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Welcome to the College of Professional Studies at West Virginia State University. Our students, faculty and staff congratulate you in taking the first step in reaching your academic goals. The mission of our College is to prepare qualified professionals to serve and lead in a global society. Rich in tradition, the College is organized around some of the University’s earliest developed programs. Students can choose from academic programs in EducationHealth and Human Performance, NursingSocial Work and Criminal Justice. In addition, the College houses Military Science/ROTC as an elective course of study specializing in management, leadership, and life skills.

Our highly qualified, experienced, and diverse faculty and staff are committed to providing you with a positive learning environment where you can experience academic success in your quest for a successful career. The College of Professional Studies offers innovative and meaningful learning experiences through active student engagement and collaboration with peers and faculty. Your curriculum will provide you with the opportunities to use technology, critical thinking, questioning and problem-solving as you explore interesting and current topics and issues. More importantly, you will develop oral and written communication skills necessary for success in your chosen field.

Academic programs integrate course work with internships which allow students to apply new ideas and theory into real-life learning events. Students in this College often acquire an international, national, or state certification, licensure, or commission to serve in professions of teaching, law enforcement, military service, social work or wellness. The faculty encourages you to take advantage of student support services, meet consistently with your academic advisor to monitor your curriculum pathway, and be involved in student organizations, clubs and honor societies.

The faculty and staff in the College of Professional Studies strive to meet students at their point of need by differentiating learning, monitoring academic pathways, and mentoring and advising on an individual basis. We hope you will find your academic passion at West Virginia State University and ultimately help us to continue the strong tradition of excellence that we have enjoyed since 1891.
Faculty members of the college of professional studies.
Social Work Accreditation

The Social Work program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the national accrediting body for Social Work educational programs. This means potential employers anywhere in the country will recognize our program as having met the standards for quality and excellence set by CSWE. It also means our graduates are eligible for licensure as social workers in West Virginia and other states, depending on individual state laws. The Social Work program at West Virginia State University has been continually accredited by CSWE since 1975 and our most recent accreditation review was completed in February of 2017. Our program is reaffirmed through February of 2025. 

Education Accreditation

The WVSU Education program is fully accredited with the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), now the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), through 2021.  It is also approved by the West Virginia State Department of Education. Candidates from West Virginia State University's Department of Education achieved a 100% pass rate for its program completers based on Federal Title II-Teacher Quality Guidelines. Licensure pass rates are in the 97%-100% range, which means that most Education graduates may apply for teacher certification and full-time teaching positions in West Virginia and in states with certification reciprocity agreements. 

Sports Studies Accreditation

The undergraduate and graduate programs in Sport Studies at West Virginia State University are proudly recognized as compliant members of the National Strength and Conditioning Association's Education Recognition Program with an emphasis in Strength and Conditioning. 

WVSU College of Professional Studies Leadership Certificate 

The Leadership Certificate is housed in the College of Professional Studies (CPS). Through an interdisciplinary curriculum, the West Virginia State University CPS Leadership Certificate Program provides students with the opportunity to develop core knowledge about leadership within the larger context of social action and social change and to demonstrate leadership through written, oral, and field-based experiences. This certificate is 12 credit hours containing three leadership courses CPS 215, CPS 315, and CPS 415.
Program Vision
The WVSU Leadership Certificate Program is a high quality, interdisciplinary, multidimensional, experiential and multi/intercultural program that exposes undergraduates to, and prepares them for, real life leadership experiences.
College of Professional Studies Leadership 215 – 3 credits
In this course, students will
  • Cultivate an understanding of leadership theories and models,
  • Learn to create, establish and reinforce cultural rules of engagement to increase communication effectiveness, and
  • Acquire ideas on the human dynamic interactions of professionals in different work environments.
College of Professional Studies Leadership 315 – 3 credits
In this course, students will
  • Examine leadership as it relates to group and team behavior,
  • Discover how to effectively lead groups and teams when in a leadership position, and
  • Provide experiences to address complex personal and organizational issues related to leading change.
College of Professional Studies Leadership 415 – 6 credits
The Leadership Practicum is the culminating course for the Leadership Certificate Program where all of the leadership concepts throughout the program is integrated and applied.
In this course, students will
  • Conduct hands-on learning in campus/community settings as students observe, define, analyze and practice leadership skills in a service learning environment,  
  • Explore leadership techniques as demonstrated by present university and community members, and 
  • Collaborate and work in teams to create and present a written proposal for a service project demonstrating the application of leadership skills in on or off the WVSU campus, public sector, nonprofit, or other related situations.

