While relatively small in population, CWU offers a choice of programs found at larger universities. Central Washington University is a regional, comprehensive university offering baccalaureate and graduate degrees in 135 majors serving approximately 10,000 students, the majority on the Ellensburg Campus. Located on 380 acres in Ellensburg, a town of 18,000 in the heart of the state of Washington, CWU is only two hours from Seattle. The setting is rural, nestled in the beautiful Kittitas Valley. Ellensburg is the hub of one of the Northwest’s prime recreational areas and the center of one of the state’s richest agricultural regions.
CWU is one of six state-supported institutions offering baccalaureate and graduate degrees. The University has its own governing board, the Board of Trustees, with seven members appointed by the governor and approved by the state legislature. Established in 1890 as Washington State Normal School by the first legislature to fulfill the intent of the Federal Statehood Enabling Act for the establishment and maintenance of its various institutions of higher education, it became Central Washington College of Education in 1937, Central Washington State College in 1961 and Central Washington University in 1977.
Through a liberal arts based general education program, courses of study in the arts and sciences, professional, pre-professional and graduate programs, and through continuing education programs, the University is committed to serving the needs of Washington’s citizens. Instruction is organized into degree and certificate programs providing theoretical and practical education in the liberal arts and sciences, the visual and performing arts, professional and technical fields, education, business, applied sciences, and engineering technologies. Continued assessment and accreditation reviews ensure vitality of all university programs. CWU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.
Of the approximately 10,000 students, 3,000 live on campus in university housing. Here, students of diverse social, economic and ethnic backgrounds from throughout the nation and internationally come together in a community in which education is the principal industry and human development the primary concern. The student body is relatively diverse, with students representing a variety of social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds. The most current statistics indicate that 33% of our students identify with one or more ethnic minority statuses. The largest ethnic group on campus is Latina/o with 16%, followed by multi-racial, 7%; Asian, 4.0%; African-American, 4%; International Students, 3%; Native American/Alaska Native, 1%, and Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 1%. In addition, 1.9% of our student population is comprised of international students. Approximately 34% of our university population is first generation college students. Women comprise 51% of our undergraduate population and 61% of our graduate students. Six percent of students are identified as having a federally-qualified, documented disability. An estimated 10% of CWU students identify as LGBTQI.
Recent (2017-2018) statistics indicate that approximately 10% of the university’s students sought counseling services at the SMaCC. Of those clients seeking services at the counseling clinic, statistics indicate that 9.1% identify as bi/multi-ethnic, 11.6% as Latina/o, 4.1% as Asian/Pacific Islander, 4.1% as African-American, 1.4% as Native American/Alaska Native, 1.2% as Middle Eastern, and 62.9% as Anglo/White. 1.2% of clients identified as international students. In terms of gender identification, 62.8% of clients identified as female, 32.6% as male, and 3.3% as transgender/gender queer/agender. 16.7% percent of students seeking counseling in the past year identified as having a disability. In terms of sexual orientation, 2.2% of client identified as gay, 1.3% as lesbian, 10.8% as bisexual, 1.7% as asexual, 3.6% as pansexual, 2.7% as “other”, and 75.3% as heterosexual. 1.5% of clients endorsed current or past military service/veteran status. With respect to religion/spirituality, 37.7% of clients reported that religion/spirituality is moderately to very important in their lives. In terms of class standing, 30.9% were first year students, 19.9% sophomores, 21.4% juniors, 22.4% seniors, and 3.2% graduate students. 22.3% of clients were transfer students to the university.
CWU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
Many majority identies and cultural backgrounds are the predominate groups represented with in the Ellensburg community at large. At the same time, many diverse and marginalized groups are represented in the larger community as well as in the university community. Social justice concerns are the focus of many in the community. Some groups and events that focus on supporting social justice and diversity include:
Last year alone, CWU's Student Medical and Counseling Clinic documented 18,635 appointments. Of