The University of Wisconsin–River Falls (also known as UW–River Falls or UWRF) is a public liberal arts university located in River Falls, Wisconsin. The 226-acre (91 ha) campus is situated on the Kinnickinnic River in the St. Croix River valley. The university has 32 major buildings and two laboratory farms, with a total of 440 acres (178 ha) of land.
UWRF has an enrollment of over 6,900 students in more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs. Being a part of the University of Wisconsin System, it is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. UWRF is also a member of the American Council of Education Internationalization Laboratory and provides several global studies and study abroad programs. The university has created the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development.
Athletic teams at UWRF compete in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) in all sports except men's and women's ice hockey, which compete in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association. The men's ice hockey team has won three national championships.
The University of Wisconsin–River Falls was founded in 1874 as River Falls State Normal School, one of the state normal schools created to prepare students for teaching careers and to provide better education to the state's frontier regions. In 1926, the school was renamed to River Falls State Teachers College, as the state normal schools became "State Teachers Colleges" that incorporated a significant increase in general education offerings and four-year courses of study leading to a Bachelor of Education degree.
After World War II, thousands of returning veterans in Wisconsin under the G.I. Bill needed more college choices for their studies and educational advancement. Because of popular demand, the Regents of the State Teachers College system allowed the teacher training institutions to offer bachelor degrees in liberal arts and fine arts. In 1951, when the state teachers colleges were organized as "Wisconsin State Colleges", the school name was changed to Wisconsin State College–River Falls, and the school offered a full four-year liberal-arts curriculum. In 1964, it was renamed Wisconsin State University-River Falls when the state colleges were all granted university status.
The school became a member of the University of Wisconsin System in 1971 when the former University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Universities merged. It then became the University of Wisconsin–River Falls.
Today, UWRF grants graduate degrees in several fields. The university has remained loyal to its original purpose of teacher training as it still operated the Campus School for many years.
In 2012 River falls launched a fundraising campaign called Rising to Distinction. Its goal is to help with "financial aid, faculty support, student learning opportunities, and facilities. The campaign has raised $12,605,083, which will be used for mentoring and student engagement.
The University has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, the Council on Social Work Education, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the National Association of School Psychologists, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Council for Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA), the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the American Chemical Society, and the American Society of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. UWRF offers over 40 majors.
The Fall 2012 acceptance rate was 79.2% for incoming freshmen.
UWRF is organized into four colleges: the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES); the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS); the College of Business and Economics (CBE); and the College of Education and Professional Studies (CEPS).
The UWRF College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences was founded in 1912. It features the only agricultural engineering technology program in the state, one of the largest dairy science programs in the nation, and an agricultural studies program.
The College of Arts and Sciences offers majors in disciplines that include: Art, Communication Studies, English, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Modern Language, Music, Theatre Arts, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Geography and Mapping Sciences, History, International Studies, Journalism, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Biotechnology, Broad Field Social Studies, Broad Field Science, and Marketing Communications. The college supports pre-professional programs in engineering, law, medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and is involved in UWRF's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Program. The College of Arts and Sciences also coordinates with the Teacher Education Program (College of Education and Professional Studies) to offer teacher certification in many of its major fields.
The College of Business and Economics has undergraduate programs in Accounting, Business Administration, Computer Science & Information Systems, Economics, Finance, Management and Marketing, and a Master of Business Administration program and an Adult Degree Completion Program.
The College of Education and Professional Studies (CEPS) has approximately 1400 students preparing for professional careers in communicative disorders, counseling, exercise and sport science, school psychology, social work, and teaching. The teacher education program was founded in 1874. The Child Center is a $1.1 million building that is 7,800 square feet with six classrooms, a kitchen, a motor-skills activity area, and work and storage areas. It serves as a fieldwork site for early childhood and elementary education, social work, communicative disorder, school psychology, and counseling majors, providing activities for up to 90 children ages 6 weeks to 10 years old.
