ARCHIVED 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Oct 16, 2019  
ARCHIVED 2005-2006 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, masters, or doctoral levels. As a regional comprehensive 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 assists individuals and agencies in the region through the expertise of its faculty, its staff, and its students.


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 387 serves a student body of almost 8,400 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 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 in Physical Therapy Education
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
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 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 the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (Manufacturing Engineering Technology and Electronics Engineering Technology)

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 Council for Construction Education (candidacy status)
American Council on Education
American Society of Allied Health Professions
Association for Theatre in Higher Education
Association for Continuing Higher Education
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
College Entrance Examination Board
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs-Athletic Training (candidacy status)
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 School Psychologists
National Association of Schools of Music
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 Applied Sciences. Bachelor of science with majors in athletic training, clinical laboratory sciences, construction management, criminal justice, electrical and computer engineering technology, electrical engineering, emergency management, emergency medical care, engineering technology, environmental health, health information administration, hospitality and tourism, interior design, nutrition and dietetics, telecommunications engineering technology and bachelor of science in nursing.

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

Bachelor of fine arts with majors in art and in theatre.

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, management, marketing, and bachelor of science with a major in international business.

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 Honors College. Western Carolina University’s Honors College 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 one of the two honors residences. Completion of honors work leads to a special diploma from the Honors College.

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.

Western Carolina University Programs in Asheville


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.

The graduate programs offered in Asheville include: accountancy (MAc); business administration (MBA); comprehensive education with concentrations in elementary education (MAEd), English education (MAEd, MAT), math education (MAEd, MAT), middle grades education (MAEd, MAT), reading education (MAEd), social science education (MAEd, MAT), and special education (MAEd, MAT); community counseling (MS); educational administration in two-year college (MAEd); educational leadership (EdS, EdD); educational supervision (MAEd); entrepreneurship (ME); health sciences (MHS); human resources (MS); nursing (MSN); public affairs (MPA); school administration (MSA); school counseling (MAEd); technology (MS); and two-year college teaching (MAEd). Students enrolled in the counseling and certain secondary education and two-year 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 must complete their junior year of study on the Cullowhee campus and their senior year in Asheville. Registered nurses who are graduates of an associate degree or diploma program can complete all remaining requirements for the bachelor’s degree in Asheville. Also, through an inter-institutional partnership with Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, most of the course requirements for a bachelor of science degree in birth-kindergarten, and engineering technology are offered. Upper -level course work in criminal justice is also available in Asheville.

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.

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
  • computer classroom orientation and training
  • 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 Regional Development. Western Carolina University’s Center for Regional Development (Center for Regional Development) is a university research and public service center that drives regional economic development; conducts public policy analysis and applied research; and administers public service projects on economic and community capacity building, government training, natural resource conservation and strategic development.

The CRD is multidisciplinary with faculty, students and staff from various academic departments and the private sector including industry affiliates (who are sent by their corporate sponsors to work with us from a week to a year, depending on the nature of the agreement and the intended outcome).

The economic development mission of the CRD is to attract, identify, qualify and assist regional businesses and to leverage the university’s extensive resources of research, science, engineering, arts and humanities faculty and students, as well as the core staff of the center (analysts, planners and faculty fellows) for business growth, including the transfer and application of new technologies and the commercialization of the creative arts.

The CRD also has responsibility for developing the strategy and implementation plans for Western’s Millennial Campus Initiative, a state legislative mandate which allows rural comprehensive universities to take several critical actions to support economic development, including:

  • Acquiring property to promote business development
  • Developing flexible site arrangements to achieve specific economic development objectives
  • Providing services to businesses to promote their location or development
  • Issuing revenue bonds (with Board of Governors approval) to support business development
  • Engaging in public/private partnerships, developing joint use facilities, and co-operating with enterprises to promote economic development
  • Incubating businesses

To fulfill its mission and generate new initiatives the CRD partners with federal, state, and regional organizations and the private sector. Current partners include the United States Department of Commerce, Smoky Mountain Host, the School of Government at UNC-Chapel Hill, and AdvantageWest Regional Economic Development Commission.

