Founded in 1872, Glenville State College began as a normal school for central West Virginia – a 19th century precursor to the teacher’s college, in which teachers were trained for two years in a real classroom, with real students. The state was drawn to Glenville for its civic pride and generosity, and by the time 20th century rolled around, there were more normal school students than residents. Nicknamed “The Lighthouse on the Hill,” Glenville State brought students from across West Virginia and developed a reputation for excellence and commitment to the community. Today, Glenville State is a respected public college ranked in the top 20 public regional colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report.
Academic ProgramsGlenville State College operates as a public liberal arts college, offering associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in a wide range of subjects. With its small size, Glenville is able to deliver the kind of student support and benefits usually associated with private liberal arts colleges, including a 13:1 student:faculty ratio that allows faculty members to take active roles in mentoring and guiding students. Small class sizes – with an average of 18 in introductory classes, and 9 in advanced courses – help students develop stronger bonds with their peers while gaining more individualized attention than at large universities.
Glenville State began as a teacher’s college, and that history remains strong; the NCATE-accredited Teacher Education Unit is still one of the strongest in West Virginia. However, the 21st century has seen Glenville State dramatically increasing its course and program offerings, and the college now offers more than 30 undergraduate majors. As a regional college, Glenville State’s biggest responsibility is to provide leaders and a professional workforce for the region, and its business, criminal justice, human services, and land resources programs are crucial to the health, wealth, and well-being of West Virginia.
Student LifeThe student body at Glenville State stands at around 1600 students, with slightly more male than female students; Glenville is particularly proud of its high proportion of first-generation and minority students. With its rural location and small student body, Glenville State cultivates a comfortable, safe environment for students to explore their interests, identities, and future possibilities. More than two dozen student-led clubs and organizations help build community and keep students busy in their off-time; options include professional development organizations, religious groups, and special interests like fishing and yoga.
The Glenville State Pioneers compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports as part of the Mountain East Conference, a newer conference that formed in 2013 from a number of schools leaving the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, as well as institutions from Ohio and Virginia. Men’s and women’s basketball, cross-country, and track and field are offered, as well as rare programs in men’s and women’s boxing, and women’s acro and tumbling. Glenville State students also take part in the Glenville State High Adventure programs, which takes students on outdoor recreation excursions throughout the school year into West Virginia’s beautiful, rugged mountains.