SEATTLE, April 27, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- WGU Washington will award nearly 1,700 bachelor's and master's degrees to students from across the state at its fourth annual commencement ceremony Saturday, May 2. The class of 2015 is WGU Washington's largest since the university was founded four years ago.
The commencement ceremony honoring this year's degree recipients will be Saturday, May 2 at Everett's Xfinity Arena.
The 2015 graduating class is roughly 70 percent larger than last year's class of 1,055 graduates. In the four years since state lawmakers endorsed WGU Washington as an affordable, educational option for students, the university's enrollment has grown rapidly. Up more than 750 percent since 2011, WGU Washington's total enrollment now exceeds 7,500 students, making the online university one of the largest institutions of higher education in the state (comparable in size to Gonzaga or Seattle University).
"We are incredibly proud of the academic accomplishments of WGU Washington's class of 2015," said WGU Washington Chancellor Jean Floten. "The record number of graduates reaffirms our online, competency-based model is an effective and practical way for working Washingtonians to achieve their educational goals."
Many of the state's top employers have recognized WGU Washington's important role in keeping the workforce competitive in the global marketplace. GroupHealth President and CEO Scott Armstrong will deliver the commencement ceremony's keynote address. GroupHealth employs approximately 3,000 workers across Washington, including 2,000 in the greater Seattle area.
"We are so thankful to have Scott's commitment to participate," said Chancellor Floten. "Each of our students aspires to excel and make a significant impact in his or her respective career field. I'm confident Scott's words will inspire our grads as well as all their guests in attendance."
WGU Washington offers career-focused degrees for a flat rate of about $6,000 per year for most programs. Of the school's roughly 7,500 full-time students, nearly half are enrolled in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) related programs. STEM fields are vital to our state's economy. WGU is the largest educator of math and science teachers in the U.S., conferring 5 percent of the nation's baccalaureate and 15 percent of the nation's master's degrees in STEM teaching.
What: WGU Washington Commencement Ceremony
When: Saturday, May 2, 2015, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Where: Xfinity Arena, 2000 Hewitt Ave, Everett, WA 98021
Keynote Speaker: Scott Armstrong, President and CEO, GroupHealth
If you would like more information about commencement, would like to attend the ceremony, are interested in scheduling an interview with Chancellor Jean Floten or would like to speak to a graduate in your area, please contact Margo Jasukaitis at 425-898-2700, [email protected] or Lee Keller at 209-799-3805, [email protected].
About WGU Washington
WGU Washington was established by the State Legislature in 2011 in partnership with nationally recognized and accredited Western Governors University to expand access to higher education for Washington residents.
The state-endorsed, online university offers more than 50 bachelor's and master's degree programs in Business, Information Technology, Teacher Education and Health Professions, including nursing. WGU Washington's competency-based learning model is designed to meet the needs of working adults by providing an affordable, flexible option for earning an accredited, respected college degree. It's non-profit and receives no money from the state.
Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is regionally 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*).
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, Hewlett-Packard, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle and SunGard Higher Education.
*One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 5380, Washington DC 20036, 202-877-6791
Contact for enrollment information:
Contact for media inquiries:
Jake Riddell – Public Relations Manager
SOURCE WGU Washington