Western Governors University

Last updated
Western Governors University
WGU-AcademicLogo Seal.png
Motto in English
"A New Kind of U."
Type Private, Non-profit
Established1997 (1997)
AffiliationGovernors of the Member States
Chairman Jim Geringer
President Scott D. Pulsipher [1]
Provost Marni Baker Stein, Ph.D. [1]
Founders Mike Leavitt
Roy Romer [2]
Academic staff
3,939 Faculty [3]
Administrative staff
5,970 Employees [3]
Students110,534 (all online) [3]
Undergraduates 81,366
Postgraduates 29,168
Location, ,

40°45′0″N111°53′0″W / 40.75000°N 111.88333°W / 40.75000; -111.88333 Coordinates: 40°45′0″N111°53′0″W / 40.75000°N 111.88333°W / 40.75000; -111.88333
Campus Online
Type of education Competency-based
Colors Navy and Gold
MascotSage the Night Owl
Website www.wgu.edu

Western Governors University (WGU) is a private, nonprofit, regionally accredited, online university based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The university uses an online competency-based learning model as opposed to the traditional, cohort-based class model present at most universities. The university was founded by 19 U.S. governors in 1997 after the idea was formulated at a 1995 meeting of the Western Governors Association to expand education offerings to the internet. [4] Scott D. Pulsipher is the current university president, having joined WGU on April 11, 2016; WGU's former president, Robert Mendenhall, is president emeritus and remains a member of WGU's Board of Trustees. WGU offers courses that are accredited by ACBSP, CAEP, CAHIIM, CCNE, NWCCU, and the NCATE. [5] [6]

Regional accreditation aspect of university accreditation in the U.S.A.

Regional accreditation is the educational accreditation of schools, colleges, and universities in the United States by one of seven regional accrediting agencies. Accreditation is a voluntary process by which colleges demonstrate to each other, and sometimes to employers and licensing agencies, that their credits and degrees meet minimum standards. It is the self-regulation of the higher education industry.

Distance education or long-distance learning is the education of students who may not always be physically present at a school. Traditionally, this usually involved correspondence courses wherein the student corresponded with the school via post. Today it involves online education. A distance learning program can be completely distance learning, or a combination of distance learning and traditional classroom instruction. Massive open online courses (MOOCs), offering large-scale interactive participation and open access through the World Wide Web or other network technologies, are recent developments in distance education. A number of other terms are used roughly synonymously with distance education.

Salt Lake City State capital city in Utah, United States

Salt Lake City is the capital and most populous municipality of the U.S. state of Utah. With an estimated population of 200,591 in 2018, the city is the core of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which has a population of 1,222,540. Salt Lake City is further situated within a larger metropolis known as the Salt Lake City–Ogden–Provo Combined Statistical Area, a corridor of contiguous urban and suburban development stretched along a 120-mile (190 km) segment of the Wasatch Front, comprising a population of 2,606,548. It is one of only two major urban areas in the Great Basin. It is also the seat of Salt Lake County, the most populous county in Utah.



Mike Leavitt Co-Founder and former Governor of Utah Mike Leavitt.jpg
Mike Leavitt Co-Founder and former Governor of Utah
Roy Romer Co-Founder and former Governor of Colorado Roy Romer 2018.JPG
Roy Romer Co-Founder and former Governor of Colorado

WGU was officially founded in 1997 in the United States by the governors of 19 U.S. states. [4] It was first proposed by then-governor of Utah Mike Leavitt at the annual meeting of the Western Governors Association in June 1995. It was formally proposed the following November, and in June 1996 each signing state governor committed $100,000 toward the launch of the new competency-based university. While the seed money was provided from government sources, the school was to be established as a self-supporting private, nonprofit institution. In January 1997, 13 governors were on hand to sign the articles of incorporation formally beginning the new university.

Mike Leavitt 8th U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services

Michael Okerlund Leavitt is an American politician who served as the 14th Governor of Utah from 1993 to 2003 in the Republican Party, as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from 2003 to 2005 and as Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2005 to 2009.

The Western Governors' Association (WGA) is a non-partisan organization of all 22 United States Governors that are considered to be part of the Western region of the nation.

