Jul 16, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

University Policies


Western Oregon University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the NWCCU indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality evaluated through a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one that has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

Accreditation by the NWCCU applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of every course or program offered or the competence of individual graduates. Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution.

Inquiries regarding an institution’s accredited status by the NWCCU should be directed to WOU’s Office of Academic Affairs. Individuals may also contact:
8060 165th Ave. NE, Suite 100
Redmond, WA 98052-3981

Programs for the training of elementary and secondary teachers at the undergraduate and graduate levels and special education teachers at the graduate level, are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

Undergraduate programs in teacher education and graduate programs in teacher education, special education and early intervention, are also accredited by the State of Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC).

The undergraduate program in American Sign Language/English Interpreting is one of only seven bachelor’s degree programs accredited nationally by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education, a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors.

The graduate program in Rehabilitation Counselor Education is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE), an organization recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation and a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors.

Affirmative Action

Western Oregon University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. The university prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status or disability in its programs and activities. This policy implements local, state and federal laws (including Title IX) and applies to employment, admission, education and facilities.

Anyone who has questions regarding the nondiscrimination policies or believes that he or she has experienced harassment or discrimination should contact the Affirmative Action Office located in the Office of Human Resources, Administration Building, Room 205; telephone 503-838-8131; online wou.edu/hr/. The university’s policies are available on the human resources website: wou.edu/hr/.

Campus Security Act and Fire Safety Act Notice

In accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Act of 1990, Western Oregon University issues an annual security report that is published and available online at wou.edu/admin/safety/#survival. Hard copies of the report are available from the Campus Public Safety Office, 345 Monmouth Ave. N., Monmouth or 97361; telephone 503-838-8481. The annual report contains information about campus security and topics such as crime prevention, university law enforcement authority and crime reporting procedures. The annual Fire Report is included.

Information for the Clery Act can be found on the WOU website at the bottom of every page under the WOU Campus Safety Report.

Catalog Information

This catalog is for purposes of information only. Care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time copy is prepared for publication, but circumstances constantly change within an institution. New decisions may affect the accuracy of the details appearing here. The information in this catalog is subject to change without notice and does not constitute a contract between Western Oregon University and a student or applicant for admission.

Students also are urged to regularly consult with faculty advisers for information and guidance.

This publication can be made available in alternative formats to assist persons with disabilities. Please give reasonable notice to:

Academic Affairs Office
Western Oregon University
345 Monmouth Ave. N.
Monmouth or 97361

Commitment to Diversity

Western Oregon University is committed to providing students from all backgrounds a personalized educational experience that successfully prepares them for our diverse and dynamic world. WOU actively seeks to enroll and graduate students from all the world’s cultures so that our campus community can effectively teach and grow in its understanding and celebration of the many diverse cultures, beliefs, traditions, histories and heritages in our communities both locally and abroad.

We will accomplish the goals and objectives in our strategic plan by proactively:

  • Welcoming and valuing students, staff and faculty from all cultural backgrounds and experiences including ethnicities, socioeconomic classes, religions, disabilities, sexual orientations and gender identities;
  • Actively embracing and celebrating cultural traditions and histories from across the globe;
  • Sustaining a campus environment that engenders respect for people of all cultures and supports an intellectual discourse and development that values the acquisition and expression of divergent views and perspectives;
  • Requiring that all undergraduate students complete courses that broaden their understanding of their own and other cultures;
  • Acting in a leadership role in the state and region in serving the needs of our communities, students and families;
  • Ensuring that material produced for the web and print is made available in multiple formats and languages as is appropriate to serve the needs of specific audiences; and
  • Making available and supporting the acquisition and development of new language skills among our students, staff and faculty.

Our commitment and success in creating a supportive environment that serves all students has led to recognition by the National Education Trust.

Consensual Relationships Statement

Romantic or sexual relationships between a university employee and student raise serious ethical concerns and can create an unacceptable educational or working environment. The respect and trust accorded a university employee by a student, as well as the power exercised by a university employee in his or her academic or evaluative role, greatly diminish the student’s actual freedom of choice if sexual favors are requested. Therefore, university employees are warned against participating in even an apparently consensual relationship.

Additional information is available at wou.edu/policycouncil/policy-library/. To request a complete hard copy of the policy, contact the Office of Human Resources at 503-838-8490.

Drug-Free School Policy

WOU has committed itself to the education and development of healthy, productive and responsible individuals. Consistent with this commitment, WOU has established and will enforce institutional rules that uphold federal, state and local laws applicable to alcohol and other drug usage.

The university prohibits illegal use of drugs or alcohol by students, faculty or staff. Additional information is available at wou.edu/policycouncil/policy-library/. To request a complete hard copy of the policy, contact the Office of the General Counsel at 503-838-8809.

Statement on Discrimination, including Sexual Harassment

WOU is committed to cultivating an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to learn in an atmosphere that promotes equal opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices, including harassment. WOU expects relationships across campus will be free from bias, prejudice and harassment.

This policy statement is intended to reaffirm WOU’s prohibition against discrimination and harassment, clarify types of prohibited conduct and provide an effective complaint procedure to individuals who believe they have observed or have been subject to prohibited conduct.


Discrimination, for the purposes of this policy, is defined as any act or practice, in form or operation, whether intended or unintended, that unreasonably differentiates among persons on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status or disability or any other status protected under the law.


Harassment, for the purposes of this policy, is defined as conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile or degrading environment that would interfere with the work or academic performance of a reasonable person of the complainant’s protected status.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of discriminatory harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature when directed toward an individual because of that individual’s gender when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of the individual’s grade or used as the basis for any academic decision; or
  • Such conduct is unwelcome and has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive academic environment.

