News Brief - 2/22/17 Accreditation renewed through 2024 SALT LAKE CITY The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) has reaffirmed the regional accreditation of Western Governors University (WGU). The NWCCU is an independent, nonprofit membership organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the regional authority on educational quality and institutional effectiveness of higher education institutions in the seven-state Northwest region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. WGU is reviewed by the NWCCU because the online university’s headquarters are located in Utah. WGU first earned regional accreditation in 2003, and the university has maintained this accreditation continuously since then. In its official notification letter, the NWCCU commended WGU “on its effective and efficient use of data to continuously improve and enhance the student learning experience,” and the university’s “institution-wide focus on helping students succeed.” “Regional accreditation is the gold standard for college and university accreditation in the U.S., and renewal of our accreditation reaffirms the quality and effectiveness of competency-based education at WGU,” said WGU President Scott D. Pulsipher. WGU, which serves busy adult students, pioneered competency-based learning for higher education. Competency-based education (CBE) is ideal for adult students with work experience and prior education. It allows students to study and learn on a schedule that fits their busy lives, moving quickly through material they have already learned, focusing more time on learning new material. Faculty members work with students individually, providing regular coaching, mentoring, and instruction. Because students can advance as soon as they demonstrate mastery of course subject matter, many are able to accelerate, saving both time and money.