International Programs and Services. The Office of International Programs and Services (IPS) coordinates and supports many types of international programs and activities at Western Carolina University, 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 program; K-12 International Outreach Program to the public schools; Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars; international university linkages; the Japan Global Partnership Program, and academic programming. IPS also assists the Host Family Association, the International Club, and the annual International Education Week and International festival.

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. In conjunction with academic programs for the preparation of elementary, middle grade, special education and reading teachers, the Reading Center in the College of Education and Allied Professions provides assessment of reading strategies and an enrichment program for school-age children, as well as enrichment activities and reading improvement courses for college students. A resource room in the center provides 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 143 of the Killian Building on the campus in Cullowhee.

Children’s Development Services Agency. The Children’s Development Services Agency in the College of Education and Allied Professions is a service agency for the seven counties of Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain, including the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. Projects are variously funded by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health; community agencies; Smart Start and Western Carolina University. The center provides multidisciplinary evaluation, service coordination, treatment, and guidance for newborns, infants, toddlers. Special services are provided or located, if necessary. The center affords opportunities for training and research relevant to the university’s academic programs in birth through kindergarten teacher licensure, child and family studies, communication disorders, counseling, elementary education, health services management, nursing; nutrition and dietetics, physical therapy, psychology, social work, and special education.

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

Highlands Biological Station. The Highlands Biological Station is a field station for biological research and education in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. The station is an interinstitutional center of The University of North Carolina. Thirty-four colleges and universities participate in the station’s programs as member institutions.

The station is located on the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains about thirty miles south of Cullowhee. It lies within an area of high biotic and environmental diversity and is ideally situated for a variety of field studies. Its facilities are open to graduate students and senior investigators who are engaged in research on the plants, animals, and environments of the Southern Appalachian region. The station offers courses each summer at the advanced undergraduate and graduate level. It also offers a fall semester-in-residence program in cooperation with the Carolina Environmental Program at UNC Chapel Hill. Students from Western are encouraged to apply, but space is limited and applications must be received by January of the year in which participation is anticipated. The station maintains a well equipped laboratory, housing for students and investigators, and a dining hall. A grant-in-aid program provides financial assistance to graduate students conducting thesis research on the biota of the region.

Further information is available from the Executive Director, Highlands Biological Station, P. O. Box 580, Highlands, North Carolina 28741, 828-526-2602,

Mountain Aquaculture Research Center. The center was established within the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Carolina University in 1988. Its mandate is to foster biotechnologically-based research to support the economic sustainability of the aquaculture industry in Western North Carolina. Research activities of the center are of both a basic and an applied nature. They are conducted using fish-rearing facilities located in the Natural Sciences Building on campus and at the Lonesome Valley Aquaculture Research Station in Cashiers, North Carolina; and in collaboration with faculty and students in the Departments of Biology, and of Chemistry and Physics with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service; and with the commercial trout industry. Areas of research interest include culture characteristics of all-female and/or triploid rainbow and brook trout; identification of biochemical measures and DNA markers associated with sex, stress, and disease resistance, and other genetic traits of commercial interest; and monitoring impact and control of fish farm effluents.

Center for Mathematics and Science Education. The Center for Mathematics and Science Education in the College of Education and Allied Professions is one of ten 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.

Office for Rural Education. The Office of Rural Education in the College of Education and Allied Professions helps rural elementary and secondary schools improve the quality of their programs by conducting various types of studies, performing practical classroom research, providing instructional and administrative support services, and assisting in identifying alternative types of funding and instruction. The office also sponsors summer residential programs including youth leadership institutes and a program for the gifted.

Information Technology Division. The Information Technology (IT) Division is responsible for providing information technology (services to the entire campus community. These services provide access to computing resources that students, faculty members, administrators, and staff members need as they learn and apply the products of learning, and contribute to the university’s community of scholarship. The University recently reorganized these services and resources campus wide into the new IT division, which provides planning and technical guidance in the integration of varied new and existing campus information technologies. Located in the University Outreach Center, Forsyth Building, and Hunter Library, the division is headed by the Chief Information Officer (CIO).

