Winona State University is a comprehensive university that offers academically-inspired students the opportunity to obtain an education in the liberal arts and contemporary professions and to explore the application of knowledge in today’s world. The University prepares students to be skilled, competent, and active citizens with a strong sense of personal responsibility and motivation to contribute to the communities in which they live and work.
Located in the beautiful Upper Mississippi River Valley, Winona State University is built on a powerful sense of place and compassion for the human condition. The University offers distinctive graduate and undergraduate programs that reflect the special character of the communities it serves and that contribute to the quality of life in Minnesota and the region through thoughtful research, service, and unique collaborations with the community. Winona State University prepares the leaders of the 21st century to apply their knowledge to solve complex and ever-changing problems effectively. Winona State University is a community of learners improving our world.
Historical View: 150+ Years of Academic Excellence
Winona State University was founded in 1858 when the first Minnesota State Legislature established normal schools “to prepare teachers for the common schools of the state.” The first tax-supported school west of the Mississippi River was established at Winona to train teachers for the new frontier.
The State Normal School became Winona Teachers College in 1921 and was authorized to grant the bachelor’s degree. From the 1920s until World War II, significant curriculum changes enhanced the academic quality of teacher education. New courses were added, and departments emerged to organize a growing institution. Intramural and extramural athletics, social organizations, and co-curricular activities grew with the student population.
The boom following World War II saw rapid growth. In 1957, the institution became Winona State College; this new name reflected an expanded mission, which included the addition of Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science in Education, and Associate in Arts degrees. In 1975, the school became Winona State University.
Today, the University is structured into five colleges spread across two campuses in Winona and Rochester and is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. The original campus in Winona primarily serves traditional students; whereas, the Rochester campus offers a non-residential commuter campus with upper-division undergraduate and graduate programs that serve a diverse population of traditional and non-traditional students. In 2008, Winona State University celebrated its sesquicentennial, marking 150 years of service to students, the community, and the world.
- Nationally Ranked: Winona State University is ranked as the second public institution in Minnesota by U.S. News & World Report, has been listed among the “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review for seven years in a row, and has been recognized as one of America’s 100 Best College Buys for 15 consecutive years.
- e-Warrior Digital Life and Learning Program: Students select from approved laptop models and enjoy wireless access from anywhere on campus. The program gives students the opportunity to personalize and enhance their college experience.
- Darrell W. Krueger Library was designed to provide a wealth of information resources and services to the WSU community and beyond. The library holds more than 350,000 volumes and provides access to approximately 50,000 electronic periodicals and texts and more than one million microfilm documents.
- The University is home to the Child Advocacy Studies program, one of the most progressive model undergraduate curricula in the country. The multidisciplinary program is designed to train undergraduates—future teachers, law enforcement officers and health care professionals—in the identification and prevention of child abuse.
- WSU Goes Green: Winona State University is a signatory of the American Colleges and University Presidents Climate Commitment and was named one of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges in both 2010 and 2011 by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council.
- Health and Wellness: The university’s new Integrated Wellness Complex aligns health, wellness, academic and recreational programs and services into a single state-of-the-art facility on the university’s tobacco-free campus.
- Campus Safety: The University was ranked number 18 on a 2010 list of the top 50 safest campuses in the United States based on an independent review of data reported to the U.S. Department of Education under the Federal Clery Act.
- Student Involvement: WSU offers students the opportunity to get involved in student government and nearly 300 social, service, and professional clubs and organizations that reflect a broad spectrum of student interests. The University also sponsors professional cultural programs as well as student theatrical, musical, and dance performances.
- Top-Notch Varsity Sports: WSU is home to 15 men’s and women’s NCAA-II varsity sports: women’s basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball; men’s baseball, basketball, cross country, football, and golf.
- Transforming Education: As one of 14 institutions partnering with the Bush Foundation, Winona State University’s Teach 21 is set to receive up to $4 million over the next decade to increase educational achievement in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
- Path to Purple: The university works with Rochester Community and Technical College to offer programs in which students are able to begin their undergraduate education at the college and transfer to the university’s Rochester or Winona campus.
- Distinguished Programs: In 2011, the WSU College of Business earned accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. This specialized accreditation provides a “stamp of approval” recognizing the values of a Winona State University education.
