Winona State University

winona-state-universityWinona State University is a university named after the city of Winona, Minnesota. Founded in 1858 as the Winona Normal School, it started life as a prep school for teachers. Instead of offering traditional degree programs, students enrolled in certificate programs that prepared them for working in different types of schools. The school, which had a large number of men enrolled, closed during the Civil War as most of its students and faculty members enlisted. When it reopened, the school started changing its curriculum to include more diverse programs. It operated as a teaching college for more than three decades before becoming Winona State College and then Winona State University.

Also called WSU, this public university has a good reputation because of the diverse courses it offers, work experience of its professors and low class sizes. Many of its classes have around 20 or fewer students. The university has its own e-learning option that allows students to lease a computer or tablet directly from WSU that they can use during all four years they spend taking classes. U.S. News & World Report ranks WSU as the 71st best college in the Midwest, and Washington Monthly ranks its graduate school as one of the top 300 in the entire country.

Winona State University Accreditation Details

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is the professional organization that granted Winona State University its main accreditation. HLC accreditation lets WSU students apply for government financial aid from both the state and federal governments. If you have an interest in one of the counseling programs that the university offers, you'll appreciate knowing that the university has accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. This type of accreditation applies to both the courses that you take as well as the clinical work or fieldwork that you will do. Some of the other accreditation that WSU has comes from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Council on Social Work Education, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Winona State University Application Requirements

WSU looks for students who took courses in high school designed to help students at the college level. The transcript that you submit, which you'll do after filling out the online application, must show that you took three years of social studies, math and lab science classes, four years of English classes, two years of any other language and at least one full year of electives. You must have an ACT score of at least 18 and a GPA of 3.0 or a 2.75 GPA and at least a 21 on the ACT. Incoming freshmen will need to use the online application, pay the $20 application fee and then submit an official test score and transcript.

WSU does not offer a paper application for prospective graduate students but does make the graduate school application easy to find on its website. This application asks questions about your educational background and others designed to find out if you have any professional experience. You can pay the $20 application fee online or send a money order or check to the university. WSU requires an official college or university transcript too. Once the university accepts you, it will send your application to the appropriate department, which has the final say over whether you make it into a specific program.

Tuition and Financial Aid

If you take at least 12 credit hours in a semester but no more than 18 credits, you are a full-time WSU student. These students pay around $3,700 a semester and around $1,000 in miscellaneous fees. Part-time students pay around $244 per credit. Graduate students pay fees of a little over $500 and a tuition rate of $388 per credit. The exact price that you pay as a graduate student will depend on the total number of classes that you want to take. WSU also has a reciprocity program in place that allows students from North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin to pay the same rate for classes as residents of Minnesota do. You'll need to fill out a separate form and show proof that you are a legal resident of one of those states. All other students face extra fees.

Every student who applies to WSU has the right to apply for financial aid too. You can find the FAFSA online and create an account that you use to fill it out. This form will use your parents' tax information or your own tax records, depending on your age and other factors. You may get loans, grants and other types of aid.

Psychology and Counseling Programs

Winona State has a standard psychology program available for undergrads with an interest in human behavior. This program features two different paths that students can take. Option A is for students who have other interests beyond psychology. You can pick a minor in an unrelated field or select a second major and still graduate in four years. The university designed Option B for those who just want to study psychology. You'll take 12 credits of core psychology classes that include experimental psychology and careers in psychology. Students must take at least one class from four different domains too, including cognition, social psychology, learning and developmental psychology. Students can also earn four credits for doing an internship, but they'll need to commit to doing at least 10 hours of work each week.

Though WSU offers just one psychology program, it offers multiple options for graduate counseling students. You can enroll in a program that focuses on professional development, school counseling or clinical mental health counseling. The professional development program is the only one that does not require any type of clinical work or fieldwork. Other programs require that you do at least 400 hours of clinical work to earn your degree. Most programs include a capstone course as well. You'll study one aspect or field of counseling while in this program and use the semester to complete your own research project that functions as your thesis.

The university offers a certificate in addiction counseling too for those who want to work in rehabilitation and treatment centers. You'll take seven classes that are worth 24 credits, which helps you qualify to get an addiction counseling license in Minnesota. Winona State University lets you complete this certificate program with or without earning a full degree.