Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (commonly known as Kutztown University or KU), is an American public university located in rural Kutztown, Berks County, Pennsylvania and is one of fourteen schools that comprise the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, Pennsylvania Department of Education, NCATE, NLN, CSWE, NASM, and NASAD.
First established in 1866, Kutztown University began as the Keystone Normal School based out of the presently-named Old Main Building and specializing in teacher education so that, in 1928, it became Kutztown State Teachers College. Eventually, the school expanded its programs outside of education to be christened Kutztown State College in 1960 and finally Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in 1983.
Between four undergraduate colleges and graduate studies, Kutztown University now offers programs in the liberal arts and sciences, the visual and performing arts, business, education, and certain graduate studies. Eight intercollegiate men's sports and thirteen women's sports compete within the NCAA Division II and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).
Recent years have seen substantial growth in the size and attendance of the university. The Academic Forum building, completed in the Spring of 2007 and the recent construction of a new residence hall, opened in Fall 2008, mark a major expansion project recently undertaken by the university to meet rising attendance numbers.
Kutztown University is a census-designated place in Maxatawny Township just outside of the borough of Kutztown and makes up the main population of the university. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,918 residents.
On September 15, 1866, the Keystone Normal School was established on what is now the site of Old Main. The needs of a burgeoning industrialization in the region placed more and more demands on teacher preparation, and in 1928, the institution was designated Kutztown State Teacher's College and authorized to confer the Bachelor's degree.
Eventually, the area's need for liberally educated personnel to staff its industries outstripped the need for teachers. In 1960, the Department of Education changed the institution's name to Kutztown State College and diversified its goals toward "A center for learning for the best possible education of the youth of Pennsylvania in the arts and sciences and preparation of able and dedicated teachers."
On July 1, 1983, the institution became Kutztown University of Pennsylvania of the State System of Higher Education. The university celebrated its 125th year of service to the region and community during the 1991–92 academic year.
In 2002, F. Javier Cevallos become the 11th President of the university as well as the first Latino president in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
As of Fall 2011, the University enrollment was approximately 10,283 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students.
Degrees offered included Bachelor of Arts in 24 subjects, Bachelor of Science in 30, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in five, Bachelor of Science in Education in five, Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Science in Leisure & Sport Studies, Bachelor of Science in Library Science, and Bachelor of Fine Arts in three subjects. Master's degrees are offered in 18 subjects. In addition, the university reaches out to the community with credit and non-credit lifelong learning courses.
Situated in the Sharadin Arts Building, the College of Visual and Performing Arts offers three Bachelor of Arts degrees in music, speech, and theatre, four Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in communication design, crafts, and studio art, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education.
The Sharadin Art Gallery displays exhibitions of both student and outside artists, often sponsored by Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts. In addition, student work is featured weekly within the Student Union Art Gallery in the David E. McFarland Student Union Building.
Theatrical performances conducted by KU Presents make regular appearances in Schaeffer Auditorium throughout the academic year, and both student and faculty instrumental recitals are held by the Department of Music.
Held primarily within the Italo deFrancesco Building, the College of Business provides Bachelor of Science degrees in leisure and sport studies, accounting, finance, international business, management, and marketing as well as minors in economics and advertising. The College also offers an MBA program.
The Kutztown University Small Business Development Center helps counsel small business located in surrounding counties, including one-on-one business consulting, professional development seminars on increasing profitability, producing business publications for self-instruction.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences employs an on-campus observatory and 30-acre (120,000 m2) ecoplot for environmental studies, and independent faculty research projects, geared at providing additional educational and publication opportunities. Degrees offered include anthropology, sociology, social work, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, criminal justice, electronic media, English, environmental science, Geography, geology, history, modern language, mathematics, philosophy, physics, pre-medical and health sciences, political science, psychology, public administration, and professional writing.
Based from the Beekey Education Building, the College of Education offers Bachelor of Science in Education in instructional technology, elementary education, library science, secondary education, and special education (Elementary Education/Special Education can be achieved as a dual certification). Certifications are also offered in a wide range of fields in the liberal arts and sciences.
The College of Education offers degree programs in Elementary Education, Art, Music, Secondary Education, Special Education, Library Science and Instruction Technology and Counseling.
Masters in art education, business administration, computer science, counseling, elementary education, English, secondary education (biology, English, mathematics, social studies, and curriculum and instruction), library science, instructional technology, professional science, public administration, reading specialist, school counseling, social work, and student affairs are all offered.
Kutztown has three undergraduate library science programs. There is a special emphasis placed on school librarian programs; a dual major of a Bachelor’s in Library Science and Elementary Education certification is a popular program as well as a Bachelor’s in Education in library science. Students must complete a 30 hour field observation, professional semester, and clinical experience/student teaching in order to successfully complete the program. The department also provides a Bachelor’s in Library Science.
Faculty members are teaching-focused, with scholarly expertise. Many are engaged in research, student/faculty research, writing, and consulting. The student/faculty ratio at Kutztown is at 20:1 and average class size is 29.
