The University of the Southwest was founded in 1956 as a junior Christian college, and it quickly expanded until it was large enough to serve not only the surrounding community of Hobbs, but also the regions of Southeast New Mexico and West Texas. Today, the school is transforming from a commuter college to a residential university that is capable of housing half its student population. Not only is the USW expanding its physical campus, but it is also extending its educational services into the realm of online education.
Since the USW is a Christian university, part of its campus life includes many opportunities for students to explore and express their faith. Each week, student ministry teams and the campus pastor hold a chapel service. The administration will work with students to help them find a place of worship in the surrounding community. Students involved in athletics can attend weekly prayer meetings through the school’s association with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Athletics also play a part in campus life; students can cheer on the Mustangs in basketball, track and field, tennis, and several other sports. The USW student body also sustains various clubs, from honor societies like Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society to Christian ministry organizations and the Southwest Cultural Pride Club.
The USW has three main schools: the School of Arts & Sciences, the School of Business & Professional Studies, and the School of Education. Undergraduate students can earn a bachelor’s degree in one of ten majors, including Christian Studies, Biological Sciences, Psychology, and Criminal Justice. Graduate students can earn a Master of Business Administration or a Master in Education. Students earning the latter may choose between eight specialties, including Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), School Counseling, and Early Childhood Education.
For students who prefer distance learning, the University of the Southwest’s online offerings include bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as single courses. Currently the only bachelor’s degrees offered online are those in business administration, criminal justice, and psychology. Both the Master of Business Administration and the Master in Education degrees are available online (the Master in Education includes all eight specialties). The University of the Southwest online classes use Blackboard and CAMS-Enterprise for online course management. This allows students to log in and view course content based on their own schedule Ultimately, as long as they meet certain assignment deadlines set by the instructor, they can direct their own education.
University of the Southwest’s online classes and degree programs are just one of the reason why this faith-based institution has earned a stellar reputation in recent years. The wide range of major selections, availability of extracurricular opportunities, and an equal emphasis on academic strengths and spiritual principles have all helped cement USW as a popular collegiate choice among today’s students.