College of Arts and Sciences
Winston-Salem, NC 27110
Academic Foundation of Excellence
WSSU’s College of Arts & Sciences reaffirms the importance of a liberal arts education, while carving out roles in career development and economic transformation. In recent decades, more people have chosen to pursue career-focused college degrees at the expense of a core liberal arts and sciences education. According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Education, the percentages of students pursuing degrees in fields such as business, information technologies and health sciences have increased by double digits since 1971, while the percentages of those completing studies in many traditional liberal arts and sciences disciplines such as English literature, mathematics and social sciences have declined by double digits.
This trend begs the question: What is the role of liberal arts and sciences education in today’s fiercely competitive global economy?
Far from becoming an irrelevant institution of higher learning, Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) has reaffirmed the importance of a liberal arts education to their core missions. They also have redefined the role these academic disciplines play in developing the world-class skills that prepare students for successful careers and societal contribution, while supporting growing and changing economies.
WSSU embraces the trend of offering wider choices to students preparing for specific careers. The school has established “academic centers of excellence” in health services, information technology (IT), financial services and Teaching & Learning. Supported by the state of North Carolina, it is making significant investments in facilities, faculty, research and community outreach related to these rapidly growing fields.
But the university views liberal arts and sciences education as the essential core of these career focused programs. In fact, much of the foundational academic requirements and teaching resources for the “academic centers of excellence” reside within WSSU’s College of Arts & Sciences (CAS). For example, CAS develops and teaches the computer science curriculum that is a big part of the Information Technology Center of Excellence, and provides the core science education for the Health Sciences programs.
Beyond its foundational mission, the College of Arts and Sciences is carving out an important role within WSSU in supporting the Piedmont Region’s economic transformation and community development. The school is developing new degree programs in emerging scientific disciplines that feed rapidly growing industries such as biotechnology, while integrating community service within more student learning experiences.
Over a Dozen Undergraduate Degree Programs
The WSSU College of Arts and Sciences offers more than a dozen undergraduate degree programs, awarding more than 200 bachelor’s degrees annually, while enrolling more than 3,300 students in courses each year. Within its nine departments, the College also provides the core foundational courses for all of WSSU’s undergraduate and graduate programs.