Founded by Governors.

Supported by education and business leaders.

Our Mission

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 or place and to earn competency-based degrees and other credentials that are credible to both academic institutions and employers.

WGU's Core Themes

Built on Two Foundations

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 respective industries.

The second foundation is to use flexible distance education techniques to expand access. WGU strives to serve as many students as possible—including:

  • Minorities
  • First-generation college students
  • Those with modest incomes
  • Others whose lives or geographic locations do not allow them to attend traditional, campus-based colleges.

Both of these foundations are part of WGU’s mission and promise:

Mission Statement
Promise Statement

WGU’s Governance

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 of WGU.

Board of Trustees
Governors of Member States

The National Advisory Board (NAB)

Another crucial source of support is our National Advisory Board, made up of representatives from prestigious corporations and foundations. Members provide ongoing support and advice to the university.

National Advisory Board Members

Academic Program Governance

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.

Academic Leadership
Assessment Council
Health Professions Program Council
Nursing Program Council
General Education Council
Business Program Council
Information Technology Program Council
Education Program Council

Additional Information

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

Questions and Answers

Select a question from the left, see the answer to the right.

Is WGU a nonprofit or for-profit university?

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.

What is the role of a Program Council?

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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