AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When you think of online education, barbecue isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But for the students of WGU Texas, the state's only nonprofit competency-based online university, barbecue is becoming another way the school is building community with students, alumni, and faculty.
WGU Texas uses the motto, "No matter where you are in Texas, you're on our campus." This spring, the university mailed T-shirts to all students and alumni with the name of their town listed as the Home of WGU Texas. This was followed by the launch of the Tour of Texas BBQ, a series of student and alumni meet-ups all over the state. Last Friday, more than 215 students, graduates, faculty, and friends met face-to-face in Houston for the most recent BBQ. Stops on the tour thus far also included Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio. Students bring their kids, parents, and spouses, allowing them to meet their fellow learners and faculty mentors. It's just one of the many ways the university strives to create community, connect students, and provide a personalized educational journey for the 3,000+ working adults it serves.
"What makes our university special is not that we're online—online education has been around since the '90s," said Dr. Mark David Milliron, Chancellor of WGU Texas. "What makes us special is our commitment to high-quality, personalized learning."
Student comments after Friday's event make the same point: "Thank you so much for putting the meet-up together! My family loved it. It felt neat to be a part of a school that is really growing and helping so many people."
Disrupting any idea of an isolating online experience, WGU Texas provides a learning environment for working adults that is deeply personalized. In addition to full-time course mentors for every subject area, each student is assigned a personal, full-time faculty member who provides support from day one to the day they cross the graduation stage. These student mentors focus on building meaningful relationships that students say make the difference in keeping them on the path to graduation. Even though they connect via video, phone, text, or email weekly, some students are meeting their mentors live at the BBQ meet-ups for the first time, as was the case for mentor Aminah and her student Gary.
Whether it's individualized instruction in the Center for Writing Excellence or conversations on vibrant online communities, WGU Texas sees each student as an individual, and is committed to ensuring their success by providing high-quality, affordable, accessible education. Degree programs are rigorous and challenging, but allow flexibility to accommodate work and family obligations. Tuition is affordable at approximately $3,000 per six-month term, and federal financial aid is available. Students may apply at any time, and new six-month terms begin the first of every month.
About WGU Texas
WGU Texas is a competency-based, online university created to expand access to quality higher education for Texas residents. The university offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the high-demand career fields of business, health professions including nursing, information technology, and K-12 teacher education.
Established through a partnership with nationally recognized and accredited Western Governors University, WGU Texas is open to all qualified Texas residents. Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is regionally accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and nationally accredited through the Distance Education and Training Commission (DETC) in addition to programmatic accreditation.
For more information, please visit the WGU Texas website at http://texas.wgu.edu or call 877-214-7011.
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SOURCE WGU Texas