The UWRF Honors Program serves students who have an outstanding record of academic achievement. Students may enroll in different types of courses and gain academic credit through educationally related experiences.
The university has over 20 partnerships with institutions in countries including China, Scotland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and Germany which facilitate international studies and student exchanges. UWRF Global Connections offers programs that allow students to study in almost 50 countries. The program sends more than 350 students abroad every year.
The Guy Healy Japan Program is a summer program that sends 120 students to Japan as camp counselors, 20 from UW-River Falls. Counselor's duties include teaching Japanese children the English language.
This program offers students the opportunity to study in Scotland for either one semester or six weeks in the summer. Participating universities include UW-River Falls, UW-Stout, UW-Superior, UW-Parkside, UW-Whitewater, UW-Colleges and Normandale Community College.
The China Study Tour is an opportunity for students to explore China's history and culture. Students visit Beijing, Luoyang, Xian, Suzhou, Wuzhen and Shanghai and tour the Great Wall of China, the Longmen Grottoes, the Terra-Cotta Warriors, classical Chinese gardens and the financial center of Shanghai. The program runs for about two and a half weeks during J-term.[clarification needed]
The Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching (COST) is a program open to students of the College of Education who wish to student teach in a different country.
Zhejiang International Studies University in Hangzhou, China has been a partner with UWRF since the 1970s. In 2013 the UWRF ZISU Partnership began a 1+1+2 program for Elementary Education majors.
UW-River Falls offers tutoring services for all currently enrolled students. Campus study centers are found in several academic buildings, including Chalmer Davee Library, Centennial Science Hall, Klienpell Fine Arts, Agricultural Science Building and North and South Halls.
Student academic assistance centers include the Math Help Center, the Writing Center, the Chemistry Center, the Physics Study Center, the Tutoring Center, and the Agricultural Study Center.
The UW-River Falls has a Reserve Officers' Training Corps program, which is part of the Northwoods Battalion, along with UW-Stevens Point, UW-Stout, and UW-Eau Claire.
The University of Wisconsin–River Falls is one of four University of Wisconsin System institutions included in The Princeton Review's 2011 list of the "Best in the Midwest." For 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked UWRF in the top tier for Regional Universities in the Midwest United States.
The campus at UWRF is divided by the south fork of the Kinnickinnic River, which provides the opportunity for outdoor recreational activities. The Kinnickinnic is used for fishing, kayaking, canoeing and tubing. Students also take advantage of the campus's open spaces for cross country skiing, biking, hiking, horseback riding and snowmobiling. The university is home to the open-air Melvin Wall Amphitheater that sponsors a summer concert series, which attracts bands from around the area and the state.
Additions and renovations have been made to campus. North Hall, which prior to the construction of the Ames Teacher Education building, housed the Campus School, is now an administration building. The university opened a new student union called University Center in January 2007 to replace the Hagestad Student Center (renamed Hagestad Hall) and the student cafeteria. A day care center (The CHILD Center) was constructed and dedicated in 2004. In 2005, the university opened a suite-style residence hall named George R. Field South Fork Suites, serving 240 students. A locker room addition for the Hunt-Knowles Complex opened in 2005, serving the college athletic department and the Kansas City Chiefs during their summer training camp. In October 2007, the Dairy Learning Center complex was dedicated at the Mann Valley campus laboratory farm. The complex contains nine buildings that provide learning and research opportunities in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. A new residence hall, Jesse H. Ames Suites, containing an additional 240 beds for sophomores opened in the fall of 2012. A new Health and Human Performance Building is[when?] in the planning phase to replace the aging Karges Physical Education Center.
UWRF received an A- grade on the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card. The university has created the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development, whose mission is "to support and facilitate the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in becoming one of the premier venues for deliberation and demonstration of sustainable community development principles."
