The New Year promises exciting changes around campus and in the classrooms at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU). Here are 10 things to expect.
New Residence Hall
The new $25 million freshman residence hall is slated to open in August 2018. This four-story structure is designed to bridge academics and residence hall living and will add nearly 300 resident beds. The space features an atrium-style lobby, recreation room and community kitchen. There also are two apartments to house faculty-in-residence. Also on the horizon, construction will begin in early 2018 on a $53 million sciences building.
Home Depot’s Retool Your School
The historic lawn between Blair and Carolina halls is being transformed into a Zen Zone. This summer, two three-person hammocks were installed in the area, and the historic bell was restored with a weather resistant coating. A $30,000 beautification grant from Home Depot’s Retool Your School program will fund additional enhancements, including a gazebo, updated benches and landscaping. Student, staff and Home Depot volunteers will come together Jan. 24-25 to complete the project.
New Interactive Tools for Students
In 2017, WSSU unveiled a new website, a new interactive campus map, and Winston, an artificial intelligence virtual assistant. The upcoming year promises more breakthroughs in technology. In April, WSSU will unveil a new online portal for students.
University Bookstore Expansion
The bookstore, located in the Thompson Student Services Center, Barnes & Noble College chosen to manage WSSU bookstore. Since becoming Barnes & Noble College, the bookstore is undergoing a transformation that will give it a significantly larger presence to serve students, faculty and staff, and a new look. The bookstore is also offering more logo apparel. Construction is now underway to nearly double the size of the current space.
New Home for Copy Center
The copy center now has a larger space to serve the campus community. The center, formerly housed in the Old Nursing building, has relocated to the ground floor of the Cleon F. Thompson Student Services Center. The new center is more spacious, with extended counter space that is wheelchair accessible. It is also more centrally located on campus.
School of Health Sciences Programs
In January, the School of Health Sciences’ Division of Nursing will pilot a self-paced program for registered nurses who are ready to pursue a bachelor’s degree. The competency-based education (CBE) program will launch with five students. The goal is to expand the program, the first by a North Carolina-based university, to up to 100 students by the summer. Also starting in January, SOHS will expand the services and hours of its Rams Know H.O.W. Mobile Clinic thanks to a grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.
New Programs for The College
In the College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education, three new programs are launching in 2018.
A signature Afro-Cuban study abroad program will be piloted in May 2018 with a trip to Cuba. Students will prepare for the trip by taking Spanish languages and Cuban history and culture courses.
The Department of Liberal Studies is offering five new religious studies courses. Students now will be able to minor in religious studies.
The Department of Psychological Sciences is adding three new courses through a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This spring, WSSU will become the first public HBCU to offer an honors psychology program.
Online Writing Assistance
Upswing, WSSU’s 24/7 tutoring and coaching platform, which launched in 2016, is now expanded to offer writing assistance. The online writing lab will help WSSU students through every stage of the writing process, and allow them to connect with Upswing tutors or on-campus tutors at their convenience.
New Campus Master Plan
What will WSSU look like in the future? A new campus master plan will provide a framework for development at the campus over the next 10 years. The plan is being developed collaboratively with representatives from WSSU Facilities Design and Construction, faculty, staff and students. The master plan should be completed in early spring.
Although the yearlong 125th anniversary celebration is in the books, 2018 also will have its share of big events. Among the highlights, Homecoming, which is set for Oct. 20.
Originally published December 19, 2017.