As the westernmost institution in the UNC system, Western Carolina University provides
educational opportunities to residents of the state’s western region and attracts
students from around the globe to explore the area’s vast resources.
At Western Carolina University, we view our admissions process as our opportunity
to build the community that defines our institution. We look for people eager to explore
and ready to redefine success.
Programs and courses at Western Carolina are designed to provide hands-on, applied
experience. Students engage with communities across the region as they practice their
profession in real-world environments.
Western Carolina’s unique mountain location helps fuel a vibrant campus community
with more than 170 student clubs and organizations as well as a busy performing arts
calendar and the campus’s own adventure guide service.
Western Carolina is home to 16 Southern Conference athletic teams with more than 375
student athlete competitors. WCU strives to inspire student-athletes to compete like
champions on the field and in the classroom.
Western Carolina was founded to serve the region it calls home, and that has not changed.
WCU continues to focus on regional development initiatives, engaged service and community
programs. It also partners with alumni and donors to ensure access to higher education
for deserving students in the region and beyond.
Cat Camp Leadership Exploration is a week-long retreat that assists new freshmen with
their transition to WCU. Each Cat Camper is assigned with a counselor who is a current
student at WCU. Returning students can give back to the WCU community and develop
leadership skills by serving as a Cat Camp counselor. Students do not need to have
attended Cat Camp to serve as a counselor. Applications are available during the Fall
and Spring semesters for the next summer. Email Leslie Cavin for more information
Freshmen Leadership Initiative
The Freshmen Leadership Initiative (FLI) is a prestigious living-learning community
that prepares new first year students for success at WCU by offering a variety of
leadership opportunities and serving as a home away-from-home during the transition
to college. During FLI, new students interact with peers and upperclassmen, making
friendships that will carry them throughout their college experience. As a member
of FLI, students will have the opportunity to self-reflect on who they are as a person
and leader, join in on community service, develop their leadership skills, and plan
large scale campus events.
FLI is a 3-tiered program focused on Living, Learning, and Leading
LIVE: FLI participants will be housed on the 4th floor of Allen Hall. Living together
allows participants to take leadership skills developed in and out of the classroom
to their everyday experiences among their peers. Students may choose their roommate
to live with them on the 4th floor or participate in our matching program. You are
not required to live in Allen Hall to be involved with FLI but it is recommended.
LEARN: As part of the Leadership Minor, FLI students will see a direct connection
between their transition to college and their development as a leader. The LEAD 140
and LEAD 180 classes introduce students to leadership development and, by declaring
leadership as a minor, FLI students will continue to develop their leadership abilities
throughout their college career.
LEAD: FLI provides students with hands on opportunities to put what they learn in
the classroom to work on campus. The FLI student organization allows students to put
their leadership skills into action by organizing retreats, conferences, community
service, fundraising, and other events and activities.
Project CARE aims to improve academic performance and the retention of underrepresented
students at Western Carolina University. In an effort to apply theory to practice,
Intercultural Affairs has designed this program as a proactive measure to address
the academic challenges underrepresented students face at Predominately White Institutions
This program pairs first year and transfer student participants with student leaders
who serve as peer counselors who help them to adjust to college life academically,
culturally, and socially. Learn more!
The First Ascent wilderness orientation program gives you the chance to make new friends
and discover the beautiful region that surrounds WCU. Whether you want to simply dip
your toe in and spend an afternoon rafting on the Nantahala River or want to immerse
yourself in an experience that will take you beyond civilization and deep into the
mountains, First Ascent has a trip for you. You’ll return with lasting memories and
friends for future adventures. Learn more!
The Ripple Effect is a Learning Community (LC) which aims to provide educational experiences
that will prepare you to identify what you truly love about the world (Hermann Hesse)
and ultimately be the change you want to see in it (Mohandas Gandhi). By examining
historical and current cases and theories of change, movements, and transformation.