Center for Academic and Professional Enhancement (CAPE)

Welcome Message

Welcome to Western University of Health Sciences

The University is one of the most diverse graduate institutions in the nation, and is increasingly recognized for the high quality of its graduates, it programmatic excellence, and its innovation. You’ve made a great choice.

The following online orientation material is offered to make your first days at WesternU, and your total experience as faculty member, as rewarding as possible. Please peruse all the orientation website materials appropriate to your duties, so that you can be prepared to make the most of the opportunities at the University and in the communities it serves. Our goal is to help make your transition to learning and research at WesternU as seamless as possible. WesternU embarked on a special mission when it opened its doors in 1977 as the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP): Educating tomorrow’s health-care professionals with a combination of scientific excellence and a humanistic, compassionate approach to patient care.  From an inaugural class of 36 students in 1978, enrollment in COMP had by 1986 grown to more than 400. That same year, the addition of the Master of Science in Health Professions Education program paved the way for what would become the College of Allied Health Professions. The campus kept growing, with enrollment jumping dramatically in 1996, when the addition of a College of Pharmacy coincided with the campus’ name change to Western University of Health Sciences.  1998 was another landmark year for WesternU, as the College of Graduate Nursing was founded in March, and the College of Veterinary Medicine – the first veterinary college in Southern California – was established just five months later.

WesternU’s first foundation-up construction project, the Banfield Veterinary Clinical Center, opened its doors in August 2008. One year later, the University welcomed inaugural classes in three new colleges — Dental Medicine, Optometry and Podiatric Medicine. The University also expanded the physical campus, erecting a 180,000-square-foot Health Education Center, a Patient Care Center, and a 600-car parking garage. A ninth school, the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences, welcomed its inaugural class in January 2010.  WesternU also is making its mark beyond the boundaries of the Pomona campus, thanks to the addition of a Pacific Northwest campus in Lebanon, Oregon. This campus, known as COMP-Northwest, welcomed its inaugural class of 107 osteopathic medical students in July 2011, and will grow to more than 400 students by 2014.  Today, the campus encompassing 22 acres, has helped transform downtown Pomona into a thriving mix of retail, commercial and educational enterprises.

WesternU’s educational philosophy focuses on the preparation of highly skilled health care professionals who are compassionate and humanistic caregivers. With the University’s recent expansion of its academic programs to include most of the major doctoral level health care disciplines, the University has embarked on establishing a comprehensive interprofessional education program.  In your role as a member of the faculty, you will help to prepare the next generation of health professionals and biomedical researchers who are committed to a team approach to both health care delivery and the conduct of research that addresses health related problems. Again, welcome to the WesternU family.  


Gary Gugelchuk, PhD

Provost and Chief Operating Officer