Outreach and Continuing Education
Dr. Robert Squires
Vice Provost, Outreach and Continuing Education
Staff Directory: adminweb.wwu.edu/dept_directory/?key=437
College Hall 131
Outreach and Continuing Education (OCE) supports and delivers Western programs to students and community members within and beyond the borders of Bellingham campus.
OCE connects diverse learners to the Western Experience by collaborating with colleges, departments and the community, linking university resources with educational needs and opportunities both on and off campus—including international education opportunities—in support of the State’s education attainment goals and Western’s strategic goals.
OCE at Western had its beginnings in 1912 when the first home study courses were created for teachers. Fast forward to the 21st century where OCE has supported the expansion and diversification of Western’s offerings in Bellingham and throughout the Puget Sound region, emphasizing community college partnerships to deliver flexible degree pathways and educational opportunities for all ages.
OCE supports undergraduate, graduate, certificate/endorsement, and online programs. Individual online learning courses are offered via Term-Based online and Self-Paced independent learning online for degree completion and professional development purposes through WesternOnline. OCE also facilitates Western’s Summer Session.
OCE reaches out to the public and private sectors with academic programs for youth, non-credit enrichment courses for lifelong learners, and professional development for those seeking career advancement opportunities. In addition, OCE facilitates conferences for groups and organizations, both on- and off-campus.
Outreach and Continuing Education connects learners of all ages to the Western Experience. Outreach and Continuing Education collaborates with colleges, departments, and the community, linking university resources with educational needs and opportunities both on and off campus.
Outreach and Continuing Education will share the Western Experience with students of all ages through learning opportunities across time and place by expanding partnerships – campus and beyond – to build a stronger Washington.
Statement of Quality
Outreach and Continuing Education is committed to the same high standards of quality for which Western is well known. Programs and courses are designed and/or revised with the assistance of university faculty, aided by industry and community experts and are reviewed and approved by Western Washington University colleges, departments, and academic committees.
Degree and Certificate Programs
The following academic programs are offered through the College of Business and Economics, College of Fine and Performing Arts, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Science and Engineering, College of the Environment, Woodring College of Education, and the Graduate School. For program information, visit the appropriate website listed below.
College of Business and Economics
College of Fine and Performing Arts
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Science and Engineering
College of the Environment
Woodring College of Education
University Interdisciplinary Programs
Degree/Certificate Programs Site List
- Bellingham (Main Campus)
- Mount Vernon
- Port Angeles
- Online: online.wwu.edu
Western on the Peninsulas
For over 20 years, Western has offered degree, professional, and certificate programs to students on the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas in Bremerton, Port Angeles, Poulsbo, and online. Western on the Peninsulas strives to meet the growing demand of the community by offering degree programs from the College of Business and Economics, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Science and Engineering, College of the Environment - Salish Sea Region, and Woodring College of Education.
Departments across campus, in conjunction with OCE, offer alternatives for completing university course work, including General University Requirements (GURs), upper-division writing proficiency requirements, electives, and courses required for Western majors and minors. Many of the courses offered through WesternOnline are open to anyone - both Western students and the public may enroll. Degree seeking students should verify requirements for degree/major with the academic department.
Online Term-Based courses begin and end with Western’s quarterly schedule. Students may access the course 24 hours, seven days a week and work at the pace designated by the instructor. Current course offerings, registration information, and tuition details for Term-Based online courses can be found on the WesternOnline website at: online.wwu.edu/courses.
Self-Paced (formerly Independent Learning or Correspondence)
Self-Paced courses enable students to start anytime while following a course guide developed for the Self-Paced student. Students will have six months from the month of registration to complete their course. Registration information and current offerings can be found on the WesternOnline website at: online.wwu.edu/self-paced-courses.
Online Degree and Certificate Programs
See online.wwu.edu for a listing of all online degree and certificate programs available at Western.
Summer Session is a self-support quarter that offers over 500 academic credit and professional development courses. In addition to the traditional 6- and 9-week courses, offerings include short term, online, field courses, and faculty-led global learning programs.
Professional and Continuing Education
Professional and personal enrichment opportunities are available for individuals interested in broadening their skills, exploring new careers, or seeking personal enrichment. Offerings include:
- Certificate Programs offer in-depth study in professional and specialized areas resulting in a certificate of completion when the program is successfully completed.
- Credit Option/Clock Hour partnerships with professional organizations provide Western credit or clock hours to partnership offerings. Course work must meet University academic standards.
SEA Discovery Center
The SEA Discovery Center is a hands-on facility combining science and education with a community aquarium. The tidepool touch tank allows you to interact with most of the animals you will find around Puget Sound. Experience over 100 species of marine plants and animals while learning about the nature of our inland waterways. The focus of the SEA Discovery Center is to promote lifelong learning and appreciation for the local marine environment by providing science education with hands-on learning and conservation.
Western’s Testing Center is a National College Testing Association (NCTA) Certified Test Center and adheres to the standards and guidelines of NCTA and the Consortium of College Testing Centers (CCTC). The mission of the Testing Center is to provide high quality and secure testing services for students, graduates, professionals and those from the local and regional community. Other functions of the testing center include:
Administers and proctors make-up exams and exams for independent study courses.
- Provides distance learning exams for both Western students and students attending other universities.
- Provides information on national testing programs.
- Maintains records of entrance test scores.
Language and Culture Programs
Academy for Lifelong Learning
Academy for Lifelong Learning (A.L.L.) offers a diverse spectrum of academic and cultural courses and excursions to adults, regardless of age or educational background. Offerings are noncredit and are taught by Western faculty, faculty emeritus, and experts in various fields and professions.
Conference Services helps in facilitating and planning conferences and workshops for groups and organizations year-round. Services include fiscal management, registration, marketing, web development, hospitality, printing, media equipment, and general support.
Youth Programs are designed for the academic pursuits and leadership development of youth in elementary, middle and high school. Participants live on campus or commute while they explore the arts, humanities, technology, science, outdoor challenges and more.