Big News: Western Oregon University in Salem

In the last edition of Western Edge, we told you about WOU’s expansion into Salem, where the university was leasing classroom space from the Willamette Education Service District. In September, WOU purchased a permanent space in downtown Salem: the historical Vick building on the corner of High and Trade streets. The building will get a new roof, reconfigured classrooms and office spaces added during the next year. By fall 2020, the new WOU:Salem location will be open for business and ready to serve working adults who are earning their four-year degrees or getting a master’s degree to further their careers. There’s even an endowment, thanks to former building owner Roger Yost, slated to help Salem-based students cover part of their tuition.

Here are some quick facts about the WOU:Salem building and future plans:
• Total square feet: 36,197 (basement 11,867; first floor 12,165; second floor 12,165)

• Parking: 40 spaces in private lot; hundreds available in nearby city parkades

• Expected construction/maintenance costs: $600,000

• Specialized programs: Applied Baccalaureate in Liberal Studies (for students who hold an Associate of Applied Science two-year degree) and Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (for students who hold a bachelor’s degree and seek career advancement).

• Other programs: General education courses and certificate programs—like professional writing.

• Benefits of location: Close to Capitol and state agency offices; easily accessible via public transportation; in the vibrant downtown community; Salem’s only significant public university presence.

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