September 24, 2018
WCU Graduate School Established at Time of Unprecedented Graduate Student Enrollment
With an increasing number of students interested in pursuing graduate degree programs at West Chester University, the University has established the Graduate School as a one-stop-shop designed to provide a wide range of services for this growing population. The transition from a Graduate Studies Office to a Graduate School is prompted by a 38.7% increase in WCU’s graduate enrollment over the last five years --- from 2,134 and 13.5% of the total enrollment in fall 2013 to 2,960 and 16.9% of the total enrollment in fall 2018.
Among the Graduate School’s essential roles will be to support the preparation and professional development of all WCU graduate students, while encouraging the delivery of graduate education that specifically meets the needs of today’s busy students, including online-learning and other innovative distance-education models. As the central graduate administrative unit at WCU, the Graduate School will support graduate students from entry through degree completion by providing guidance about the degree process, graduation requirements, theses and dissertation submissions, as well as ensure strong graduate advocacy within University programming and services.
The Graduate School will work collaboratively with the University’s Graduate Admissions team, Graduate Council, and Graduate Student Association to diversify access to graduation education and establish an inclusive graduate culture that builds on the strengths of the University’s faculty and academic programs, while maintaining our key focus on student success.
“Student success is at the core of our mission at West Chester University. The Graduate School approaches the student experience holistically to provide consistent support from initial enrollment through graduation, ensuring our graduates are equipped to succeed both personally and professionally.
“The Graduate School leverages the strengths of our thriving community of learners, our dedicated and high qualified faculty and staff, our academic programs, research and professional opportunities, and the Graduate Student Association. While providing students a streamlined process for navigating through graduate degrees and developing as scholars and professionals, the Graduate School also creates more opportunities for synergy and interdisciplinary collaboration across campus,” wrote Executive Vice President and Provost Laurie Bernotsky in an email sent to the community today announcing the news.
The Graduate School is directly aligned with the University’s mission to provide access and high-quality academic opportunities to students seeking a public higher education in the Commonwealth.
“Access continues to be at the heart of every school and college at West Chester University,” says Deputy Provost and Dean of the Graduate School Jeffery L. Osgood, Jr. “Over the past five years, we have seen an increasing number of graduate students who are opening themselves to potential new responsibilities, new jobs, and are reinventing themselves for career changes. These students are engaged in life-long learning and are preparing themselves for numerous possibilities. As a community of learners, we excel at helping these students connect the dots and are happy to be part of their educational journey. WCU is the graduate school of choice for students looking for quality education that is meeting the needs of the 21st century market.”