The state budget allocated $3.56 million to increase enrollment in high-demand fields at Washington’s four-year colleges and universities during the upcoming academic year. WSU programs in management information systems, bioengineering, nursing, English as a second language, special education and prescience and prehealth science programs received shares of the money.
“WSU is pleased to have recognition of the need for additional funding to meet the needs in some of our high-demand/expensive programs,” said WSU President V. Lane Rawlins. “Our academic affairs administration and deans prepared some wonderful proposals and we are eager to move ahead. This will allow us to admit and provide programs for a number of students who otherwise simply would have been excluded.”
WSU programs that received funding include:
- the bachelor’s degree program in management information systems, which received $293,810 to fund the enrollment of 28 full-time-equivalent (FTE) students. The students would work through the university’s online program, which would allow them to attend from around the state.
- expansion of the prescience and prehealth science curriculum. This funding, $268,130, would pay for the expansion of the university’s “pipeline” courses in biology, chemistry and physics to serve an additional 30 FTE students. Enrollment for the undergraduate core science courses has grown rapidly in recent years, forcing the university to close enrollments early in some courses.
- the Bachelor of Science in nursing, which would receive $570,981 to increase enrollments in nursing programs on the Spokane and Tri-Cities campuses and through the university’s Web-based program for registered nurses who received their initial training at community colleges. The Web-based program would increase the university’s ability to serve rural students. The funding would pay for 28 FTE students.
- the Bachelor of Science in bioengineering, a relatively new program that responds to the rapid expansion in this portion of the economy. The $524,362 in funding will allow for the increased enrollment of 20 FTE students and will help ensure admission of more transfer students who might otherwise be unable to gain admission to the program.
- a program to provide teaching endorsements in English as a second language and special education. The program, which would receive $281,347, allows current teachers to earn endorsements in these two areas through the university’s online programs and at WSU campuses and outreach centers around the state. The funding would allow the university to serve an additional 30 FTE students.