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Shepherd University


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A. Institution

A.1. What is the institution's historical context?

Shepherd University was incorporated in 1871 to instruct students "in language, arts and sciences." In 1872, the state legislature designated Shepherd College as a branch of the State Normal School. The College remained a Normal School until 1930, when the legislature authorized the offering of the Bachelor of Arts degree in teacher education. The mission of the college expanded in 1943 when the legislature authorized the offering of the non-teaching Bachelor of Arts degree. Two significant developments occurred in 1950: the legislature authorized the awarding of the Bachelor of Science degree and the North Central Association extended full accreditation to the college. Shepherd College became Shepherd University in 2004, and began developing graduate programs.

The University confers the Bachelor of Art (BA) degree upon majors in elementary education, English, history, psychology, secondary education, and Spanish. The music department offers a Bachelor of Music Education (BME) degree as well as a BA. The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is conferred upon majors in art. The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree is conferred upon majors in accounting, biology, business administration, chemistry, computer and information sciences, economics, environmental studies, family and consumer sciences, mass communication, mathematics, political science, recreation and leisure studies, and sociology. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is conferred on majors in nursing, and the Bachelor of Science in Social Work is conferred on majors in social work. The core of the baccalaureate curriculum is a formal General Studies Program that prepares students to take their place as educated citizens in a changing world.

The University offers five graduate programs including: the Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction, the Master of Arts in Teaching, the Master of Arts in College Student Development and Administration, the Master of Business Administration, and the Master of Music in Music Education.

A.2. What is the institution's mission?

"Shepherd University, a West Virginia public liberal arts university, is a diverse community of learners and a gateway to the world of opportunities and ideas. We are the regional center for academic, cultural and economic opportunity. Our mission of service succeeds because we are dedicated to our core values: learning, engagement, integrity, accessibility, and community." The University positioned itself to become a quality public liberal arts institution, though the professional degree programs are also an important part of the university. Shepherd University is proud of its 2009 selection as a member of Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC).

Throughout its history, Shepherd University deemed teaching and learning as its primary focus. The importance of the student-faculty relationship continues to be one of its most attractive and valued features. This is demonstrated through its commitment to small class size and faculty who advise students in their content areas. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission/ North Central Association. Individual programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education for Business, the National Association of Schools of Music, the West Virginia State Board of Examiners for Registered Nurses, the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

A.3. What are the institution's characteristics [e.g., control (e.g., public or private) and type of institution such as private, land grant, or HBI; location (e.g., urban, rural, or suburban area)]?

Shepherd University is a state-supported institution located in Shepherdstown, WV, a formerly rural area that is experiencing increasing development and population growth. The area has cultural ties to its Appalachian heritage; however, the culture is shifting as many residents commute into Washington, D.C. for employment. SU serves the higher education needs of an eight county area in the eastern panhandle of the state. Shepherd University is increasingly recruiting students from the surrounding states: Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and D.C. as well as some international students (42.3% of the student body were out-of-state residents in fall semester of 2009).

The institution continues to recruit a multicultural student body, faculty, and staff. The minority student population has increased steadily over the last 4 years. In the fall semester of 2009, 10 % of the 4,256 students self-identified as minority. The majority are commuters with some who travel as much as 100 miles. About two-thirds of the student body is traditional aged and the remaining third are non-traditional. There are nearly 700 students, almost evenly divided between elementary and secondary education, represented by the Professional Education Unit (PEU). Candidates pursuing licensure in 5-Adult, 9-Adult or P-Adult programs are categorized as secondary majors. Elementary candidates seek licensure in K-6 with the optional PK-K endorsement. Elementary and secondary majors comprise the largest concentration of majors on campus.

A.4. (Optional Upload for Online IR) Tables, figures, and a list of links to key exhibits related to the institutional context may be attached here. [Because BOE members should be able to access many exhibits electronically, a limited number of attachments (0-3) should be uploaded.]
History of Shepherd:
University Mission Statement:
Student Demographics:
Shepherd University Catalog:
Graduate Studies Catalog:

Campus Workroom for Section A:
* Institutional report, BOE report, and institutional rejoinder from the previous NCATE review.
* All AACTE/NCATE annual reports submitted since the last NCATE review (accessible in PRS system)
* Unit catalogs and other printed documents describing general education, specialty/content studies, and professional studies.
* A copy of the notice soliciting third-party testimony


Shepherd University | P.O. Box 5000 | Shepherdstown, West Virginia | 25443-5000 | 304-876-5000 | 800-344-5231