The central computing facility uses Compaq Alpha systems to handle core business processing and email. Core business processing on the Alphas includes student records, financial, and alumni systems from Systems and Computer Technology Corporation, and several applications developed by division staff. Email from off campus gets delivered through one of the Alpha systems. 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 news.

There are over 3,000 microcomputers in offices, classrooms, and lab facilities on campus, most connected to the campus network. Student residence halls are on the campus network and have two network ports per room. There are three general student microcomputer 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. The IT division supports both Windows and Macintosh operating systems and various microcomputer application programs. Faculty, students, and staff may call IT Services at 227-7ITS (227-7487) if they need help with any IT services or resources.

Software programming languages on the central system include BASIC, C, FORTRAN, Pascal, COBOL, and MACRO, with Datatrieve and Focus as common report-retrieval languages. Other software that is centrally licensed, but with a limited number of licenses available, include SPSS for Windows and Minitab for Windows. These statistical analysis programs are accessed over the campus network in student labs and computer classrooms. The University of North Carolina has a grant from SAS Institute that makes a wide range of SAS software available for faculty and student use, including at home use. Computer virus detection and protection software is also available to all university faculty, students, and staff. Contact IT Services for information on getting access to the software. Keeping computers protected and up-to-date is very important in the highly networked campus computing environment.

The campus network connects to the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), which provides WCU with access to two-way videoconferences as well as an OC-3 (155-megabit) data path to the Internet. The WCU World Wide Web server at has general information about Western. The Information Technology web site at provides a variety of useful IT related information. The university is also an active member of EDUCAUSE.

Office of School Services. The Office of School Services in the College of Education and Allied Professions maintains an inventory of campus resources that can be of service to the public schools through technical assistance or research initiatives. The office disseminates information on campus resources, receives requests for assistance from school districts, and directs requests to the appropriate campus resource.

Distance and Continuing Education


Through the Division of Distance and Continuing Education, 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 extension-credit courses and programs as well as the university summer session and distance learning. Many workshops, institutes, conferences, seminars, and short courses are available for Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credit.

Summer School. A full summer academic program at the graduate and undergraduate levels is offered in Cullowhee and in Asheville. Special short courses, workshops, and institutes in a number of subjects are available at these locations and in Cherokee. A preliminary schedule is available online in early December,, and a summer school catalog with updated listing of the courses and programs offered is available in March of each year.

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.

Conferences. The division provides support for educational conferences and special events. 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. Programs can be tailored to meet specific organizational needs and to assist in corporate training efforts at any site.

Distance Learning. Division of Distance and Continuing Education 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.

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 eligibility, courses, conditions of class attendance, and permits is available from the Division of Distance and Continuing Education.

Summer School Programs for Youth. A number of summer programs are available for pre-college students: the Legislators’ School provides leadership training for youth in grades 7-12; and Summer Ventures provides enrichment in the sciences and mathematics. A ballet camp is offered in collaboration with the Atlanta Ballet. In addition, sports camps and recreational programs are offered.

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 men and women are available to provide stimulating programs to corporate or community groups. Arrangements to schedule a speaker should be made through the Division of Distance and Continuing Education.

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.

University Planning. The Office of University 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 agencies.

The division includes the offices of Public Relations, Development, Alumni Affairs, and Regional Affairs; the Catamount Club (athletics fund raising and support) 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.

Office of Development. The Office of Development is responsible for private-sector fundraising and comprises Planned Giving, Major Gifts, Loyalty Fund programs, Athletic Fund-Raising, and Special Projects.

Office of Public Relations. The Office of Public Relations is responsible for the administration of University programs in public information, marketing, and publications. It is the liaison between University personnel and the news media, including newspapers, radio, and television stations, and coordinates the planning and design 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.

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, 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.

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 is located west of the WCU campus. A unit of The University of North Carolina, it is governed by a board of trustees, and its programs and activities are conducted by a professional staff of faculty and administrators.