Western Carolina University’s Graduate School has more than a commanding presence at its Biltmore Park Town Square instructional site in Asheville.
Upon entering the doors beneath the large purple awning at 28 Schenck Parkway is a lifechanging portal via 11 master’s degrees and four doctoral degrees, along with undergraduate programs in nursing and engineering.
Previews of the online educational opportunities available through WCU’s Biltmore Park instructional site will take place with a virtual open house. Professionals are increasingly seeking ways to develop or expand skillsets, add letters behind their name or find a way into new opportunities and career advancement, according to numerous recent reports.
“The quality programs developed by our WCU faculty and the flexibility in the delivery modality of graduate programs continues to generate increased demand,” said Brian Kloeppel, dean of WCU's Graduate School and Research. “Through October 2021, our graduate applications have increased by 14.0% over 2020 and by 7.9% over the 5-year annual average, indicating a strong student demand.”
WCU is listed in several categories of U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best Graduate School rankings, such as the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program and Master of Public Affairs. Graduate level instruction is provided, in addition to the Asheville location, at the main campus in Cullowhee, online and hybrid, which includes face-to-face and online instructional delivery.
Kevan Frazier is executive director of WCU Programs in Asheville. “With recent additions such as a doctoral program in physical therapy and a master’s in experiential and outdoor education, this instructional site serves more than 800 students,” he said. “These numbers will continue to increase as we expand offerings to support the needs and interest of the region.”
A key element is being flexible for working professionals, Frazier said. “Looking ahead, for the fall semester of 2022, there will be three new doctorate of nursing degrees: general practice, family nurse practice and nurse anesthesia,” he said. “Those graduates will be able to build stable careers, especially within this region, with increasing demands for health care providers.”