ARCHIVED 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Oct 26, 2021  
ARCHIVED 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The University

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A member of the University of North Carolina, Western Carolina University offers courses in the arts, sciences, technologies, humanities, and professions. Students can elect degree programs at the bachelor’s or master’s level or doctoral level study in educational leadership. As a regional institution, it serves the people of North Carolina from its residential campus at Cullowhee and through off-campus instruction in Asheville and other locations.


Teaching and learning constitute the central mission of Western Carolina University. The University seeks to create a community of scholarship in which the activities of its members are consistent with the highest standards of knowledge and practice in their disciplines. The commitment of the community to service, research, and creative activities complements the central mission and extends the benefits of its scholarship to society. As a major public resource for western North Carolina, the university promotes regional economic development through its teaching, research and service. Western Carolina University seeks to provide an environment in which students, faculty, and staff jointly assume responsibility for learning, where free exchange of ideas, intellectual challenge, and high standards of scholarship prevail.


Western Carolina University aspires to provide an environment in which students, faculty, and staff jointly assume responsibility for learning where the free exchange of ideas, and in which intellectual challenge, and high standards of scholarship prevail.

The university aspires to prepare students to become responsible citizens in a global community. By working both independently and collaboratively, graduates of the University should demonstrate:

  • the ability to think critically, to communicate effectively, to identify and resolve problems reflectively, and to use information and technology responsibly;
  • proficiency in the intellectual and technical skills of a disciplined study in the arts, sciences, humanities, technologies, or professions;
  • an appreciation for the creative and performing arts; and
  • a basis for continued personal development and lifelong learning.

To encourage and protect the free and open interchange of ideas, the university strives to provide experiences that foster the development of respect among all its members toward the larger communities of which it is a part. Accordingly, the University encourages its students, faculty, and staff to display the following traits of citizenship:

  • behavior characterized by honesty, integrity, and responsibility;
  • service to others;
  • awareness of and sensitivity to the concerns of diverse people and cultures; and
  • commitment to stewardship of the natural and cultural environment.


Western Carolina University is located in the scenic Appalachian mountain ranges at Cullowhee, North Carolina. The university consists of the main campus in Cullowhee and resident credit centers in Asheville and Cherokee. A faculty of about 674 serves a student body of almost 8,861 in resident-credit and extension classes.

The Cullowhee campus, is in a rural valley between the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, fifty-two miles west of Asheville and seven miles south of Sylva on North Carolina Highway 107. The location at the southern end of Cullowhee Valley in the heart of the Tuckaseigee River basin, gives it an unusually attractive setting. The closest commercial airport to the university is located in Asheville, and there is airline service to Asheville. Private taxi service is available.

The central campus consists of about 233 acres, including beautifully wooded areas and modern academic, student residence, recreation, and athletic facilities. The Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee Indian Reservation, Fontana Lake, and numerous resort areas offer golfing, skiing, fishing, hunting, hiking, water sports, and other recreational opportunities nearby.


Western Carolina University, a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina, functions under the jurisdiction of the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina and the Board of Trustees of Western Carolina University. Policies of the Board of Governors are administered by the president and the General Administration of The University of North Carolina. The Board of Trustees receives its authority by delegation from the Board of Governors.

The chancellor is the chief administrative officer of the university. The Faculty Senate, the principal policy-recommending body of the faculty, operates under the provisions of a faculty constitution and bylaws.


Western Carolina University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097; telephone number 404-679-4501) to award bachelor’s, master’s, education specialist’s, and doctor’s degrees. In addition to this institutional accreditation, other special accreditation by appropriate agencies includes these:

AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
American Chemical Society
American Council for Construction Education (candidacy status)
American Dietetic Association
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs in cooperation with the Council on Accreditation of the American Health Information Management Association, and the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Professions
Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Council on Accreditation of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
Council of Applied Masters Programs in Psychology
Council on Social Work Education
Foundation on Interior Design Education Research (FIDER)
National Accreditation Council for Environmental Health Science and Protection
National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
National Association of Schools of Music
National Association of School Psychologists
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
National Council for Teachers of English
National Kitchen and Bath Association Endorsement
North American Society for Sport Management/National Association of Sport and Physical Education
North Carolina Board of Nursing
North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Project Management Institute, Inc.
Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012 – Telephone: (410)347-7700). (Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology and Engineering Technology-Applied Systems Technology Concentration)

