About Westminster College

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Mission | History | Core Values | Educational GoalsThe Campus | The Faculty | The Students | Student Life and Services | Accreditation and Affiliation | Inquiries

Mission

Westminster College is a private, independent college dedicated to student learning. We are a community of learners with a long and honored tradition of caring deeply about students and their education. We offer liberal arts and professional education in courses of study for undergraduate, selected graduate, and other innovative degree and non-degree programs. Students are challenged to experiment with ideas, raise questions, critically examine alternatives, and make informed decisions. We encourage students to accept responsibility for their learning, to discover and pursue their passions, and to promote more equitable and sustainable communities.

Our purposes are to prepare students to lead lives of learning, accomplishment, and service and to help them develop skills and attributes critical for success in a diverse and interdependent world. We promote distinctive approaches to engaged learning that emphasize theory and practice in our academic and co-curricular programs. Grounded in a culture of creativity and innovation, we work to pursue excellence while promoting inclusiveness and respect for differences.

History

Westminster College has played a pivotal role in the educational heritage of the intermountain area. Founded in 1875 as the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute, a preparatory school, Westminster first offered college classes in 1897 as Sheldon Jackson College. Named in honor of its primary benefactor, Sheldon Jackson, the college operated for many years on the Collegiate Institute campus in downtown Salt Lake City.

Gradually, the institute became identified as the college preparatory department, and high school classes continued to be an integral part of the curriculum until 1945. In 1902, college trustees adopted the new name, Westminster. Moving to its present location in 1911, Westminster became the first accredited two-year junior college in the intermountain area. In 1935, Westminster modified its curriculum to qualify as a four-year junior college. Later, in 1949, Westminster became a four-year liberal arts institution offering baccalaureate degrees in the arts and sciences.

Today, Westminster exists as a fully independent, privately funded, nondenominational, comprehensive liberal arts institution of higher learning with undergraduate, graduate, and professional and continuing programs, meeting the West’s educational needs as it has since 1875.

Core Values

As members of the Westminster College community, we are committed to the following values:

  • Impassioned teaching and active learning
  • Respect for diverse people and perspectives
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Personal and social responsibility
  • College-wide excellence
  • High ethical standards

Educational Goals

To distinguish the College by preparing “Graduates of Westminster College”: graduates who have developed skills and attributes crucial for success.
“Graduates of Westminster College” will achieve the following college-wide learning goals:

  • Critical Thinking
    Students will comprehensively explore issues, ideas, artifacts, events, and other positions, before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion.
  • Creativity
    Students will combine or synthesize new ideas, practices, or expertise in original ways that are characterized by innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking.
  • Collaboration
    Students will demonstrate self-awareness, understanding of effective group dynamics, and project management skills.
  • Communication
    Students will communicate ideas to audiences in oral, visual, and written forms to establish knowledge, to increase understanding, or to advocate for a particular position.
  • Global Responsibility
    Students will (i) employ practices informed by social responsibility across the spectrum of differences and (ii) demonstrate knowledge of and evaluate solutions for, challenges affecting local, regional, and global communities.

The Campus

Westminster College is a private, comprehensive college situated on 27 acres in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City, next to Emigration Creek and within the shadows of the Wasatch Mountains. Students residing on campus or in nearby housing are just 10 minutes from downtown, 15 minutes from nearby canyons, and less than an hour away from 10 world-class ski resorts. Many arts, cultural, and professional sporting events, volunteer opportunities, and opportunities to gain professional work experience are available to students year-round within the city.

Westminster has 39 facilities. The flagship building of campus, Converse Hall, features admissions offices, classrooms, art studios, and a bell tower. Richer Commons, between Converse and the Shaw Student Center, makes the center of campus a great place for students to study, relax, and spend time with friends outdoors.

Westminster offers a number of housing options for students living on campus, including different building style options. Hogle and Carleson Halls on the Westminster campus feature traditional style double occupancy rooms. Olwell, Behnken, and Stock Halls on the Westminster campus feature apartments with single occupancy rooms. College-owned houses next to campus feature single occupancy rooms and Westminster on the Draw features apartments with single occupancy rooms.

The Shaw Student Center is the hub of student activity. Shaw houses the cafeteria, Associated Students of Westminster office, campus bookstore, Career Center, Campus Concierge, Counseling Center, Student Health Services, and the Dean of Students, Student Life, and Global Peace and Spirituality offices.

