Professional Studies Program

West Chester University

Contact Info
144 Main Hall
West Chester, PA 19383
Fax: 610-430-5649

About the Program Director

Bruce Norris is presently serving as the Director of the Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies: Professional Studies program. He has served as the director since the program’s inception in the summer of 2002.

Professor Norris has been active as an academic advisor since he began his work in higher education in 1982. More recently, he has become involved in several initiatives to bring about an overall improvement in academic advising across the university. He is a former member and Co-Chair of the University Academic Advising Committee. He has given a number of presentations and workshops on academic advising issues to various constituencies on campus. In 2007, he was awarded a Diversity and Social Equity Grant from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, funding a series of workshops to assist faculty academic advisors as they work with diverse groups of students on our campus. He participates in the New Student Orientation program, discussing academic issues with new students and their families. He is involved in New Faculty Orientation, presenting workshops on academic advising. He also is the Coordinator of First-Year Student Scheduling, overseeing the process through which initial course schedules are developed for approximately 2000 incoming first-year students.

Professor Norris has served on a number of other university committees. The most notable of these were the university’s Strategic Planning and Accreditation Council (2 years), the Strategic Planning and Resource Council (served as co-chair for 5 years), Gender Equity for Athletics Committee (6 years), Faculty Senate (3 years) as well as a large number of faculty and staff search committees. Presently, he is a member of the university’s Athletic Advisory Board and the New Faculty Orientation Committee

Professor Norris is an active member of the National Academic Advising Association. He has attended a number of local, regional and national conferences and presented at some of their recent regional and national conferences. He has completed NACADA’s Summer Academic Advising Institute (2002, in Colorado Springs), as well as the Advising Administrators Institute and Advising Assessment Workshop (both in St. Pete Beach, Florida in 2004).  He served on the local conference planning committee for the annual national conference in Baltimore in 2007, and has served on or assisted the planning committees for several regional conferences on academic advising. He served as Mentoring Coordinator and a member of the Executive Committee for Region 2 of NACADA for 5 years.   He currently serves as chair of NACADA’s Annual Conference Advisory Board, and is a member of the Faculty Academic Advisor Commission Steering Committee and their Awards Selection Committee, the Professional Development Committee and as a member of the Administrative Division. He also has the privilege of directing the NACADA choir at the Annual Conference.

Professor Norris joined the faculty of West Chester University in 1986. He was appointed to the faculty of the Department of Physical Education (later changed name to Kinesiology) and taught in the Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training program. In 1992, he moved to the newly created Department of Sports Medicine. He taught various courses for Athletic Training majors, focusing primarily on the emergency management of athletic injury. In addition, he served as a clinical instructor for students during their athletic training clinical rotations and as an athletic trainer for a variety of university intercollegiate athletic teams. He was also an academic advisor for students in the Athletic Training major. He was a Certified Athletic Trainer through the National Athletic Trainers Association and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is no longer active in the athletic training profession.

Among the highlights of his athletic training career was his involvement with the Sports Medicine Program of the United States Olympic Committee. He was appointed to serve as an athletic trainer to the United States Olympic Team for the 1992 Olympic Summer Games in Barcelona, Spain, the US team to the 1991 Summer World University Games in Sheffield, England, and the 1989 US Olympic Festival in Oklahoma City. During his experiences with the USOC, he provided services to men’s gymnastics, men’s field hockey, weightlifting, track and field, luge, ice hockey and canoeing teams.

Prior to coming to West Chester, Professor Norris was on the faculty of Towson State University (now known as Towson University) in the mid-80’s and had also served as a health and physical education teacher and athletic trainer at Downingtown Senior High School (PA) in the late 70’s.

Professor Norris is a proud alumnus of West Chester University. He graduated in 1978 (when the institution was known as West Chester State College) with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education, with a concentration in Athletic Training. He has a Master of Arts in Physical Education (Emphasis in Exercise Physiology) from the University of Maryland, College Park, earned in 1982.

Away from WCU, Professor Norris is married and has three children, ages 20 (a student at WCU), 18 and 15. He serves as the Director of Music Ministry at Downingtown United Methodist Church, where he directs the adult choir, men’s choir and handbell choir. He is currently a licensed soccer referee through the United States Soccer Federation. He is a former youth soccer coach with the West Bradford Youth Association, where he also assisted in coaching baseball and basketball in the past. He takes immense fatherly pride in the academic, artistic, athletic and personal accomplishments of his children, without living vicariously through them.