed] New programs were added in the areas of liberal arts and sciences.[2]

Dormitory circa 1920

In 1977, the institution was renamed Western Oregon State College[2] 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.


Tuition promise

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.[3][4]


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), and History (MA)[5].

Departments and divisions

College of Education

WOU’s College of Education[6] is comprised of the following: Division of Teacher Education[7], Division of Special Education[8], Division of Health and Physical Education[9], Division of Extended Programs[10], Regional Resource Center on Deafness[11], Education Evaluation Center[12], Graduate Office[13] and the Teaching Research Institute[14]. The College offers a number of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, in addition to minors available to students[15].

One of the university's most well-known areas is its American Sign Language/English Interpreting program[16]. Many deaf/hard of hearing students attend Western; a high percentage of students can sign. In 2008, Sorenson Communications, a provider of Video Relay Services (VRS) for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who use ASL to communicate, awarded WOU’s ASL/English Interpreting program the recipient of the Sorenson VRS Interpreter Education Program Award of Excellence. This award included $10,000 to be reinvested in the curriculum[17].

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Creative Arts Division

Campbell Hall circa 1871

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[18]. 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.


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.

Western Oregon has NAIA national titles in women’s basketball.[citation needed] The Western Oregon Men's Lacrosse Club has also won the Division ll PNCLL championship trophy in 2008 and 2009.[citation needed] The Western Oregon Men's Rugby Club won the Division II Pacific Northwest Rugby Football Union (PNRFU) championship in 2005 and 2009.[citation needed]

On April 26, 2008, Sara Tucholsky, a reserve outfielder on the Wolves softball team (2005-08), hit the first home run of her college career in a victory over Central Washington University, but injured her knee rounding first base; Central Washington's Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace carried Tucholsky around the rest of the bases to home plate. This act of sportsmanship was heavily covered by national media outlets,[citation needed] and resulted in Tucholsky, Holtman, and Wallace winning the Best Moment award at the 2008 ESPY Awards.[19]

Notable alumni


Dormitory circa 1920

The National Academic Advising Association(NACADA) has recognized four Western Oregon University academic advisors (three in 2008, one in 2009).[21]

On January 2010, The Education Trust named WOU in the top 10 of the nation for improved graduation rates among underrepresented minorities.[22][23][24] WOU also ranked ninth in closing the gap between minority and nonminority graduation rates.[23] WOU is one of the most diverse universities in Oregon and has the highest percentage of Latino students in the Oregon University System.[25] 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%.[26]

Jensen Arctic Museum

The Jensen Arctic Museum at WOU is the only museum on the west coast of the contiguous states dedicated to the Arctic culture, and one of two in the entire United States outside of Alaska, the other being in the state of Maine. The museum's collections include art, animals, tools, apparel and information about indigenous Arctic people.


  1. ^ http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20091111/NEWS/911110420/
  2. ^ a b c http://www.wou.edu/150_celebration/index.html
  3. ^ http://www.wou.edu/student/admissions/tuition_guarantee.php
  4. ^ http://www.ous.edu/news_and_information/news/100606.php
  5. ^ http://www.wou.edu/user_groups/academics.php
  6. ^ http://www.wou.edu/education/teacher_ed/index.php
  7. ^ http://www.wou.edu/education/teacher_ed/index.php
  8. ^ http://www.wou.edu/education/sped/index.php
  9. ^ http://www.wou.edu/education/healthpe/index.php
  10. ^ http://www.wou.edu/provost/extprogram/first_continuingprofessional.php
  11. ^ http://www.wou.edu/education/sped/rrcd.php
  12. ^ http://www.tr.wou.edu/eec/
  13. ^ http://www.wou.edu/provost/graduate/
  14. ^ http://www.tr.wou.edu/
  15. ^ http://www.wou.edu/provost/registrar/catalog/western_oregon_current_catalog.pdf
  16. ^ http://www.wou.edu/education/sped/bsbai.php
  17. ^ http://www.sorenson.com/press/press_release_full.php?pr_id=149
  18. ^ http://www.wou.edu/las/creativearts/music/mmindex.htm
  19. ^ StatesmanJournal.com - WOU's year to remember, Thursday May 29, 2008
  20. ^ a b Aaron Fentress, "New Orleans Saints defensive end Jeff Charleston enjoying undefeated season after long trek to the NFL", The Oregonian, December 10, 2009.
  21. ^ http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/AboutNACADA/index.htm
  22. ^ Graves, Bill (2010-02-08). "Western Oregon University in top 10, not lead, in minority student graduation gains". The Oregonian. http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2010/02/western_in_top_10_not_lead_in.html. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  23. ^ a b http://www.edtrust.org/dc/press-room/press-release/some-public-colleges-and-universities-are-making-gains-closing-gaps-in-g
  24. ^ Graves, Bill (2010-02-02). "Western leads nation in minority student graduation gains". The Oregonian. http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2010/02/western_leads_nation_in_minori.html. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  25. ^ http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2009/11/oregon_universities_try_to_rec.html
  26. ^ http://www.ous.edu/dept/ir/reports/fb2009/FactBook2009.pdf

External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address