Enrollment at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania is approximately 10,283 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students. Most are Pennsylvania residents, but students from 26 states and 51 nations are represented in the student body. Division of gender is roughly 60% women, 40% men.
The approximately 170 student organizations at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania include advisory councils, academic, campus media, diversified interest, Greek Life, performing arts, public service, residency issues, social justice, spiritual, special interest, sports (club and recreation), vegetarianism, and visual arts affiliates; plus musical entertainment, dances, lectures, comedy, excursions, and cultural events. The McFarland Student Union houses the bookstore, movie theater, game room, cafeteria, TV lounge, coffeehouse, financial center, and cyberlounge.
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania has many special facilities, including a gallery, planetarium, observatory, GLBTQ Center, TV production facilities, a student-operated radio station, 15 student-accessible computer labs containing nearly 500 systems, cartography lab, early learning center, curriculum materials center, Pennsylvania German Heritage Center, and the Wallops Island marine science consortium facility in Virginia.
The newly constructed Academic Forum within the north campus, opened January 2007, spans 65,000 square feet (6,000 m2) and holds seven "smart" classrooms for a miscellany of courses – seating from between 85 to 200 students each – and features a central dining area. Approximately 3 percent of classes (70 sections of 2,200) offered at the university are taught within the Academic Forum.
Numerous additional renovations to academic buildings and current residence halls attempt to accommodate the rapid expansion of attendance, which has seen an increase of "30 percent from 7,843 in 1996 to a record 10,193 students in the Fall of 2006."
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania maintains fourteen residence halls (six coed, one single gender, 2 modified single gender), three apartment-style coed complexes, and one suite-style hall, which accommodate 4,400 students (approximately 49% of full-time undergraduates). All residence halls are wired for cable TV, telephone, and Internet and campus network access.
Cable TV, telephone, and Internet–Network access were introduced via one "drop-down" box in 1998. Telephone and Internet are under the Control of the Information Technology department, and Cable TV is provided by the local Service Electric company.
Due to rising growth in enrollment a new residence hall was completed in Fall 2008 to accommodate the growing number of incoming freshman. The F. Eugene Dixon residence hall, officially the "largest residence hall in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education" at approximately 258,000 gross square feet, houses 857 beds and 14 efficiency apartments.
Kutztown University has a shuttle service that serves the campus and the adjacent town when school is in session. Two routes run during the day Monday through Friday: an on-campus loop from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm serving the academic buildings and the residence halls and an off-campus loop from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm serving off-campus housing, downtown Kutztown, and the McFarland Student Union. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, an evening loop runs from 7:00 pm to 3:00 am serving the on-campus and off-campus residences, the downtown area, and the local grocery stores. On selected Wednesday nights during the semester the university operates bus service to shopping centers and malls in the Reading and Allentown areas. The shuttle service is free to university students with ID.
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania sports eight men's and 13 women's intercollegiate sports. The university provides a large array of intramural and club sports programs for the student body. Leagues and tournaments are organized by the Recreational Services department every semester and range from badminton tournaments to rock climbing competitions. Kutztown University of Pennsylvania is a member of NCAA Division II and competes in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). Famous former athletes from Kutztown include football stars Andre Reed, John Mobley, Bruce Harper and Doug Dennison and baseball standout Ryan Vogelsong. Kutztown is very proud of its athletic success and in 2006 won the Dixon Trophy, which is awarded to the PSAC school with the best overall athletic program that year. Kutztown became the fifth league school to win the coveted award after placing second in the rankings in the 2003–04 and 2004–05 school years.
In 2007–08, Kutztown University added Women's Lacrosse and Women's Bowling to the list of varsity sports that KU offers.
Also, at the end of the 2008–2009 school year, President Cevallos announced that Kutztown University would discontinue its Men's Soccer and Men's Swimming programs effective immediately.
From the mid-1930s up until 1961, Kutztown's sports teams were known as the Golden Avalanche. In 1961, Kutztown replaced the Golden Avalanche nickname with the Golden Bears as the University's nickname. In later years, Golden Bear mascots came into play. Before 2005, Goldie and Griz served as the KU Golden Bear mascots. However, they were both "graduated" to make way for a new mascot. The Raymond Entertainment Group of Newark, Delaware, helped KU create the new mascot. On October 1, 2005, at Kutztown's football game versus West Chester University, Kutztown University unveiled Avalanche as the school's new mascot. Avalanche is so named to honor Kutztown State College during the time of the Golden Avalanche sports teams.
The Golden Bears can be seen in more places than the sports fields. Golden Bear statues are located near the basketball courts on South Campus and on North Campus near the Boehm Science Building. Along with the statues, several residential areas are named after the Golden Bear. Golden Bear Village South behind University Place and Golden Bear Village West next to Rothermel Hall are student apartments which hold the Golden Bear moniker.