2009-2010 About Westminster
As members of the Westminster College community, we are committed to the following values:
Westminster College is a private, independent college dedicated to student learning. We offer professional and liberal arts courses of study for undergraduates, as well as selected graduate programs. We are a community of learners with a long and honored tradition of caring deeply about students and their education. Students are challenged to experiment with ideas, raise questions, critically examine alternatives, and make informed decisions. We encourage students to accept responsibility for their own learning, to discover and pursue their passions, and to act with responsibility.
Our purposes are to prepare students to lead lives of learning, accomplishment, and service and to help them develop skills and attributes critical for success in a rapidly changing world. We do this by offering distinctive academic programs that emphasize theory and practice and encourage active, experiential, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary learning. We work to pursue excellence while promoting inclusiveness and respect for differences.
We will be nationally recognized as an exemplary community of learners, distinguished by our distinctive educational programs, our record of preparing graduates for success in a rapidly changing world, and our commitment to continuous improvement, effectiveness, and value.
To distinguish the College by preparing "Graduates of Westminster College"-- graduates who have developed skills and attributes crucial for success.
"Graduates of Westminster College" will achieve the following college-wide learning goals:
The Westminster College campus is situated on 27 acres in a residential area of Salt Lake City within the shadows of the Wasatch Mountains. Students residing in the coeducational residence halls or nearby local housing are just 10 minutes from downtown, 15 minutes from nearby canyons, and only 30 minutes from spectacular ski slopes. Many cultural events, including symphony, ballet, and opera; as well as professional sports, are available to students year-round.
The campus has nineteen major buildings, including a performing arts center; student union; gymnasium; and residence halls, three of which have been built since 1998. The Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business building was completed in 1988 and expanded with a 32,000 square foot addition in Fall 2002. The flagship building of the campus, Converse Hall, was built in 1907 and renovated in 1989. It features classrooms and art studios, and houses a carillon. Foster Hall, renovated 1993-94, houses Arts and Sciences faculty and classrooms. Converse Hall and Foster Hall, together with the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts, compose the Jewett Center for the Arts and Humanities. The student union—the Shaw Center—was remodeled in 2001. In addition, there is a science laboratory building, computer labs, a flight simulator lab, a print shop, a theater, and a nursing laboratory. Classes in wheel-thrown and hand-built pottery are held in the Eccles Ceramics Center. Stately old trees, flowering shrubs, a mountain stream, and a towering water fountain in the center of the campus plaza enhance the overall beauty of Westminster’s campus.
The Giovale Library, completed in 1997, is a 50,000-square-foot state-of-the art library and information services center. The collection presently includes 127,000 books and 310 current journal subscriptions (with over 100 of these available electronically). Local access to other formats, including videos, DVDs, maps, microforms, and music CDs is available. Additionally, students have full-text access to over 28,500 electronic journals and more than 54,000 electronic books via some 90 online electronic databases (most of which are available from off-campus via a proxy server). The Giovale Library has seating capacity for 290 people, group study areas, a multimedia classroom, media viewing areas, a computer lab, an information commons area where multiple students can work together, and individual study carrels, all with wireless internet access. The library staff is well-trained to assist students, staff and faculty in formal classes or on an individual basis in accessing various databases and locating materials and information. The library also includes the Writing Center and an Assistive Technology Lab. The Giovale Library is a member of the Utah Academic Library Consortium.
The dedication of the library marked the first in a series of master-planned campus improvements, which include a tiered parking structure on the northwest end of campus behind the Jewett Center as well as an apartment-style residence which were both opened for Fall Semester 1998. A second apartment-style residence was opened for Fall Semester 1999, and a third was opened for Fall Semester 2001. The 35,000-square-foot expansion to the Gore Business Building was completed in Fall 2002. In the administration building, Bamberger Hall, the Registrar’s, Financial Aid, and President’s Offices were renovated in Summer 2002. Future building projects include a Science building and additional parking.
The Bill and Vieve Gore Center for Business, Aviation, and Entrepreneurship is one of the most technologically advanced facilities for business education in the nation. Interactive classrooms facilitate discussion and case analysis; the Entrepreneurship Center provides opportunities for students to mentor and consult with early-stage companies; the Center for Financial Analysis enables students to bridge the theoretical and practical components of finance; the Behavioral Simulation and Team Learning Lab simulates group, teamwork, and interpersonal relationships; mentor-team rooms provide space for students working on company-specific projects; and, in the Aviation Simulation Center, students practice their flying, instrument, and procedural skills.
The Emma Eccles Jones Conservatory was completed in Fall of 2004 and enjoyed a successful gala 2004-2005 season. This significant new facility adjoins the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts and helps meet the growing needs of our students in the performing arts. Some of the highlights of the new conservatory include a new concert hall with seating for 285, a rehearsal facility, seven practice rooms, a black box student theatre and a larger foyer to allow for public receptions and art exhibits.