Title IV-E

Title IV-E grants provide qualified Social Work majors stipends and tuition awards through funding from the WV Dept. of Health and Human Resources. (The awards may affect eligibility for other financial aid and applies only after all other free aid is used. In addition, it may also be subject to taxation.) Student grants are based on the following criteria:
  • Be formally admitted into the Social Work program with 60+ hours of completed study
  • Carry a minimum of 12 hours of coursework per semester with a GPA of 2.3 or better
  • Submit an application with a current transcript and resume with names/addresses of two references
  • Sign a BINDING contract with the WV-DHHR agreeing to stipulated academic standing, course work, field placement in a child welfare social service agency and a commitment upon graduation for employment with the WV Office of Social Services — if such an offer is presented to you
  • Students unable to meet the conditions of the Title IV-E contract must pay back the stipend(s) received with interest.

Active Grants

  • The Healthy Grandfamilies Project is a 3-year grant funded by USDA to offer 120 grandfamilies in the Greater Kanawha Valley a series of free educational discussion groups combined with social support services. Discussion groups are delivered through the WVSU Extension Service in collaboration with the WVSU Department of Social Work, which coordinates the social support component.  The project offers social work students opportunities for experiential learning and internships.
  • The Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Grant is an ongoing partnership with the WV-DHHR and other social work programs in WV to provide tuition and stipend opportunities for social work students interested in careers in child welfare. Over 80% of our Title IV-E stipend graduates have been offered employment at the DHHR.  Through this program, social work faculty also provide in-service training to DHHR employees, and project staff implement DHHR PRIDE training for area foster parents.

Recently Completed Grants

  • The Screening Brief Intervention Referral for Treatment (SBIRT) Grant, funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, was a collaborative project of Marshall, Concord, and WVSU to prepare social work students to work with adolescents and substance abuse issues.  Although the grant period ended December 2017, teaching activities continue.
  • Promoting Social Work Careers in Health Care was a 1-year project funded by the WV Higher Education Policy Commission that ended June 2017.  The project provided students with applied research opportunities related to health care and provided faculty with resources to develop curriculum in the area of professional self-care.
  • Community Assessment and Education to Promote Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation (CAPE) provided 2 years of federal funding for research and community partnerships to address substance abuse issues.  Dr. Kerri Steele and Dr. Brenda Wamsley published an article in 2017 titled “Response to the Drug Crisis in One Appalachian City: A Collaborative Early Warning System Approach” with data from this project.

Student Organizations - SOCIAL WORK

Alpha Delta Mu
The Social Work Honorary – Alpha Delta Mu is a national organization, which recognizes academic achievement in the field. To be eligible for membership in the West Virginia State University chapter (Mu), you must:
  • Complete 60 credit hours
  • Achieve a 3.0 GPA computed overall
  • Earn a “B” or better in each social work course undertaken (a minimum of 6 credit hours in social work)
Alpha Delta Mu emphasizes scholarship and the development of programs that will further the student’s education. The Mu Chapter sponsors programs for students and the community and works closely with the Social Work Student Organization. Members of Alpha Delta Mu learn about social work graduate school programs, and they help in arrangements for the Career Expo held on campus. Each year during Founders Week in March members of Alpha Delta Mu are recognized by the Administration and Faculty for their academic accomplishments.

