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Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: Washington State University

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January 8, 2015 at 11:21 AM

WSU’s online degree programs ranked highly by magazine

Among Washington’s public universities, Washington State University has made a significant effort to build a program of online degrees for students who can’t come to campus for classes.

The results of that work showed this week when WSU was one of just a few Washington universities that made it on a list of the best online degree programs, published by U.S. News & World Report.

WSU’s online bachelor’s program was ranked 20th in the country. It also ranked 21st for its online MBA program, and 29th for its online graduate engineering program.


Comments | More in News | Topics: online education, Washington State University

December 26, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Governor seeks money to train special ed leaders

It’s hard to imagine a more complex and demanding responsibility for a school district administrator than overseeing the education of children with disabilities.

Such leaders are in high demand; Seattle Public Schools’ new special education director, Wyeth Jessee, is the ninth person to hold the job in 10 years.

A new two-year master’s degree program to train future special ed directors has begun meeting that demand, graduating its first group of 10 students last summer. All the graduates, who already had at least five years experience in special education, received job offers.

The program, Enhancing Capacity for Special Education Leadership, is run by the University of Washington Bothell and Washington State University.

Graduates receive a UW Bothell Master’s degree in Education with emphasis in Educational Leadership.

State and federal dollars pay 90 percent of the cost for each scholarship in the program. Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed $2.3 billion education plan includes $800,000 to pay for 20 new slots and also to create a central location for “best practices” in special education at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.


Comments | Topics: special education, University of Washington Bothell, Washington State University

December 16, 2014 at 4:13 PM

UW panel: Triple the UW medical school program in Spokane

A University of Washington panel headed by former Gov. Dan Evans believes the best way to quickly increase the number of doctors working in rural Washington is for the UW to expand its medical school program in Spokane.

The panel also recommends creating more residencies in rural areas, particularly Eastern Washington.

It did not weigh in on what’s become a sore point between UW and Washington State University:  whether it’s also necessary for WSU to build its own, separate medical school in Spokane to alleviate the physician shortage. The panel’s report notes that it was not given the task of determining “if a separately accredited medical school is necessary or should be pursued by WSU.”

The UW and WSU, which used to work together to provide medical training at WSU’s Spokane campus, split earlier this year over how best to increase the number of doctors in Washington’s rural areas. There is a shortage of primary care doctors in those areas today, a problem that’s expected to get worse as baby boom-era doctors retire.


Comments | More in News | Topics: higher education, University of Washington, Washington State University

October 22, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Record-high enrollment at WSU and UW’s three campuses

The WSU campus in Pullman. Photo by Alan Berner / The Seattle Times 2011.

The WSU campus in Pullman. Photo by Alan Berner / The Seattle Times 2011.

Both the University of Washington and Washington State University are reporting record-high enrollments for this academic year, with UW enrollment up 3 percent from the previous year and WSU up 4 percent.

All told, the UW’s three campuses — Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma — now enroll 54,223 students. That’s almost as many people as live in Redmond.

The Seattle campus alone added more than 1,000 students, bringing its total to 44,786. In its most recent count, The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked the UW 12th-largest among public universities that offer doctoral degrees, and that was based on 2012 figures when total enrollment at the Seattle campus was 43,485.

The UW had both the highest undergraduate student enrollment in its history (41,243 students) and also the highest graduate student enrollment (12,980 students) when all three campuses are added together.


Comments | More in News | Topics: higher education, University of Washington, Washington State University

August 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Best bang for your college buck? UW ranks 6th

A wide range of institutions and publications will be rolling out national — in some cases, international — college and university rankings in the coming weeks. In this space, we’ll take note of some of the most interesting ones.

The national magazine Washington Monthly tries to downplay prestige and play up value in its “Best Bang for the Buck” list, with rankings based on the economic value students receive per dollar. Among national universities, that list puts the University of Washington-Seattle at number 6. Washington State University ranks 45th. 

Among master’s-degree-granting universities, UW-Bothell ranks 5th, and The Evergreen State College ranks 17th. Central Washington University comes in at 29th, and Western Washington University at 32nd.

Among all schools in the country, regardless of the highest degree awarded, UW-Bothell ranks 6th, and UW-Seattle ranks 15th.