In 2001, the United States Department of Education awarded $10 million to found the Teachers College, and the first programs were offered in Information Technology. In 2003, the university became the first school to be accredited in four different regions by the Interregional Accrediting Committee. In 2006, the fourth college, the College of Health Professions, was founded, and the school's Teachers College became the first online teacher-preparation program to receive NCATE accreditation. In 2010, the first state-established offshoot, WGU Indiana, was founded by Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana, and the school reached 20,000 students for the first time. In 2011, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided $4.5 million for WGU Indiana and the creation of WGU Texas and WGU Washington. [7]

United States Department of Education United States government department

The United States Department of Education, also referred to as the ED for (the) Education Department, is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government. It began operating on May 4, 1980, having been created after the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was split into the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services by the Department of Education Organization Act, which President Jimmy Carter signed into law on October 17, 1979.

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) was founded in 1954 to accredit teacher certification programs at colleges and universities in the United States. NCATE was a council of educators created to ensure and raise the quality of preparation for their profession. The U.S. Department of Education recognized NCATE as an accrediting organization. NCATE accreditation is specific to teacher education and is different from regional accreditation.

Mitch Daniels President of Purdue University

Mitchell Elias Daniels Jr. is an American academic administrator, businessman, author, and retired politician who served as the 49th Governor of Indiana, from 2005 to 2013, and a Republican. Since 2013, Daniels has been president of Purdue University.

On January 8, 2013, Bill Haslam, governor of Tennessee, announced the creation of WGU Tennessee. [8] On January 28, 2013, Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri, in his annual State of the State address, announced the founding of WGU Missouri, creating the fifth state-based subsidiary of WGU. [9] And on June 16, 2015, Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada launched WGU Nevada, the sixth state-based WGU. The subsidiaries of WGU share the same academic model, faculty, services, accreditation, tuition, and curricula as WGU and were established to give official state endorsement and increased name recognition to WGU in those states, as well as qualifying students of those affiliates for state-based aid. WGU does not maintain physical campuses for these institutions.

Bill Haslam Governor of Tennessee

William Edward Haslam is an American businessman and politician who served as the 49th Governor of Tennessee from 2011 to 2019. He is a member of the Republican Party, he was previously the mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Governor of Tennessee head of state and of government of the U.S. state of Tennessee

The Governor of Tennessee is the head of government of the U.S. state of Tennessee. The governor is the only official in Tennessee state government who is directly elected by the voters of the entire state.

Jay Nixon politician

Jeremiah Wilson "Jay" Nixon is an American politician and lawyer who served as the 55th Governor of Missouri from 2009 to 2017 as a member of the Democratic Party. Nixon was first elected Governor in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. Prior to his governorship, he served as the state's 40th Attorney General from 1993 to 2009. After leaving public office he joined the Dowd Bennett law firm in St. Louis.

As of February 28, 2019, the university had 114,567 currently enrolled students, [10] and more than 135,000 people had graduated from the institution. [11]

The average age of a WGU student is 37. [12]

Presidents of WGU

1E. Jeffrey Livingston [13] 1997–1999
2 Mendenhall-WGU.jpg Robert Mendenhall 1999–2016
3Scott Pulsipher2016–present


Affiliates & Year Founded
WGU Indiana
WGU Washington
WGU Texas
WGU Missouri
WGU Tennessee
WGU Nevada
WGU North Carolina
WGU Ohio

Several states have affiliated online schools. Though state funding in some instances was used for the creation, each school is self-supporting through tuition and donations and overseen by the WGU board along with a local state chancellor and advisory board. The online campuses WGU offshoots offer the same programs and curricula as the national WGU student body receives, and accreditation is through WGU.

WGU Indiana

Alison Bell [14]

WGU Indiana is WGU's first satellite school, created on June 11, 2010, by executive order of then-governor Mitch Daniels. At its founding, Daniels stated "Today we mark the beginning of, in a real sense, Indiana's eighth state university". [15] With this partnership, WGU Indiana is approved for Indiana state grants and scholarships offered through the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI). Students graduating from Ivy Tech, the state's community college system, can take advantage of an articulation agreement which allows them to transfer all credits, waive the application fee, and receive a 5% discount on tuition. The school is based in Indianapolis. Alison Bell was named the school's chancellor in March 2019. [16]

WGU Washington

Dr. Tonya Drake [17]

