Founded by governors. Supported by education and business leaders.
The principal mission of Western Governors University is to improve quality and expand access to post-secondary educational opportunities by providing a means for individuals to learn independent of time and place and to earn competency-based degrees and other credentials that are credible to both academic institutions and employers.
Built on Two Foundations
WGU was founded by 19 U.S. governors upon two foundations. The first is a commitment to producing highly competent graduates. We ensure this foundation through the support of over 20 leading corporations and foundations which not only provide financial support, but also guarantee that our online degree programs are relevant to their respective industries.
The second foundation is to use flexible distance education techniques to expand access. WGU strives to serve as many students as possibleincluding:
- First-generation college students
- Those with modest incomes
- Others whose lives or geographic locations do not allow them to attend traditional, campus-based colleges.
WGU is governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of educators, industry leaders, and state governors. In addition, WGU continues to draw support (although no state funding) from the Governors of the Member States that were instrumental in the founding of WGU.
The National Advisory Board (NAB)
Another critical source of support is our National Advisory Board (NAB). The NAB is comprised of representatives from prestigious corporations and foundations that provide ongoing support and advice to the university. Current members include:
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Hospital Corporation of America
J. Willard and Alice S.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Simmons Media Group
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Wasatch Property Management
Academic Program Governance
Academic programs are developed and guided by WGU administrators working through several councils, which are comprised of academicians and industry experts in the various fields of knowledge.
Health Professions Program Council
Nursing Program Council
General Education Council
Business Program Council
Information Technology Program Council
Education Program Council
Student Success and Performance Data
Read about WGU student satisfaction, student success on national exams, and employer satisfaction in hiring WGU graduates.
Questions & Answers
Click a question, see the answer to the right.
- Is WGU a nonprofit or for-profit university?
- What is the role of a Program Council?
- What is the role of a mentor?
Is WGU a nonprofit or for-profit university?
WGU is a nonprofit online university that was founded by 19 U.S. governors. However, it is a private university, not a state university. WGU developed out of a vision for the future of higher education that emerged among the governors of the Western Governors Association (hence our name), but WGU operates independently with its own governance structure.
What is the role of a Program Council?
Each Program Council at WGU is composed of WGU faculty and outside experts in the field of study. The council is responsible for guiding the development of degree programs. The council will help define the skills and knowledge that a competent graduate should possess, determine the best ways to assess the competence, as well as monitor and review the relevance of each program over time.