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The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission regulates postsecondary institutions in West Virginia, and ensures that they implement the state’s provisions of four-year college and university public policy agenda. The Commission is composed of academic affairs, administrative services, the chancellor’s office, finance and facilities, financial aid, health sciences, human resources, legal services, policy and planning, science and research, and student success divisions. The Commission is associated with the West Virginia Higher Education Assessment Council, which assesses West Virginia higher education through national and accreditation standards and collects and reports assessment data. The Commission is also associated with the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative, created in 2009 by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission to develop a plan for encouraging diversity within West Virginia’s four-year, public colleges and universities.
West Virginia University was founded as a public institution in 1867 and is located in Morgantown. West Virginia University has been classified as a research university with high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and U.S. News & World Report ranks West Virginia University No. 164 in National Universities in its 2012 edition of Best Colleges. Online bachelor’s degrees are available at West Virginia University in nursing and multidisciplinary studies. Several online master’s degrees are available at West Virginia University, including athletic coaching education, communication studies, education, business administration, legal studies, nonprofit management, nursing, public health, reading, social work, software engineering, and special education.
West Virginia State University in Institute, W.Va. is a public institution, and was founded in 1891. The university was originally founded as the West Virginia Colored Institute as part of the Second Morrill Act of 1890, which authorized 17 land-grant institutions. West Virginia maintained a segregated education system from 1891 until 1954, when the United States Supreme Court outlawed school segregation, turning the school into an integrated one that welcomed all students. West Virginia State University serves a student population of 2,827 and has a student-to-faculty ratio of 15 to 1. The West Virginia State University Center for Online Learning offers online courses in communications, media studies, business administration, economics, psychology, education, health and human performance, and social work.
Marshall University was founded in 1837 as Marshall Academy. The public institution is located in Huntington, W. Va., and serves an enrollment of 13, 966 students. U.S. News & World Report ranks Marshall University No. 39 in Regional Universities (South), and No. 15 in Top Public Schools in Regional Universities (South) in the 2012 edition of Best Colleges. Marshall University offers more than 150 online courses available 24/7, including online degree programs like a regents bachelor’s degree, master’s degree in education, and a master’s degree program in leadership studies.