WGU Washington was created in April 2011, with the passing of House Bill 1822. [18] It was signed into law by Governor Christine Gregoire. Former Washington State governor Mike Lowry was one of the founding governors of the university. A bill passed in April 2013 made students eligible for state grants like in-state schools. [19] A transfer agreement allows students who graduate from state community colleges to receive a 5% discount. The founding Washington Chancellor was former Bellevue College President Jean Floten. [20] Floten retired in 2017. Richard Cummins, Ph.D., who was President of Columbia Basin College, served as Chancellor for a year before retiring in April 2017. On April 26, 2018 Tonya Drake, Ph.D. became the Chancellor of WGU Washington. [21]

WGU Texas

Dr. Steven Johnson [22]

Governor Rick Perry of Texas founded WGU Texas in August 2011 with Executive Order RP 75. [23] Perry's predecessor George W. Bush was a founding governor of the university. The creation was supported by Rep. Dan Branch, Republican leader of the House Education Committee and Sen. Judith Zaffirini, Democratic Chair of the Senate Education Committee. It called for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas Education Agency and Texas Workforce Commission to help with its founding. [24] The school will have an Advisory Board appointed by the governor and be based in Austin. Dr. Steven Johnson is the current Texas Chancellor. [22]

WGU Missouri

Dr. Angie Besendorfer [25]

Governor Jay Nixon first announced the creation of WGU Missouri in his annual State of the State address in January 2013. [9] He signed Executive Order 13-04 officially starting the new school. [26] He stated "(Missouri) has great opportunities for higher education, and I'm proud to say we've just added one more. WGU Missouri." [27] It was created using funds from Federal Community Development Block Grants and a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. [28] The school has an advisory board and its own local chancellor, Dr. Angela (Angie) Besendorfer. Students are eligible for state grants. It is based in Jefferson City. [29]

WGU Tennessee

Kim Estep, Ph.D. [30] [31]

Governor Bill Haslam announced the creation of WGU Tennessee in January 2013. The initiative was part of his "Drive for 55" plan to bring the college graduation rate of the state up to 55%. The school was started with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and $5 million in one-time state funds. Students are eligible for state financial aid. The school, based in Franklin, has a local chancellor, Kimberly K. Estep, Ph.D., and advisory board. [32] [33]

WGU Nevada

Dr. Spencer Stewart [34]

Governor Brian Sandoval created WGU Nevada by proclamation and a memorandum of understanding with WGU, launching the sixth WGU online campus on June 16, 2015. It was created with a $2 million grant from United Student Aid Funds and required no startup funding from the state. At the time of the launch, WGU had more than 900 students and more than 850 alumni in Nevada. [35] Dr. Spencer Stewart was named chancellor of WGU Nevada.

WGU North Carolina

Catherine Truitt [36]

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest announced WGU North Carolina along with WGU President Scott Pulsipher, launching the seventh WGU online campus on October 5, 2017. The establishment of WGU North Carolina was authorized by the North Carolina General Assembly and the Governor in October 2015. The state appropriated $2 million and the University raised $5 million from committed contributions by Strada Education Network, Golden LEAF Foundation, and Dell Loy Hansen, a private donor. Catherine Truitt will lead WGU North Carolina. [37]

WGU Ohio

Dr. Rebecca Watts [38]

The Ohio General Assembly authorized the state of Ohio to partner with WGU, and the authorization was signed by Governor John Kasich on June 30, 2017. [39] WGU Ohio is the latest satellite school to open, created on June 21, 2018. [40] The agreement to start the satellite school was agreed upon by Scott Pulsipher the Western Governors University President and the Chancellor of the University System of Ohio John Carey.

WGU Ohio's Chancellor is Dr. Rebecca Watts who previously served as an academic administrator with the University of Wyoming and an associate vice chancellor with the Ohio Department of Higher Education. [41]


Flag in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah celebrating WGU's 15th anniversary WGUFlag.jpg
Flag in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah celebrating WGU's 15th anniversary

WGU is governed by its Board of Trustees and numerous state governors. [42] The Board of Trustees provides corporate governance over the university. The Board of Trustees sets policy for the university, and serves as WGU's legal owner and final authority. Overall the Board of Trustees hold the institution's resources in trust and are responsible for making sure that the resources are being used efficiently and effectively. [43]

Board of Trustees Composition

Governors of member states as of 2019


WGU online degree offerings as of 2018
Bachelor's degreesMaster's degrees
College of Business [44] 6 options6 options
Teachers College [45] 9 options19 options
College of Information Technology [46] 8 options3 options
College of Health Professions [47] 4 options7 options

