August 19, 2015
As in past years, West Chester University received a large number of freshman applications – 14,313 – for the 2,350 spots in this year's freshman class. Many students also chose to transfer to West Chester: The University received 3,585 transfer applications for an entering transfer class of 1,325.
Out-of-state students, most of them from New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and New York, represent approximately 16.8 percent of the freshman class. WCU also welcomes 51 new international students representing such countries as India, Norway, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Turkey.
There are 47 new faculty members bringing their expertise to academic departments that include chemistry, communication studies, foreign languages, marketing, nursing, nutrition, social work, special education, and sports medicine.
WCU's third doctorate is the Doctor of Education in education policy, planning, and administration. The 54-credit program will begin in May 2016. The 60-credit Master of Science in clinical mental health counseling will begin in the summer of 2016.
Classes for the 36-credit Master of Science in Applied and Computational Mathematics begin this fall. The MSN program is accepting applications for WCU's new CNS Adult Gerontology track.
Progress continues on the College of Business and Public Affairs building (BPAC). Floors are poured and utilities (electrical, plumbing and mechanical equipment) are being roughed in as the exterior "skin" is completed. The double archways of the building's main entrance echo not only the Philips Memorial arches but also the Old Main Arch and create an inviting entrance to campus from Church Street.
The University is incorporating environmentally friendly practices in both construction and design of the facility with an eye toward achieving LEED Gold certification. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a program of green building certification through the U.S Green Building Council that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. (The University is currently applying for LEED Silver certification for the renovation of Mitchell Hall.)
Among the green features for BPAC: construction activity pollution prevention; construction waste management; regional materials; recycled content; and low-emitting materials (adhesives and sealants, paints and coatings, flooring systems, composite wood and agrifiber products). In addition to being on the North Campus geothermal loop, the energy-efficient structure will enjoy the benefits of a green roof and water-use reduction.
Outside, a terraced seating area is planned for the south side. Visit the College of Business and Public Affairs website to for the webcam view and architectural plans. The facility is scheduled to open for the fall 2016 semester.
Ways of accessing the Quad have been altered along South Church Street for better pedestrian use. A new outdoor classroom sits between Anderson and Recitation Halls, a gathering area with circular benches outside Main Hall, and a new pergola at Lawrence Center.
The University is replacing its playing surface at Vonnie Gros Field with state-of-the-art Hockey Gold Field Turf, the industry's premiere field hockey offering. Currently showcased at the most prestigious venues around the world, the surface at WCU will mark the first installation of its kind in North America. At the Mather Planetarium, the corridor is being outfitted as a student art gallery. The College of Education's Professional Education Unit has relocated to the fifth floor of Wayne Hall and the Office of Field Placement and Candidate Services is now on Wayne's first floor.
The property at 30 West Rosedale (across South Church Street from the Admissions building), will make way for an administrative building that will be built to LEED Silver standards.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art installed a high-quality reproduction of "Jackie (Four Jackies) (Portraits of Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy)" by Andy Warhol on the High Street side of Philips Memorial Building. It is part of the museum's "Inside Out" program that brings masterpieces to outdoor locations throughout the Philadelphia region. It will remain on view until Thanksgiving.
The boiler plant that was taken offline in 2014 and the Speakman building are scheduled to be razed. The first step is painting the WCU water tower so that the cell phone equipment from the old smokestack can be relocated there. Painting will begin in the Spring of 2016.
Once the site has been cleared, plans call for construction of a mixed-use academic and auxiliary building, known as The Commons, and an adjacent parking garage. The new building, designed to LEED Silver standards, will house the College of Health Sciences administrative offices and the departments of Health, Nursing and Nutrition and the College of Arts and Sciences Psychology department. In its central location, the building will also bring together dining facilities, a market, and a coffee shop, bridging academic and residential student life and offering spaces for both formal and informal interactions. Construction is slated to begin during the Winter of 2016-2017.
University Student Housing has made upgrades in Allegheny and Brandywine halls, including switching all computer labs from PCs to Macs, a suggestion made by students. In Allegheny, the Honors College floor received new study seating and improved technology and both residence halls' movie theaters have been redecorated. There are even some beanbag chairs in which students can unwind.
Students will notice such upgrades in the University-owned residence halls as carpeting in Goshen's hallways, doors in Killinger and new weather-tight windows and window AC units in Schmidt. But they won't actually see one improvement that makes their academic lives easier: RamCloud.
Previously, students had to physically get to campus, find the right computer lab that had the software they needed for a certain class, and hope there was a computer available when they got to that lab. Now, many of the several dozen applications that faculty require students to install on their computers are available on RamCloud, allowing students to install them anytime, anywhere and on any device. A tutorial on accessing and using RamCloud is available.
West Chester University remains committed to sustainable, environmentally sensitive practices, and one visual change on campus improves safety as well. With their cast-iron appearance, the new walkway lights being installed across campus bring ambience and evoke the University's 19th-century beginnings. The fixtures feature high-efficiency LED lighting. New planters along the Quad's "great lawn" will add seasonal color.
Work to install 200 new geothermal wells at the open lots behind 114 West Rosedale Avenue is scheduled to begin in early 2016. Not only has the University achieved its third consecutive Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation, but the international ArbNet program has awarded WCU status as an accredited Level II arboretum.
Exton Shuttle Service begins Monday, Aug. 24, with three shuttles ferrying passengers from Exton Station to WCU Monday through Friday. No reservations are needed. Shuttle service will run between Church Street and Exton in both the morning and the afternoon.
For shuttle schedule, GPS information and other details, visit the website. For other information, contact the Transportation Services Office at 610-436-1053 or 610-436-2442 between 8 a.m. and 3p.m. After 3 p.m., call the Office for External Operations at 610-436-2577.
ESPN3, an online web streaming service available to all cable subscribers via espn.com or their mobile app WatchESPN, will broadcast select Golden Rams football and field hockey games.
Sept. 3, 6 p.m. Lenoir-Rhyne vs. West Chester. ESPN3, WPHL 17.4 (Comcast channel 253; Verizon channel 468)
Sept. 12, 12 p.m. West Chester at Mercyhurst. ESPN3, WPHL 17
Oct. 24, 2 p.m. Bloomsburg vs. West Chester. ESPN3, WPHL17
Nov. 7, 1 p.m. East Stroudsburg vs. West Chester. ESPN3, WPHL17
Sept. 23, 4 p.m. West Chester at Millersville. ESPN3
Oct. 24, 12 p.m. West Chester at Slippery Rock. SportsFEVER (STN) Tape Delay Only – actual broadcast date unknown at this time
Games broadcast by SportsFEVER Television Network (STN) will be aired live on television across the entire state of Pennsylvania and stretching into parts of the Southern Tier of New York state as well as South Jersey and Delaware. Some areas in Maryland and Northern Virginia will also be able to get these games on television. Viewers in those locations should check their local listings.
President Greg Weisenstein will address the campus at his annual State of the University speech on Thursday, Oct. 1, at 12:30 p.m. Asplundh Concert Hall, Philips Memorial Building. A reception on the Quad will follow.