Concord University is a four year public liberal arts institution and part of the West Virginia Higher Education System. It was founded in 1872 as the Concord Normal School and was officially opened on May 10, 1875. Since that time, Concord has established a distinguished legacy of delivering quality education for many generations.
Concord University consistently has been selected among the top colleges in its region. Most recently, in its “2014 Best Colleges: Region by Region” online feature, the Princeton Review listed Concord as one of 138 institutions in the “Best in the Southeast” category. Concord was also named among the Best Regional Colleges in the South in the 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges. It ranked Concord as the number one public institution in West Virginia among Regional Colleges in the South and in the first tier of the entire South Regional Colleges category.
With its main campus in Athens and a satellite campus at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center in Beckley, Concord recorded a headcount enrollment of approximately 2750, with over 250 graduate students, as of the fall of 2013. Although the majority of its students are from West Virginia, its students hail from over 25 states and 28 nations. In addition to approximately eighty undergraduate liberal arts and pre-professional majors, the University offers various Master’s degrees, including a Master of Education, a Master of Arts in Teaching, a Master of Arts in Health Promotion, and a Master of Social Work.
As a learning community, Concord University is committed to furthering knowledge through professional development activities and programs, through research, and through the application, publication, and appreciation of scholarly efforts.
The primary purpose of Concord’s mission is academic; however, the service the University provides to the state and region goes beyond the classroom. Concord University contributes to the cultural and economic life of Southern West Virginia through collaboration with both public and private organizations and agencies. Concord prides itself on providing support to the region it serves. As an example, Concord is the only public university in the United States with a Bonner Scholars Program, which provides scholarships to students who in return provide service to the region. Ultimately, Concord University measures its success by the fulfillment alumni find in their careers and throughout their lives.
Concord University has a strong tradition of providing a veteran-friendly environment for student veterans and military personnel. Concord University was named the number one four-year institution of higher education in the United States as “Best for Vets” by Military Times EDGE magazine in 2011 and the same magazine ranked Concord third in the nation in the fall of 2013.
Concord University is fully accredited by the North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission. Concord’s programmatic accreditations are held with the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the West Virginia Department of Education, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), and the Council on Social Work Education. Concord is a member of the National Association for Business Teacher Education.
The Athens campus also features the most complete library in Southern West Virginia, the J. Frank Marsh Library, which is a depository for federal documents. The Library has recently received renovations, including a new roof, new windows, air conditioning, and various interior renovations. The Library offers computer labs and facilities, microfiche, copying services, a juvenile section, and the University’s archives. Also housed in the Library are the University’s television studio, a DNA laboratory, as well as distance education and technology classrooms.
Concord University fields eighteen intercollegiate athletic teams and has a robust intramural program. The intercollegiate men’s teams include football, basketball, baseball, soccer, golf, tennis, track and field, and cross country. The women’s intercollegiate athletic teams include basketball, softball, soccer, golf, tennis, track and field, cross country, and cheerleading. Concord University is a NCAA Division II school and a member of the Mountain East Conference. The University provides many intramural athletic activities, including flag football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and Frisbee golf.
Concord is known for its picturesque, 123-acre campus, affectionately referred to as “The Campus Beautiful.” Located in Athens, West Virginia, the University is nestled on a plateau of the Appalachian Mountains with panoramic views from its lofty elevation of 2600 feet. Athens is in Mercer County, which has been listed among the 100 Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance four different years between 2005 to 2010. Athens is situated in a popular vacation area and is just a few miles from Pipestem Resort State Park, Bluestone Lake and State Park, the Bluestone National Scenic River, Camp Creek State Park, Pinnacle Rock State Park, and the New River Gorge National River. The region boasts exceptional hiking, mountain biking, and world-class whitewater rafting. Concord is located close to major four-lane highways (Interstates 64 and 77 and U.S. 460), but is in a safe community with the allure of a traditional setting.