WWU, OC announce partnership in West Sound

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Western Washington University and Olympic College are partnering to offer baccalaureate degrees with the creation of the Western Washington University Center at Olympic College in Poulsbo.

The collaboration between Olympic College and Western Washington University is expanding as Western plans on having tenure track faculty located in Poulsbo to provide undergraduate and graduate programs on the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas. This expansion is part of a joint vision to serve the community and businesses on the Peninsulas.

“I am pleased to be collaborating with Western Washington University on this exciting new endeavor. They are a strong institution with great vision and it is truly an honor to be partnering with them,” said Olympic College’s President, David Mitchell. “Moreover, partnerships such as this are crucial to developing new and innovative educational opportunities that better serve the diverse population of our community. These new programs along with the flexibility of the Poulsbo location will greatly broaden the horizons for individuals and businesses that call Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas their home.”

Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard agreed, saying, “Though Western has been active in Poulsbo for some time, we are very excited about the new opportunities that this partnership with Olympic College creates for the citizens of Kitsap County and the Olympic Peninsula as a whole.”

“The WWU Center at Olympic College Poulsbo is a terrific example of how we can leverage our respective strengths to serve critical needs in the state, especially for those who are time- and place-bound. Mothers, fathers, working professionals — anyone who wants to pursue the brighter futures that higher education makes possible, in a way that fits their lives,” he said.

Western’s Huxley College of the Environment and WWU’s Woodring College of Education currently offer courses on the Peninsulas.

“Businesses on the Peninsulas are innovative, with a focus on sustainability and technology, areas in which the College of Business and Economics has strengths,” said Brian Burton, dean of Western’s College of Business and Economics. “We hope to translate those strengths into a program in Poulsbo that will give the region’s students the education they want with the flexibility they need, with a combination of Poulsbo and Bellingham-based faculty.”

In addition to the College of Business and Economics creating a business degree for the Poulsbo program, Huxley College of the Environment will be adding two new tenure track faculty positions to Poulsbo where they will serve students at Huxley’s Port Angeles, Bremerton, Everett and Poulsbo sites.

“These faculty positions will allow us to grow our partnerships with Olympic, Peninsula, and Everett Community Colleges, and also with partners like the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Marine Science Laboratory in Sequim,” said Steve Hollenhorst, dean of Western’s Huxley College of the Environment.

On July 17, President David Mitchell, Olympic College, and President Bruce Shepard, Western Washington University, formally announced this partnership and the creation of the Western Washington University Center at Olympic College in Poulsbo at a special event at Olympic College in Poulsbo.

For more information on the WWU Center at Olympic College Poulsbo, contact Western’s Office of Communications and Marketing at (360) 650-3350.


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