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Founded by governors. Supported by 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.
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
The second foundation is to use flexible distance education techniques to expand
access. WGU strives to serve as many students as possible—including:
Both of these foundations are part of WGU’s mission and promise:
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
Board of Trustees
Governors of Member States
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
More about the National Advisory Board
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.
Learn more about WGU student success
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.
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.
WGU mentors serve as advisors to students. To learn more about the mentor’s role,
click here. Or speak to an Enrollment Counselor.
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