The university is a member of appropriate state and national associations and organizations to which its professional programs are related. These include but are not limited to:

Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Association of Higher Education
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
American College Dance Festival Association
American Council on Education
American Society of Allied Health Professions
Association for Continuing Higher Education
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
Association for Theatre in Higher Education
College Entrance Examination Board
Conference of Southern Graduate Schools
Cooperative Education Association
Council of Applied Masters Programs in Psychology
Council of Graduate Schools in the United States
Institute for International Education, Inc.
International Council for Small Business
Mathematics Association of America
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
National Business Education Association
National University Continuing Education Association
North American Association of Summer Sessions
North Carolina Academy of Science
North Carolina Association of Colleges and Universities
North Carolina Bar Association
North Carolina Political Science Association
Southeastern Theatre Conference
Southern Atlantic States Association for Asian and African Studies
Southern Regional Education Board
Southern States Communication Association
Speech Communication Association
United States Distance Learning Association
United States Institute for Theatre Technology

Academic Programs


A varied academic program is offered by the university’s five colleges. Through the Graduate School, the university offers graduate degree programs in numerous major areas leading to the master of accountancy, master of arts, master of arts in education, master of arts in teaching, master of business administration, master of entrepreneurship, master of health sciences, master of physical therapy, master of project management, master of public affairs, master of school administration, master of science, master of science in nursing, the education specialist in educational leadership, and the doctor of education. The programs leading to these degrees are listed in the Graduate School section of this catalog, and complete information about them is available in the Graduate Catalog of The Record.

The four undergraduate colleges of the university offer programs leading to the bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, bachelor of science, bachelor of science in business administration, bachelor of science in education, and bachelor of science in nursing.

The College of Arts and Sciences. Bachelor of arts with majors in anthropology, art, chemistry, English, German, history, interior design, music, philosophy, political science, social sciences, sociology, Spanish, speech and theatre arts, and special studies.

Bachelor of fine arts with majors in art, in theatre, and in motion picture..

Bachelor of music is a professional degree that will focus on music performance and commercial and electronic music as concentration areas.

Bachelor of science with majors in anthropology, biology, chemistry, communication, computer science, geology, history, mathematics, natural resources management, political science, social sciences, social work, sociology, and special studies.

The College of Business. Bachelor of science in business administration with majors in accounting, business administration and law, computer information systems, entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality and tourism, management, marketing, and bachelor of science with a major in international business or sport management.

The College of Education and Allied Professions. Bachelor of science in education with majors in elementary education, general special education, middle grades education, and physical education.

In collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences: Bachelor of science in education with majors in art, comprehensive science, English, German, mathematics, music, social sciences, and Spanish.

Bachelor of science with majors in birth-kindergarten, communication sciences and disorders, parks and recreation management, psychology, recreational therapy, and sport management.

The College of Health and Human Sciences. Bachelor of science with majors in athletic training, clinical laboratory sciences, criminal justice, emergency management, emergency medical care, environmental health, health information administration, nutrition and dietetics, and bachelor of science in nursing.

The Honors College. Western Carolina University’s Honors College, founded in 1997, was the first in North Carolina. The Honors College is a community of high-achieving students who participate in honors courses, special research with faculty, and social activities (planned by a student board). Open to all majors at WCU, the college accepts qualified new students (freshmen or transfers) and students already enrolled at Western. Accepted students are invited to live in the Honors Hall. Completion of honors work leads to a special diploma from The Honors College.

Kimmel School of Construction Management and Technology. Bachelor of science with majors in construction management, electrical and computer engineering technology, electrical engineering, and engineering technology. The electrical engineering program is a joint program with UNC-Charlotte.

The Academic Calendar


Western Carolina University operates on an academic year of two semesters of fifteen weeks each. Additionally, a full array of programs and activities is offered during the summer term. Day classes are scheduled Monday through Friday. Night and Saturday classes, usually meeting once a week, are available in Cullowhee, Asheville, Cherokee, and various other locations. Commencement exercises are held at the end of the fall semester, spring semester, and the second summer session.

