Winona State University was founded as the First State Normal School, an institution specifically for educating and producing new elementary school teachers. In the 1850s Minnesota was on the American frontier and lacked trained teachers. Winona settler Dr. John Ford lobbied the Minnesota Legislature to establish normal schools .
Founded in 1858, Winona State's mission is to enhance the intellectual, social, cultural and economic vitality of the people and communities it serves: creating "a community of learners improving our world". It offers 65 undergraduate programs and 12 graduate programs in a variety of fields. The average class size is 24 with a student to faculty ratio of 21:1. Over 55 countries and 32 states are represented by the student body.
The International Services Office is the initial contact for all international students. They have the training and experience to help with the concerns and issues of international students.
The staff welcomes students to campus and assists them with the transition to life at an American university. Upon arrival at WSU, students visit the International Student Office to pick up an arrival packet. International students participate in an orientation program, where thy review immigration regulation, find answers to questions, get to the know the university and the community, receive registration information, and learn about the requirements of the Cross-Cultural Scholarship program.
Community Engagement at Winona State University is about connecting students to purpose driven work that applies their learning from the classroom to the community they live in.
Winona State students answer the call to serve over and over again. Whether in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Rushford and Stockton after the floods of 2007, Moorhead after the Red River flood in 2008, or every year here in Winona raking leaves, being Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and supporting victims of domestic violence, our students are there to help.
More than 2,500 students choose to live on the Winona State University campus each year, and on-campus residents enjoy resources and experiences that complement their academic work. The university features six residence halls on campus, including a new residence hall that opened in fall 2010. Three additional residence halls and the University Apartments at East Lake are connected by shuttle bus to the central Winona campus. Numerous off-campus rental housing opportunities are available within five blocks of campus.
Winona State and its programs are accredited by the following organizations:
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