Two campuses make up Winona State University: the original campus in Winona and Winona State University-Rochester.
The original campus provides a serene yet stimulating collegiate environment in the heart of the city of Winona. Tree-lined walkways, fountains, prominent sculpture, and benches invite students and visitors to a learning community in tune with the natural beauty of southeast Minnesota.
The Winona campus provides students ample facilities for educational activities that combine traditional charm with convenience and state-of-the-art technology. All academic buildings are extensively wired for computer access, and wireless Internet access is available throughout the campus. As a feature of the e-Warrior Digital Life and Learning Program, many classrooms offer data and power connections for each student.
Winona’s west residential campus is about one mile from the original campus and is located in Lourdes Hall, Maria Hall, and the Tau Center. It offers a unique living and learning experience with a strong sense of community. Students can take classes, meet with professors, and enjoy cultural experiences on the west campus while still actively participating in university life on the original campus. Lourdes Hall includes residential, dining, and recreational space. The Tau Center offers 120 completely wired single rooms and conference space with picturesque views of the bluffs and a peaceful setting by Gilmore Creek.
In recent years, WSU has upgraded facilities and added new buildings specifically designed to support its academic initiatives. Recent enhancements include:
- Integrated Wellness Complex: The 90,000-square-foot Integrated Wellness Complex combines health and physical education, fitness, recreational sports, intercollegiate athletics, student health services, counseling services, and teaching and research space to educate a new generation of health care professionals.
- Phelps Hall: The oldest building on campus underwent a major transformation to provide upgraded facilities for the Mass Communication department, including a photo studio, TV studio, multimedia editing lab, and new quarters for the campus radio station (KQAL).
- Maxwell Hall: The renovated Maxwell Hall features an integrated academic services center, called the Warrior Hub, to assist students in accessing all the information they need in one convenient location. The building is also home to the National Child Protection Training Center and its state-of-the-art training facility, which includes a mock house and mock courtrooms.
- Kryzsko Commons: The campus Student Center has been expanded and renovated to increase the space available for meeting rooms and to provide additional food venues. Kryzsko Commons houses dining facilities, lounge and recreation areas, offices for student organizations, student study space, and meeting rooms.
- Science Laboratory Center (SLC): This contemporary facility was designed to create much-needed, modern academic space. The SLC has 118,000 square feet of space devoted to laboratories, a multimedia-equipped auditorium, student study spaces, and a vast atrium where even the floor and massive rock wall promote learning opportunities.
- New Residence Hall: The new residence hall is a 408-bed residential complex that features suite-style living. In total, the University complex of residential housing includes East Lake Apartments and nine residence halls and is home to more than 2,500 students.
Winona State University-Rochester
Since 1917, Winona State University has served students in Rochester and the surrounding area. In 1993, the University entered into a partnership with Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) to establish the University Center Rochester (UCR). Since its inception, more than 5,000 bachelor’s and master’s students have graduated from UCR programs. Today, WSU-Rochester offers degree programs from baccalaureate through doctoral levels in professional career-oriented fields of study.
On an annual basis, WSU-Rochester serves 1,500 students with an average of 40 resident faculty, an additional 20 campus commuting faculty and a varying number of professional adjunct faculty servicing the Rochester campus each academic term. The Rochester location offers unique opportunities to collaborate with businesses, schools, and organizations in the area through specialized programs in business, computer science, education, health care, and social work.
Housed with RCTC in a single, integrated building complex on the UCR campus, WSU-Rochester features modern classroom facilities and technology-enhanced classrooms. The campus includes a state-of-the-art Health Sciences building with several “smart” classrooms, clinical nursing laboratory areas, and high fidelity simulation. Sophisticated technology links WSU-Rochester students with the Winona campuses and the world.
WSU students have access to the Goddard Library, which houses 57,000 volumes, a computer lab, and a laptop rental center. The College Center includes a cafeteria and snack bar and lounge areas. The UCR also includes a fitness and recreation center with indoor courts and a running track.
