A League of Their Own: CWPA: Part 2 of 3
Westward Ho! Collegiate Water Polo Association - Western Division

Joan Gould
Water Polo Planet
Updated 3/1/2013

Water Polo Planet continues to take a closer look at some of the schools in each individual conference to help acquaint potential students and parents with these schools. This month the schools of the CWPA Western Division are discussed.  We would like to present a less intimidating, brief overview of schools with water polo programs to help provide the basis for students to start looking at what is available.

Get the Skinney On the CWPA Western Division - One of Many

The schools of the Collegiate Water Polo Association are, indeed, a league of their own in the water polo world. Composed of 25 individual schools, spread from Boston in the north, south to Maryland and West to Indiana, the CWPA encompasses 25 very individual schools in a wildly diverse geographic area.

If an outstanding education and lifelong contacts are your goal, you need look no further than the educational powerhouses of the East Coast and Midwest. Schools within the CWPA are unquestionably top shelf, offering a full panoply of majors and programs to accommodate every taste and ambition. The financial and health care centers of Boston and New York are unrivaled in the world and CWPA schools as a whole, take internships very seriously, cultivating lifelong contacts and experience that benefit all students.

The CWPA is an amalgam of Divisions 1, 2 and 3 schools with combined competition schedules and no seeding preference given to those schools with lower budgets and/or scholarships.

Facilities range from 25 yard, 6 lane shallow deep to 50 meter all deep facilities  

The league is divided into 3 regions, the Northern, Southern and Western Divisions which play all in-season games within the Division until the end of the season where regional championships produce the top 2 contenders (with 2 at large) who participate in the Eastern Championships. The divisions help to reduces traveling costs and time but can cause normal school rivalries to become magnified via overexposure. 

For the purpose of this article and brevity, I have separated the schools of the CWPA into divisions and this month will look at the CWPA Western Division. Within each school, I have included the NCAA Division and the TYPE of indoor pool (shallow deep or all deep) to assist players in their choices.

Information Is the Right Tool for Choosing a School

Gannon UniversityGannon University, Erie Pennsylvania

Men and Women
Shallow/Deep, Division 2

With over 3,500 students, Gannon University is a private, co-educational Catholic, comprehensive university offering associate’s, bachelor's, and master's degrees, certificates and doctoral degrees in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Gannon is a downtown campus located both in the heart of a small city as well as on the shore of Lake Erie, a location that is certain to hold plenty of attraction for any student.

On any given day, you can find Gannon students playing intramural sports, socializing at the Waldron Campus Center, volunteering in Erie, attending a performance at the Schuster Theatre or studying at the Nash Library. Students make use of an Online Event Calendar to stay on top of things.

Student life at Gannon is a combination of in-and-out-of-the-classroom experiences. The entire student experience is defined and captured through our Lifecore program. As part of Lifecore, students explore nine lifestyle dimensions that enhance their personal and professional growth and development.

Whether you're living on campus in our residence halls or commuting, Gannon offers a community experience that enhances your academic studies. This provides you with an opportunity to develop lifelong friendships among our culturally diverse students.

While classrooms, textbooks and exams are the cornerstone of your education, your academic pursuits will be supported by faculty, academic advisors, our Writing Center, our coaches and an impressive infrastructure of computer technology, including wireless options.
The academic programs are fully accredited, and Gannon has been consistently ranked among the top 50 colleges and universities in the northern sector of the United States in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges." 

A range of campus organizations and activities encourages academic interests, community service, and moral and spiritual growth. Gannon also provides students with a broad program in intramural and intercollegiate athletics, including 18 athletic programs for men and women at the NCAA Division II level.

Head men’s and women’s coach Don Sherman is a veteran coach and consistently fields teams that are competitive within the Western Division as well as the CWPA.  From any point of view, Gannon University is a defitite look-see.

Grove City CollegeGrove City College, Grove City, Pennsylvania

Women only, All Deep Division 3

Grove City College is a very conservative Christian institution that is highly selective with a very high average SAT and ACT score for incoming freshmen. It is important for prospective students to understand that living within and embracing the conservative Christian faith is a critical component of almost every student attending this college.

Since its founding in 1876, Grove City College, committed to Christian principles, has striven to be equal in academic quality to the finest four year colleges. It seeks to provide liberal and professional education of the highest quality that is within the reach of families with modest means who desire a college that will strengthen their children's spiritual and moral character.

