SALT LAKE CITY, April 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) presented Western Governors University (WGU) with two awards for excellence in distance learning at its 2015 National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. At the awards ceremony, WGU was honored with its sixth 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning, and Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk, WGU's Chief Nursing Officer, received an award for Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning. The nation's leading distance learning organization, the USDLA presents its International Awards annually to organizations and individuals engaged in the development and delivery of distance learning programs.
For the fifth consecutive year and the sixth time since 2008, WGU has received this prestigious award for excellence in distance learning. The university was recognized for being a leader in online education by creating programs that are innovative, comprehensive, and effective. As the leader and pioneer of competency-based education—an innovative learning model that allows students to learn at their own pace and advance as soon as they demonstrate mastery of subject matter—WGU offers affordable, online degree programs designed to meet the needs of busy, working adults. Students have 24/7 access to online learning resources and receive dedicated one-on-one faculty support, providing a more personalized and engaging learning experience.
"As a premier organization for the entire distance learning profession, we are honoring WGU as a leader in the industry," said Dr. John G. Flores, Executive Director of USDLA. "WGU has raised the bar of excellence and we are truly honored by their contributions within all distance learning constituencies."
The USDLA's 2015 Award for Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning was presented to Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk, CNO and National Director for WGU's College of Health Professions. Dr. Jones-Schenk was recognized for her role in the development of the university's nursing programs and for her efforts to earn program accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE*) for another 10 years. Since joining WGU in 2008, Dr. Jones-Schenk led the development and implementation of WGU's competency-based prelicensure nursing program and the College's amazing growth to more than 12,000 enrolled students and nearly 12,000 graduates.
"This year's USDLA Awards recipients, WGU and CNO Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk, represent the finest examples of online courses, best practices, and leadership in our field. We are so very proud and excited to be able to recognize this level of excellence," said Elaine Shuck, President of USDLA.
Established in 1997 by a bipartisan group of U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, WGU has been recognized by the White House as what works in post-secondary education. The online university has more than 57,000 students and 44,000 graduates in all 50 states and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and its nursing degree programs accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE*). WGU has been named one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies and featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times.
WGU has earned the support of a number of leading corporations and foundations, including AT&T, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lilly Endowment, HCA, Hewlett-Packard, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle, SunGard Higher Education, and Zions Bank. More information is available at www.wgu.edu or by calling 866.225.5948.
*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).
SOURCE Western Governors University