And away we go

The start of a new academic year is always a time of great excitement and anticipation about what the new year will bring, which was exactly the vibe on campus last week as we kicked off 2019-2020 at The Woods.

This particular new year is a bit different from others, because this one will lead us right into the middle of the 150th anniversary of our founding as a university. It promises to be an exciting time at WWU, as we look at where we have been while also anticipating where we are going as an institution. And no matter how proud we are of what we have achieved in our illustrious past, keep in mind, we are always “going” as an institution. Standing still is not what we do at William Woods, which is why we continue to thrive as a university in these challenging times for higher education.

That thought once again crossed my mind during our first week of fall semester classes, as our students returned to our community for another year. You may have noticed a few of them in military uniforms, navigating their way around our beautiful campus for the first time. Those young men are actually high school students from Missouri Military Academy (MMA), who are taking college courses at WWU for the first time under a new initiative called the Triumph Program.

The Triumph Program is an exciting new partnership between William Woods and MMA in which student cadets at the academy can begin taking college courses taught by our talented WWU faculty – either on our campus in Fulton or at MMA’s in Mexico, Missouri. The program allows these students to begin their college careers while still in high school, and demonstrate to top colleges and universities their ability to successfully complete and master college-level work. The program also saves time and money for the students, as these college courses reduce a student’s cost and time in college, post-high school.

This is another example of our proud status as a military friendly university. William Woods’ cost, support services, career services and flexibility are all among the most important factors in college decision making for military veterans. Our online and part-time study options, as well as the freedom to start and stop as needed, provide the flexibility students (especially those with military service commitments) need to finish their degrees as their schedule allows.

And WWU is of course also one of just five Missouri universities to offer the prestigious Show Me GOLD program, which trains and provides commissioned officers for the Missouri Army National Guard.

These are just a few more examples of how we do things at The Woods, and how our experience is unique compared to many other places. Stay tuned for more such examples as the new year unfolds, as away we go on our 149th year as a university!

Dr. Jahnae Barnett