AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In five years, WGU Texas has changed the face of higher education in Texas, introducing competency-based education that fits the needs of today's new majority of nontraditional students. Since the non-profit university launched in Texas in 2011, more than 5,300 graduates have obtained their undergraduate or graduate degrees, helping to address the state's critical workforce needs in high demand fields like IT, health care and education.
And, on Saturday, Sept. 17th, during the university's annual commencement exercise at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, another 1,305 Texans join the ranks of alumni of WGU Texas.
"We know today's college students look a lot different than they did 10, 15, or 20 years ago. Today, nontraditional students are the new majority, not just in Texas but across the U.S. They are college students who juggle full-time jobs, family responsibilities and limited budgets," said Veronica Vargas Stidvent, Chancellor of WGU Texas. "At the five-year mark, WGU Texas is proud of our track record of delivering high-quality higher education solutions that are designed specifically with these non-traditional students. We're especially proud of this year's class of graduates, who will no doubt make their own significant contributions to their workplaces and communities."
WGU Texas graduates represent the diversity of our state:
- Thirty-nine percent of the 2015 WGU Texas graduates are first-generation college graduates;
- The average age of this year's WGU Texas graduate is 40 years old;
- The oldest WGU Texas graduate this year is 73 years old and the youngest, 21;
- Ninety-three percent of WGU Texas' 2016 graduates are 27 years of age or older.
Graduates at this year's WGU Texas Commencement earned bachelor's and master's degrees in the fields of information technology (IT), business, K-12 teacher education and health professions, including nursing. The average time for this year's graduate to complete a bachelor's degree is 2 years, 5 months, while a graduate program averages 1 year, 11 months.
"The face of higher education is changing, and innovators like WGU Texas are helping to reshape what a high-quality university education can be, both for students and the employers who are looking for skilled workers" said Manny Flores, CEO and Managing Partner of LatinWorks, who will deliver the WGU Texas Commencement keynote address. "These professionals are now ready for the jobs and promotions that await them, the opportunities that lie ahead are truly boundless for these bright, committed students."
Follow the 2016 Commencement online using hashtag, #WGUTX16.
For more information about the WGU Texas programs, please visit http://texas.wgu.edu.
About WGU Texas
WGU Texas is an online, nonprofit, competency-based university established to expand Texans' access to higher education throughout the state. Formed through a partnership between the state of Texas and nationally-recognized Western Governors University, WGU Texas is open to all qualified Texas residents. The university offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the high-demand career fields of business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing.
Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Teachers College programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).*
Learn more at texas.wgu.edu or call 1-877-214-7011.
*Western Governors University offers nursing programs that are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 5380, Washington, DC 20036, 202-877-6791).
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SOURCE WGU Texas