All students at WGU are assigned a working mentor who are members of the faculty, and together they create a personalized Academic Action Plan (AAP) for the student's degree plan. [48] The mentor advises and assists the student from enrollment through degree completion. The student's personalized AAP is based on the courses that are agreed upon between the student and their assigned mentor. [49] The AAP keeps track of the student's progress of courses completed through six month terms. Students at WGU have some control over how much coursework they complete per term, but are required to complete a minimum number of courses each term to maintain full-time status. [50] Terms consist of six-month "rolling" semesters, which start for individual students on the first of every month. Classes are assigned individual terms lasting six weeks but students may proceed at their own pace. Many classes have "cohorts", or students working in the same general time frame, to facilitate online meetings and discussions, though students in any given cohort progress to the next course as soon as they are able to prove their knowledge. Course mentors provide both group and individual instruction as well as moderating online discussions.

WGU is composed of four colleges, each offering bachelor's and master's degree programs. As of October 2014, 55 bachelor's, master's, and post-baccalaureate degree programs, as well as teacher endorsement preparation programs, were offered among the four colleges. [51]

Military Advanced Education & Transition and Viqtory Media have repeatedly named WGU as a military-friendly institution in their yearly reports. [52] [53] [54]


WGU offers online bachelor's and master's degree programs through the following colleges: [51]

WGU Colleges
CollegeYear FoundedCurrent DeanTotal Students
College of Business1999Rashmi Prasad [55] 39,455 [3]
College of Information Technology1999Elke Leeds, Ph.D. [56] 18,413 [3]
Teachers College2003Dr. Deborah Eldridge [57] 24,149 [3]
College of Health Professions2006Jan Jones-Schenk, DHSc, RN [58] 28,507 [3]

U.S. News & World Report
Western Regional Universities [59]

Most Innovative Schools10


WGU is listed as "Unranked" in the category "Regional University - West" in US News and World Report's 2019 rankings of colleges and universities. In the category, "Most Innovative Schools", WGU was tied for 10th among western regional universities. [60]

In 2015, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) rated WGU's secondary teaching program scored highest in best value in teacher education [61] and the National League for Nursing named WGU's College of Health Professions a Center of Excellence. [62] In 2014, US News and World Report, in its academic rankings of teacher education programs in conjunction with NCTQ, ranked WGU #1 in the nation for secondary teacher education among both online and traditional universities. [63] [64] In 2013, WGU was named one of the 50 most innovative organizations in Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies Issue, ranking #28. [65] In recent years, WGU has been the nation's top producer, in terms of numbers of licensure graduates, of science and math teachers. [66] WGU has also received the 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning from the United States Distance Learning Association on multiple occasions. [5]

WGU's Center for Applied
Learning Science (CALS)
FormationJuly 19, 2018
  • 4001 South 700 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84107
Executive Director
Jason Levin
Website CALS Homepage


In July 2018, WGU launched the Center for Applied Learning Science (CALS), a laboratory which focuses on innovation. [67] Jason Levin is currently serving as the Executive Director. [68]

In October 2018, Carnegie Mellon University and WGU's CALS teamed up to work on an artificial intelligence professional development project. The partnership was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. [69] [70]


WGU has competency-based programs for completing degree and certificate requirements. Competency-based programs allow students to demonstrate through assessments that they have acquired the set of competencies (levels of knowledge, skill, or ability) required for a particular degree or certificate. WGU is the first accredited school to use the competency-based approach. Former United States Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan has stated, "While such programs [like WGU] are now the exception, I want them to be the norm." [71]

All aspects of learning (with the exception of demonstration teaching for teacher licensure programs and clinical experiences in the pre-licensure program for nurses) are completed entirely online. The university states that "learning resources come in a variety of forms, including textbooks, web-based tutorials, simulations, [and] online classes." [72] The university doesn't develop its own courses, but instead licenses course modules from commercial providers such as Pearson and McGraw-Hill. [73]


Western Governors University Administration Building in May 2013 WGUUtah.jpg
Western Governors University Administration Building in May 2013

The university assesses students using performance-based and objective assessments.

Performance-based assessments are normally completed by submitting written assignments. Submissions are checked for academic integrity using the online plagiarism checker Unicheck by comparing them to a database of other documents submitted to WGU and other universities and other resources available online. Students are graded on their level of competency by comparing the submitted work to a rubric which describes the standards that the submitted work must meet. [74] A student can only pass a performance-based assessment by achieving a "competent" score on each rubric point.

