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Part II. Abbreviated Summary Form

History and Characteristics

Brief History

Longwood University is located in historic Farmville, Virginia, a growing college town with a population of 7,000. Farmville is 65 miles west of Richmond and is the business and education center of the area.

Longwood University is the third oldest public institution in Virginia and was the Commonwealth's first state institution of higher learning for women. Longwood was founded on March 5, 1839, when the Farmville Female Seminary Association was incorporated by the General Assembly of Virginia. Increasing prosperity led the stockholders to expand the seminary into a college, and the Farmville Female College was incorporated in 1860. On April 7, 1884, the State of Virginia acquired the property and in October of the same year the Normal School opened with 110 students enrolled. With the passage of the years, the Normal School expanded its curriculum and progressed through a succession of names. It became the State Normal School for Women in 1914, the State Teachers College at Farmville in 1924, Longwood College in 1949, and Longwood University in 2002.

Longwood University has experienced a steady growth in its academic programs since the beginning of the twentieth century. The University was first authorized to offer a four-year curriculum leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Education in 1916, then the Bachelor of Arts in 1935, the Bachelor of Science and a curriculum in business education in 1938, the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1976, the Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1978, the Bachelor of Music in 1981, and most recently the Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Longwood's first graduate program, a master's degree in education, was authorized in 1954. By 2006, the program of graduate studies had expanded to include the Master of Business Administration (MBA); Master of Science in Education, Sociology, and Communication Sciences and Disorders; and Master of Arts in English. The University also offers graduate degrees with initial licensure programs, graduate licensure-only programs, and graduate certificate programs. The MBA Advantage, a collaborative initiative where students combine their major with advanced study in business to earn a bachelor's degree and an MBA in about five years, was made available to undergraduate students in fall 2009. A five-year program for elementary, middle, and special education teacher licensure candidates is also being developed. In 2005, Longwood began an online speech-language pathology master's pre-requisite program to prepare students for graduate work and help meet the growing need for speech-language pathologists in Virginia.

The campus of Longwood University has undergone dramatic improvements over the past few years with the completion of major construction and campus beautification projects. Brock Commons opened in 2004 and has united the campus community around a safe, pedestrian-friendly environment, while creating an outdoor, collegial ambiance for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Originally built in the nineteenth century, Longwood's signature buildings, Ruffner and Grainger Halls, were rebuilt and rededicated in 2005 after burning in 2001 during a major renovation. Other recent additions include the Chichester Science Center in 2005, the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold-certified Health and Fitness Center in 2007, and the Center for Communication Studies and Theatre in 2009.

Longwood University is primarily a residential campus with approximately 80% of its students living in university-managed housing comprised of eight on-campus buildings and three apartment communities. A new complex of athletic fields for field hockey, lacrosse, and soccer supports Longwood's move to National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I status in 2006. Longwood University's off-campus facilities in Virginia include the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts and the Longwood Center for Communication, Literacy and Learning in downtown Farmville; the Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices in South Boston; and the Hull Springs Farm in Westmoreland County.

Current Mission

The mission of Longwood University states:

Longwood University is an institution of higher learning dedicated to the development of citizen leaders who are prepared to make positive contributions to the common good of society. Building upon its strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences, the University provides an environment in which exceptional teaching fosters student learning, scholarship, and achievement. As the only four-year public institution in south central Virginia, Longwood University serves as a catalyst for regional prosperity and advancement.

From Vision to Action: The Five-Year Plan, the University's strategic plan approved by the Board of Visitors in September 2007, focuses on four primary goals:

  1. Distinctive Impact. Longwood University serves as a unique and dynamic agent for positive and sustainable change within and among its communities and constituencies.
  2. Engaged Learning. The Longwood University community demonstrates a commitment for lifelong learning that results in personal and professional growth through emphasizing active involvement, collaboration, and application of knowledge.
  3. Superior Performance. Longwood University achieves excellence in institutional effectiveness through continual improvement.
  4. Responsible Stewardship. Longwood University embraces its responsibility to manage human, cultural, environmental, fiscal, and capital resources effectively.

All divisions within the University establish and track progress on annual objectives that are written in support of and alignment with these four strategic plan goals.