Hunter Library


The Hunter Library considers providing high quality service to students and faculty as its primary mission. Librarians provide both individualized research assistance and classroom instruction. The library is open more than 110 hours per week during the semester. The collections and services that support student and faculty research include:

  • Main book collection consisting of over 679,000 books and bound periodicals. This is augmented by the cooperative agreement with UNC Asheville and Appalachian State University through the use of a shared online catalog and delivery service. Students can readily borrow items from these other libraries and generally receive them in 2 days of less. The combined collection is approximately 1 million volumes.
  • 95+ electronic databases and 8,000+ electronic journals that can be accessed remotely
  • Free document delivery service that provides access to articles from approximately 25,000 journal titles that can be accessed remotely.
  • Electronic reserves collection that can be accessed remotely
  • 1,200 print journal subscriptions
  • Free interlibrary loan service for all students and faculty
  • Microfiche collection of 1.5 million pieces
  • Government documents providing access to over 227,000 government documents representing both the Federal government and the North Carolina government
  • Special Collections containing manuscript collections, books, photographs and other resources documenting the history of Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia, the history of the Cherokee Indians, and literary works and papers of Western North Carolina authors
  • The Map Room collection contains more than 122,000 sheet maps and an extensive collection of digital mapping data with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to support it
  • Media Collection, an extensive collection of CDs, videotapes, DVDs and other media in its Curriculum Materials Center (CMC)
  • Curriculum Materials also maintains collections of state-adopted textbooks, curriculum guides, children’s literature and other classroom instructional materials in support of the university’s professional education programs

Service and Research Centers


Faculty members and students participate in a wide range of service and research activity. The university’s service centers add impetus to the programs of the colleges and departments and provide significant assistance to the region in which the university is located.

Myron L. Coulter Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. The Coulter Faculty Center provides services designed to assist and support all part and full-time faculty and Graduate Teaching Assistants in seeking, achieving and maintaining excellence in their teaching. Training and guidance is available for those who wish to use instructional technology in their teaching. The center also sponsors workshops, presentations, faculty teams, and other activities and events designed to encourage instructors to talk and reflect about effective teaching and exchange creative ideas for enriching student learning. The Center’s web site is located at and includes a GTA page. <>

Activities and services most relevant for GTAs include:

  • consultation on course syllabi, course development, teaching goals, active learning, and applications of instructional technology
  • Faculty Sandbox <>, a place where faculty and GTAs can develop instructional materials via computer
  • The GATE Program, (Graduate Assistant Teaching Experience), a program designed to enhance the graduate experience by providing a thoughtful and thorough preparation in the art of teaching.
  • computer classroom orientation and training
  • Schedule <> of semester presentations and workshops
  • Videotaping of classes upon request
  • Training in the use of WebCT to enhance classroom courses
  • Faculty Forum <>, a monthly publication featuring evocative opinion pieces of WCU faculty
  • MountainRise, an eJournal on the scholarship of teaching and learning
  • Renaissance of Teaching and Learning Booklet Series published each semester
  • a lending library of professional literature on college teaching that is located in Hunter Library 240

The Coulter Faculty Center can be reached at 828-227-7196.

Center for Rapid Product Realization. The mission of the Center for Rapid Product Realization is to match the Kimmel School of Construction Management and Technology’s resources of laboratories, faculty and students with the needs of Western North Carolina. The goal of this engagement is to grow and transform the region’s economy, to enhance student learning through real project experience, and to improve the quality of life. The RAPID Center has special expertise in four areas: rapid prototyping, adaptive technology, intelligent sensors and optoelectronics. The Center also works through inter-institutional partnerships and this approach has lead to collaborative projects in photonics through Carolina’s Micro-Optics Triangle and the Carolinas Photonic Consortium. Faculty/student projects include improvements to wheelchairs, sensors to help persons with dementia, new products for the Christmas tree industry, rehabilitation devices for children and the elderly and sensors to study micro climate environments in the Smokey Mountains. Commercialization of technology is the central theme of these regional and statewide initiatives. To see more student/faculty projects and get more information on the Rapid Center’s laboratories, go to

Center for Service Learning. The Center engages students in many areas of the region to address regional need. Service learning is a teaching/learning strategy that integrates community service with academic instruction and structured reflection in such a way that students gain further understanding of course content, meet needs identified by the community, develop career-related skills, and become responsible citizens. Each year, WCU has approximately 57 courses with service learning components, taught by 47 faculty members, and involving approximately 1,670 students and 100 agencies/service sites. The value of this community service is estimated at approximately $2.4 million per academic year.

