ST. LOUIS, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the third consecutive year and the fourth time since 2008, Western Governors University, www.wgu.edu, has been awarded the 21st Century Best Practices in Distance Learning for 2013 from the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA). The nonprofit, online university received the award April 30 in St. Louis, Missouri, at the association's annual international conference.
The USDLA International Awards are presented annually to individuals and organizations that contribute to the development, delivery, and innovation of distance learning programs. The awards were created to acknowledge major accomplishments, leadership, and advancements in distance learning and highlight programs and professionals who have demonstrated remarkable results through the use of online and blended learning delivery technologies. USDLA is the nation's leading distance learning organization.
"Western Governors University represents the finest examples of online education, best practices, and leadership in our field," said Dr. Rob Robinson, President of USDLA. "We are so very proud and excited to be able to recognize this level of excellence."
WGU has more than 39,000 students nationwide and offers more than 50 accredited online bachelor's and master's degree programs in the fields of business, information technology, K–12 teacher education, and health professions, including nursing. Degree programs are competency-based, an approach that lets students move quickly through areas where they have prior education or work experience so they can focus on the things they still need to learn.
At WGU, learning is individualized and guided by one-on-one support from a faculty mentor. Degree programs are rigorous and challenging, but designed to allow students to schedule their studies to accommodate work and family obligations. WGU's tuition is affordable—about $6,000 per year for most programs—and is charged at a flat rate regardless of the amount of coursework a student completes.
Named one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies 2013, WGU has been featured on NPR's "All Things Considered," NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, CNN's "Schools of Thought," and in The New York Times, WGU is the only university in the U.S. offering accredited, competency-based bachelor's and master's degree programs. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. WGU's Teachers College is the first exclusively online provider of teacher education to receive accreditation for its teacher licensure programs from NCATE, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. The WGU bachelor's and master's nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and its B.S. in Health Informatics is accredited by CAHIIM (Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education).
On June 11, 2010, WGU Indiana was created by Governor Mitch Daniels as Indiana's eighth state university. WGU Washington was established by the Washington State Legislature on April 22, 2011. On August 3, 2011, the state of Texas created WGU Texas. On February 15, 2013, Governor Jay Nixon announced the establishment of WGU Missouri. These state-based universities are state-endorsed and offer degree programs that are accredited through Western Governors University.
The university has earned the support of more than 20 leading corporations and foundations. They include institutions such as AT&T, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lilly Endowment, HCA, Hewlett-Packard, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle, SunGard Higher Education, and Zions Bank. More information is available at www.wgu.edu or by calling 866.225.5948.
About United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit association formed in 1987 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The associationreaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and members operating in and influencing 46% of the $913 billion U.S. education and training market.USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include pre K – 12 education, higher and continuing education, home schooling, as well as business, corporate, military, government, and telehealth markets. The USDLA trademarked logo is the recognized worldwide symbol of dedicated professionals committed to the distance learning industry. http://www.usdla.org
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SOURCE Western Governors University