The Dolores Doré Eccles Health, Wellness, and Athletic Center was completed in February of 2006. This 84,500-square-foot, three-story building houses a fitness complex featuring a gymnasium, climbing wall, swimming pool, fitness and training center, and lockers and training space. The third floor of the new facility is home to the college’s growing Center for Nursing Education, which provides classrooms, offices, and a Skills Center that includes a state-of-the-art simulation laboratory to support experiential learning for students at all levels of nursing education.
Dumke Field and parking structure, originally Dane Hansen Memorial Stadium, was completed in Fall 2006. This underground parking structure and elevated field houses Westminster’s soccer and lacrosse teams, as well as other intramural and club sports.
There are approximately 130 full-time faculty and 129 adjunct instructors who teach at Westminster College. Of the full-time faculty, more than 89% hold a Ph.D. or professional terminal degree. Among the members of the faculty are published writers, active scholars, and many who left successful professional careers in order to teach. The Genevieve W. Gore Distinguished Residents Program and the Weldon J. Taylor/American Express Executive Lecture Series bring noteworthy faculty, scholars, and business leaders to campus every year. The Anne Newman Sutton Weeks poetry series brings distinguished poets from all over the world to audiences from all around the intermountain west. The Tanner-McMurrin Lecture Series attracts an outstanding scholar in the history and philosophy of religion each spring, the Key Bank Diversity Lecture Series helps focus the College’s commitment to diversity and respect for differences, and the Kim T. Adamson Chair and annual lecture helps bring international perspectives to disciplines and majors throughout the college. The Westminster Concert Series features Westminster music faculty and other superb local and out-of-state musicians—many of them nationally or internationally respected—in the Vieve Gore Concert Hall.
A combination of approximately 2,455 full-time and part-time students representing 29 states and 24 foreign countries are enrolled in the college’s daytime, evening, and weekend classes. Seventy-six percent are undergraduate students, 24% are graduate students.
About 89% of undergraduate students attend full time (12 hours per semester or more), and 11% attend school part-time. About 46% of graduate students attend part-time. Approximately 93% percent of undergraduate students receive some form of financial assistance with an average financial aid award for full-time undergraduates of over $14,000.
Students are offered a choice of 42 undergraduate programs and majors as well as graduate degrees in business administration, technology management, education, professional communication, and nursing. Westminster students publish a weekly newspaper and a nationally recognized literary magazine, are active in student government and college committees, and are members of both special interest and honorary clubs.
Student Life and Services
Detailed information on student life and services can be found in the Student Handbook, which is distributed to all registered students, faculty, adjunct instructors and staff each fall. The handbook contains information on:
Accreditation and Affiliation
Westminster College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities; the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs; the Teacher Education Programs by the Utah State Board of Education; and the Nursing Program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and is approved by the Utah State Board of Nursing. Programs at Westminster College are approved for veterans benefits, and the College is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant students.
In addition, the college is a member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, American Association of Colleges, American Council on Education, Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, Council for Independent Colleges, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, National Collegiate Honors Council, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the Western Institute of Nursing. Westminster is an independent, freestanding, nonsectarian, self-governing college.
Westminster College has played a pivotal role in the educational heritage of the intermountain area. Founded in 1875 as the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute, a preparatory school under the auspices of the First Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City, Westminster first offered college classes in 1897 as Sheldon Jackson College. Named in honor of its primary benefactor, Sheldon Jackson, a Presbyterian clergyman and supervisor of public education in Alaska, the college operated for many years on the Collegiate Institute campus in downtown Salt Lake City. Gradually the institute became identified as the college preparatory department, and high school classes continued to be an integral part of the curriculum until 1945.
In 1902 college trustees adopted a new name to reflect a more generic Protestant orientation than its former title afforded. The name Westminster derives from The Westminster Confession of Faith, a comprehensive exposition of Presbyterian theology produced by English Puritans and Scottish Presbyterians at Westminster, a borough of London, in the seventeenth century.
Moving to its present location in 1911, Westminster became the first accredited two-year junior college in the intermountain area. In 1935 Westminster modified its curriculum to qualify as a four-year junior college and in 1949 became a four-year liberal arts institution offering baccalaureate degrees in the arts and sciences. In the years since, the college has added a number of professional programs.
Founded by Presbyterians but always interdenominational in outlook and governance, Westminster had legal ties to the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America administered through the regional Synod of Utah. By mutual consent of church and college, Westminster ended its official covenantal relationship in 1974. Today Westminster exists as a fully independent, privately funded, nondenominational, comprehensive liberal arts institution of higher learning with selected graduate programs, meeting the West’s educational needs as it has since 1875.
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