Center for the Support of Beginning Teachers (CSBT). The center addresses the need for an adequate supply of highly qualified teachers by supporting the professional development of beginning teachers and their transition to the classroom.

International Programs and Services. The Office of International Programs and Services (IPS) coordinates and supports many types of international programs and activities, such as student and faculty exchanges through the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), the University of North Carolina Exchange Program (UNC-EP), and WCU bilateral exchange program; K-12 International Outreach Program to the public schools; Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars; the Asian language program; international university linkages; International Education Week activities; International Festival; Diversity Week; and International Women’s Day. IPS provides services to international students on campus including visa issuance and counseling, student services, Host Family Association, and International Club. IPS is also the center for student F-1 and J-1 visas, Visiting Scholar Visas as well as international faculty H-1B visas and Permanent Residence. More information is available at (828) 227-7494.

Mountain Heritage Center. The center collects, interprets, and disseminates knowledge about the southern Appalachian region and its people. Its research and artifact collections promote public awareness of the region’s rich natural and cultural heritage using publications, exhibitions, and demonstrations presented both on campus and throughout western North Carolina. The center also collaborates with public schools in preparing programs for educational enrichment and provides a learning experience for university students through internships.

Reading Center. The Reading Center in the College of Education and Allied Professions offers assessment and individual tutoring as well as reading improvement courses for all students of Western Carolina University. Also, in conjunction with academic programs for the preparation of birth-kindergarten, elementary, middle grade, special education and reading teachers, the Reading Center provides an enrichment program for school-age children. This program offers assessment of reading strategies and several weeks of one-to-one tutoring for children enrolled. The Center also provides a resource room which includes, children’s literature, mathematics, social studies, and science materials, as well as teacher resources of many kinds. The staff provides consulting services, conducts workshops and conferences, and provides a variety of reading services for public schools in the area. The center is located in Room 138 of the Killian Building on the campus in Cullowhee.

Southern Appalachian Biodiversity and Ecology Center (SABEC). Faculty and students in Biology and Natural Resources Conservation and Management collaborate with Highlands Biological Station, regional groups, and public schools in education, research, and outreach focused on ecology and biotic diversity in the mountain ecosystems of western North Carolina and surrounding areas.

Speech and Hearing Center. The Speech and Hearing Center’s (SHC) fundamental mission is to provide quality clinical education for undergraduate and graduate students majoring in the discipline of communication disorders. As a critical adjunct, the SHC provides diagnostic, treatment, and consultative services to citizens with known or suspected speech, language, and/or hearing disorders in its catchment area of western North Carolina. The SHC also strives to serve as a community resource for allied professionals and agencies requiring information about human communication and its disorders. The center derives its strength from a combined academic/clinical orientation that directly fosters the delivery of state-of- the-art services. The SHC’s services are available to persons of all ages. In addition to traditional speech/language/hearing services, the SHC offers the following:

  • hearing aid evaluation and dispensing
  • otoacoustic emission diagnostic testing
  • brain stem evoked response screening for newborns
  • augmentative communication evaluation
  • interdisciplinary evaluation
  • assistance with assistive technology
  • training on various topics related to communication disorders

School-University Teacher Education Partnership (SUTEP). SUTEP is actively engaged with 96 schools in 18 different school districts and has processes in place to identify and deal with the educational issues facing the southwestern part of our site.

Western’s Regional Service Center of the SBTDC. The Center assists small businesses, both existing and start-ups, to become more effective and profitable. Its staff works with hundreds of businesses annually in the AdvantageWest Region. In addition to its primary service role, the SBTDC assists WCU’s faculty in finding sites and clients for engagement and service learning activities. For example, in 2006, the SBTDC helped place 94 students with 32 clients for 4,865 hours of service.

