Western Governors University is an online college founded jointly by the governors of 19 U.S. states. The school receives support from over 20 major corporations and foundations including AT&T, Dell, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Microsoft. Since it began accepting students in 1998, WGU has been dedicated to expanding student access to higher education through online, competency-based degree programs.
Today, over 38,000 students are enrolled in WGU’s online degree programs. The school employs over 1,100 faculty members and each one of them is specially trained to support and facilitate distance learning. From the first day of class to graduation day, each student receives faculty support from their assigned Student Mentor. When more subject or major-specific advice is required, students can consult with specialized Course Mentors. Over 85 percent of student mentors and 98 percent of course mentors have a graduate degree. Students can find further support through the learning communities established through the WGU Student Portal.
Each course at WGU is designed for adult students who need flexibility to achieve their education and career goals. In order to improve graduation rates and reduce tuition expenses WGU measures student progress in competency rather than credit hours. Students can choose to accelerate their programs by taking placement exams to test out of introductory subjects like information technology, business or healthcare.
WGU students have one more unique incentive to work hard and finish early — tuition is charged at a flat-rate for six months. Students can also apply federal financial aid to their tuition payments. These include, but are not limited to, Veterans Affairs benefits through the GI bill, Department of Defense tuition assistance and corporate tuition reimbursement programs.
WGU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities; and its Teachers College is the first exclusively online university to receive accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). WGU is also the only university to receive simultaneous regional accreditation from all four regional accrediting commissions. (Though the Northwest Commission is considered WGU’s “home” accrediting body because the university’s main offices are located in Utah.)
WGU has earned numerous accolades for its successes in online education. It was named a top military-friendly school by Military Advanced Education for six consecutive years, and earned an International Distance Learning Award from the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) in 2008 and 2011.
As an exclusively online degree-granting institution, WGU provide students with unparalleled access and convenience to high-quality, affordable education resources and materials. WGU graduates are well respected in the workplace. This is in part due to the support, resources and knowledge students receive from WGU both before and after their graduation from WGU.