Part of Western Governors University
MindEdge, Inc. has been providing learning resources to WGU for twelve years. The partnership started small but blossomed over time thanks to WGU’s and MindEdge’s commitment to providing students with quality educational services and dedication to expanding access to students.
Amid a difficult year that has resulted in about 25% of households reporting some level of food insecurity, the MindEdge team felt compelled to help. After their offices transitioned to remote work due to the pandemic, they generously decided to donate some of the savings they experienced from decreased travel and gathering expenses. The MindEdge team recognized that any student unable to provide food for their family would not be in the best mindset to focus on learning. By contributing $25,000 to the WGU Student Emergency Aid Fund and helping WGU Night Owls facing food insecurities so they could focus on their degree programs, MindEdge stays true to their mission - improving the way the world learns.
“We give to WGU because we believe in WGU’s mission,” said Sandra Slager, Chief Operating Officer of MindEdge, “We share the concerns that WGU has expressed as it relates to the importance of education.”
This year WGU has been able to assist more than 4,500 students with emergency aid. Of those who received assistance, 44% reported food insecurities and 83% were considered students from historically underserved populations. Support from MindEdge and other generous donors ensures WGU can continue to provide assistance to students who need it the most. To learn more about the WGU Student Emergency Aid Fund or make a gift today, please visit wgu.edu/emergencyaid.
On December 1, WGU celebrated Giving Tuesday by harnessing the power of the Night Owl community and sending support to current students. In celebration of the global day of giving, donors helped raise more than $12,000 for the WGU Student Emergency Aid Fund. Gifts to the Fund support students like Ra'Shawn Read. Ra'Shawn is a WGU Student Emergency Aid Fund recipient who was able to continue her B.A. in Special Education degree program thanks to contributions from donors.
In addition to funds raised, we also received dozens of messages from WGU students, alumni, faculty, and staff. We encouraged our Night Owl community to lend messages of support to current students. Here’s what a WGU alum wanted to say to his fellow Night Owls:
"As a WGU alum, I can tell you that what you’re doing - pursuing your degree - can be the most powerful move you can make in life. It changed mine forever so I know from personal experience that if you stick with it and give it your absolute best, even when it’s hard, you’ll be rewarded with an accomplishment that will carry you all the way to the future you’ve always dreamed about. You made the right choice in WGU and the Night Owl Network is cheering you on!"
- Spencer Wade, WGU alum
More than 21 million Americans currently lack access to high-speed internet and that lack of broadband access is a barrier to education and prosperity for many individuals and the communities in which they live.
WGU launched the Online Access Scholarship earlier this year to help students gain access to high-speed internet so they can pursue degree programs with WGU. To date, WGU has already provided more than 100 Night Owls with Online Access Scholarships which includes the cost of internet, a refurbished laptop, and a webcam for all recipients. But there is still so much more we can do.
As we close out the year, we hope you consider making a gift to the Online Access Scholarship so more students can have access to the tools students need to obtain an education, and thus access to opportunity.
WGU received a $4.8 million grant from The Kern Family Foundation. With the grant, WGU can integrate character education into two graduate degree programs within WGU’s Teachers College and create the Character Education Profession Learning Program (CEPL), to be housed in the Center for Professional Learning at the Teachers College.
WGU Indiana has been granted $1 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its initiative, Charting the Future for Indiana’s Colleges and Universities, to help working students in Indiana easily transfer skills-based educational credentials into traditional higher ed student information systems through a learner owned record called an “Achievement Wallet."
With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the university will be able to implement four projects that remove barriers to quality, access, and outcomes across the education-to-opportunity lifecycle that have been a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.