Objective assessments usually consist of exams created by the university which contain multiple-choice, multiple-answer, true-false and/or matching questions. [75] Exams are taken online and are monitored by an online proctoring service such as ProctorU or Examity using a university-provided webcam and screen sharing software. Some objective assessments require students to obtain a professional certification, many of which require students to attend a commercial testing center such as Pearson Vue to complete the relevant exam(s). University-created exams can only be passed by achieving a minimum overall grade that demonstrates competency in the course, [76] while professional certification exams have their own grading methodology and passing score set by their governing body.

There are no open-book or unproctored exams. [75]


WGU has a multi-step admissions process. Admissions requirements differ depending on which academic program the student chooses to attend. [77]

Graduate Admissions

To qualify for the general graduate admission requirement the applicant must have earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and complete an interview with the enrollment office. Each of the four colleges also have their own specific admission requirements as well. [78] [79] [80] [81]

Undergraduate Admissions

Many programs require either an Associate degree from an accredited college or a specific amount of related, verifiable work experience in the field in which a student wishes to study. The school does not require SAT or ACT scores for undergraduate admission. Undergraduate programs require the student to possess a high school diploma or GED and pass the school's Collegiate Readiness Assessment, and admission into all programs requires an interview with a WGU enrollment counselor to determine whether the competency-based approach is appropriate for the student. [82]

Historical Enrollment

Enrollment by YearTotal Students [3]

Graduation rate

The U.S. Department of Education lists the graduation rate at WGU as 26%. This rate tracks the graduation of first-time, full-time college students, [83] which is less than 1% of all WGU students. [84] The internally-tracked graduation rate for all students as reported by the university is 50%. [85]

Ethnic composition of student body [86]
Student Body [86] U.S. Census [87]
African American 11.8%13.3%
Asian American 4.5%5.7%
Hispanic American
(of any race)
Two or more races2.6%2.6%
Native American 0.6%0.2%
Non-Hispanic White 70.6%61.3%

Student demographics

WGU students are 63% female, 37% male and an average age of 37. [86] [88]

University governance

As a private, nonprofit university, WGU is governed by a board of trustees that consists of state governors, educators, and business and industry leaders. In addition, the university's National Advisory Board consists of leaders from private corporations and foundations which support the university. Current members include Google, Microsoft, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and AT&T among many others. Each state-affiliate school also has a local Chancellor and Advisory board from within the state. [42] Course competencies are defined with input from third-party councils made up of business, academic, and industry leaders, who guide the university in determining what a successful graduate in any given degree program must know to be a valuable employee.

The university has no physical campus and does not participate in intercollegiate sports. [4]


WGU's faculty consists of program mentors (faculty members who advise and guide a student throughout his or her entire degree program), course instructors (subject-matter experts who advise, tutor, and guide students through specific courses), program faculty (who oversee course content), and evaluation faculty (who evaluate/grade assignments). The university has more than 2,000 faculty members, most of whom work full-time (the exception being part-time assessment evaluators). [89]

According to the U.S. Department of Education's College Navigator, WGU's student-to-faculty ratio is 41:1. [90]

Academic integrity

Some Western Governors University courses require students to take exams with an online proctor viewing the student as they complete the examination. [91] Online proctoring is the monitoring or invigilation of assessments taken remotely. Online proctors verify test-taker identity and monitor to prevent cheating using a variety of methods, including live, record-and-review, and automated proctoring. Online proctoring services for WGU offers identity verification services and assessment monitoring. [92]

Some of the courses require assignments to be completed using the Taskstream software package and the Turnitin service to check assignments for plagiarism. [93] [94]

Career placement

The WGU Career and Professional Development Center offers student resources, individual support, and a job board. Its mission is to assist students and alumni who are seeking career development, career experiences, and employment opportunities. [95] These services involve assisting students and alumni to get job interviews, career planning, assistance in applying to graduate and professional schools, and internship placements. The Career and Professional Development Center offers workshops, information sessions, virtual career fairs, and advisement on future career options. Staff also counsel students and alumni regarding resumes and portfolios, interviewing tactics, cover letters, job strategies, and other potential leads for finding employment in the corporate, academic and government sectors. [96] [97]


