Online university fills critical gap in Washington state higher education
SEATTLE, Sept. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the first time since its launch in 2011, WGU Washington's enrollment has exceeded 5,000 students. That milestone highlights the demand for non-traditional, affordable higher education options in Washington state.
"This latest enrollment milestone proves that Washingtonians want to learn and that they understand a degree is important in today's job market," said WGU Washington Chancellor Jean Floten. "Our model works well for working adults because it's affordable and offers busy students the flexibility to study on their own schedule."
A majority of WGU Washington students are adults balancing family, careers, and other responsibilities. In addition, many are first-generation college students who have some college experience but never finished their degrees.
WGU Washington's tuition is among the lowest in the state, with most students paying around $6,000 a year for most programs. Although WGU Washington courses are extremely rigorous, its innovative, competency-based learning model allows students to get a quality college education efficiently by learning at their own speed and on their schedule.
WGU Washington, the only state-endorsed, online university in Washington, operates under the accreditation of Western Governors University (WGU). WGU Washington is the largest affiliate of WGU in the country, which now has more than 40,000 students enrolled nationwide.
The university's pioneering philosophy of measuring learning, not course hours, led to WGU being named the world's 28th most innovative company in 2013 by Fast Company Magazine.
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, HCA, Hewlett-Packard, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle, SunGard Higher Education, and Zions Bank.
*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 Washington