Jun 18, 2024  
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About Central

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Central Washington University is one of six state-supported institutions offering baccalaureate and graduate degrees. The board of trustees is the university’s governing board, seven of the board’s eight members appointed for six-year terms by Washington’s governor with consent of the state Senate. The governor appoints one student trustee 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.


The mission of Central Washington University is to prepare students for enlightened, responsible, and productive lives; to produce research, scholarship, and creative expression in the public interest; and to serve as a resource to the region and the state through effective stewardship of university resources.


Central Washington University (CWU) is a dynamic, creative, and inclusive environment that promotes engaged learning and scholarship. It is distinguished regionally for the rigor of its curriculum and scholarship, for the excellence of its pedagogy, for the vibrancy of its co-curricular and residential experiences, for its commitment to providing access to higher education, and for its efforts to advance the social and economic health of the region.  It is typified by an entrepreneurial spirit that establishes it as a national leader in higher education. It has a strong commitment to engaged learning and scholarship, internationalism, sustainability, inclusiveness, and life-long learning.

Core Values

Central Washington University exists to advance society through the essential activities of teaching, discovery, and service. While no one of these core elements is meaningful in isolation from the others, CWU finds it necessary to prioritize its efforts in relation to its mission, vision, values, goals, and resources. In order to maximize the value of each of the elements of its mission, CWU emphasizes the integration of scholarship, teaching, and public service. As a public comprehensive university, CWU strives to create an engaging learning environment and therefore places its highest priority on teaching, learning, and student success. The faculty is comprised of scholar-teachers working in the interests of their disciplines, and the region. CWU encourages individualized programs of student success and promotes undergraduate and graduate student-faculty partnerships that are actively engaged in discovery, creative expression, and engaged learning.

As a community dedicated to the principles of academic freedom, CWU must be an environment that promotes reasoned, civil, and lightened discourse and creative expression without fear of reprisal, ridicule, or exclusion. CWU’s educational environment must empower each person with the freedom to explore, to evaluate, and to learn.

CWU must also strive to serve its region by addressing pressing economic and social issues. As a comprehensive university, CWU must use its intellectual capacity not only to contribute to disciplinary literatures, but also to assist area business, social, and government leaders in strengthening and diversifying the area’s economic base, to help create a sustainable natural environment, and to address critical social issues.

CWU is also a place where people gather to live and to work. It must therefore be a place that enables people to grow and to prosper. In keeping with the academic values of shared governance and reasoned dialogue, the university must be open, transparent, and empowering. It follows, then, that CWU is committed to the following shared values:

Student success: CWU believes that student success is best achieved by providing supportive learning and living environments that encourage intellectual inquiry, exploration, and application. CWU believes that learning is best achieved in small classroom or group settings with ample opportunities for individualized instruction, mentoring, advising, and programming.

Access: CWU believes in providing educational opportunities to as many qualified students as possible. CWU believes that restrictions of place, time, and finances can be overcome through the effective use of partnership with community colleges and by effective and efficient use of learning, communication, and social technologies.

Engagement: CWU believes that learning, research, and creative expression are enhanced by engagement with external partners. CWU believes that as a publicly-funded institution, it has a responsibility to help address the social and economic challenges faced by our communities.

Inclusiveness: CWU believes that diversity of peoples, cultures, and ideas is essential to learning, discovery, and creative expression. CWU believes that all faculty, staff, and students must be and must feel physically, professionally, and emotionally safe in order to fully engage in and benefit the university experience.

Shared governance: CWU believes that shared governance is most effective when information systems and decision-making processes are both robust and transparent. CWU believes that communication channels should be open and two-way and that faculty, staff, and students should be empowered to participate in the governance systems.

Facilities: CWU believes that state-of-the-art, safe, and attractive facilities enhance the working and learning environments of faculty, staff, and students. CWU also believes that state-of-the-art technologies provide leverage for the efforts of faculty, staff, and students.

Safety: CWU believes it has a responsibility to providing a working and learning environment that is both physically and emotionally safe. CWU believes this responsibility extends to the off-campus environment of its full-time, residential students.

Core Themes

Teaching and Learning: Student success is the highest priority of the university, and achievement of programmatic student learning outcomes is the prime measure of that priority. CWU therefore works to provide its students with accessible, diverse, personalized, distinctive, and rigorous curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular programs. These programs are offered in small group settings typified by close working relationships between students, faculty, and staff. This commitment extends to all students, irrespective of location and modality of instruction. Instructional allocation of resources and organization of curricular, co-curricular, extracurricular opportunities must reflect this commitment to student success.

Teaching and Learning objectives:

Enhance student success by continually improving the curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular programs.

Enhance the effectiveness of student support services.

