SALT LAKE CITY, April 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Western Governors University (WGU) and the Utah Jazz teamed up to provide four Utah students with a full year of tuition. Awarded during halftime of the Jazz–Los Angeles Clippers game earlier this month, the scholarships will allow the students to attend WGU, an online, nonprofit university, tuition-free for one year. The four scholarship recipients—Tia Wesche, of Taylorsville; Melissa Tuttle, of West Jordan; Jamin Pace, of Lehi; and Joshua Cornia, of West Valley City—were awarded the scholarships by WGU's Chief Marketing Officer Patrick Partridge.
All of the winners are new enrollees at WGU and submitted an official entry form earlier in the Jazz season. Wesche is earning her bachelor's degree in business management, Tuttle is seeking her bachelor's in accounting, Pace is earning his master's degree in special education, and Cornia is pursuing his master's in nursing.
Cornia enrolled at WGU because he needed the flexibility of WGU's nursing program while he continues to work full time as a registered nurse at the LDS Hospital Wound Care Clinic. He also plans to accelerate his studies and earn his degree faster, an option WGU's competency-based approach enables.
"I earned my nursing license years ago and knew that if I were to ever further my education and complete an MSN, I would need a flexible program with the ability to expedite the process," Joshua said. "I have a full-time job and I don't want to be in school forever. WGU will allow me to complete my degree quicker than I would at a traditional school, and save me money."
The majority of WGU students are working adults who benefit from the online university's flexibility and competency-based online degree programs, which allow students to complete courses at their own pace, advancing as soon as they're able to demonstrate mastery of the material. This, combined with affordable, flat-rate tuition of $6,000 a year for most programs, is making it possible for more students to earn degrees that are helping them advance their careers. More than 4,700 Utahns are currently enrolled at WGU, part of a growing nationwide student body of nearly 70,000.
"The Utah Jazz are proud to join WGU to give these students free tuition for one year," said Randy Rigby, Utah Jazz president. "The Jazz organization places great value on education, and we are thrilled to help provide academic assistance to members of our community."
Online, accredited, and nonprofit, WGU offers more than 50 bachelor's and master's degrees in business, K–12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. WGU's competency-based learning model, which allows students to study and learn at their own pace, is ideal for students with job and family responsibilities.
About WGU Established in 1997 with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, WGU now serves nearly 70,000 students nationwide and has more than 60,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation's leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. It has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and enabling the workforce needed in today's rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies, and was featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. WGU's 2015 Annual Report is now available online.
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