Press Release: Two New Trustees Named

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News Brief - 7/11/05

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano and Dr. Carl Cohn Join the Board of Western Governors University

SALT LAKE CITY -- Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and Dr. Carl Cohn, former superintendent of Long Beach Unified School District, have been elected to the governing board of Western Governors University (WGU), a non-profit university offering flexible online education. WGU is the only accredited university in the U.S. offering competency-based, online degrees . The university offers bachelor's and master's degrees in business, education and information technology and has students in all 50 states and nine countries.

Gov. Napolitano is Arizona's 21st governor, elected to her first term last November. Prior to this, she has served as the Attorney General of Arizona and as US Attorney for the District of Arizona. She graduated summa cum laude in political science from Santa Clara University and received her juris doctor from the University of Virginia Law School. She currently serves as chair of the Western Governors Association.

Dr. Cohn headed one of the most diverse school districts of any large American city with more than 97,000 students. During his tenure the district achieved record attendance, the lowest rate of student suspensions in a decade, a decrease in student failure and dropout rates, and higher student achievement. Currently he is a clinical professor in the USC Rossier School of Education. He holds a doctorate from UCLA in urban and educational policy and planning.

WGU's competency-based degrees are based on the student's demonstration of skills and knowledge through a series of assessments rather than accumulation of credit hours or course time. The programs are not based upon required courses. Instead, students earn a degree by demonstrating their competence through a series of carefully designed assessments. WGU is governed by a board of trustees made up of educators, industry leaders, and governors.