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Ohio Department of Higher Ed Authorization Paves the Way for New State-Endorsed Online University, WGU Ohio

News Brief - 2/22/18

State of Ohio to Partner with Western Governors University to Expand Higher Ed Access for Working Adults

COLUMBUS — Today, Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor John Carey signed approval documents for Western Governors University (WGU) that authorize the nonprofit, online university to establish its eighth state affiliate, WGU Ohio. These approvals also make WGU students in Ohio eligible for the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG). Chancellor Carey was joined by WGU President Scott Pulsipher at the signing event, which was held at the Ohio Department of Higher Education in Columbus.

Ohio agreement The formal launch of WGU Ohio will take place in late spring of this year. Prior to the launch, WGU will be working with business and community leaders to secure start-up funding. After start-up, WGU Ohio will be self-sustaining on flat-rate tuition of about $6,500 per year.

“WGU offers degree programs in fields that will help our state address critical workforce needs,” said Chancellor Carey. “WGU’s affordability and online, competency-based learning model provide another option for busy adults to earn a degree as they balance work and family responsibilities. We look forward to the launch of WGU Ohio later this year.”

“WGU was founded by U.S. governors who knew that expanding access to quality higher education is fundamental to helping individuals change their lives as well as ensuring the economic health of their states,” said WGU President Scott D. Pulsipher. “Today, WGU has more than 101,000 graduates, and we serve 94,000 students in all 50 states, including 2,100 here in Ohio. We look forward to playing an integral role in helping more Ohioans earn the degrees they need.”

One of the nation’s fastest growing universities, WGU’s four colleges offer accredited bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. WGU programs are competency-based, a learning model designed to meet the needs of busy 21st century students. Competency-based education focuses on measuring learning rather than time spent in class. Students study and learn on a schedule that fits their lives, supported by faculty who work with them individually, advancing as soon as they demonstrate mastery of material. This allows students to apply prior learning and experience to move quickly through material they already know while they spend more time on what they still need to learn. This more personalized approach to learning allows many WGU students to accelerate their time to a degree—the average time to a bachelor’s degree is about two and a half years—saving both time and money.

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