CWU News

Three New CWU Partnerships Give Students More Degree Options

Central Washington University recently entered into agreements with three colleges in Western Washington, bringing new four-year degree options to their communities.

  • Students in the Puget Sound area can now earn a bachelor of applied science degree in information technology and administrative management (BAS-ITAM) from CWU at Lake Washington Institute of Technology in Kirkland.
  • Students on the south Olympic Peninsula can earn a law and justice degree from CWU at Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen.
  • Students on the north Olympic Peninsula can earn an interdisciplinary degree in specialized studies from CWU at Peninsula College in Port Angeles.

Melanie Palm, director of CWU’s university centers, said the partnerships make education accessible to more students in new ways. “We’re reaching out to students who are place-bound and who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get a degree,” she said.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology

The BAS-ITAM program, with specializations in administrative management, information technology, and cybersecurity, teaches students how to manage people, projects and information.

“Students can start on the path to a CWU information technology degree right here in Kirkland,” said Dr. Amy Morrison-Goings, president of LWTech. “This flexibility works for students. This partnership makes it easy to be successful.” 

The program accepts any applied or technical degree, giving students credit for degrees that otherwise would be non-transferable to four-year degree programs. CWU students at LWTech will have access to resources at both institutions. They also will be supported by CWU-Lynnwood, co-located at Edmonds Community College.

Peninsula College

In the specialized studies program, students customize their classes from a variety of disciplines to gain a broad knowledge base in preparation for a vocation or graduate school.

Peninsula College President Luke Robins says the new agreement with CWU is a key element in his school’s ongoing strategic plan. “The agreement provides yet another avenue for our students to earn a baccalaureate degree and build on their successful Peninsula College careers,” Robins said. “We look forward to working with Central Washington University on this collaboration and to our first cohort of students this fall.”

In addition to the new degree, CWU will provide a dual admission option for Peninsula College students and the institutions will develop academic plans to help guide Peninsula students who intend to transfer to CWU.

Grays Harbor College

CWU’s law and justice degree can open the door to careers in court administration, juvenile justice, law enforcement, paralegal, social services, wildlife law enforcement and graduate school.

“A lot of our best students leave the area to go to school, and we know statistically they don’t come back,” said JEB Thornton, assistant dean of baccalaureate programs at Grays Harbor College. “This is great for the community. It gives our students some real options.”

Thornton said police officers, aspiring attorneys and others seeking to advance their careers already have inquired about the new program. The degree also is well suited for people working at correctional facilities on the peninsula, Thornton added.

CWU students at Grays Harbor College and at Peninsula College will be supported by CWU-Pierce County, co-located at Pierce College in Lakewood.  

Media contact: Barb Arnott, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-2841,

July 22, 2014