The mission of The College of Wooster is to help students cultivate a higher learning that incorporates a wide variety of skills and qualifications that employers hold in high regard. The campus environment keeps the student body surrounded in a productive, enriching and supportive atmosphere that encourages students to not only take their education seriously, but to continuously push their academic career to a higher level. All campus hosted activities and events are strategically chosen to ensure that each individual is inspired to master their leadership skills, critical thinking ability and most importantly, time-management skills. All students are encouraged to attend the various seminars and workshops that are offered throughout the school year, opening various life changing opportunities and professional training. The one of a kind Independent Study Program has attracted many students from across the country and the world since it was established.
Academic research is one of the main priorities at Wooster. Many students pursue a degree in the globally recognized History program – taking full advantage of the extensive research program offered on campus. From the very first year of attendance, students are eligible to take advantage of participating on the research teams that consist of both students and faculty members. Various programs are available to assist students in optimizing their college experience such as the Sophomore Research Program and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Research Scholars program.
The College of Wooster was originally founded by Presbyterians and operated as The University of Wooster in 1866. However, open enrollment did not begin at the facility until 1870, when the first class consisting of 34 students was enrolled. Wooster has been a co-educational facility since it was established, focused on providing a quality education to all students. The foundation of the campus is owed to Ephraim Quinby, an upscale Wooster citizen that offered a small parcel of land to develop the school on its ideal location – a peaceful grove located on a hilltop above the main town. Since opening, Wooster has developed a rich history of achievements and iconic alumni. The first Ph.D. earned from Wooster was awarded to Annie B. Irish, followed by the enrollment of Wooster’s first black student, Clarence Allen just a few years later.
The College of Wooster is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Wooster has also been an active member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1947 as well. Various courses offered have received individual accreditation throughout the years, such as the Education program, which is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
In 1901, a historic fire destroyed the center structure of the campus known as the Old Main building. Wooster students, alumni and supporters worked together diligently to rebuild the structure within merely two years after the fire. The next 30 years enabled the College to develop the campus with additional buildings including the Kauke Hall and Taylor Hall. By 1920, the curriculum had developed and enhanced to such a point that the newly founded medical school experienced a higher student enrollment than the initial liberal arts program. The school instantly became known for its teachings of evolution and world change. In 1915, the school was renamed The College of Wooster in attempts to separate the curriculum to focus on the liberal arts culture However, during the mid 1920s, a reputable Presbyterian layman, publicly went against the school for such teachings, stating that it was both immoral and unwise to fill the impressionable minds of young students. By 1947, the infamous Independent Study Program was established, giving seniors the opportunity to showcase their individual advancement, creativity and research developments.
The College of Wooster campus actively showcases the missions of the College and the support structure of its students. This is expressed by the activities, events and the daily support of student peers. When you visit the Wooster campus, you will find an assortment of things to do, whether you enjoy participating on the various athletic teams or would prefer to be involved with a special interest or academic research group – there is always something to do on and off-campus.
On campus, students will find over 10 residence halls to choose from. Since housing on campus in required at the College to enhance the full collegiate experience, Wooster also offers an arrangement of over 30 special interest housing facilities that are spread throughout the campus. Many students take advantage of the study abroad program for at least one semester of their college experience to carry out a Wooster mission in a foreign country. Living among the various cultures of the world has enabled Wooster students and alumni to develop new perspectives, hands-on experiences, as well as establish new friendships internationally.
The Independent Study program has been preparing students for their professional careers since 1947 when implemented by the College’s 7th President, Howard Lowry. This program is offered to seniors, giving them the opportunity to work with the faculty member of their choice throughout their senior year on their written thesis or research project. The success of this program has helped students to perform more laser-targeted research with the help of an experienced professor with an advanced degree in the subject area. The College of Wooster is proud of its students, as well as its inspiration on other educational facilities that have started to model programs after the Independent Study program.
Many students that attend The College of Wooster start their college journey by attending the annual National Interview Day, where students, alumni and faculty members dedicate the day to helping prospective students decide if Wooster is right for them. Faculty members and student staff work diligently to provide students with information, resources and assistance when applying for financial aid and funding options. The close-knit community maintained at the College offers students a relief in stressful times throughout the school years. Each student is encouraged to explore all available funding options including loans, grants, scholarships and third-party funding to ensure each semester is well optimized.
All international students are presented with individual funding options to ensure an easy transition to their new home. Merit scholarships are also available to all students that meet the eligibility requirements. The Admissions staff is available throughout the year to assist students in the financial aid application process or to enroll in the work study program to reduce the cost of schooling.