The purpose of the Division of Academic Affairs is to support the provision of varied and well-rounded educational programs at the bachelor's, master’s, educational specialist, and doctoral levels. These programs serve the needs of the people of the state and the region, as well as foster the development, preservation, dissemination and utilization of knowledge through effective teaching, learning, research, scholarship, creativity, and service.
To accomplish its purpose, the academic area of the University is administratively organized into colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Allied Professions, Engineering and Technology, David Orr Belcher Fine and Performing Arts, and Health and Human Sciences. The Brinson Honors College, Hunter Library, and the Graduate School and Research are additional units in Academic Affairs.
Other units of the University which are administratively responsible to the Division of Academic Affairs are the Office of Undergraduate Studies (including the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, the Center for Career and Professional Development, and the Mountain Heritage Center); the Division of Student Success ( which includes Mentoring and Persistence for Student Success, Undergraduate Advising, Student Transitions, Registrar's Office, One Stop, Accessibility Resources, and Summer Session); Global Engagement; Educational Outreach; the Cherokee Center; WCU Programs at Biltmore Park; the Coulter Faculty Commons for Excellence in Teaching and Learning; the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines; Highlands Biological Station; Undergraduate Research; and the Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness.
The Graduate School and Research, within the Division of Academic Affairs, is responsible for research administration, providing information and services concerned with funded research, sponsored programs, and other grant/contract activities. The Division of Academic Affairs also provides oversight for special units such as the Public Policy Institute (administratively located in the College of Arts and Sciences); the Small Business and Technology Development Center, Corporation for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Center for the Study of Free Enterprise (administratively located in the College of Business); the College of Education and Allied Professions' Suite 201 student support center; the Fine and Performing Arts Center (administratively located in the College of Fine and Performing Arts); the Speech and Hearing Clinic (administratively located in the College of Health and Human Sciences); and the Center for Rapid Product Realization (administratively located in the College of Engineering and Technology).
The Division of Academic Affairs cooperates with regional and state agencies, including area health organizations, community colleges and technical institutes, the State Department of Public Instruction, Appalachian Consortium, and others to meet educational needs of the region. It works in a variety of ways with federal agencies including the National Park Service and others from which substantial grants have been received. Through all of these centers, offices, and programs, the University provides an administrative structure whereby services are provided to the region in cooperation with other community organizations and divisions.