2017-18 Academic Catalog
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The University and Its Programs

History

The university was established in 1876 by enactment of the Iowa General Assembly, and opened on September 6, 1876, as the Iowa State Normal School - "a school for the special instruction and training of teachers for the common schools of the state." The university offers a broad curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Four conventional baccalaureate degrees are offered:

  • the Bachelor of Arts,
  • the Bachelor of Fine Arts,
  • the Bachelor of Music, and
  • the Bachelor of Science.

The university also offers two additional baccalaureate degrees:

  • the Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree which offers educational opportunities to those students who have completed an A.A.S. degree and are now seeking to complete a four-year degree. These students are often place-bound and need to take online classes while remaining a full-time employee,
  • the external degree of Bachelor of Liberal Studies, an external degree offered in cooperation with the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.

On the graduate level, thirteen degrees are offered:

  • the Master of Accounting,
  • the Master of Arts,
  • the Master of Arts in Education,
  • the Masters of Athletic Training,
  • the Master of Business Administration,
  • the Master of Music,
  • the Master of Public Policy,
  • the Master of Science,
  • the Master of Social Work,
  • the Professional Science Master’s,
  • the sixth-year Specialist in Education degree,
  • the Doctor of Education degree, and
  • the Doctor of Industrial Technology degree.

The University of Northern Iowa has grown from its 1876 original campus site of 40 acres with one building - Central Hall, which originally housed orphaned children of Civil War soldiers - until it now embraces 57 principal buildings on a campus of 910 acres, with a full-time faculty of approximately 650 and a total enrollment of approximately 13,000. In addition to its physical growth, the university continues to support programs that reach into the wider community, including the UNI Center for Urban Education (UNI-CUE), which is located in the heart of the urban area of Waterloo, Iowa. The internationally-known North American Review, which was established in 1815 in Boston and is the oldest periodical in the United States, is now published under the auspices of the University of Northern Iowa.

Location

The university is located in Cedar Falls, Iowa, which has a population of approximately 39,000, with the Cedar Falls-Waterloo greater metropolitan area having a population of more than 169,000. Together with the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa is governed by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

Mission

Established as the Iowa State Normal School, the institution was renamed the Iowa State Teachers College in 1909 and under this title attained a national reputation and status as a leading institution in the field of teacher education. By enactment of the Iowa General Assembly on July 5, 1961, the name of the college was changed to the State College of Iowa and degree programs were added for those not planning to teach. The change to the University of Northern Iowa was effected on July 1, 1967, following enactment by the Iowa General Assembly on the recommendation of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. Its current statement of mission was approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa:

The University of Northern Iowa is a comprehensive institution dedicated to providing a personalized learning environment, founded on a strong liberal arts curriculum. It is committed to being an intellectually and culturally diverse community. The University focuses both on undergraduate education, and on selected master’s, doctoral and other graduate programs. It is characterized by excellence in three areas: teaching and learning; research, scholarship, and creative work; and service. Through its varied endeavors, UNI shares its expertise with, and provides service to, individuals, communities and organizations throughout the state, the nation and the world.

Memberships and Accreditation

The University of Northern Iowa is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), and the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States (CGS). The university is accredited through the doctoral degree (Doctorate of Education and Doctorate of Technology) by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC),

Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL, 60604
800-621-7440

Academic programs of the university have been accredited by the following professional accrediting agencies: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB - International), the  National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the Association of Technology Management and Applied Engineering Board of Accreditation (ATMAE), the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the Foundry Educational Foundation (FEF), the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communication (ACCGC), the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), the National Recreation and Park Association Council on Accreditation (NAPR), and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The Cultural and Intensive English Program (CIEP) is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA). The B.A. in Athletic Training is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. In addition, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (COPA), has conferred accreditation for the two master’s level programs in counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling, both from the School of Applied Human Sciences,   

Other programs at the University of Northern Iowa have also been approved by external organizations. Teacher preparation programs at the University of Northern Iowa have received approval from the Iowa State Department of Education, the Department of Chemistry has approval from the American Chemical Society, and the B.A. in Family Services is an approved program for educating Certified Family Life Educators by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). 

Within the Division of Student Affairs, the Student Health Center is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), the Health Clinic Laboratory is accredited by the Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation (COLA), and the Counseling Center is accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services (IASC).

UNI is committed to the assessment of student learning for the ongoing improvement of curriculum, programs, and services offered by the university and for accreditation processes. Assessment of academic programs is managed through the cycle of Academic Program Review, which includes both internal and external review processes. In addition to Academic Program Review, other assessment activities and the collection of data related to student learning outcomes are managed through the resources and leadership of the Office of Undergraduate Studies (www.uni.edu/assessment), the  Dean of the Graduate College (www.grad.uni.edu) and the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness (http://uni.edu/ir/).