The Bassis Center for Student Learning includes the college’s indoor student commons which features a full-service coffee shop, architectural skylight, fireplace, and solar light gathering tubes that bring in natural light. Bassis is also home to the Dumke Center for Civic Engagement, the Environmental Center, the Student Diversity and Inclusion Center, the Writing Center, and photography labs.

Giovale Library is Westminster’s state-of-the-art library and information services center, and a member of the Utah Academic Library Consortium. The library’s physical location and online resources provide students, faculty, and staff with a collection of books, journal subscriptions, streaming videos, DVDs, maps, microforms, electronic journals, electronic books, online electronic databases, and research guides. All online resources are also available from off-campus via a proxy server. The library also has multiple areas dedicated to student learning including group study areas, a multimedia classroom, media viewing areas, a computer lab, an information commons area, and individual study carrels, all of which have wireless internet access. Additionally, the library staff is well-trained to assist students, staff, and faculty in formal classes or on an individual basis with accessing various databases, locating materials, and evaluating information. The library also houses the Information Services help desk, where students, faculty, and staff can get technology assistance, and the Testing Center, which administers paper, pencil, and computer-based exams for students who require testing accommodations outside the time, space, or conditions of the classroom.

The Jewett Center for the Performing Arts houses the learning and performance spaces for Westminster’s performing arts academic programs. The center includes the Vieve Gore Concert Hall, Jay W. Lees Courage Theatre, Dumke Student Theatre, choral and music rooms, theatre rehearsal spaces, and a larger foyer for public receptions and art exhibits. Florence J. Gillmor Hall, an addition to the center expected to be completed in Fall 2021, will provide additional learning, practice, and performance spaces as well as a costume studio.

The Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business building includes interactive classrooms that facilitate discussion and case analysis, the Center for Entrepreneurship, the Center for Financial Analysis (which enables students to bridge the theoretical and practical components of finance), the Behavioral Simulation and Team Learning Lab (which simulates group, teamwork, and interpersonal relationships), mentor-team rooms for students working on projects, and faculty offices. Foster Hall, Malouf Hall, Dick, and Payne Gymnasium house a variety of additional classrooms and faculty offices. The Eccles Ceramics Center houses Westminster’s ceramic art classes, including wheel-thrown and hand-built pottery.

The Meldrum Science Center is a four-story, 60,000-square-foot facility which features 14 high-tech classrooms with integrated laboratories and five dedicated research labs designed to support active, hands-on learning to prepare students to be critical thinkers and problem solvers. Meldrum provides space for undergraduate research, which is an important aspect of Westminster’s inquiry-based liberal arts curriculum and a significant factor in the success of graduates. Meldrum’s layout clusters faculty offices and student workspaces to promote interaction and cross-disciplinary learning. As a LEED® Platinum certified building, Meldrum is also the college’s most visible example of sustainability in action. Among Meldrum’s many energy-saving features are a rooftop 20kW solar panel system, use of ambient light and recycled water, and locally sourced building materials.

Walker Hall houses the Center for Veteran and Military Services, the Office for Global Engagement, and mail services. Bamberger Hall houses various campus administrative offices.

Nunemaker Place, home to the Honors College, serves as a gathering place for Honors students, staff, and faculty. Nunemaker is located beside Emigration Creek.

The Dolores Doré Eccles Health, Wellness, and Athletic Center (HWAC) first and second floors house a fitness complex featuring a gymnasium, climbing wall, swimming pool, fitness and training center, lockers, and training space. HWAC’s third floor is home to the college’s renowned School of Nursing and Health Sciences, which provides classrooms, offices, and a Skills Center that includes a state-of-the-art simulation laboratory to support experiential learning for students at all levels of nursing education.

Dumke Field and underground parking structure houses Westminster’s soccer and lacrosse teams as well as other intramural and club sports. Westminster College Athletics is a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) and NCAA Division II. Westminster currently has 17 NCAA II sports teams and 7 non-NCAA sports teams, including: basketball (men’s and women’s), cross country (men’s and women’s), golf (men’s and women’s), alpine skiing (men’s and women’s), lacrosse (men’s and women’s), soccer (men’s and women’s), indoor/outdoor track and field (men’s and women’s), and volleyball (women’s). Westminster’s snowboard teams are members of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA). The Men’s Soccer Club and the Spirit Team (cheer and dance) are non-affiliated programs in Athletics. The cycling team (men’s and women’s) is affiliated with USA Cycling and the Inter-mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference (ICCC).

The Faculty

There are approximately 148 full-time faculty and 236 adjunct instructors who teach at Westminster College. Of the full-time faculty, more than 93% hold the highest degree available in their fields. Among the members of the faculty are published writers, active scholars, and many who left successful professional careers to teach.

Westminster faculty bring noteworthy scholars, performers, business leaders, and community advocates to campus through several lecture series. The Anne Newman Sutton Weeks poetry series brings distinguished poets from around the world. The Tanner-McMurrin Lecture Series attracts an outstanding scholar in the history and philosophy of religion each spring. The Bastian Foundation Diversity Lectures Series helps focus the College’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Kim T. Adamson Chair and annual lecture brings international perspectives to disciplines and majors throughout the college. The Westminster Concert Series features Westminster music faculty and other superb local and out-of-state musicians—many of them nationally or internationally respected—in the Vieve Gore Concert Hall.

The Students

Deeply committed to each student’s success, Westminster College is a challenging and supportive community of learners where students take full advantage of our campus, the city, and the mountains.  In the Fall of 2019, Westminster enrolled approximately 2,215 students (1,740 undergraduate and 475 graduate students). In the Fall of 2019, 49% of first-time first-year students enrolled were from Utah, while 48% were from out of state and 3% were international or non-resident students.

Academics

Westminster offers 39 undergraduate majors (conferring BA, BS, BBA, and BFA degrees) and 13 graduate programs. In addition to 38 undergraduate minors, Westminster also offers various emphases/concentrations/tracks within majors and programs, a unique degree or certificate through the Honors College, advising paths for pre-professional health and pre-law, and Chinese, Japanese, Latin, and Human Performance and Wellness course-only areas of study. Westminster also offers a 3-2 Engineering program that allows students to explore their interests in a liberal arts setting and begin to prepare for a career in engineering before completing studies at a partner school. All areas of Westminster’s academics make extensive use of technology in the curriculum. Network connections are available in all classrooms and technology assistance is available on campus seven days a week for students, faculty, and staff.

All undergraduate students are encouraged to showcase their research at the annual Undergraduate Conference, an all-day event that recognizes the academic achievement of students engaged in high-level research under the guidance of college faculty members. Many students also have the opportunity to present their work at national conferences or have it published in The Myriad, Westminster’s student-published academic journal.

Student Life and Services

Detailed information on student life and services can be found in the Student Handbook, which is available for download or viewing on the Student Life web page each fall. The handbook contains information on:

Academic Advising Residential Life
Academic Honesty Sexual Harassment Policy
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Program Smoking Policy
Athletics and Intramural Programs Spiritual Life
Campus Crime and Safety Student Disciplinary Code
Campus Organizations Student Involvement and Leadership
Career Resource Student Resources
Computer Ethics and Use Policy Substance and Alcohol Abuse and Weapons Policy
Counseling Testing
Federal Laws Affecting Students’ Rights Tutoring
Internships Veterans Services
Orientation Volunteer Service Learning
Policies and Procedures

Accreditation and Affiliation

Westminster College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

  • The Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs
  • The Flight Operations and Aviation Management programs are accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International
  • The Teacher Education Programs is accredited by the Utah State Board of Education and by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council
  • The Nursing Program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and is approved by the Utah State Board of Nursing
  • The Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia (MSNA) program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Nurse Anesthesia Programs
  • The Master of Public Health program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health
  • The Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

Programs at Westminster College are approved for veterans’ benefits, and the College is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant students.

In addition, the college is a member of:

  • National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU)
  • American Association of Colleges and Universities
  • American Council on Education
  • Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education
  • Council for Independent Colleges (CIC)
  • The New American Colleges and Universities (NAC&U)
  • Council for Adult and Experiential Learning
  • Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs
  • National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC)
  • Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • Western Institute of Nursing

Westminster is an independent, freestanding, nonsectarian, self-governing college.

This academic catalog describes the regulations, policies, fees, and curriculum at the time of its publication. The Board of Trustees reserves the right to change tuition and fees, to make changes in curricular offerings, academic and other policies, activate or eliminate courses and/or programs at any time. Students who enroll at the college in actuality give their implied consent to abide by all the policies and regulation contained herein, in the Student Handbook, and in program bulletins. All statements herein are true and correct as of the time of publication. Westminster College reserves the right to make any changes, deletions, or revisions it deems necessary from time to time. Students and faculty will be so informed through normal channels. Substantive changes to this catalog are kept on file in the Registrar’s Office.

Inquiries

Letters of inquiry concerning the college may be addressed to:

Office of Admissions
Westminster College
1840 South 1300 East, Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
Phone: 801.832.2200 (local) or 1.800.748.4753
Fax: 801.832.3101