The latest U.S. News & World Report guide to “America’s Best Colleges” ranks Western Carolina University 10th among public universities in the South that offer master’s degrees.
It is the first time WCU has made the U.S. News top 10 list of Southern public master’s institutions.
“Western Carolina has moved steadily up the rankings over the past few years, and we are glad to see that trend continue again this year,” said WCU Chancellor John Bardo. “In recent years, our College of Education and Allied Professions has received two major national honors, and our academic programs in business administration, project management, criminal justice and entrepreneurship have earned high national rankings.”
Still, Bardo cautioned prospective students against putting too much stock in rankings when they are making the important decision of where to go to college. “After students narrow down their list of prospective colleges to a handful, they should visit the various campuses to get a feel about which one is right for them,” he said.
WCU representatives will hold open house sessions on the Cullowhee campus to allow prospective students to do just that on Oct. 3, Nov. 14, Feb. 17 and April 17.
For information about those events and other information about undergraduate and graduate admissions at WCU, visit admissions.wcu.edu.
WCU partners with Dillsboro
Western Carolina University has entered into a partnership with the municipality of Dillsboro to provide assistance in building the town’s economy after the recent departure of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.
WCU has become involved with the town through its Quality Enhancement Plan, an effort to enhance undergraduate education by linking student experiences in and out of the classroom, and its responses to UNC Tomorrow, a university system initiative to help solve critical statewide problems.
“What a tremendous opportunity this gives the students, and the citizens and the merchants of Dillsboro,” said Mayor Jean Hartbarger.
WCU Chancellor John Bardo said the university will recruit students who are academically prepared, conduct a strategic program analysis of all academic programs and examine the structure of the university to ensure the university is well-positioned to provide assistance to surrounding communities.
The university will try to emphasize quality in spite of an 8 percent budget cut of approximately $8 million, and the loss of 92 positions last fiscal year, Bardo said. Although the majority of those eliminated positions were vacant, about 31 of them were filled. “The WCU family was hurt by the state budget situation,” Bardo said. “All of us have had to take furloughs. We have had to lay off members of the family, and that hurts.”
The university is facing an additional $200,000 in cuts but can manage those without additional layoffs, he said