It is an honor it to present this growing catalog of Western’s graduate programs. It is first and foremost a practical guide for those who have already chosen to study with us, but as I look over it, I believe it also tells the story of our recent achievements and growth, and I hope if you are not yet a student with us it will inspire you to consider becoming one.
The story of Western’s graduate programs is a chronicle of excellence. All of them, while relatively new, are transforming not only this institution, but also the region where we live, and even the national profile of their disciplines. Our Masters in Environmental Management enjoys a high national ranking; our MS in High Altitude Exercise Physiology is the only program of its kind in the country (and unquestionably the highest!); our MA in Education serves our entire state and beyond with a very wide range of endorsements, licensures and advanced degree tracks; our MA in Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization combines the arts with highly practical training; the ten faculty in our Graduate Program in Creative Writing have collectively published many hundreds of books in every single major genre; and in the coming years we will continue to introduce new programs that comparably prepare students to lead at the highest levels in an ever more complex society.
This excellence is gaining attention. Just since 2013 enrollment in Western’s graduate programs has increased 82% -- and we expect it to increase even further this year. As we grow, so do the number and quality of our offerings. Graduate students are Western’s greatest ambassadors to the region, the country, and the world as leaders of educational distinction, and we are honored by their commitment.
All of our graduate programs grow directly out of our century-long tradition of offering excellent, personalized education in a beautiful place. To this end, we work hard to attract and retain nationally recognized scholars, teachers and professionals in all fields. At a practical level, this publication describes the courses and academic-degree programs they have created and spells out the requirements you must complete to earn your university degree. At the same time, as you pursue your advanced studies, I hope it inspires you in your pursuit of advanced, specialized knowledge, while also challenging you to expand your horizons, broaden your sense of community, and achieve both academic and professional excellence. We characterize Western’s educational experience as “Learning, Elevated.” You are our most advanced students, and embody this commitment as much as anyone on the campus.
Welcome to the new year.
Greg Salsbury, Ph.D. President, Western Colorado University.