Highlands Biological Station. The Highlands Biological Station is a field station for biological research and education focused on southern Appalachian ecosystems and organisms. Since 1977 the Station has been an Inter-institutional Center of the University of North Carolina. Thirty-three regional colleges and universities participate in the Station’s programs as member institutions.

The station is located on the Blue Ridge Escarpment about 30 miles south of Cullowhee in the town of Highlands, North Carolina. The topography, latitude, and high rainfall of the area yields rich biotic and environmental diversity, making the Station an ideal locale for a variety of field studies. Its facilities are open to students and senior investigators engaged in research on the organisms and environments of the southern Appalachian region. Station facilities include housing (36 beds in several residences), a dining hall, well-equipped research space, and teaching classrooms and laboratories. The campus also includes the Highlands Nature Center, which offers educational exhibits and a diversity of public programs, and the Highlands Botanical Garden, which features a great many native plant species in a variety of southern Appalachian habitats.

The Station offers six courses each summer at the advanced undergraduate and graduate levels. Limited financial aid is available for these courses. A grant-in-aid program also provides financial assistance to graduate students conducting thesis research on the biota of the region. Since 2001 the Station has hosted a fall semester-in-residence undergraduate program in cooperation with the Carolina Environmental Program at UNC-Chapel Hill. WCU students majoring in biology or environmental sciences are encouraged to apply to this unique program.

To learn more about the programs, courses, and research opportunities at the Highlands Biological Station, see our website ( or write to Dr. James T. Costa, Executive Director, Highlands Biological Station, 265 N. Sixth Street, Highlands, NC 28741.

Center for Mathematics and Science Education. The Center for Mathematics and Science Education in the College of Education and Allied Professions is one of eleven centers comprising the North Carolina Mathematics and Science Education Network. The purpose of the center and network is to improve mathematics and science instruction in public and private schools by providing instructional activities for teachers, and courses leading to certification in mathematics and/or science, and to conduct basic research.

Information Technology. Information Technology is responsible for providing technology assistance, information and services in support of Western’s mission and aspirations. These services include providing information resources to students, faculty, staff and administration to support teaching, learning, research, administrative and regional engagement efforts. Information Technology provides advice, planning and technical guidance for the appropriate use of technology in support of the university’s educational endeavor. Information Technology is located in various campus buildings with assistance available at many of Western’s facilities beyond the Cullowhee campus. The university is an active member of EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.

Information Technology has over 60 staff and is comprised of the following units: Applications Programming, Educational Technologies, Information Technology Services, Networking and Communications, Systems and Operations, Technology Service Center and Web Services. The University uses a state-of-the-art administrative system that allows students and faculty to do virtually all of their business with the university, such as register for courses or post grades, online. All students receive a WCU email account that allows them to communicate with their peers, faculty members, and university offices. The My Cat portal is the primary tool used by students to access email and other campus and course related information. WebCat, based upon the WebCT Vista software, is the primary instructional delivery system in support of traditional classroom and online courses.

There are over 3,000 microcomputers in offices, classrooms, and lab facilities all with connections to high speed broadband networks. Students enjoy high-speed network connectivity from their residence hall rooms, with two ports per room, or from the wireless network available throughout the Cullowhee campus. There are four general student computer lab facilities which are open at least eighty hours per week. The lab located in Hunter Library is open 24 hours from Sunday afternoon through Friday night during fall and spring semesters. Users may call the Information Technology Help Desk at 227-7ITS (227-7487) or 866-WCU-7ITS (866-928-7487) to request assistance with any Information Technology service or resource. Faculty routinely work with the Coulter Faculty Center to integrate technology into their teaching activities.

Information Technology supports both Windows and Macintosh operating systems along with various software applications including a focus on Microsoft Office products. Office products are provided for faculty, staff and students along with the Windows operating system. Many software packages are centrally licensed with a limited number of licenses available in labs and classrooms. Statistical packages include SPSS, Minitab for Windows and SAS which is provided by a grant by the SAS Institute. Other specialized software found in labs include digital media editing, geographical information system, and engineering design programs. Information Technology also provides computer virus protection software to all faculty, staff and students and is committed to keeping computers safe, secure and current in a highly networked campus computing environment.