Inclusiveness and Diversity: CWU is committed to providing all faculty, staff, and students a diverse working and learning environment built on principles of respect, support and encouragement as a way to achieve individual and collaborative excellence. Changing demographic trends in the United States and the increasing globalization of economic, political, and social systems demand that students be prepared for working in a world in which diversity is the norm. Research clearly indicates that learning is enhanced when students experience a diverse learning and living environment. It also suggests that faculty and staff are more innovative, entrepreneurial, and successful in an inclusive and diverse environment. Inclusiveness is achieved by providing a welcoming, supportive, and empowering environment that encourages individuals to express ideas and identities. A diversely rich community affords depth and dimension in personal and collective outcomes. Diversity is multi-faceted. CWU’s physical structure is diverse in location, providing rural, suburban, and urban settings. CWU’s educational diversity is represented by the colleges; curricular, co-curricular, and extra- curricular programs available. Diversity in personal identity, culture, experience, and talent is of critical importance as evident in recruitment and retention efforts of students, faculty, and staff, as well as the contribution from special programs, speakers, and scholars that offer voice and representation to interests of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, ability, age, and political ideas.

Inclusiveness and Diversity objectives:

Enhance the environment of inclusiveness for faculty, staff, and students.

Increase faculty, staff, and student diversity by active programs of recruitment and retention for members of underrepresented groups.

Increase the participation in international educational experiences for faculty and students.

Scholarship and Creative Expression: CWU is committed to the creation, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge through research, scholarship, and creative expression. Engagement in scholarly and creative expression activities adds benefit for students, the university, and local, regional, and global communities. These activities engage students, faculty, and staff in activities that expand knowledge of the natural and physical world, explore human behavior and culture in the past and present, develop organizational practices and technological innovations that support human and economic development, and improve that quality of life through cultural enrichment. CWU places a high value on the full spectrum of scholarship and creative expression, including but not limited to basic and applied research, creative expression in all its forms, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Scholarship and Creative Expression objectives:

Increase the emphasis on and the opportunities for students, faculty and staff to participate in research, scholarship, and creative expression activities.

Increase the external funding received for research, scholarship, and creative expression by faculty, staff, and students.

Public Service and Community Engagement: As a publicly funded institution, CWU is committed to serve external communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of service, knowledge, and resources. Such engagement includes the appropriate use of university resources to support existing partnerships and engage new partners to contribute to the educational, social, and economic progress of external communities, especially those in Washington. Such activities, in addition to providing benefit to external communities, provide a rich array of opportunities for engaged learning and research. 

Public Service and Community Engagement objectives:

Enhance the commitment and the level of cooperation between the university and external communities.

Increase participation in university sponsored life-long learning opportunities.

Enhance the efforts of members of the university community to strengthen the economic base of the region and state.

Resource Development and Stewardship: CWU will sustain an environment that supports the mission of the university. Like the other four-year public universities in Washington, CWU must rely less on state financial support and more on revenues generated through its core operations and its auxiliary functions. In order to provide for the human resources, technological tools, and facilities needed to accomplish its mission, CWU must embrace entrepreneurial attitudes and systems. Given the mission, vision, and values embraced by CWU, it is clear that enrollment will play a major role in the financial health of the institution. Additionally, CWU must continue to develop comprehensive unit budgets that forecast revenues and expenses on a four to six year cycles.

Resource Development and Stewardship objectives:

Develop a budget planning system capable of identifying the revenues needed to meet current and projected objectives and workloads at the division and unit levels.

Develop and implement an enrollment management and marketing plan that maximizes revenues while achieving the diversity and instructional goals and unit levels.

Increase the amount of scholarship, operational and endowment gifts from alumni and friends.

Develop a staff planning system capable of identifying the human resources needed currently and project objectives and workloads at the division and unit levels.

Facilities master plan and capital priorities are relevant and sufficient for the curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular needs of the university.

Technology master plan and project priorities are relevant and sufficient for the curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular needs of the university.




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, genetic information, 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, and sexual harassment, as well as discrimination complaint and resolution policy and procedures located in Appendix A or at www.cwu.edu/~oeo. The person responsible for institutional compliance with most federal and state laws and institutional policies dealing with discrimination is Staci Sleigh-Layman, Office for Equal Opportunity, Bouillon Hall, room 205, 509-963-2205 or oeo@cwu.edu. She also serves as the university’s Title IX coordinator. Robert Harden, Center for Disability Services Director and ADA compliance officer, is responsible for compliance with state and federal disability-related laws and institutional policies. He is located in Bouillon Hall, room 205, and can be contacted at 509-963-2171.



The university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Some programs have been accredited by specialized accrediting associations, including the

  • The American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training
  • The American Council for Construction Education
  • The American Dietetic Association Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education
  • The Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs or the EMS-Professions
  • The National Association of School Psychologists
  • The National Association of Schools of Music
  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association
  • The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • The Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology
  • The US Government Printing Office Federal Depository Library Program

The university holds membership in all of the major international, national, regional, and state academic associations. Contact the Office of the Provost/Vice President for Academic and Student Life for a complete list call 509-963-1400.