Geographic Service Area

Longwood's primary service area is the Commonwealth of Virginia, with approximately 95% of its student body coming from Virginia. On-campus and online students come from over 25 states and 12 foreign countries. Community outreach activities are focused on central Virginia, an area of the Commonwealth that has, in part, high dropout rates, low high school graduation rates, low college attendance rates, low family incomes, and high unemployment.

Composition of the Student Population

In fall 2008, Longwood University served 4,727 undergraduate and graduate students. Women accounted for 69% of this total; 95% of undergraduates were enrolled full-time, and 87% of graduate students were part-time. Graduate students comprised 703 of the total number of students (15%), and first-time freshmen comprised 26% of undergraduate enrollment. African Americans made up 6% of total student enrollment in fall 2008, Hispanics 2%, Asians 2%, and Native Americans 1%, with another 1% listing two or more races. International students enrolled at Longwood in fall 2008 included 25 from China and 20 from 11 other countries. The fall 2008 freshman class had an average high school GPA of 3.36 and an SAT mid-range of 1020 to 1150. Longwood's average undergraduate GPA is 2.83, with a freshman retention rate of 78.7% and an annual average retention rate of 82.9%.

Unusual and Distinctive Features

Longwood University is the only public institution in Virginia and one of a few in the country to require an internship or research project of all students. Internships give students the opportunity to gain experience and grow personally as they face real-world problems and ethical choices; they also connect students to employment opportunities. Research projects give students the opportunity to delve deeply into a topic of interest under the supervision of a faculty member in their field of study. In 2008-09, the Longwood Fund sponsored 9 student research projects and sent 19 students to regional and national honors conferences to present their work. It is estimated that an additional 30 students made presentations at local and university conferences.

The most recent manifestation of the University's commitment to outreach is the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, which enrolled its first cohort of 37 students in January 2010. The program meets a critical training need in the Commonwealth that was previously not available in south central Virginia. A unique dimension of Longwood's century-long tradition of excellence in teacher preparation is a partnership with four local elementary school divisions in which students spend half of each day taking their own classes and half working with the teachers and students in their partnership school. Other established outreach programs include:

  • Longwood Small Business Development Center (Farmville, VA, and four other locations)
  • Longwood Center for the Visual Arts (Farmville, VA)
  • Longwood Center for Communication, Literacy and Learning (Farmville, VA)
  • Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices (South Boston, VA)

Think Green--Act Green! Longwood's sustainability initiative, reflects the institution's commitment to preparing strong citizen leaders who are fully engaged with and aware of their environment, who put theory into practice, and who lead the way toward a cleaner and healthier world. Sustainability was chosen as the University's academic theme for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years, with impacts ranging from a campus-wide recycling program to a student-produced video that was one of eight winning entries in the National Wildlife Federation's Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming competition. All incoming students completed a common reading, Radical Simplicity, and the author spent five days on campus meeting formally and informally with students, faculty, and staff both inside and outside the classroom. Longwood was also the first entire campus classified as a Virginia Green Conference Center.

Hull Springs Farm, the bequest of a 1938 Longwood alumna, embodies both outreach and sustainability. The farm, located in Westmoreland County on the Potomac River, includes over 600 acres of pristine, undeveloped property that provide opportunities for undergraduate research and will play a central role in Longwood's sustainability initiatives. Longwood intends to establish an education, research, and demonstration center for best management practices for sustainability in the areas of forestry, agriculture, wetlands, habitat, and shoreline protection, serving Virginia and the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed. Living Shorelines, an on-going research and public education project of Hull Springs Farm involving students, faculty, and community volunteers, won the Ecological Excellence Award for Construction from the Virginia chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society in 2008.

For eleven straight years, Longwood University has been ranked among the best in the U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" report. In 2009, Longwood held the #11 position in the Top Public Universities-Master's in the South and remained in the top tier for all Southern Universities-Master's (Public and Private). Additionally, Longwood was one of only 139 schools in the Southeast selected as a "Best in the Southeast" institution in the Princeton Review's 2009 Best Colleges, Region by Region listing.

Admissions Policies

Longwood University has selective admissions for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Admissions policies and selection criteria for undergraduates are approved by the Board of Visitors. The 2009-10 undergraduate catalog states:

Freshman admissions decisions are competitive and based on academic performance in high school. Performance will be measured by considering academic units completed (college preparatory), class standing, cumulative grade-point average, and the scores on the SAT or ACT. The Admissions Committee will also review additional information submitted by the candidate in support of the application. Primary emphasis, however, is placed on academic credentials. Additional information and documentation may be considered by a committee that reviews special circumstances.