Long recognized for its academic quality, Grove City College insists that all its graduates possess, in addition to specialized knowledge in major or professional fields, a high level of cultural literacy and communication skills. Students are required to complete 38-50 credit hours of general education courses with emphases in the humanities, social sciences, quantitative and logical reasoning, laboratory sciences, and foreign language.

This program of studies in a broad range of liberal arts and sciences, consistent with many national recommendations for excellence, helps to insure that Grove City College graduates have the marks of educated persons, whatever their profession.

The Young America’s Foundation has listed Grove City as “Top Ten Conservative College” for the second year. The Young America’s Foundation has again recommended Grove City College as one of its Top Ten Conservative Colleges in the country. This is the second time the Foundation has constructed such as list, which seeks to rank the overall experience that colleges offer. The Young America’s Foundation presents its list of 10 institutions that offer a holistic conservative experience for students.

Indiana UniversityIndiana University , Bloomington, Indiana

Women Only
All Deep, Division 1

A member of the Big Ten Athletic Conference, Indiana University is a large state school that offers complete educational experience for any student. From Pre Med to Pre Law, IU has it all, including an exceptionally well funded water polo program and a state of the art aquatics facility.

Bloomington is the home of Indiana University's flagship campus (established in 1820), attended by approximately 40,000 students, the original and largest campus of the Indiana University system. It is also the home of the Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington, the Kinsey Institute, and The Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute.

Bloomington's Indiana University campus is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the nation. In 1991, Thomas Gaines, a landscape artist, published a book, The Campus As a Work of Art, in which he named the Bloomington campus one of the five most beautiful campuses in America. Most of the campus buildings are built of Indiana limestone. Due to the presence of the university, Bloomington is more diverse demographically than is typical for the state.

Fall 2012 Enrollment on all campuses and all programs total  107,959.

Mercyhurst CollegeMercyhurst University, Erie, Pennsylvania

Men and Women
Shallow/Deep, Division 2

Mercyhurst College is a fully accredited, four-year, Catholic comprehensive institution, founded in Erie, Pa., by the Sisters of Mercy in 1926. The Erie campus, located on a picturesque hillside crowning the city, offers 50 undergraduate majors with 67 concentrations, as well as unique adult programs and five graduate programs. In addition, it maintains its one- and two-year programs at a campus in scenic North East, just 20 minutes from Erie. Also, in the fall of 2006, Mercyhurst opened its third campus, Mercyhurst West, in neighboring Girard, Pa.

Ranked among the top 20 comprehensive colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report Best American Colleges Guide for seven years in a row. Mercyhurst is the second largest of the four-year Mercy colleges in the country.

Named by The Princeton Review as one of "The Best Northeastern Colleges" in one of five Princeton Review regional guidebooks.

Included among 16 colleges of distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com.

A medium-sized city with a metropolitan population of 280,000, Erie boasts many of the amenities normally associated with larger cities: a downtown filled with entertainment options, restaurants and cultural events, a symphony orchestra, museums and a first-rate history center, to name just a few. Catch an Erie Otters hockey game, or go to the ballpark to watch the Erie Seawolves. Do some shopping at the nearby Millcreek Mall, or visit the animals at the Erie Zoo.

Located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, the city, whose nickname is Gem City of the Great Lakes, also offers a complete range of recreational activities including fishing, boating and sunbathing. Our beautiful Presque Isle State Park boasts some of the best beaches on the Great Lakes, 22-mile multipurpose trail for cycling, inline skating, and walking, and is widely-known for its incredible sunsets.

University of MichiganUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor , Michigan

Women only
All Deep, Division 1

A member of the Big Ten, Michigan has an exceptional reputation in both the athletic and academic departments in a large school with nearly infinite academic offerings. Well funded and equipped, the water polo program for women offers it all (with the exception of California climate) and any Michigan graduate is well prepared for his or her future.

Internationally renowned for research and education, the University of Michigan offers a wide variety of degree programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Students experience the "Michigan Difference" and our strong tradition of excellence in the classroom, on the playing field, and in the community.

Outstanding and innovative academic offerings combine with a diverse campus community, the best faculty, and a central location in beautiful Ann Arbor to make it one of the nation's most desirable universities.