The campus network interconnects with the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), which provides Western access to interactive videoconferencing as well as a very high speed network path to the Internet (655-megabit). IT’s Web Services unit supports the WCU Web site at and provides the campus with Web publishing assistance by providing departmental access to the Red Dot Content Management System. The Information Technology Web site at provides a variety of useful technology information and self-help resources as well as links for downloading software and accessing computer purchasing information.

Educational Outreach


Through the Division of Educational Outreach, the teaching resources of the university are made available to the residents of the region and the state. The division promotes and coordinates noncredit and off-site credit courses and programs and manages distance learning offerings. Many workshops, institutes, conferences, seminars, and short courses are available for Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credit.

Western Carolina University Programs in Asheville-Resident Campus

Western Carolina University offers a broad range of instruction at the graduate level and a limited number of advanced undergraduate degree programs in specialized areas in Asheville. The programs of instruction, intended primarily for the adult professional student, are taught late afternoons, evenings and weekends. Western Carolina utilizes the educational facilities and resources of the University of North Carolina at Asheville and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Western’s graduate programs are affiliated with the Asheville Graduate Center.

The graduate programs offered in Asheville include: accountancy (MAc); business administration (MBA); college student personnel (MEd); community college teaching (MAEd); comprehensive education with concentrations in birth-kindergarten education (MAEd, MAT), elementary education (MAEd), English education (MAEd, MAT), math education (MAEd, MAT), middle grades education (MAEd, MAT), , Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) (MA, MAEd, MAT), and special education (MAEd, MAT); community counseling (MS); educational leadership (EdS, EdD); English (MA); health sciences (MHS); mathematics (MS); nursing (MS-N); public affairs (MPA); school counseling (MAEd); and technology (MS); Students enrolled in the counseling and certain secondary education and community college teaching programs will enroll in some coursework offered only in Cullowhee.

Through inter-institutional agreements with the University of North Carolina at Asheville and North Carolina community colleges, a program is available to students in Asheville leading to the bachelor of science in nursing degree from Western Carolina University. Students enrolled in this program would complete the first two years of liberal studies and science prerequisites at a local institution, the junior year of study on the Cullowhee campus, and the senior year of study in Asheville. Registered nurses who are graduates of an associate degree or diploma program can complete all remaining requirements for the bachelor’s degree online. Also, through an inter-institutional partnership with Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, most of the course requirements for a bachelor of science degree in engineering technology is offered.

Western Carolina University administers its programs in Asheville through a staff whose offices are located in Room 120, Karpen Hall, on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Additional information is available from WCU Programs in Asheville, 120 Karpen Hall, CPO #2160, UNCA, Asheville, North Carolina 28804-3299, telephone # 828-251-6642 or 828-227-7423,

Western Carolina University Department of Nursing is located on the Enka campus of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, 1459 Sand Hill Rd., Candler, NC 28715, telephone # 828-670-8810.

Western Carolina University Center in Cherokee

The Western Carolina University Center in Cherokee was established in 1975 in cooperation with the tribal government of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. The center offers pre-admissions counseling, academic advisement, financial aid, and study skills development services in addition to courses leading toward academic degrees and non-credit courses. The center serves Cherokee and the surrounding communities and is available to all of the people of the region. The office for the Cherokee Center is located on Acquoni Road, 828-497-7920, across from the Cherokee High School.

Distance Learning.

Division of Educational Outreach collaborates with the academic colleges, Information Technology, university student service units, community colleges and businesses to provide programs to distance learners. Distance learning extends the boundaries of the university by using a variety of telecommunications technologies such as videoconferencing, computer conferencing, web-enhancement, and online delivery of courses. There are occasions when students may meet in a regular classroom setting or on Saturdays for clinical activities at distant sites. Distance learners may be required to attend an orientation on the campus of Western Carolina University or at an outreach site.

The University Experience Course

The University Experience course introduces students to the online learning environment using WebCAT. The course focuses on online student services, helps students develop specific skills necessary for success in an online course, and creates a community of learners. The course was developed to serve students enrolled in distance learning programs or students enrolled in special offerings delivered in partnership with the Division of Educational Outreach.

The Graduate Experience course (UE 501) introduces students to the online learning environment using WebCAT. The course focuses on online services, develops specific skills for success in Graduate School, and creates a community of learners. The course serves new graduate students.

