WWU to offer three new degrees at University Center

  • SCBJ Staff
  • Monday, November 24, 2008 11:55am

Western Washington University plans to offer three new degrees at the Everett-based University Center of North Puget Sound in 2009, helping to meet the growing need for bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in Snohomish County.

Western’s Huxley College of the Environment plans to offer bachelor’s degrees in environmental science and planning and environmental policy starting fall 2009. Western’s Woodring College of Education will also offer a masters in teaching degree starting summer 2009.

Classes will be offered evenings and weekends. The programs are designed for students who have already finished the first two years of their college education.

“Bringing a wide range of bachelor’s degree options to Snohomish County is a top priority for the University Center,” said David Beyer, president of Everett Community College, the legislatively-appointed leader of the University Center. “We’re pleased to partner with Western Washington University to offer these three new degrees in fields that are relevant to the needs of our region.”

Snohomish, Skagit and Island counties have historically high rates for students earning two-year degrees, Beyer said, but lag statewide and nationally in four-year degrees. The University Center, founded in 1997, is partnering with Washington state colleges and universities to meet the need.

The University Center currently offers master’s and bachelor’s degree programs from Washington State University, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Hope International University, The Evergreen State College and Western. Classes are offered in a variety of formats: in-class, interactive video, and online.

The University Center will move most classes, including Western’s programs, to Everett Community College’s campus in Spring 2009 with the completion of the new Gray Wolf Hall.

“We are delighted to expand our partnership with Everett Community College to make these degree programs more accessible to students in this area,” said WWU President Bruce Shepard. “Both Huxley College of the Environment and Woodring College of Education are recognized nationally for the quality of their academics in these increasingly important fields.”

Shepard and Everett Community College President David Beyer will sign an agreement Dec. 10 to bring the degree programs to the University Center.

Western’s bachelor’s degree programs from the Huxley College offer students valuable practical skills to enter the ever-expanding environmental job market, said Bradley Smith, dean of Western’s Huxley College of the Environment.

Founded in 1969, the Huxley College of the Environment has earned international recognition for the quality of its programs, the expertise of its faculty and the knowledge of its graduates.

“Environmental education is important not only for our graduates, but for our society. As we face significant challenges, from cleaning up Puget Sound to combating global warming, Huxley College graduates will be at the forefront of an expanding industry, prepared to provide the environmental expertise and leadership essential to our future,” Smith said.

Western’s master’s in teaching program adds to the variety of degrees locally offered by Western’s Woodring College. Current Everett programs include bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and in human services, and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling.

The master’s in teaching program is designed for students who have already finished a four-year degree who want to teach grades 5-12. Those with bachelor’s degrees in math, science, social studies and English are encouraged to apply.

“Addition of the Master in Teaching program, especially during an economic period when career re-directions are occurring on a larger scale, exemplifies our commitment to providing pathways to career success for learners from many walks of life,” said Stephanie Salzman, dean of Woodring College of Education.

For more information, including dates and locations of information sessions about these degree programs, visit www.uceverett.org or contact 425-252-9505.

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