May 29, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About Central


For almost 125 years, CWU has prepared its students to excel, both as professionals and as effective members of society. Established by the Washington State Legislature in 1891 as Washington Normal School, CWU has consistently redefined and advanced higher education in Washington State.


Student success is the focus and measure of everything we do.


CWU is a dynamic, creative, and inclusive environment that promotes engaged learning and scholarship. It is distinguished for the rigor of its curriculum and scholarship, for the excellence of its teaching, and for its efforts to advance the social and economic health of the region. We are acclaimed throughout the Pacific Northwest for signature programs such as education, science, and music; and for developing strong and creative leaders in a rapidly changing global arena.

Core Values

CWU is committed to the following shared values:

  • Student Success- Student success is best achieved by providing supportive learning and living environments that encourage intellectual inquiry, exploration, and application.
  • Access-Our goal is to provide educational opportunities to as many qualified students as possible.
  • Engagement-Learning, research, and creative expression are enhanced by interacting both within the university and the broader community.
  • Inclusiveness-Diversity of peoples, cultures, and ideas is essential to learning, discovery, and creative expression.
  • Shared Governance-Shared governance is most effective when information systems and decision-making processes are both robust and transparent.
  • Facilities-State-of-the-art, safe, and attractive facilities enhance the working and learning environments 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.

Equal Opportunity Policies

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 available at

The person responsible for institutional compliance with most federal and state laws and institutional policies dealing with discrimination is Gail Farmer, Manager, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 509-963-2206 or She also serves as one of the university’s Title IX coordinators. Please contact Pam Wilson, Administrator, Disability Services for any questions or concerns related to disability-related laws and institutional policies, 509-963-2018 or Human Resources is located in Bouillon Hall, room 140.


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

American Chemical Society
American Council for Construction Education
American Dietetic Association Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education
Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the EMS - Professions
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs
National Association of School Psychologists
National Association of Schools of Music
Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology