Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Veterans react to U.S. News top rankings

U.S. News & World Report this week ranked the best online degree programs for veterans. Ranked third in the nation are WSU’s online graduate degree programs in business and engineering; eighth is the Global Campus’s online bachelor’s degree program. You can read the story here, but we wanted to ask a couple of actual veterans what they thought of their time at the Global Campus:

Andrew Zander, U.S. Navy veteran

andrew zanderHearing that Washington State University is ranked among the top 10 undergraduate programs for veterans doesn't surprise me. While earning my B.S. in psychology through WSU Global Campus, I experienced first hand the quality of the program and how important that program is to the university administrators.

Even though I earned my degree through an online program, I had opportunities to meet with the university president, the chair of the psychology department, and participate in the Global Campus student government.

In my opinion, this feeling of connectedness is where the Global Campus sets itself apart — you're not just a number. You become part of a family. You become a Coug.

John Larson, U.S. Navy veteran

John LarsonThis is quite a validation for all of the hard work that I see WSU investing in Global Campus. We have a phenomenally engaged student community here and that really helps break down the solitary feeling of using a computer to interface with our colleagues.

My reaction to our frequent appearance on “best of” lists is just wait; you haven’t seen anything yet. Global Campus has been recognized for nearly everything it does, and the veteran-friendly ranking is well-deserved.


I had wanted to graduate from WSU for over twenty years, from since I was still in high school. I took a short detour in 1996 when I joined the U.S. Navy to learn how to operate and maintain the nuclear reactors aboard our warships. I invested $100 a month for the first year of my service—with the hope of someday making good on my dream of being a Coug—into the Montgomery G.I. Bill so that I could help pay my way through college.

Five years ago, I decided I had put it off long enough and started looking for the only kind of program where I could earn a degree and balance family obligations and a rotating shift schedule.

Imagine my overwhelming joy when I found out that one of the best universities online for my chosen majors (accounting and psychology) was Washington State University. With its fantastic academic advising and a generous veteran tuition discount, WSU was always the program I compared my other options to. I never found one better.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Outstanding writing by online students

James PappasFour Global Campus students have won top 10 honors out of 5,224 writers submitting work for the WSU Writing Portfolio.

“My first response was utter surprise,” said James Pappas, right, of Liberty Lake, Wash. “To say that I'm genuinely honored doesn't really begin to express my appreciation adequately.”

Every year, juniors must submit three writing samples to the Office of Undergraduate Education’s Writing Program to ensure their skills are up to snuff. The criteria are focus, supporting facts, organization, and grammar.

The top 10 percent are rated “Pass with Distinction.” Of those submissions, only 10 are chosen for the Harold and Jeanne Rounds Olsen Writing Excellence Award and Scholarship, which includes a $100 prize.

More... “James’s essays exhibit a real strength with exposition and argument,” said Brooklyn Walter, assessment coordinator for the Writing Program. “Each essay – all written for upper-division liberal arts courses – is organized logically with a clear purpose and developed with meaningful, careful evidence.”

Pappas served eight years abroad in the U.S. Marines and during the Desert Shield/Desert Storm War, and spent 20 years in corporate leadership. He is now earning a humanities degree and plans to get a Ph.D. so he can teach at the college level.

Pappas offers three tips for other writers: Read lots of scholarly works, seek feedback, and practice with an eye towards constant improvement.

Award winner Jesse Ashcraft of Brush Prairie, Wash., said his method is to start with an analytical approach to the material. “In doing so, I am able to shed any preconceptions or assumptions that might color my treatment of the material,” he said, “thus I am allowed to understand and synthesize multiple perspectives to which I might have otherwise been blind.”

Ashcraft is earning his humanities degree with the goal of becoming a high-school English teacher.

Amber Allshouse, an accounting major, came from the West Side to pick up her award. “It was a good opportunity to see the campus for the first—and maybe only—time,” she said.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Criminal Justice program gets top ranking

Global Campus Online Criminal Justice degreeThe online criminal justice program at Washington State University Global Campus has been ranked 10th in the nation by Create a Career, an online resource for career information.

The group researched such factors as academic quality, courses offered, faculty, awards, rankings and reputation. It cited WSU’s renowned faculty, wide array of studies, and affiliated research centers.

Earlier this year, WSU’s online criminal justice program was ranked sixth in the nation by “We looked at factors that contribute to an excellent program, from acceptance rate to graduation rate,” Outreach Coordinator Laura Daniels said.

The WSU Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology offers a policy-focused curriculum that provides undergraduates with a broad exposure to social sciences. The department also offers an online master of arts in criminal justice.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Global Campus student to be featured speaker at commencement

DSC_2195A WSU Global Campus student—and super-spirited Coug fan—will be one of the featured speakers at this Saturday’s commencement ceremony at WSU Pullman.

Katey Koehn is a director of program management for Yahoo, and is graduating with a B.A. in social sciences. In 2013, she was recognized as one of Yahoo’s top 100 managers. At WSU, she is a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda national honor society and has spent nine consecutive semesters on the president’s honor roll. 

“I plan to talk a bit about being a Global Campus student and the cool things we all do to stay in touch with our ‘inner Coug’ while off-campus,” said Koehn, who lives in California’s Silicon Valley. “If I can offer just one person in the room even a small nugget of inspiration I will consider my task successful.”

Koehn is active in the Northern California Alumni Association, and has waved the WSU flag for ESPN’s College GameDay. “I got up at 4 in the morning and drove to Palo Alto,” she said. “I waved the red one and ran over to the other side and waved the white one.”

Koehn will be speaking at 3 p.m. to graduates of the College of Business, College of Education, and Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. The other two featured speakers are WSU President Elson S. Floyd and Orlin Reinbold, owner of Landmark Turf and Native Seed of Spokane, Wash. The ceremonies will be live-streamed at, and archived at the same Web address.

“I can't believe the journey I started four and a half years ago is reaching this milestone and I am proud to have been so warmly welcomed into the WSU family,” Koehn said. “I learned more than I ever thought I would and while my time as a student is over, I am looking forward to staying involved and contributing in any way that I can.”

A “Cougar shrine” in her office. For more about Katey Koehn, please see the WSU Online blog article.

Friday, May 2, 2014

New top 10 rankings for Global Campus


The online criminal justice degree program at Washington State University Global Campus was named sixth in the nation this week by

“We looked at factors that contribute to an excellent program, from acceptance rate to graduation rate,” Outreach Coordinator Laura Daniels said.

Judges noted that the Global Campus program is built upon the curriculum that has been offered in WSU’s brick and mortar classrooms since 1943.

Also this week, the Social Science Careers website ranked the Global Campus social sciences degree program ninth in the nation for affordability.

“The focus of the social sciences program at WSU is on flexibility,” judges said. “Students may choose from 12 different concentrations, studying multiple disciplines, or just a couple concentrations as they desire.”

For other recent top Global Campus rankings, please select this link.