CWU’s determination to be the state’s most welcoming university has never been stronger. We have long set ourselves apart from other schools with our focus on personal attention and hands-on learning. Our commitment to students hasn’t changed, but the students have—and we’ve changed with them.
Today’s Wildcat is likely to have a full or part-time job, perhaps have family commitments. According to national studies, low income students now enroll in college at a higher rate than their middle-income peers.
I don’t need to tell you how technology has changed so much of daily life for all of us. We work, shop, date, collaborate, and play across time zones and continents using digital tools that were unimaginable just a few decades ago. Students seem to expect—and often prefer—just about everything to be available digitally.
As the educational needs and desires of our students evolve, we are meeting the challenge by revising and improving our methods of instruction. Today, a college education can involve not only the traditional lecture model but also our newest and fastest growing “campus”—online learning—as well as hybrid learning (a combination of face-to-face instruction and online instructional teaching), distance learning, and other channels made possible by technology.
In fact, we’re already experimenting with virtual reality-based learning. Just imagine sitting at home or at one of our University Centers or instructional sites while wearing a VR device that gives you the experience of being in a laboratory or classroom with your instructor.
How do we make CWU’s approach to 21st century education relevant in today’s economy and culture? We do that with investments in education, such as the support of the governor and state Legislature in providing funding for new state-of-the-art facilities like the recently completed Samuelson Hall and the now under construction Health Sciences Building.
Such investments, along with your continued support, allow Central to keep pace with the rapidly changing demands of the educational marketplace.
As I look to the future, I see great opportunity and promise. The way we teach and students learn surely will continue to evolve. But we remain more passionate than ever about providing the highest quality education to our students in a place where “your professor knows your name.”
James L. Gaudino