Military Education

Western Carolina University’s Military Education Director is available to support military students, their dependents and veterans from initial inquiry though to graduation. In order to ensure that military students are receiving prompt service, sound guidance, and accurate information, the director coordinates regularly with the Advising Center, the offices of Undergraduate Admission, the Registrar, Financial Aid, and the Graduate School. These working relationships allow the director to provide solid support to military students on a wide range of issues including transfer credit, credit for training and experience, military tuition, residential living, acclimation to university living, and other issues that affect military students. Increasingly, Western Carolina University is earning the distinction of being “military friendly”.

Alpha Sigma Lambda and Malcolm J. Loughlin Scholarship.

Alpha Sigma Lambda is the premier national honor society for adult learners. The Society was founded in 1946 as a way to recognize the academic success of adult students, many of whom achieved academic excellence while juggling the responsibilities of work, home and family. Western Carolina University became the 300 th chapter of the society in 2004.

The scholarship was established in recognition of the many contributions of Malcolm Loughlin, to the university, the division, and the community of students for whom he served as a teacher, mentor, and friend. The scholarship is presented to an adult student in his/her junior year that has demonstrated attributes consistent with those of Malcolm and has met the academic standards worthy of induction into Alpha Sigma Lambda. Special consideration is given to global perspective and community outreach activities of the scholarship candidates.

Summer Sessions

A full summer academic program at the graduate and undergraduate levels is offered in Cullowhee, Asheville and on-line. Special short courses, workshops, and institutes in a number of subjects are available at these locations and in Cherokee.

The Outreach Center

The division manages a conference and training center, which is equipped with classrooms, computer labs, and interactive video facilities. The center serves businesses, agencies, and schools in Western North Carolina with continuing professional education workshops and retreats. 


The division provides support for educational conferences, camps and special events and is the facilitator of faculty led conferences on campus. Several annual conferences are held each year on campus with expert faculty from Western Carolina University and from throughout the U.S. Experienced staff can help develop budgets; assist in program planning; secure appropriate facilities; arrange for lodging, meals, banquets, and tours; provide brochure design, printing, and mailing service; handle registrations; and manage financial details. Conference participants may be housed in campus facilities or off-campus commercial settings depending on the university calendar and the preference of sponsors.

Continuing Professional Education

With the rapid explosion of new knowledge and technologies, up-to-date information is vital for today’s professional. A wide range of opportunities is available for continued learning in many fields. These include both online and face to face opportunities. There are non-credit opportunities for recertification or certification in a variety of fields including nursing, project management, and drug and alcohol. Programs can be tailored to meet specific organizational needs and to assist in corporate training efforts at any site.

Listener’s Program

The Listener’s Program provides persons who are not currently enrolled in a college or a university the opportunity to attend selected undergraduate-level classes on a noncredit basis. Information about specific eligibility, courses, conditions of class attendance, and permits is available from the Division of Educational Outreach.

Speaker’s Bureau

The Speaker’s Bureau represents administrators, faculty, and staff from all areas of the university who are prepared to share their knowledge and experience with organizations in the region. These individuals are available to provide stimulating programs to corporate or community groups. Arrangements to schedule a speaker should be made through the Division of Educational Outreach. 

Ramsey Regional Activity Center


The largest multi-purpose facility west of Charlotte, with a seating capacity of 8,000, the Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center is host to a wide variety of programs and activities. Through a network of movable curtains, the main arena can be transformed from a major concert venue or sports arena to a more intimate theatrical setting. Notable performers and speakers have included Aerosmith, Tim McGraw, Ludacris, Bon Jovi, U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, Danny Glover and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Lech Walesa, in addition to numerous other campus programs.

The RAC is home to Western’s athletics offices, and is the home court for Catamount basketball and volleyball teams. The staff of the Ramsey Center provides leadership for the annual CulloWHEE! ArtsFest series, that consists of a variety of cultural arts events that range from dance and symphony orchestra performances to concerts by nationally known musical entertainers and acclaimed authors. Also available in the building are conference facilities, an in-line hockey rink and five handball courts.

