Central Washington University is one of six state-supported institutions offering baccalaureate and graduate degrees. The University has its own governing board, the Board of Trustees, with eight 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.
Illuminating the seal of Central Washington University, the words Docendo Discimus, "by teaching we learn," remain today as in the past the cornerstone of the University's mission. The University is committed to teaching as the means to facilitate learning. All members of the university community support a relationship between teacher and student which makes them both partners in learning, scholarship, research, creative expression, and the application of knowledge to solve human and societal problems.
As a comprehensive University, Central provides a quality education to students at the baccalaureate and master's degree levels. The University carries out this mission by fostering an environment which nurtures the physical, intellectual, social, and ethical development of each student. That environment is marked by small classes, residential and recreational programs, and a demonstrated concern for each student as an individual.
Central Washington University challenges students to address the ambiguities of an ever-changing World. Students are prepared not only for careers and independent, lifelong learning, but are also asked to become conscious of themselves as members of a pluralistic society, to become skilled communicators, to develop their abilities to analyze and synthesize information, to make ethically-informed decisions, and to serve as responsible stewards of the earth. Through its multicultural, multiethnic, and multiracial student body, study abroad programs, and curricula, the University provides all students with the opportunity to learn about diverse cultures and peoples.
The University is also a resource for the local community and region. It enriches the lives of community members through instructional and library resources, dramatic and musical performances, art exhibits, lectures, and athletic events. The University's sponsored research and public service programs improve the quality of life for all citizens.
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, Central Washington University is committed to serve 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 ensures vitality of all University programs.
The University is dedicated to reflect in its student body and employees the diverse population of the state. The University offers admission to applicants who have demonstrated potential for academic success. Through university centers, the University also provides degree programs to place-bound students. Students matriculating at Central are typically residents of Washington, particularly the western and central regions of the state, but many students come from neighboring states and abroad. The University fosters a continuing relationship with its alumni and looks with pride upon their accomplishments, which demonstrate that the University is fulfilling its educational mission.
The University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NASC). Some programs have been accredited by specialized accrediting associations, including the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE), the National Association of Schools of Music, the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, the National Recreation and Parks Association, the American Medical Association: Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation, and the University Aviation Association. The Electronics Engineering Technology program and the Mechanical Engineering Technology program are accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The American Dietetics Association approves of the Bachelor of Science major in Food Science and Nutrition.
The University holds membership in the American Council on Education, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Association of Governing Boards, Association of Supervision of Curriculum Development, American Association of University Administrators, American Association of Higher Education, American Association of University Women, Council on Under-graduate Research, Council of Graduate Schools in the United States, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (provisional), Northwest Academic Forum, and the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.
Central Washington University's policies and practices affirm and actively promote the rights of all individuals to equal opportunity in education and employment without regard to their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability or status as disabled or Vietnam era veterans. The University administers an affirmative action program for employment purposes and complies with applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and executive orders. Policy statements on affirmative action, gender equity, sexual harassment and discrimination grievance procedures are located in Appendix A. The person responsible for institutional compliance with various federal and state laws and institutional policies dealing with discrimination is Nancy E. Howard, Director of Affirmative Action, Barge Hall 211, (509) 963-2205 or TDD (509) 963-2207.