SALT LAKE CITY -- As of October 24, 2005, the online competency-based degree programs at Western Governors University (WGU) are approved for Tuition Assistance for active-duty military service members. The approval was granted by the Department of Defense's Office of Personnel and Readiness after a rigorous review. WGU was already approved by the Veterans Administration for benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill®. WGU's regionally-accredited programs require students to demonstrate a high level of competence across an entire degree program rather than rely upon traditional classes and credits to measure progress. "WGU's competency-based approach is an ideal fit for the service member," said Patrick Partridge, WGU's vice president of marketing. "Many military personnel struggle to fit traditional classes—even many online classes—into their busy schedules. WGU instead focuses on students demonstrating mastery of the knowledge and skills a professional in the field needs to know and do." The military student at WGU will have maximum flexibility. His or her course of study will make available a wide range of learning resources—online classes, mentored study, etc.—to prepare for WGU's challenging assessments. Most military education offices can serve as approved testing facilities. "A WGU course of study is leading edge," noted Partridge, "and the tests and projects are quite challenging. WGU is ideal for serious students who expect to complete their entire program at WGU, not someone just looking for a course or two. But because of our competency-based model, motivated military students can potentially finish faster. And they can continue their programs uninterrupted wherever their military careers take them." A private, non-profit online university , WGU was established by the governors of the Western states to provide distance learning for individuals whose personal circumstance make attending a traditional college difficult. The university is also committed to assuring that students graduate with the knowledge and skills that will make them successful. The emphasis on graduating highly competent professionals is a key reason that WGU has received strong endorsements from leading U.S. businesses. Over 20 major U.S. corporations and foundations serve on WGU's National Advisory Board. WGU is the only university in the history of higher education to be simultaneously accredited by four regional accrediting commissions; the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is now considered WGU's "home" accrediting body. WGU is also nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council. More information about WGU is available on the main Web site at www.wgu.edu or by inquiring through military base education offices. GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.