The Social Work Student Organization (aka “the Club”)
The Social Work Student Organization (aka “the Club”) has been active since 1975 when the Social Work Program was first accredited at West Virginia State University. We cordially invite you to join the Club and participate in its activities. The Organization offers you opportunities to socialize and fraternize with like-minded students, to learn about employment openings, to provide services to our community, and to gain additional information about the social work field. In the past, some of the Club activities have included community speakers, voters’ registration, representation to the NASW state meetings, sponsorship of induction of honor students into honoraries, involvement in a needs assessment project, parties for children in low income housing, community awareness projects, mentoring services, fundraising for homeless programs, participation in the WVSU in Multicultural Festival, and field trips.

The Social Work Student Advisory Council
This group is made up of freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors who serve as a formal student conduit for influencing the Social Work Program’s policies and procedures. An elected representative of this group attends the Social Work departmental meetings as needed.

Student Organizations - CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Alpha Phi Sigma
The West Virginia State University Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honor Society, Beta Beta Chapter, recognizes and honors outstanding scholarship in the fields of criminal justice study along with several universities and colleges across the nation and Canada affiliated with APS.   
Alpha Phi Sigma recognizes academic excellence of Undergraduate and Graduate students of Criminal Justice, as well as Juris Doctorate students. The Goals of Alpha Phi Sigma are to honor and promote academic excellence; community service; educational leadership and unity.  Alpha Phi Sigma is the only Criminal Justice Honor Society which is a certified member of The Association of College Honor Societies and affiliated with The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

National Membership Requirements:            
Undergraduate Students shall be enrolled at the time of application in the institution represented by a chapter, have declared a major, minor or equivalent in the criminal justice field, have completed at least three full-time semesters or its equivalent.  They must attain a minimum GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale in their cumulative courses and criminal justice classes, and rank in the top 35% of their class.  A minimum of four courses of the above course work shall be in the criminal justice field at a 3.2 average.
Graduate students shall be enrolled in a graduate program in criminal justice or related field; have completed four courses; have a minimum GPA of 3.4 on a 4.0 scale or rank in the upper 25% of their class. Three of the four courses, can be counted from the students undergraduate work, if the student attained a 3.4 GPA or higher in those courses.  (M.S. in Criminal Justice Administration at WVSU). 

WVSU APS Faculty Advisors:  Dr. Cassandra B. Whyte, Advisor and Professor Leighann Davidson, Assisting Advisor.         

Alpha Tau Delta - Criminal Justice Club
The Department of Criminal Justice encourages students to participate as much as possible in student organizations.  The Alpha Tau Delta is West Virginia State University's local Lambda Alpha Epsilon chapter and participates in many activities on and off campus.  The Alpha Tau Delta Chapter was established in 1995 and has given individuals who are interested in criminal justice the opportunity to gather and particpate in a variety of events. 

The mission of Alpha Tau Delta is to:
  • improve criminal justice through educational activities
  • foster professionalism in law enforcement personnel and agencies
  • promote professional, academic, and public awareness of criminal justice issues
  • encourage the establishment and expansion of higher education and professional training in criminal justice
  • provide a unified voice for professionals in, and students of, criminal justice
  • promote high standards of ethical conduct, professional training, and higher education within the criminal justice field
Alpha Tau Delta participates in a number of competitions during the West Virginia Criminal Justice Educator's Conference held during the Fall semester, such as pistol team competitions, crime scene investigations, and quiz bowl.  The club also holds a number of fundraisers in order to fund educational trips to visit historic criminal justice facilities.  The members normally meet on Tuesdays at 12:15 pm on the 5th floor of Wallace Hall.  You can also check out the club at  If you are interested in becoming part of the criminal justice club, stop by and speak with one of our faculty advisors, Professor Mark Addesa or Dr. Michael Kane.  For more information about the national grand chapter, see  

Dr. Kerri
Dr. Kerri Steele
Dean, College of Professional Studies
916 Wallace Hall
Phone: (304) 766-3282

The College of Professional Studies
West Virginia State University
520 Wallace Hall
PO Box 1000
Institute, West Virginia 25112-1000
Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Other times by appointment only.
Phone: (304) 766-3081
Fax: (304) 766-5175


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