Specific undergraduate criteria to be considered for admission include a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 calculated on the basis of a minimum of 18 college preparatory high school core courses, and minimum SAT score between 950 and 980 per a sliding scale based on this calculated high school GPA. Academic criteria receive a minimum 75% weight, with personal characteristics and achievement criteria counting no more than 25%.

To qualify for admission to a graduate degree program, an applicant must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants must also have an overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale), or a minimum mean score on 2 out of 3 parts (verbal, quantitative, analytical writing) of the General GRE test, or a GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) on 6 hours of Longwood graduate courses that are part of the degree program to which the applicant is applying (taken as a non-degree registrant within the last 12 months). Individual programs may have more stringent standards and/or need additional information and credentials. Each graduate program decides on the admissibility of its students.

List of Degrees

List all degrees currently offered (A. S., B.A., B.S., M.A., Ph.D., for examples) and the majors or concentrations within those degrees, as well as all certificates and diplomas.

Undergraduate Degrees

Concentrations are listed only where required for the degree.

Degree(s) Major Concentration(s)
BA, BS Anthropology  
BS Athletic Training  
BA, BS Biology  
BSBA Business Administration Accounting
Business Education
Computer Information Management Systems (CIMS)
Real Estate
BA, BS Chemistry  
BS Communication Sciences and Disorders  
BA Communication Studies Mass Media
Organizational Communication and Public Relations
BA, BS Computer Science  
BS Criminology/Criminal Justice  
BA, BS Economics  
BA English  
BA History  
BS Kinesiology Exercise Science
Physical and Health Education Teacher Education PK-12
BA, BS Liberal Studies  
BA, BS Mathematics  
BA Modern Languages Comparative Literature
Teaching English as a Second Language
BSN Nursing  
BA, BS Physics  
BA, BS Political Science  
BS Psychology  
BA, BS Social Work  
BA, BS Sociology  
BA Teacher Preparation in History and Social Science  
BS Therapeutic Recreation  
BA Visual and Performing Arts Music
BA, BFA Visual and Performing Arts Theatre
BFA Visual and Performing Arts Art Education
Art History
Art Studio
BM Visual and Performing Arts Education
Piano Pedagogy

Two degrees are currently inactive and not listed in the undergraduate catalog, although both are approved degree programs. Longwood has eliminated the BS in Community Health Education and is in the process of updating the BGS in Liberal Studies and moving it out of storage.

Graduate Degrees

Degree(s) Major Concentration(s)
MBA Business Administration General Business
Retail Management
MS Communication Sciences and Disorders  
MS Education Community and College Counseling
Curriculum and Instruction Specialist in K-8 Mathematics
Curriculum and Instruction Specialist in Modern Languages
Curriculum and Instruction Specialist in Music
Curriculum and Instruction Specialist in Special Education General Curriculum
Educational Leadership
Elementary Education PreK-6 Initial Licensure
Literacy and Culture
Modern Languages PreK-12 Initial Licensure
School Counseling
School Library Media
School Library Media PreK-12 Initial Licensure
Special Education General Curriculum K-12 Initial Licensure
Special Education/Liberal Studies General Curriculum K-12
MA English Creative Writing
English Education and Writing
MS Sociology  


Graduate Certificates

Longwood University offers three graduate certificate programs:
  • Social Policy and Administration (Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (College of Education and Human Services)
  • 21st Century Learning and Leadership (College of Education and Human Services)
The College of Education and Human Services offers four graduate licensure-only concentrations leading to a Virginia Department of Education endorsement area:
  • Educational Leadership Licensure (Endorsement in Administration and Supervision)
  • Literacy and Culture Licensure (Endorsement as Reading Specialist/Coach)
  • School Library Media Licensure
  • Special Education General Curriculum K-12 Initial Licensure

Many undergraduate degrees include course options to meet requirements for initial licensure by the Virginia Department of Education.

Locations and Distance Education

List all new off-campus sites established since your previous reaffirmation where a student can be awarded a degree, certificate, or diploma at the site or where a student can obtain 50 percent or more of credits toward the educational program.   

