The University of Wisconsin–River Falls (also known as UW–River Falls or UWRF) is a liberal arts university located in River Falls, Wisconsin. The 226-acre (91 ha) campus is situated on the scenic Kinnickinnic River in the St. Croix River valley. The university contains 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. Part of the University of Wisconsin System, it is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Also a member of the American Council of Education Internationalization Laboratory, UWRF provides several global studies and study abroad programs. The university has devoted itself to sustainability by creating the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development.
Athletic programs at UWRF compete in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) in all sports except men's and women's ice hockey, currently members of 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 to provide better education to their frontier regions. In 1926, the school was renamed River Falls State Teachers College, as the state Normal Schools were designated as "State Teachers Colleges", offering a four-year course of study leading to a Bachelor of Education degree that incorporated a significant increase in general education at all levels.
After World War II, the thousands of returning veterans in Wisconsin under the G.I. Bill needed more college choices for their studies and educational advancement. Popular demand pushed the State Teachers College system Regents to allow the original teacher training institutions to offer bachelor degrees in liberal arts and fine arts. In 1951, the state teachers colleges were formulated as "Wisconsin State Colleges," and the school name was changed to Wisconsin State College–River Falls, offering a full four-year liberal-arts curriculum. In 1964, it was renamed again as 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 was then called the University of Wisconsin–River Falls.
Today, UWRF is a progressive institution granting graduate degrees in several fields, with activities promoting advancement in research and the arts. The University remained loyal to its original purpose of teacher training, however, as it still operated the Campus School for many years. When the Campus School closed in the early 1980s, it was the last of its kind in the state.
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.
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.
UWRF houses 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 (CAFES) was founded in 1912. It is consistently ranked as one of the top undergraduate agricultural programs in the nation and features the only agricultural engineering technology program in the state, one of the largest dairy science programs in the nation, as well as a unique agricultural studies program.
The College of Arts and Sciences offers majors in numerous disciplines including: 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. Minor programs are also offered in the following fields: Women's and Gender Studies, Asian Studies, Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Philosophy, Digital Film & Television, and Film Studies. The college supports Pre-Professional Programs in Pre-Engineering, Pre-Law, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Veterinary Medicine—and is actively 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 their major fields.
The College of Business and Economics has programs in Accounting, Business Administration, Computer Science & Information Systems, Economics, Finance, Management and Marketing, as well as a Master of Business Administration program and an Adult Degree Completion Program.
The College of Education and Professional Studies (CEPS) is currently home to 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 and has received national recognition for excellence. C.H.I.L.D. Center is one of the College of Education and Professional Studies important components. It's open house was in September 2005 and was presented with a sculpture of Chancellor Ann Lydecker in remembrance of her. This Child Center is a $1.1 million dollar building that is 7,800 square feet with six classrooms, a kitchen, a motor-skills activity area, along with work and storage areas. It provides many different activities for up to 90 children ages 6 weeks to 10 years old such as: music, story-time, art, movement, and outdoor-time. It also serves as a fieldwork site for early childhood and elementary education, social work, communicative disorder, school psychology, and counseling majors.
The University has over twenty formal international partnerships with institutions in countries including, China, Scotland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and Germany which facilitate international studies and student exchanges. UWRF Global Connections offers a variety of different programs and through collaborations with other Wisconsin Universities provides almost fifty different countries to choose to study in. Global Connections offers various lengths of study abroad to a whole academic year, to one semester, or short term stay in the summer or J-term.
The Guy Healy Japan Program is one of the more unique programs UW-River Falls has to offer. Each summer, over 120 American students are sent out to Japan. Students selected for this program are sent out to various cities in Japan to become camp counselors. UW-River Falls is allowed to send around 20 students each year to represent our school. The program runs for about six weeks starting half way through July and ending towards the end of August. During this time, counselor's duties include teaching Japanese children the English language and many other fun camp activities. Although no credit is earned for being in this program, there are tons of benefits from being in this program. You are granted certain days off to do some sight seeing, looks great on a résumé and it is a cheap way to travel. Guy Healy will pay for your airfare, food, transportation, and a place to stay within Japan. For more information about this program you can either go to Global Connections in Hagestad or visit the Guy Healy page on the UW-River Falls website.
This program offers multiple opportunities for students to travel abroad to the beautiful country of Scotland. Students have the chance to experience foreign cultures in Scotland as well as travel to surrounding and other European countries during their stay. Courses are offered based on each session and semester. Students may apply for a one semester program during the academic school year or a 6 week summer program. Participating universities in the program include UW-River Falls, UW-Stout, UW-Superior, UW-Parkside, UW-Whitewater, UW-Colleges and Normandale Community College. Courses are taught by professors from the participating universities. Eligibility is based on a minimum GPA of 2.25, must have good academic standing, attend one of the participating universities, and obtain either a GED or high school diploma.
Students are encouraged to use the tutoring service on campus whenever help is needed. They are referred to as campus study centers and can be found in a few different academic buildings. These places include, Chalmer Davee Library, Centennial Science Hall, Klienpell Fine Arts, Agricultural Science Building and also North and South Halls. Tutoring is free and there is no appointment required at any of the study center locations.
