April 22, 2019

Celebrating 60 Years of Excellence in Graduate Education at West Chester

Grad Ed Week at WCU“On January 8, 1959, the State Council of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania formally authorized the State Teachers College, West Chester, to inaugurate a program of graduate studies after September 1,1959. The Graduate Program at West Chester, therefore, will be initiated with the opening of the fall semester, 1959.” *

With these words, West Chester’s graduate programs were launched.

At that time, the master’s of education was the only graduate degree offered in these subjects: elementary education, secondary education, music education, or health and physical education. Within secondary education, students could specialize in English, geography, mathematics, science, or social studies. In 1960, the word “Teachers” was dropped from West Chester’s name at the decision of Commonwealth legislators, opening the door for an expanded number of programs and degrees.

Now, West Chester University offers more than 50 master’s programs and four doctoral programs in addition to 118 undergraduate majors including accelerated programs. Delivery of some programs is across channels unforeseen by anyone in higher education in 1959: online learning and distance education. Several graduate programs are also offered at WCU’s Philadelphia location.

WCU’s Graduate School was transitioned from a Graduate Studies Office last year, prompted by a 38.7% increase in graduate enrollment over the last five years – from 2,134 and 13.5% of the total enrollment in fall 2013 to 2,960 and 16.9% of the total enrollment in fall 2018. From April 22 to April 26, 2019, WCU’s Graduate Education Week celebrates that distinction and the 60th anniversary. The week’s highlights are listed below.

In his book A Centennial History of West Chester State College, late alumnus and former faculty member Russell Sturzebecker ’39 noted the first graduate degrees were presented on August 3, 1961: “The first candidate to come to the rostrum to receive the M.Ed. degree was Benedict Coren class of 1948. … This was a milestone for the college. In the fall of 1959, there were 188 graduates enrolled taking 18 courses.”

Follow the Graduate School on Instagram and Facebook to learn fun facts, share and hear stories from faculty, students, and staff. Learn how WCU’s graduate programs stack up against other institutions.

For more information visit https://www.wcupa.edu/_admissions/SCH_DGR/gradweek.aspx.


Graduate Education Week

April 22 – April 26


Monday, April 22

Graduate Education Week kick-off includes prizes and giveaways such as free candy bars from 12 to 6 p.m. at both McKelvie Hall and the Philadelphia location.

Tuesday, April 23

Update your LinkedIn profile with a free digital headshot. A limited number of spots remain from 4 to 6 p.m. Registration is required. Location: The Graduate School, McKelvie Hall, 102 West Rosedale Avenue.


Wednesday, April 24

Discover how WCU’s Graduate School programs, faculty, and staff can help you achieve your goals for an advanced degree. Register for one of the two interactive round robin sessions being held in Sykes 10B (located on the ground floor next to Eco Grounds Coffee station). Graduate coordinators and graduate school staff will share best practices for researching graduate school; tips to make quality applications; assistantships; scholarships; and more.

If you are an undergraduate student unable to attend the in-person session or are at the Philadelphia location, register for an online round robin taking place at 12:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 25

Meet WCU’s Deputy Provost and Dean of The Graduate School, Jeffery Osgood, online at 5:30 p.m. EST for an engaging session to highlight 60 years of graduate education at WCU. Register here. Space is limited. The session will be recorded and shared with all graduate students.


* From the “State Teachers College Bulletin, Vol. LXXXVII, April 1959.”

60 years Graduae Programs at WCU

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