Western Oregon University Board of Trustees approves Aquarium Science program

A photo of the Western Oregon University sign on campus.

During its quarterly meeting Wednesday, the Western Oregon University Board of Trustees approved a new Bachelor of Science in Aquarium Science that encompasses a partnership with Oregon Coast Community College.

In the new academic program, WOU students will study three years in Monmouth followed by a final year at OCCC where they will take their aquarium science coursework and an experiential summer internship. Of the dozen or so universities in the U.S. offering four-year degrees in zoo or wildlife sciences, only three have a degree that emphasizes aquarium science.

“We are excited about this program for many reasons, including the fact that it will save time and money for students who are eager to pursue a career in aquarium science,” said WOU President Rex Fuller. “We know that employers in this field want professionals to have four-year degrees, and we are happy to partner with Oregon Coast Community College to meet this market demand and set graduates up for success in the work force.”

The next steps will be approval by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission and notification to WOU’s accrediting body, the NWCCU. If approved, the program would begin in fall 2020.

At the meeting, the board also:

  • Approved a new undergraduate certificate in Professional Writing, which will be offered at both the Monmouth campus and WOU:Salem
  • Approved a new graduate certificate in Interpreting Studies: Teaching Interpreting. The online program will meet the demand for advanced interpreting studies education to prepare educators in the Pacific Northwest and nationwide
  • Approved the establishment of a $5 million revolving line of credit
  • Adopted the Fiscal Year 2020 Proposed Adjusted Budget
  • Heard a summary of the economic impact study of Oregon’s Technical and Regional Universities. The four institutions account for more than 2,500 campus jobs and support a total of 7,500 jobs in Oregon. The combined value of all goods and services associated with TRU spending from operations, construction and visitor spending is more than $1 billion.

For additional information about the board meeting, visit wou.edu/board

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