In addition to the different events offered by the Ramsey Center, there are numerous student employment opportunities available for full time and part time students. Students play a big part in the operation of the Ramsey Center and are an integral part of our day to day operations. There are approximately 40 students employed at the Center ranging from stage crew and lighting operators who help with concerts and other productions to Student Managers who are responsible for managing the facility during the evenings and weekends. These job assignments are set up to accommodate the student’s class schedule.

For more information about the Ramsey Center or a current schedule of events, visit us at

Other Offices and Services


Research Administration. Research and Graduate Studies/Research Administration serves as the official source of information about contract and grant possibilities and is the office through which all members of faculty and staff channel their proposals for university approval. The research administration staff assists faculty, staff, and students in the preparation of proposals.

Office of Institutional Research and Planning . The Office of Institutional Research and Planning is responsible for coordinating university strategic planning and assessment activities, conducting institutional research, assisting university departments with surveys, and providing university statistical information requested by other agencies. The office is responsible for the publication of the University’s Fact Book.

Division of Advancement and External Affairs


The Division of Advancement and External Affairs is responsible for the University’s comprehensive public relations, publications, and institutional marketing programs, including communications, promotions, imaging, and positioning; alumni affairs; and development of private financial resources beyond state appropriations. The division supports student recruitment and serves as liaison with regional, state, and national organizations and government agencies.

The division includes the offices of Public Relations, Development, Alumni Affairs, and Regional Affairs; and the Mountain Heritage Center. The division administratively houses the Western Carolina University Foundation, chartered in 1971 to promote University goals and private-sector fund-raising.

Foundation. The Western Carolina University Foundation is the primary volunteer organization engaged in cultivating and directing significant private resources to the University.

Office of Public Relations. The Office of Public Relations is responsible for the administration of U niversity programs in public information , promotions, marketing, publications, and web-based public information services. It is the liaison between University personnel and the news media, including newspapers, radio and television stations, and coordinates the planning, design, and production of all University publications, exhibits, and displays, including those in electronic formats. It is responsible for producing or arranging for production of all University film, video, electronic media, and slide-tape presentations intended for the public. Additional information concerning development of University publications may be found in Section 7.05.

Office of Development. University Policy #55 assigns the Office of Development responsibility for private-sector fund-raising on behalf of University units and programs. The Office of Development receives, records, receipts, and acknowledges all private gifts to the University; conducts annual fundraising activities for support of academic and other programs; and guides and coordinates the systematic pursuit of major and planned gifts. Any fundraising activities for voluntary contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, or philanthropic agencies conducted on behalf of the University or any unit therof must be coordinated through the Office of Development.

Office of Alumni Affairs. The Office of Alumni Affairs maintains all alumni records; organizes and coordinates meetings of alumni groups, alumni reunions, and alumni homecoming activities; works directly with the Board of Directors of the Western alumni associations and Western clubs (alumni chapters); assists with publications for alumni; and generally serves as a communications link and support structure for alumni.

Office of Regional Affairs. The Office of Regional Affairs serves as the University’s liaison with local, regional, state, and federal governments and agencies and with regional civic and economic development organizations. The office seeks to enhance relationships and partnerships with public and private entities, supports initiatives to secure public agency funding and legislative priorities, and focuses on local and regional economic development.

Mountain Heritage Center. The center collects, interprets, and disseminates knowledge about the southern Appalachian region and its people. The center’s research and artifact collections promote public awareness of the region’s rich natural and cultural heritage using publications, exhibitions, presentations, and demonstrations presented both on campus and throughout Western North Carolina. The center also collaborates with public schools in preparing programs for educational enrichment and provides a learning experience for university students through internships, work study, and co-op opportunities.

Office of Publications. The Office of Publications creates creative, concise communications tools for the purpose of increasing awareness of and appreciation for the University’s numerous programs and partnerships.

North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching


The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) was established by the General Assembly of North Carolina in 1985 as a statewide center to recognize and support outstanding North Carolina pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade public school teachers and to enhance teaching as an art and profession with the ultimate goal being the retention of high quality teachers in the classroom. The center has two campuses, one in Cullowhee and one on Ocracoke Island. A center of The University of North Carolina, NCCAT is governed by a board of trustees, and its programs and activities are conducted by a professional staff of faculty and administrators.