What are you interested in? With over 200 undergraduate majors, and many minors, all taught by world-renowned faculty in wonderful academic facilities, if you've thought about it, Michigan probably has it!

The great thing about Michigan is that even if you change your mind once you enroll, you'll have so many top-rated programs to choose from, you can be confident of your preparation for a career, graduate school or professional school.

Penn State BrehendPenn State Behrend College, Erie, Pennsylvania

Men and Women
Shallow/Deep, Division 2

At Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, more than 4,000 students benefit from the opportunities and prestige of a major research university set in the atmosphere of student-centered college. Students can choose from thirty-two baccalaureate majors and twenty-two minors, six associate degree programs, and two graduate programs: a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), and a Master of Project Management (M.P.M.).

Among our notable distinctions, the 2004 National Survey of High School Guidance Counselors ranks Penn State Behrend among the Top Sixty Schools in the country in its Best Value for Your Tuition Dollar category. Students and faculty enjoy the beauty of the college's 725-acre campus located only minutes away from the heart of Pennsylvania's fourth-largest city. Penn State Behrend has offered four-year degrees for thirty years.

As a Land Grant institution, the college is also uniquely positioned to advance Northwestern Pennsylvania's economic and social welfare. Students engage in the college's mission of teaching, research, and service by regularly participating in applied research and service projects. A recent addition to campus is Knowledge Park at Penn State Erie. This 200-acre research and development park houses knowledge-based companies that benefit from the site's superior technological infrastructure and Penn State's strengths in applied research and technology transfer.

Campus life is enriched by more than 100 clubs and organizations, ranging from the Astronomy Club to the Behrend Beacon to the Society of Women Engineers. In addition to twenty-one varsity teams (ten for men and eleven for women), Behrend offers nineteen intramural sports. Modern facilities include an indoor athletics and recreation center, library and academic building, engineering complex, chapel and carillon, observatory, child care center, and baseball and softball complex. On-campus housing for 1,650 students includes two new residence halls.

Salem UniversitySalem University, Salem, West Virginia

Men and Women
Shallow/Deep, Division 2

The Salem University web site has no listings or directories of faculty or staff or any listings of class schedules but it does state that it offers Associate, Bachelor, and Graduate degrees in fields including: Business, Education, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, and Biology. 

Salem is a small school with under 500 students but an athletic director committed to a vibrant competitive water polo program. Head Coach Rob Bullion has done an excellent job rebuilding the program over the past 2 years after a hiatus while the facilities were being rebuit.

In May 2010, the aquatic facility and much of the athletic building were comploetely updated and renovated  and includes underwater viewing areas and updated weight room and locker rooms.

Washington & Jefferson CollegeWashington & Jefferson College, Washington, Pennsylvania

Men and Women
Shallow/Deep, Division 3

Founded in 1781 and located about 30 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Washington  & Jefferson College is a coed, four-year, private liberal arts college dedicated to developing students one at a time. All classes are taught by master teachers who are caring mentors and advisors, and opportunities abound for internships, study-abroad programs, student activities, athletics, and volunteer service.

W&J’s pre-law and pre-health programs are internationally known. Historically, more than 80 percent of W&J students who apply to law or health-related schools are accepted. More than 75 percent of W&J’s seniors seeking employment find work in their fields or attend graduate school.

1,400 full-time undergraduate students. More than 80 percent of students live on campus

Founded in1781, making it one of the oldest colleges in America. W&J received its Phi Beta Kappa charter in 1937.

W&J’s student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1. Of the full-time faculty, more than 85 percent hold terminal degrees in their field.

W&J athletic teams participate in 23 intercollegiate sports. More than 45 percent of students participate in intramurals, club teams, or intercollegiate sports.

Academic Majors
Accounting, Art, Art Education, Biochemistry, Biological Physics, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Child Development and Education (K-6), Economics, English, Environmental Studies, French, German, History, Industrial Chemistry and Management, Information Technology Leadership, International Business, International Studies, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, Theatre, Thematic Major

There Will Be More to Explore

Each month, I will look at the schools in each conference and present a brief overview of each conference’ school. The September feature will be the schools of the CWPA: Southern Division and I encourage each coach to submit an overview of their school to joan@waterpoloplanet.com