At Western Carolina University, we believe the college experience should be an experience enriched by collaboration, by service, by research, by involvement in the community, by internships and externships, by study abroad, and much more. We invest in ensuring that each student earns exposure beyond the classroom to experiences that influence their growth and success.
This Academic Enrichment is facilitated through the Office for Undergraduate Studies, which was established in 2007 and is committed to:
Western Carolina’s Brinson Honors College was the first in the University of North Carolina system. It’s motto -- Ad Vitam Paramus -- translates to “preparation for life” and reflects the Brinson Honors College mission to help over 1,400 high-achieving students get more out of their education through Honors courses and special academic, leadership, and social opportunities.
WCU’s Center for Career and Professional Development works to support students in the identification and integration of career and academic goals with real-world experiences. It facilities on- and off-campus work opportunities, internships and more and assists students in the articulation of professional competencies to succeed in post-graduate experiences. They also hold multiple career fairs, coordinates internships, provides career counseling and more.
The WCU Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning strengthens the relationship between the campus and the wider community. We help students, faculty, and staff find opportunities to volunteer and to do service learning, and we connect community groups with university members who can help them.
Engaged learning is the integration of purposeful academic and co-curricular activities which equip students with the intellectual and experiential skills necessary for success in life beyond college. Community outreach and engagement is the alignment and application of University goals and resources to local and regional issues through the development of reciprocal, collaborative partnerships and exchanges.
The Office of International Programs facilitates Study Abroad programs as well as opportunities for international outreach and service. In addition, the office works with international students interested in attending Western Carolina and offers and Intensive English Program for students who need to learn English before admission to the university. They work with students from around the globe and coordinates Study and Service Abroad.
Each undergraduate student is required to complete 42 semester hours in Liberal Studies designed to help each students attain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of an educated person, including the ability to think critically, communicate effectively, identify and solve problems reflectively, use information and technology responsibly, develop an appreciation for the creative and performing arts, and, form a basis for continued personal development and lifelong learning.
For the past twelve years, WCU has selected an interdisciplinary theme for campus conversations, curricular and co-curricular connections, and enrichment. The primary focus is to educate and to offer a holistic look at something through multiple lenses. The 2023-2024 Campus Theme is Community and Belongingness.