Location Degree, Certificate, or Diploma >=50%
Longwood Powhatan Center
Powhatan, VA
MS Education (Literacy and Culture)
MS Education (School Library Media)
MS Education (Special Education)
New College Institute
Martinsville, VA
BA, BS Liberal Studies (Elementary and Middle School teaching endorsements) Yes
Retail Merchants Association Building
Richmond, VA
MBA General Business
MBA Retail Management


List all locations (country, state, and city) where coursework toward a degree, diploma, or certificate can be obtained primarily through traditional classroom instruction. For each site, indicate the partial or complete degree offered and, for each degree, certificate, or diploma, whether a student can obtain 50 percent of credits toward any of the educational programs.

All locations where Longwood offers coursework are in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. The following locations offer active programs in various combinations of face-to-face and hybrid (partly online) courses. After May 2010, Longwood will no longer offer MBA courses at the Retail Merchants Association Building in Richmond, VA.

Location Degree, Certificate, or Diploma >=50%
Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy Lynchburg, VA MS Sociology Yes
Chesterfield County Public Schools
Chesterfield, VA
MS Education (Literacy and Culture)
MS Education (School Library Media)
Hampton, VA MS Education (School Library Media) Yes
Hopewell Public Schools
Hopewell, VA
Teacher licensure renewal (science education courses) No
Mecklenburg County Public Schools
Boydton, VA
MS Education (Educational Leadership) Yes
New College Institute
Martinsville, VA
BA, BS Liberal Studies (Elementary and Middle School teaching endorsements) Yes
Longwood Powhatan Center
Powhatan, VA
MS Education (Literacy and Culture)
MS Education (School Library Media)
Longwood Powhatan Center
Powhatan, VA
MS Education (Special Education) No
Lunenburg County Public Schools
Victoria, VA
MS Education (Curriculum and Instruction Specialist in K-8 Mathematics) No
Retail Merchants Association Building
Richmond, VA
MBA General Business
MBA Retail Management
Richmond County Public Schools
Warsaw, VA
MS Education (Literacy and Culture) Yes
Rockingham County Public Schools
Harrisonburg, VA
MS Education (School Library Media) Yes
Shenandoah County Public Schools
Woodstock, VA
MS Education (School Library Media) Yes
Southern Virginia Higher Education Center
South Boston, VA
MS Education (Community and College Counseling)
MS Education (Educational Leadership)
MS Education (Literacy and Culture)
MS Education (School Library Media)

Southern Virginia Higher Education Center
South Boston, VA
MS Education (Special Education)
Initial teacher licensure
Southside Virginia Community College
Keysville, VA
Teacher licensure renewal (K-8 mathematics courses) No


Provide a brief description of distance education credit offerings that can be obtained primarily through electronic means and indicate where the students are located. Indicate any degree or certificate programs that can be completed primarily through electronic means. Please limit this brief description to one-half page.

Longwood offers graduate and undergraduate credit courses through a variety of delivery models including fully online, hybrid (partly online), and two-way interactive video broadcast live from one site to another. Two videoconferencing-equipped classrooms are available and used for synchronous, off-site delivery of programs in the business and education colleges.

Faculty receive comprehensive training and support in developing and delivering online and hybrid instruction through the Longwood Online Technology Institute (LOTI) faculty development program. All faculty members who teach online are required to participate in at least one LOTI experience; many have participated more than once. As part of the training experience, syllabi are reviewed to ensure consistency and alignment with existing face-to-face syllabi. The method of delivery does not alter the content and requirements of course syllabi, ensuring that a credit-bearing course at Longwood is consistent regardless of how it is delivered.

To date, 119 faculty members have received training to develop 93 undergraduate and 45 graduate online and hybrid courses. In 2007-08, 195 hybrid or online courses were delivered; 237 were delivered in 2008-09. Many students who take online or hybrid courses are also enrolled in other Longwood courses. The demographics for online students are expected to reflect that of the total student population: 94% from Virginia, 4% from other states, 1% from other countries, and 1% unknown in fall 2008. Some programs, such as school library media, communication sciences and disorders, literacy and culture, and others, have developed over 50% of their individual courses for hybrid and/or online delivery and regularly use this delivery model to meet the needs of off-site cohorts throughout the state of Virginia. The speech-language pathology master's pre-requisite undergraduate coursework (SLP online) is a core of eight courses offered entirely online. Students from across the United States as well as overseas have taken the SLP online courses to prepare for their graduate work in communication sciences and disorders.