The large campus at UWRF is divided by the picturesque south fork of the Kinnickinnic River that provides the opportunity for many outdoor recreational activities. The Kinnickinnic is a notable waterway for fishing, kayaking, canoeing and tubing. Students also take advantage of the large campus and open spaces for cross country skiing, biking, hiking, horseback riding and snowmobiling. The university is also home to the open air Melvin Wall Amphitheater that sponsors a summer concert series which attracts local bands from around the area and the state.
Many recent 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 to Hagestad Hall), as well has 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 new buildings that provide significant ability for increased learning and research opportunities in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. A new residence hall, Ames Suites, containing an additional 240 beds for sophomores opened in the fall of 2012. A new Health and Human Performance Building is currently[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 houses a number of instrumental ensembles, including the UWRF Symphony Band|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. UWRF fields a number of vocal ensembles, including Concert Choir, Women's Chorus, Men's Chorus, Chamber Singers, and Community Chorus.
The Symphony Band has had many premiers and world known featured soloists over the course of its existence. Such artists include New York Philharmonic Tubist Alan Baer, Euphonium player Jason Ham, and Dr. Pat O'Keefe. This ensemble has performed numerous pieces of note, including Frank Ticheli's Clarinet Concerto and Johan de Meij's Euphonium Concerto.
The Jazz Ensemble has performed with a wide variety of artists as part of the UWRF Radd Jazz Series, specifically in the annual jazz festival. World-famous musicians such as Ernie Watts, Leonard Foy, and Mike Stern have all been guests to this fantastic event. Many area schools are enriched through this activity as well, making this event beneficial to everyone involved.
UWRF has a degree program in Theater Arts. The University Theatre produces three shows a year that vary in style, period and genre. There are two student organizations for Theatre Arts, 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.
Along with competitive NCAA sports, the university also offers club sports for students. These club sports give students the opportunity to enjoy playing sports less competitively than at the varsity level. Another benefit of club sports have is that they are easier to be a part of as you can find a club that works best with your schedule. Some of the club sports that are offered at the school are badminton, paintball, Jiu Jitsu, rugby and even 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 great opportunities for students and faculty who want to enjoy the numerous sporting events provided and get involved on campus. Flag Football, Volleyball, Soccer, and Women's Broomball are the biggest events for students in the fall semester. In the spring semester, 5 on 5 Basketball, Softball, Ultimate Frisbee, and Men's Broomball are the most popular competitions that bring students through the changing weather. All the intramural seasons are set up to take 4 to 5 weeks to complete. The champion of each event competition earns the prestigious title and posts on the school web site and Facebook. The winning team also receives an amazing custom designed T-shirt with the intramural champion title on the front. There are also some one-day intramural events such as Coed Sand Volleyball, Bean Bags Tournament, 3 on 3 Basketball, Dodgeball Tournament, Doubles Badminton, Rock climbing and Floor Hockey. The one-day events can change from semester to semester.
Intramurals play a significant role in UWRF student life for many different reasons. The organized recreation builds connections on campus when students form their teams, provide a respect for sportsmanship, encourage leadership, etc. Intramurals also create student job opportunities. The majority of the facilities are run by students. For example, the referees are all part-time jobs for students on campus. Intramurals are great opportunities for students who enjoy playing sports and want to get to know more people in the UWRF community.
The University of Wisconsin-River Falls has over 150 student organizations on campus that range from athletic clubs to social fraternities/sororities and academic honoraries. The Office of Student Life's goal is to provide students with opportunities that extend beyond the classroom and enable students to become engaged citizens within our community.
Greek life plays a small role at UWRF. UWRF's 7,000-member student body plays a large role on keeping characters small. Basically there are less people interested in Greek life since UWRF is a smaller school. 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.
Sports and recreation plays a big role at UWRF. The rodeo club is one of the organizations that falls into this category. The UWRF Rodeo History began in 1964 by David Stafford who organized UWRF Rodeo club. The club included over 50 members in less than one year and they continue to get more and more members. The rodeo club hosts a rodeo once a year in September and they have been doing this for over 45 years. There are nearly 500 competitors from colleges and universities around River Falls. The club travels to compete in many rodeos throughout the year. No experience is needed to become a part of this club.
Here are some categories that can be used to list the organizations offered at UWRF:
The following is a short list of some of the services that will be provided for each individual UWRF student and their child:
UWRF provides Student Support Services (SSS), an organization associated with the federal TRIO program. A government funded program through the United States Department of Education, SSS is designed to assist students with basic college requirements, and motivate students toward the successful completion of their post secondary education. The goal of SSS is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants. The SSS program is free to qualified applicants. To apply, any student can fill out a four-page application and mail it to the Student Support Services/Academic Success Center. After a month long review period, the student will be notified whether they were accepted into the program. If the student is not accepted into the program there is no limit on how many times they can apply, and the student can apply again the next semester. Once a student has been accepted into the SSS Program they will be assigned a coach who will help them in their goals throughout the year and make sure they stay on track to graduate. There are four different coaches, whose purpose is to provide additional academic support to the student. The program can make the transition from high school to college easier as students learn better strategies for studying and taking tests, and also get to know other students on campus.
UWRF faculty have earned numerous teaching awards, including the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award. 100 percent of classes taught at UWRF are taught by professors and lecturers (not teaching assistants).