The city of Winona (population 27,000) is nestled among the bluffs of the beautiful Hiawatha Valley on the banks of the Mississippi River–one of the most scenic areas in Minnesota. Once one of the Midwest’s wealthiest cities because of its location on the river, Winona enjoys a rich legacy of historic buildings and vintage homes. Winona State University is located in the heart of the city, giving students convenient access to shopping, recreation, social activities, and community resources. Additional cultural opportunities are available in La Crosse, Wisconsin (30 miles away), Rochester (45 miles away), and Minneapolis-St. Paul (120 miles away).
In addition to WSU, the city of Winona is home to two other institutions of higher education: Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and Minnesota State College—Southeast Technical. WSU cooperates with these institutions, as well as institutions throughout the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and the University of Minnesota, to enrich the educational and cultural opportunities for students at all institutions by sharing their programs and resources.
WSU-Rochester is located on the UCR campus at the southeastern corner of the city of Rochester, a rapidly growing community of more than 100,000 residents with a very diverse population. Consistently recognized as one of “the best places to live” in America, Rochester is the third largest city in the state and home to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, the largest IBM Corporation facility under one roof, and the second largest airport in Minnesota. The city offers extensive cultural, dining, shopping, and sports resources, including the Mayo Civic Center, Rochester Athletic Club, Rochester Arts Center, Cascade Meadow Wetlands and Environmental Science Center, National Volleyball Center, and Quarry Hill Nature Center. The city also has more than 3,500 acres of park land with 85 miles of paved trails, 3 public golf courses, and 5 indoor hockey rinks. In addition to WSU-Rochester and RCTC, there are a number of higher education institutions offering programs in Rochester, including the University of Minnesota—Rochester, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Augsburg College, and the Mayo School of Health Sciences.
Academic Mission and Goals
Winona State University is an exemplary arts and sciences institution with select professional and graduate programs. With an enrollment of approximately 8,900 undergraduate and graduate students, WSU is a mid-sized public university committed to small class sizes and rigorous academic standards.
Faculty and administrators are involved with students, facilitate cooperative and active learning, and demonstrate respect for diverse talents and ways of knowing. Faculty members are dedicated to creating an optimal learning environment for students by using contemporary technology and by building learning communities, which help students maximize their post-graduation successes. Students acquire disciplinary expertise, enabling them to pursue careers or to enter graduate or professional schools. They learn the value of aesthetics and ethical integrity as well as the importance of becoming community leaders and furthering the public good.
Winona State University recognizes that many learning experiences occur outside the classroom. Therefore, the University is committed to building and maintaining a caring community. Community members strive for amicable relationships based on shared values and an affirmation of the principle of freedom of speech within an atmosphere of civility and mutual respect. Governed by collective bargaining agreements and guided by principled leadership, the University community respects diversity and collaborates to resolve issues that affect all its members. We celebrate our common successes and our distinctive heritage.
The University is committed to measuring results against self-defined and national standards. Through this ongoing assessment in which students, faculty, and staff participate, WSU will continuously improve and establish accountability for results. Thus, Winona State University reaffirms its social contract to provide educational benefits to the people of Minnesota, the nation, and the world.
Five distinct colleges comprise the University: College of Business, College of Education, College of Liberal Arts, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and the College of Science and Engineering. Through these colleges, Winona State University offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 10 pre-professional programs, 23 Master’s (MS) degree programs, an Educational Specialist (EdS) degree, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, and several undergraduate and graduate licensure programs.
All programs are offered by highly qualified faculty in an environment that encourages a passion for learning and student service. Approximately 400 faculty members dedicate themselves to delivering challenging rigorous academic programs while maintaining “small school closeness.” Classes average 25 to 30 students; the student-faculty ratio is 21:1.
Accreditations and Memberships
Winona State University is accredited by the following organizations:
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
- American Chemical Society (ACS)
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
- Commission for Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
- Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
- Higher Learning Commission: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC)
- National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
- National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST)
- National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Winona State University is recognized by the following organizations:
- Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI)
- Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
- National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
- National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
- National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
Winona State University programs are approved by:
- American Bar Association (Paralegal Program)
- Minnesota Board of Nursing (Entry Level Undergraduate Nursing)
- Minnesota Board of School Administrators
- Minnesota Board of Teaching
- National Council for Therapeutic Recreation