Sage the Night Owl has been the school's official mascot since 2011. [98] [99]


Master's Commencement Ceremony, 2019 WGU Graduation Anaheim 2019.jpg
Master's Commencement Ceremony, 2019
Undergrad Commencement Ceremony, 2013 WGUGraduation.jpg
Undergrad Commencement Ceremony, 2013

WGU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. [100] WGU says it was the first and only university to date to be reviewed and awarded accreditation by four differing regional accreditors. [5]

In 2006, the WGU Teachers College became the first exclusively online school to receive accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). [101]

In May 2009, WGU's nursing education programs were accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The initial accreditation, which had a five-year term, was awarded following a process that included a site visit as well as a review of WGU's nursing curriculum. [102] In May 2014, CCNE extended WGU's accreditation through June 2024. "Western Governors University Earns CCNE Accreditation for Another 10 Years".

In 2011, WGU's B.S. in Health Informatics degree received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

In 2018, the WGU College of Business was accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). [103] [104]

In 2018, the WGU Teachers College become accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). [105]

2017 U.S. Department of Education Financial Aid Eligibility Audit

An audit by the Department of Education's Office of Inspector General, released on September 21, 2017, "concluded that Western Governors University did not comply with the institutional eligibility requirement that limits the percentage of regular students who may enroll in correspondence courses" and that "at least 69 of the 102 courses were not designed to offer regular and substantive interaction with an instructor and, therefore, did not meet the regulatory definition of distance education." Consequently, the audit found that most courses at the University fell short of the required standards for Title IV of the Federal Financial Aid Act as outlined in a 1992 law that defines financial aid eligibility. [106] [107] The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Inspector General recommended that WGU repay the federal government more than $712 million. [108]

Liz Hill, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education, said in a statement to the Salt Lake Tribune that they were reviewing the Inspector General's report, while also saying "the innovative student-first model used by this school and others like it has garnered bipartisan support over the last decade." [109]

In a response from WGU that was enclosed with the final audit report, WGU President Scott D. Pulsipher said "The findings in the OIG's report are based on misinterpretation and misapplication of statutory and regulatory guidance." He said "The OIG has applied an arbitrary definition and antiquated interpretation of instruction and faculty roles" that "is not aligned with law nor consistent with today's online- and technology-enabled model". [106]

Paul Fain, the news editor for Inside Higher Ed , said the "much anticipated high-stakes audit" had begun more than four years earlier and the findings were "not a surprise to most observers", due to their reliance on a 1992 law that defines aid eligibility for distance education programs. [107] He noted that the Inspector General had previously criticized accreditation assessments for competency-based education programs in 2015, partly due to concerns about the amount of interaction between faculty and students. [110] He reported that "Experts said the Trump administration is unlikely to follow through on the inspector general's recommendations, which the department can reject," and that "WGU enjoys a good track record with its accreditor and broad bipartisan support in Washington, with the Obama administration having often praised the university as an innovator." [107]

In January 2019, the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid (FSA) office issued their final decision disagreeing with the inspector general and determining that WGU was indeed eligible to participate in federal student aid. [111] In making its final determination, FSA reviewed the Department's Office of Inspector General's (OIG) report, examined WGU's records regarding interactions between students and academic staff during the year audited, and also reviewed the favorable findings of WGU's accrediting agency regarding the institution's academic model. FSA determined that, particularly in light of a lack of clear guidance from the Department at the time of the audit period, WGU's efforts to comply with the governing law and regulations were reasonable and undertaken in good faith. OIG ultimately agreed with FSA's issuance of the final audit determination. [112]


As of 2019, tuition for WGU is $3,225 per six-month term for most undergraduate programs. [113] Tuition is charged at a flat rate per six-month term, regardless of the number of courses taken or credits completed. In 2018 WGU awarded over $12 Million in scholarships to over 6,000 students. [3]

Alumni Association

The Western Governors University Alumni Association is the official alumni association for Western Governors University. This organization runs a number of programs. [114] Western Governors University currently has over 150,000 alumni As of September 2019 of which five are Generals in the United States Armed Forces. Western Governors University alumni can be found in all 50 states and many countries all over the world. [3] In addition, over 320 are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces. [3]

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WSU Tech, formally known asWichita State University Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology, previously the Wichita Area Technical College, is a public institution that offers more than 100 degree and certificate options WSU Tech was formerly known as the Wichita Area Technical College before its affiliation with Wichita State University. WSU Tech is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), coordinated by the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) and governed by the Sedgwick County Technical Education and Training Authority Board (SCTETA). WSU Tech operates four different campuses throughout the metropolitan area of Wichita. Its main campus is the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT), located at 4004 N. Webb Road, Wichita, KS 67226.

