The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is located in the Coulee Region of Western Wisconsin, where the Mississippi River forms a natural border with the neighboring state of Minnesota. Founded in 1909, the University has a rich tradition in teacher education. It began as a “Normal School for Teachers,” but over the years this institution has evolved into a medium-sized university consisting of three colleges offering academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Teacher Education has been and continues to be an important university mission. 11% of the undergraduate students at UW-La Crosse are preparing for a professional education position. 56% of graduate students are enrolled in a professional education program. In total, almost 18% of UW-L students are enrolled in a School of Education program.
Teacher Education programs at UW-La Crosse have earned a reputation for providing superior teaching candidates for PreK-12 schools. Faculty involvement with area school districts and professional organizations is additional testimony as to its positive influence on the education profession.
The System Mission
The mission of the system is to develop human resources, to discover and disseminate knowledge, to extend knowledge and its application beyond the boundaries of its campuses and to serve and stimulate society by developing in students heightened intellectual, cultural and humane sensitivities, scientific, professional and technological expertise and a sense of purpose. Inherent in this broad mission are methods of instruction, research, extended training and public service designed to educate people and improve the human condition. Basic to every purpose of the system is the search for truth.
The Cluster Mission
As institutions in the University Cluster of the University of Wisconsin System, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the University of Wisconsin-Stout, the University of Wisconsin-Superior and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater share the following core mission. Within the approved differentiation stated in their select missions, each university in the cluster shall:
- Offer associate and baccalaureate degree level and selected graduate programs within the context of its approved mission statement.
- Offer an environment that emphasizes teaching excellence and meets the educational and personal needs of students through effective teaching, academic advising, counseling and through university-sponsored cultural, recreational and extra-curricular programs.
- Offer a core of liberal studies that supports university degrees in the arts, letters and sciences, as well as specialized professional/technical degrees at the associate and baccalaureate level.
- Offer a program of pre-professional curricular offerings consistent with the university's mission.
- Expect scholarly activity, including research, scholarship and creative endeavor, that supports its programs at the associate and baccalaureate degree level, its selected graduate programs and its approved mission statement.
- Promote the integration of the extension function, assist the University of Wisconsin-Extension in meeting its responsibility for statewide coordination, and encourage faculty and staff participation in outreach activity.
- Participate in interinstitutional relationships in order to maximize educational opportunity for the people of the state effectively and efficiently through the sharing of resources.
- Serve the needs of women, minority, disadvantaged, disabled and non-traditional students and seek racial and ethnic diversification of the student body and the professional faculty and staff.
- Support activities designed to promote the economic development of the state.
The Select Mission
In addition to the system and core missions, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has the following select mission:
The primary purpose of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is to provide education leading to baccalaureate and selected graduate degrees supplemented by appropriate research and public service activities as further detailed in the following set of goals:
- The University shall emphasize excellence in educational programs and teaching.
- The University shall provide a broad base of liberal education as a foundation for the intellectual, cultural and professional development of the students.
- The University shall offer undergraduate programs and degrees in the arts, letters and sciences; health and human services; education; health, physical education and recreation; and business administration.
- The University shall offer graduate programs and degrees related to areas of emphasis and strength within the institution.
- The University expects scholarly activity, including research, scholarship and creative endeavor, that supports its programs at the baccalaureate degree level, its selected graduate programs and its special mission.
- The University shall support studies related to the environment, culture, heritage, institutions and economy of La Crosse and the surrounding Upper Mississippi Valley region.
- The University shall serve as an academic and cultural center, providing service and professional expertise, and meeting the broader educational needs of the region.