Within the past year, Washington State University Tri-Cities grew in nearly all areas. This fall, we welcomed a record number of students to our campus and within the last year, our professors secured nearly $30 million in research funding. As the region’s premier university, everything we do is driven by our commitment to dynamic student engagement, research experience and community engagement as we educate students using a polytechnic approach.
This fall, WSU Tri-Cities welcomed 1,593 students, a growth of 167 students compared with the previous fall and the largest number of students ever enrolled on campus. Of those students, 35 percent are minority students, continuing our legacy as WSU’s most diverse university campus.
As we continue to grow, our commitment to quality remains steadfast. Our freshmen grade-point average this fall was 3.33. We also celebrated the inauguration of our Running Start program, which allows high school students to take tuition-free university courses, and our AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) program, where students grow academically through the development of organizational skills, advising, mentoring and highly engaging instruction.
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We believe the key to our students’ success is their access to a variety of hands-on, service-based learning opportunities that are paired with external learning experiences in the students’ career fields of choice.
H. Keith Moo-Young, WSU Tri-Cities chancellor
We believe the key to our students’ success is their access to a variety of hands-on, service-based learning opportunities that are paired with external learning experiences in the students’ career fields of choice. Through partnerships with organizations like the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Hanford Site, our students observe how their education directly applies to the job sector through internships, co-ops and more. The result is increased retention, engagement and better career-prepared graduates.
The Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center opened its doors at WSU Tri-Cities last summer, and since then, students and professors hit the ground running in researching the latest techniques in viticulture and enology. As we continue to develop our new hospitality business management degree program, which includes a wine business management major offering, students will work with wine science students on projects that will have real-world impacts as the state continues to grow as one of the nation’s largest wine producers.
To meet the needs for student life on campus, WSU Tri-Cities is also designing a new student union building, which is scheduled to be completed in 2017. The new 6,250-square-foot building will include recreation, study and meeting spaces for students.
Achievements in academics
WSU Tri-Cities is in the process of curating and archiving artifacts from the Hanford Site’s Manhattan Project and Cold War Collection, a project funded through a subcontract with the U.S. Department of Energy. Students and faculty are sorting through 1,600 objects and more than 3,000 historic photographs. This experience provides students an opportunity to engage in a world-renowned historical project that is rooted locally in our region.
Joseph Iannelli, WSU Tri-Cities executive director of engineering and computer science, led a partnership agreement for an exchange program with the Zurich University of Applied Sciences. Through the program, WSU students in computer science and engineering study abroad at the Swiss university. For master’s students, there is the potential to receive a dual degree from both universities.
WSU Tri-Cities signed a partnership agreement with the Tri-County Partners Habitat for Humanity to build a Tri-Cities Coug House in Pasco, which will go to a deserving local family. Students incorporate aspects of the project into their coursework, in addition to growing their volunteer experiences. Regardless of majors and talents, we welcome everyone to get involved with this first-of-its-kind partnership project for the region.
Honoring a champion
Earlier this school year, WSU lost one of the nation’s greatest champions for higher education. We hope to honor late WSU President Elson Floyd by continuing his vision for providing every student with an affordable education that prepares them for life and their future careers.