Press Release: New Military Relations Director

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News Brief - 6/4/08

Western Governors University Focuses on Military Members and Military Spouses With New Military Relations Director and Ongoing Programs

SALT LAKE CITY -- Western Governors University (www.wgu.edu), the non-profit online university created by 19 U.S. governors, is making further strides in serving military members and their families. WGU's commitment to the Troops to Teachers and Spouses to Teachers programs continues with its offering of supplemental scholarships of $1,500 for both programs. In addition, WGU is now offering Spouses to Graduates scholarships of $1,500 to help spouses of active duty military personnel earn a degree online in business, education, healthcare, or information technology.

This recent expansion of the WGU Spouses to Graduates scholarship widens the opportunities for military spouses beyond only teacher education into three additional fields that will allow spouses a variety of future career choices.

Because of these efforts, Western Governors University was recently named one of the Top 30 Military-Friendly Schools by Military Advanced Education Magazine. (December 2007). This honor recognizes WGU's commitment to access and diversity of educational opportunities for both service members and their families.

WGU is working to further focus on military and military spouse education with the addition of John Gantz as new Director of Military Relations at WGU.

Mr. Gantz has a long and deeply rooted connection to the military because of his tenure as Chief of Troops to Teachers for Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) from 1993 through 2007, where he helped create and run the program. He also served in positions as Deputy Director and European Advisor of DANTES, Deputy Education Director for HQ Army Forces Command, and Education Director for HQ Army Southern European Task Force over the last 30 years. His expertise in aiding military members and their families is invaluable and will result in many more candidates finding WGU as a fitting institution at which to earn their degrees while associated with the military.

"I want to help broaden awareness of WGU's unique competency- based approach, which can be a good fit for the soldier or spouse who is determined to complete a degree," says Gantz. "I'm excited to be in the position now to help bridge the gap and bring WGU together with student candidates from the military and military spouse sectors. We have a lot to offer them, particularly for self-directed learners at a distance."

Mr. Gantz is visiting military bases, especially those that are in the pilot project for the Spouse Career Advancement Initiative, a joint project of the Department of Labor and the Department of Defense, designed to provide financial support to help spouses complete their degrees. WGU is also a member of SOC (Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges).