Jun 18, 2024  
2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog 
2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About Central

Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.



History, Mission, Shared Values and Strategic Emphases



Central Washington University is one of six state-supported institutions offering baccalaureate and graduate degrees. The University has its own governing board, the board of trustees, with eight members, seven of whom are appointed for six-year terms by Washington’s governor with consent of the state Senate, and one student trustee, appointed annually. Central was established in 1890 as Washington State Normal School by the first legislature to fulfill the intent of the 1889 Enabling Act for Statehood. In 1891, doors opened for classes. Ellensburg Normal School became Central Washington College of Education in 1937, Central Washington State College in 1961 and Central Washington University in 1977.

Mission Statement

Central Washington University’s mission is to prepare students for responsible citizenship, responsible stewardship of the earth, and enlightened and productive lives. Faculty, staff, students and alumni serve as an intellectual resource to assist central Washington, the region and the state in solving human and environmental problems.

Qualified faculty and staff create a community that encourages and supports the emotional, personal and professional growth of students from a variety of backgrounds. The University works with community colleges through University centers across the state and employs technology to extend the reach of its educational programs.

The University community values teaching as the vehicle to inspire intellectual depth and breadth, to encourage lifelong learning and to enhance the opportunities of its students. The faculty develop and strengthen bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in the arts, sciences and humanities; teacher education; business; social services; and related specializations. A strong liberal arts foundation; applied emphases; opportunities for undergraduate research, creative expression and international study; and close working relationships between students and faculty are hallmarks of the undergraduate experience. Graduate programs develop partnerships between faculty and students to extend scholarship to important areas of research and practice.


Central Washington University is becoming respected nationally for outstanding academic programs, global sensitivity and engagement, and a stimulating intellectual community that prepares students for lifelong learning and a diverse and changing world.

Core Values

As a community of scholars, we are committed to:

  • Each student’s greatest good.
  • Excellence achieved through a diversity of ideas and people.
  • A rigorous curriculum and outstanding teaching.
  • Intellectual inquiry, exploration and application.
  • A supportive University community.

Strategic Goals

Goal I.  

Maintain and strengthen an outstanding academic and student life on the Ellensburg campus.

Goal II.   Provide for an outstanding academic and student life at the University centers.
Goal III.   Diversify our funding base and strengthen infrastructure to support academic and student programs.
Goal IV.   Build mutually beneficial partnerships with the public sector, industry, professional groups, institutions, and the communities surrounding our campuses.
Goal V.   Achieve regional and national prominence for the university.
Goal VI.  

Build inclusive and diverse campus communities that promote intellectual inquiry and encourage civility, mutual respect, and cooperation.

Equal Opportunity Policies and Practices


CWU’s policies and practices affirm and actively promote the rights of all individuals to equal opportunity in education and employment without regard to their race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, age, marital status, disability, or status as protected veterans. The University administers an affirmative action program for employment purposes and complies with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and executive orders. Policy statements on affirmative action, gender equity, sexual harassment and discrimination grievance procedures are located in Appendix A or at www.cwu.edu/~oeo. The person responsible for institutional compliance with federal and state laws and institutional policies dealing with discrimination is Nancy E. Howard, director, Office for Equal Opportunity, Barge 211, (509) 963-2205 or TDD (509) 963-2207.

Accreditation and Membership


The University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Some programs have been accredited by specialized accrediting associations, including the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (TAC/ABET) (111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012, Telephone (410) 347-7700); American Chemical Society (ACS) Committee on Professional Training; American Council for Construction Education (ACCE); American Dietetic Association Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE-ADA); the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the EMS-Professions (CoAEMSP); National Association of School Psychologists (NASP); National Association of Schools of Music (NASM); National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA); National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE); and U.S. Government Printing Office Federal Depository Library Program (U.S. GPOFDLP).

The University holds membership in all of the major international, national, regional and state academic associations. Please contact the Office of the Provost/Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs for a complete list.