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The University is one of the many outgrowths of the original mission that brought the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word to San Antonio in 1869. The Sisters’ work began with the care of victims of a cholera epidemic and the establishment of the first hospital in the city, an institution recognized today as the Christus Santa Rosa Health Care Corporation. Their ministry soon spread to the care of homeless children and teaching. In 1881, they secured a charter Jordan Carillon Plaza from the State of Texas, which empowered them to establish schools on all levels.
In 1900, the Academy of the Incarnate Word, which had been established first in an area of San Antonio called Government Hill, was moved to the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Alamo Heights. College classes were added to the curriculum in 1909, and the name of the institution was changed to the College and Academy of the Incarnate Word. Both the College and the High School were affiliated with the Texas State Department of Education in 1918. The college was fully accredited by the Association of College and Secondary Schools in 1925. The graduate division was added in 1950, and the school became co-educational in 1970. In 1996, it was recognized as a university.
In 1995, the University elected to move into new population areas, both in the adult education community and international arena. In 1995, the Adult Degree Completion Program (ADCaP) afforded adult learners the opportunity to get a quality education in the evening at an accelerated pace. In 2000, the University moved its mission and programs to the country of China, and became the first American university granted approval by the government of China to offer accredited degrees in mainland China.
In 2000, UIW also added the Universe Online, a natural extension of the mission and the entrepreneurial direction of the University. By utilizing computer mediated learning techniques, the University addresses the changing needs of adult learners. By maintaining educational standards of the traditional programs, Universe Online offers nationally accredited programs in a convenient format.
In 1998, the University was re-accredited at the baccalaureate and master degree level and approval was given to offer doctoral degrees by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges. UIW, through its College of Professional Studies, is nationally accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs to offer degrees in Business Administration (BBA) and the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
Other accreditations include the American Music Therapy Association, the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, the Texas Education Agency, the Comission of Collegiate Nursing Education, the Board of Nurse Examiners for the State of Texas, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology, and the American Dietetic Association.
The University also holds membership in the Association of Texas Colleges and Universities, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Council for the Advancement of Support to Education, the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, the Texas Independent College Fund, the Higher Educational Council of San Antonio and the United Colleges of San Antonio. University of the Incarnate Word is a Charter Member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and qualifies as an Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) under federal guidelines.
retrieved on January 20, 2009