Additional information is available at wou.edu/policycouncil/policy-library/. To request a complete hard copy of the discrimination and harassment policy and complaint procedure; to discuss a sexual harassment, harassment or discrimination concern; or to file a sexual harassment, harassment or discrimination complaint, contact the Office of Human Resources at 503-838-8490.

Student Right to Know

Western Oregon University provides the following information regarding our institution’s graduation rates. This information is provided in compliance with the Higher Education Act of 1965. The graduation rates reflect the graduation status of students who initially enrolled at WOU during the 2010-11 academic year and for whom 150 percent of the normal time to completion has elapsed.

During fall 2010, 1,033 first-time, degree seeking undergraduate students entered the university. As of June 2016, 39 percent of these students graduated from WOU.

Questions related to this report should be directed to David McDonald, associate provost at 503-838-8212.

University Communication Policy

Every student at Western Oregon University is assigned a WOU email account that can be accessed via the WOU Portal. This email account will be used as the official form of communication between the university and its students. The university will send important and timely information to the students via email and it is expected that students regularly check their WOU email account.

It is not recommended that students forward their WOU email address to another email account as there is a risk of emails becoming undeliverable. Issues with email not being delivered to a third party email system does not relieve WOU students of their responsibilities or obligations which may be detailed in the correspondence.

University System Social Security Number (SSN) Disclosure Consent Statement

To comply with the Tax Payer Relief Act of 1997, Western Oregon University must obtain your correct social security number (SSN) to file returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to furnish a statement to you. The returns filed by WOU must contain information about qualified tuition and related expenses.

The Privacy Act of 1974, section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code, requires that you give your correct SSN to agencies that must file information returns with the IRS. The IRS uses your SSN for identification and to verify the accuracy of your tax return.  For more information, please refer to Internal Revenue Code section 6050S. By signing the application for admission, you give your permission for the use of your SSN to assist WOU in developing, validating or administering predictive tests and assessments; administering student aid programs; improving instruction; identifying students internally; collecting student debts; or comparing student educational experiences with subsequent work-force experiences.

When conducting studies, WOU will disclose your SSN only in a manner that does not permit personal identification of you by individuals other than representatives of WOU and only if the information is destroyed when no longer needed for the purposes for which the study was conducted. By providing your SSN, you are consenting to the uses identified above.

This request is made pursuant to the Oregon Revised Statutes 351.070 and 351.085. You are not required to consent to the use of your SSN for research; if you choose not to do so, you will not be denied any right, benefit or privilege provided by law. You may revoke your consent for the use of your SSN at any time by writing to Admissions. If you do not give consent to use your SSN for research, please attach a note requesting a system-generated number.

Veteran Administration (VA) Standards

Veteran’s Representatives

Lieuallen Administration Building 104

The Office of VA Benefits, a unit within the Office of the Registrar, helps eligible student veterans, reservists, and military dependents obtain educational benefits in compliance with the procedures and regulations of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The office provides basic information about educational benefits administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Any student receiving GI Bill education benefits while attending Western Oregon University is required to obtain transcripts from military training and all previously attended schools and submit them to the school for evaluation of prior credit and shortening of the program proportionately.

Eligible student veterans should contact the Veteran’s Representatives by telephone, e-mail, or mail as soon as they are admitted to the university. The mailing address is Office of the Registrar, 345 Monmouth Ave. N., Monmouth, OR 97361. The Veteran’s Representatives are available 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday.

Course and program credit requirements are clearly defined in the WOU course catalog. Course and program credit requirements reflect the scope of study.

Certain programs within the WOU catalog have credit spans. These credit spans reflect the lowest and highest credits a student may take depending on the path taken through the program (e.g. choice of concentration and/or minor can impact total credits needed).

Per WOU regulations certain courses may be repeated for credit when the content changes and other courses may not be repeated for credit. A program may require that a single course be taken multiple times for credit. In such cases the designated courses may be repeated for credit. Such requirements are clearly outlined in the WOU catalog entry for the program.

No student receiving VA Education benefits may have enrollment certified in a course that was previously successfully completed and for whom repeating the course is not an outstanding program requirement.

Veterans Administration Standards
Certification Status





Full time

3/4 time

1/2 time

< 1/2 time

1/4 time











Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act

Western Oregon University complies with Public Law 113-146, the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, Section 702. As of July 1, 2015, the following individuals shall be charged the Oregon in-state rate or otherwise be considered a resident, for tuition and fees purposes:

  • A veteran using educational assistance under either chapter 30 (Montgomery G.I. Bill - Active Duty Program) or chapter 33 (Post-9/11 G.I. Bill), of title 38, United States Code, who lives in Oregon while attending a school located in Oregon (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge or release from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • Anyone using transferred Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits (38 U.S.C. § 3319) who lives in Oregon while attending a school located in Oregon, (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the transferor’s discharge or release from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • Anyone described above while he/she remains continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks between courses, semesters or terms) at the same school. The person so described must have enrolled in the school prior to the expiration of the three-year period following discharge or release as described above and must be using educational benefits under either chapter 30 or chapter 33, of title 38, United States Code.
  • Anyone using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (38 U.S.C. § 3311(b)(9)) who lives in Oregon while attending a school located in Oregon, (regardless of his/her formal state of residence).
  • Anyone using transferred Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits (38 U.S.C. § 3319) who lives in Oregon while attending a school located in Oregon, (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and the transferor is a member of the uniformed service who is serving on active duty.
  • The policy shall be read to be amended as necessary to be compliant with the requirements of 38 U.S.C. 3679(c) as amended.

WICHE State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement

Western Oregon University is a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and participates in the WICHE State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (W-SARA), an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. For more information, visit wiche.edu/sara.