Robert Mendenhall American academic administrator

Robert Winton Mendenhall is a pioneer of educational technology and entrepreneurship best known as the former president of Western Governors University (WGU).

Education in Western Australia

Education in Western Australia consists of public and private schools in the state of Western Australia, including public and private universities and TAFE colleges. Public school education is supervised by the Department of Education, which forms part of the Government of Western Australia. The School Curriculum and Standards Authority is an independent statutory authority responsible for developing a curriculum and associated standards in all schools, and for ensuring standards of student achievement, and for the assessment and certification according to those standards.

American College of Education is a private, online for-profit college based in Indianapolis, Indiana, focused on education, healthcare, and nursing. American College of Education is a certified B Corporation, and a subsidiary of ACE Holdco PBC of Dallas, Texas.

Amity University, Noida Private university in Uttar Pradesh, India

Amity University, Noida is a private research university located in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was established in 2005 by an Act of the State Legislature of Uttar Pradesh. The university is a part of Amity education group.

WGU Indiana is a private, non-profit online university established by the state of Indiana to expand access to higher education for Indiana residents. Formed by a partnership between the state and Western Governors University, the university offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Information Technology, Teacher Education, and Health Professions, including Nursing. As of May 31, 2016, it served roughly 4,500 students across the state of Indiana. WGU Indiana was established through an executive order on June 14, 2010 by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, as a partnership between the state and Western Governors University in an effort to expand access to higher education for Indiana residents and increase the percentage of the state's adult population with education beyond high school. The mission of WGU Indiana is to expand access to affordable higher education for Indiana residents through online degree programs that address key workforce needs. WGU Indiana is a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Governors University, which was founded in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors to expand access to higher education through online degree programs. Today, Western Governors University is a national university, with more than 70,000 students from all 50 U.S. states as of June 30, 2016. Non-profit but self-sustaining on tuition, WGU Indiana provides new educational opportunities for Indiana residents without ongoing state subsidy. WGU Indiana accepts applications only from residents in the state of Indiana. There is no minimum high school grade point average for admission, and no minimum score on the SAT or ACT. However, all applicants must pass an admissions examination administered by the university.

Competency-based learning or competency-based education and training is an approach to teaching and learning more often used in learning concrete skills than abstract learning. It differs from other non-related approaches in that the unit of learning is extremely fine-grained. Rather than a course or a module, every individual skill or learning outcome is one single unit. Learners work on one competency at a time, which is likely a small component of a larger learning goal. The student is evaluated on the individual competency and can only move on to other competencies after they have mastered the current skill being learned. After that, higher or more complex competencies are learned to a degree of mastery and are isolated from other topics. Another common component of competency-based learning is the ability to skip learning modules entirely if the learner can demonstrate mastery. This can be determined through prior learning assessment or formative testing.

Brandman University An accredited American university

Brandman University is a private, non-profit regionally accredited institution that provides educational opportunities for working adults. There are over 25 campuses throughout California and Washington, and a virtual campus online. The university offers more than 50 degree, certificate, credential and professional programs in business, arts and sciences, health and education.

National University (California) university in California

National University (NU) is a private university with its headquarters in La Jolla, California. Founded in 1971, National University offers academic degree programs at campuses located throughout the state of California, one campus in Nevada, and online.

Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science Deemed University in Tamil Nadu

Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science (HITS), informally Hindustan University, formerly Hindustan College of Engineering, is an institute deemed-to-be-university of engineering headquartered in Chennai, India. It was founded in 1985 by K. C. G. Verghese and was granted deemed-to-be-university status from the University Grants Commission in 2008. It is a member of the Hindustan Group of Institutions which also includes the Hindustan Institute of Engineering Technology, KCG College of Technology, Hindusthan College of Arts and Science and more.

Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global (PG) is an adult-serving public university, operated as part of the Purdue University system. With content delivered mostly online, Purdue University Global's programs focus on career-oriented fields of study at the associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral level. The university also has eight physical classroom locations and an online law school.


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