The music department at UWRF supports a number of instrumental ensembles, including the UWRF Symphony Band, St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra, St. Croix Valley Community Band, Falcon Band, Jazz Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Trombone Choir, Flute Choir, Clarinet Choir, Saxophone Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Piano Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, and the String Chamber Music Ensemble. The Symphony Band has performed with artists such as New York Philharmonic tubist Alan Baer, euphonium player Jason Ham, and Pat O'Keefe.[who?] The Jazz Ensemble has performed as part of the UWRF Radd Jazz Series in the annual jazz festival. Musicians such as Ernie Watts, Leonard Foy, and Mike Stern have all been guests at this event.
UWRF fields a number of vocal ensembles, including Concert Choir, Women's Chorus, Men's Chorus, Chamber Singers, and Community Chorus. The Concert Choir has performed at Muse Hall in Japan and in China and Korea.
The UWRF Music Department annually hosts the Commission Composer Project. Initiated by Conrad De Jong in 1967, the program's purpose is to expose students to new and cutting edge music. De Jong wanted students to be a part of the creative process by bringing the music on the page to life.
The University Theatre produces three shows a year that vary in style, period and genre, and every other year, they produce a musical. There are two student theater organizations, Alpha Psi Omega, and Masquers.
UW-River Falls' athletic teams, known by their nickname, the Falcons, compete in 18 varsity sports in of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in NCAA Division III. Men's sports include basketball, cross country, football, swimming and diving, and track and field. Women's sports are basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Men's and women's ice hockey teams compete in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association.
The university also offers club sports for students, including badminton, paintball, Jiu Jitsu, rugby and rock climbing.
From 1991 to 2009, the Kansas City Chiefs used the university's athletic facilities during their annual summer training camp. The Chiefs moved their training camp to Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri in 2010. In 2007, the HBO sports documentary, Hard Knocks, followed the Chiefs throughout their summer training camp at UWRF. The series featured a number of university buildings, including the new student union, Rodli Commons, McMillan Hall, Ramer Field Complex, Hunt Ice Hockey Arena and Laboratory Farm #1.
The UWRF Recreation and Sport Facility creates opportunities for students and faculty to engage in athletic activities, including flag football, volleyball, soccer, and women's broomball in the fall and 5 on 5 basketball, softball, Ultimate Frisbee, and men's broomball in the spring. Intramural seasons last 4 to 5 weeks. One-day intramural events include coed sand volleyball, a bean bags tournament, 3 on 3 basketball, a dodgeball tournament, doubles badminton, rock climbing and floor hockey.
The University of Wisconsin-River Falls has over 150 student organizations on campus that range from athletic clubs to social fraternities/sororities and honorary academic societies. 
Organizations at UWRF include:
The ten social fraternities and sororities represented on campus are Alpha Gamma Rho, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Collegiate Panhellenic Council, Greek Progamming Board, Interfraternity Council, Order of Omega, Phi Mu, Sigma Alpha, and Theta Chi.
The rodeo club at UWRF began in 1964 with the organization of the UWRF Rodeo club. The club had over 50 members within a year and continue to grow. The rodeo club has hosted a rodeo annually in September for over 45 years. In involves nearly 500 competitors from colleges and universities around River Falls. The club also travels to competitions.
The official student government organization is the Student Senate, which comprises 25 members. The Student Senate represents the student body in all aspects of student affairs. The eight standing committees within the Student Senate are: Student Affairs and Academic Services, On-Campus Pub Ad Hoc Committee, Inclusivity and Diversity Issues, Ethics, Executive, Finance, Legislative Affairs, and Shared Governance.
The UWRF C.H.I.L.D. Center provides child care for faculty, staff, and students. The C.H.I.L.D. Center employs student-staff, the majority of whom are elementary education majors.
UWRF's Student Support Services (SSS) is a United States Department of Education funded program designed to assist students with basic college requirements, and help them complete their post-secondary education. Students accepted into the SSS Program are assigned a coach who helps them in their goals throughout the year and makes sure they stay on track to graduate.
The speech, language and hearing clinic provides clinical services for issues such as articulation and stuttering to the social and cognitive aspects of communication. The clinic serves both students and community residents.