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.
The Coulter Faculty Commons, in collaboration with the Office of Research Administration,
recognizes that the faculty of Western Carolina University engage in multiple forms
of scholarship. The CFC research division can assist faculty, staff, and graduate
teaching assistants with research design and research methods for publications, grant
proposals, dissertations, theses, and other projects. This support is provided through
consultations and scholarship tools and resources.
The CFC's research development specialist works with faculty, staff, and graduate
teaching assistants to support, facilitate, and enhance internal and external research.
The research development specialist is available to assist faculty, staff, and graduate
teaching assistants on a range of research-related issues including, but not limited
Consulting with individual faculty or groups regarding appropriate research design,
methods, and evaluation for faculty scholarship and proposal development
Providing training and assistance for qualitative and quantitative research projects
Assisting faculty in the use of research software such as SPSS, SAS, R, Atlas.ti,
NVivo, ArcGIS and others
Facilitating opportunities for collaborative and peer-to-peer research support;
Working with other campus stakeholders to develop policies, applications, and professional
development opportunities to support research.
Scholarship Tools and Resources
The CFC manages the licenses of six research software programs, which are available
to WCU faculty and staff:
ArcGIS 10.4.1 – Geographic Software
Atlas.ti 7 – Qualitative Analysis
Nvivo 12 – Qualitative Analysis
SPSS 25 – Quantitative Analysis
STATA 14 – Quantitative Analysis
SAS 9.3 – Quantitative Analysis
The software programs identified above run on Windows 7 or higher and sufficient hard
drive space is required, especially for the ArcGIS and SAS software. If you have a
Mac computer, you can run the software as long as the machine has a dual operating
system (Bootcamp). In these cases, it is recommended the Windows partition on your computer be at least
The use and availability of the research software is dependent on the current license
agreement. ArcGIS, Atlas.ti, and SAS are local installations in which the software
is installed directly onto the computer. SPSS is a network installation and requires
that users access the software via a network connection. A commuter license is available
for SPSS, allowing for off-campus use of the software for up to seven days at a time.
Additionally, SPSS can be accessed via the Virtual Private Network (VPN). The VPN
can be accessed through the menu system in myWCU
Faculty and Staff Access
The chart below summarizes the availability of each program and how to request the
Installed on Personal Computer?
IT Help Desk
5 Concurrent for Faculty and Staff
10 Individual License for Faculty and Staff
Yes via VPN or Commuter License
IT Help Desk
15 Concurrent for Faculty and Staff
IT Help Desk
IT Help Desk
Of the six software packages, the availability of Atlas.ti is the most limited. The
research division has one license that supports five users at one time. The software
is installed locally. It is requested that faculty members check out a license only
when needed and return the license when their current project is completed. There
is a trial version available through the ATLAS.ti website that might be appropriate for smaller projects.
Note: Faculty and staff within the CEAP can access Atlas.ti via the college's virtual desktop.
Contact Lee Nickles for access information.
Most of WCU research software agreements limit our ability to install research software
on students' personal computers. Students can access SPSS and SAS in the Open Access
Student Labs. A student version of ArcGIS is available through the CFC. Students can
also access educational licenses of SPSS and Atlas.ti for approximately $100. These
licenses can be found online on the SPSS and Atlas.ti websites.
Faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants who are interested in receiving support
for these research tools can contact Kong Chen (CK) to set up an appointment. Support documents and additional information about several
of the programs can be found on the following websites:
The Institutional Review Board (IRB) oversees research involving human subjects at
WCU. Learn more about the IRB, including links to its forms and procedures.
The Coulter Faculty Commons supports and facilitates communities of practice for faculty
and instructional staff members at Western Carolina as professional learning communities
designed to provide peer mentorship and collaboration opportunities for faculty, staff,
and graduate students. See More About Our Communities