Division of Graduate Studies
Mission, Role and Scope of Graduate Programs
The graduate programs at Western offer advanced study under the direction of dedicated educators. Students in the graduate programs benefit from a faculty whose commitment to teaching, to research, and other professional activities has resulted in national recognition in widely-varying fields. Guidance from this faculty helps to strengthen the academic and professional ability of students by increasing their knowledge of a subject, improving their capacity for independent study, familiarizing them with research in their fields, and training them to conduct meaningful research of their own.
The mission of the graduate programs is not confined within the perimeters of the university. The programs also make a significant contribution to the community at large. As a result of their intense, concentrated study at Western, students are well prepared to enter society, not only as trained professionals and specialists, but also, in a wider context, as thoughtful, sensitive human beings with personal integrity and an appreciation of intellectual and political freedom.
Much of this understanding is developed in professional in-service and pre-service programs through cooperative efforts with regional businesses, industry, government, social service and educational agencies. Western’s faculty and programs are dedicated to forging and maintaining such ties through the ongoing assessment of regional needs and continual interaction with community, business, professional, and academic organizations – an interaction which also helps to refine the graduate curriculum.
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Graduate Council
The Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs is advised by the Graduate Council, a faculty body with representation from each discipline. The council is responsible for recommending overall graduate policy, approving programs, and maintaining high standards. Program proposals developed by academic departments, working with their school deans, must be approved by the Graduate Council before implementation.
Graduate Program Coordinators
Each graduate program has a qualified faculty member who serves as graduate coordinator.
The coordinators are members of the Graduate Council and leaders in program development. A strength of graduate study at Western is that students enrolled in graduate programs are advised directly by the appropriate program coordinator as they plan their progress toward their degree.