The monthly magazine also has a second, broader ranking that looks at more than money.  For that list, it “asks not what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country. Are they educating low-income students, or just catering to the affluent? Are they improving the quality of their teaching, or ducking accountability for it?”


Comments | More in News | Topics: University of Washington, Washington State University, Western Washington University

June 23, 2014 at 5:00 AM

WSU program helps migrant farm workers get high school diplomas

Washington State University has been awarded a 5-year, $2.3 million grant to help migrant and seasonal farm workers, and their immediate families, get a high school equivalency diploma.

The money comes from the U.S. Department of Education, and it will be used to serve 65 participants a year at WSU.

There’s a bit of history involved. Nearly 50 years ago, WSU was chosen by the U.S. Department of Labor to create one of the nation’s first high school equivalency programs. The program ran for 42 years, until 2009, when the money was not renewed.


Comments | More in News | Topics: higher ed, Washington State University

May 19, 2014 at 5:00 AM

WSU holds special Spanish-language orientation in May

WSU campus in Pullman (Photo by Alan Berner / The Seattle Times 2011)

WSU campus in Pullman (Photo by Alan Berner / The Seattle Times 2011)

Sending a son or daughter off to college for the first time is a gut-wrenching experience for any parent, but that’s particularly true when the child is the first in your family to attend college. And a language barrier only adds to the anxiety.

That’s why Washington State University has offered a special Spanish language session during its mandatory student-parent orientation in summer. Now it’s doing even more, offering an all-Spanish orientation in May.

Why May? Many Spanish-speaking parents of incoming freshmen work in the agricultural industry, said Marcella Pattinson, coordinator for WSU Outreach and Undocumented Initiatives. Those parents often find it hard to leave work in July and August, when the harvest of many crops is in full swing.

La Bienvenida, the May orientation, was scheduled this past weekend, and will be offered to Spanish-speaking parents next May as well.


Comments | More in News | Topics: Washington State University

February 24, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Stuck on a math problem? WSU’s math center offers instant help

A white-coated math lab tutor helps students at WSU. Photo by Shelly Hanks.

A white-coated math lab tutor helps students at WSU. Photo by Shelly Hanks.

Even college students stumble over math. More than a year ago, Washington State University decided to make it easier for students to get immediate help whenever they got hung up on a problem. The program, WSU says, is helping students advance quickly through the required college math track.

The Mathematics Learning Center offers free tutoring for students enrolled in undergraduate math courses and is open 56 hours a week. Tutors dressed in white lab coats roam the room, looking for raised hands. The tutors are either math majors in their last years of college or graduate students working as teaching assistants.

Tutors at the math center are adept at helping in all levels of math. About 10 to 15 percent of WSU students require a developmental math class because their skills aren’t yet up to college level-math.


Comments | More in Math and science, News | Topics: higher ed, math, Washington State University

January 8, 2014 at 10:30 AM

WSU gets high marks in new ranking of top online degree programs

Thinking about going online to get your bachelor’s degree, or start a master’s program? U.S. News has come out with its third-annual ranking of the best online degree programs in the nation.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the rankings don’t look anything like U.S. News’ “best colleges” list, dominated by private Ivy League schools and flagship state universities. According to U.S. News, the best place to get a bachelor’s degree online is Central Michigan University, followed by SUNY College of Technology-Delhi and Pace University in New York.

Washington State University is the only Washington school to make the top 25 in online bachelor’s degrees, coming in at 21. But perhaps it doesn’t matter — when you’re online, you can go to college wherever you want.

WSU has been a state leader in online education. In 2012, it launched the Global Campus, an online portal to WSU courses and programs which it describes as its fifth campus (the other four are the physical campuses in Pullman, Tri-Cities, Vancouver and Spokane).


Comments | More in News | Topics: higher ed, online education, Washington State University

November 25, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Inslee, regents from UW and WSU to discuss higher education

Gov. Jay Inslee (Photo by Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times) Gov. Jay Inslee will convene with regents for both the University of Washington and Washington State University during the joint annual meeting of the two boards Nov. 29. It’s a short, one-hour meeting with a discussion of the future of higher education as the…


Comments | More in News | Topics: Gov. Jay Inslee, University of Washington, Washington State University