It is an honor to serve as president of West Chester University, one of the top regional comprehensive public universities in the nation. We value and uphold our mission to provide the best educational opportunities possible which will enable the University community to successfully address the concerns of a global society.
Serving more than 16,000 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels, West Chester University has earned a national reputation for excellence, value and student success. WCU is one of the most sought-after universities in the mid-Atlantic region — we received 14,164 applications for the fall 2015 first-year class of 2,350.
According to Kiplinger magazine, WCU is the 14th best value in the country among universities with tuition less than $30,000. U.S. News & World Report rates WCU as one of the top regional universities in the north. And our reputation continues to grow. Earlier this year, the University was ranked 21st among the Top 50 Values for Public Colleges and Universities by Consumers Digest magazine.
West Chester University became a doctoral-degree granting institution in 2013 with the introduction of the Doctor of Nursing Practice. This fall, the University will launch its second doctoral program, the Doctor of Public Administration (DPA). Distance education, both fully online and blended programs involving limited campus time, also is flourishing. The number of seats in distance education increased 38% from 2013 to 2014.
International programs are seeing tremendous growth. Study abroad participation has doubled in the last two years. These programs are often life-changing experiences for our students. So, too, can service-learning coursework be transformative for our students, and for the people that they serve. I am very proud of the fact that we have created a culture of service, a culture that meets community needs while placing students on a lifelong path of active citizenship.
This year, the University was once again named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in the area of General Community Service. This award is the highest federal recognition an institution can receive for community service. During the past academic year, WCU students participated in more than 812,000 hours of public service through service-learning coursework. This set a new record for service-learning at WCU.
West Chester University has accomplished much in recent years and the future is even brighter. I encourage you to learn more about this great University via this website and to visit us in person in the near future.