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WGU Advancement June 2021 Bulletin

Donor Impact: WGU's B.S. in Health Services Coordination

Thanks to the generous support of a multi-year grant from the Merkin Family Foundation, in October of 2019 WGU began enrolling students in the Bachelor of Science in Health Services Coordination (BSHSC) program. The Merkin Family Foundation is led by Richard Merkin, MD, Founder and CEO of Heritage Provider Network, (HPN), one of the nation's leading physician-led managed care organizations.

Graduates of the BSHSC program are prepared to coordinate with health care providers, patients, caregivers, and medical services to improve the effectiveness, safety, and efficiency of an increasingly complex health care system. The new program in WGU’s College of Health Professions has thrived with nearly 800 students currently enrolled and 16 graduates to date including Kourtney M. from Michigan (photo) and Jayne H. from California.

WGU BSHSC Grad Quote

Jayne H. from California had been a teacher for more than 20 years when she enrolled in WGU’s BSHSC program last year. While she completed her studies as a WGU Night Owl she was able to share the skills she was learning from the program with her medical assisting students at the same time. “I’m sixty years old and still teaching,” said Jayne. “My career goal right now, besides retirement, is sharing all this information with my students. When they go into their medical and RN programs, they understand a lot of things that are going on in the world of medicine and what’s trending. I thank this program for that.” Jayne completed her degree in about eight months and is grateful to WGU and the Merkin Family Foundation for making the BSHSC program available online for students like her.


To learn more about WGU’s BSHSC program or other programs available at WGU please visit  

WGU Giving Day Success

WGU’s very first Giving Day was celebrated on April 21, 2021. Support from the entire Night Owl community was outstanding and donations continued to pour in the rest of the month.

In total, more than $86,000 was raised for several important scholarships and the student emergency aid fund! We received 1,095 gifts from 933 donors and hundreds of proud Night Owl names spread across our donor wall and #WGUGivingDay #NightOwlsUnite messages inundated social media feeds in April.

As WGU President Scott Pulsipher mentioned, “Your overwhelming generosity exceeded our expectations and set a high bar for future WGU Giving Days.”

Thank you to all of our #WGUGivingDay donors for making a difference in the lives of WGU students and we look forward to celebrating WGU Giving Day with you again next year! 

Donor Impact: the Open Skills Network

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Thanks to a generous $850,000 grant from Walmart, the Open Skills Network (OSN) is poised for a significant expansion of its mission to accelerate the adoption of skills-based education and hiring by reducing technological and operational barriers and opening more pathways to learning and career opportunities for workers.

This is the second grant the OSN, in partnership with WGU Advancement, has received from Walmart. A previous grant of $250,000 arrived last year and supported the launch of the OSN in September 2020. Since then, the Network has grown to become a coalition of more than 530 employers, educational organizations, and technology providers committed to establishing a network of open skills libraries and skills data.

Currently, job seekers rely on résumés, job applications, credentials, and transcripts to communicate their skills and work experience. However, these outdated methods fail to capture the full spectrum of an individual’s range of skills acquired in the classroom or on the job. 

The OSN was created to drive a paradigm shift toward skills-based education and hiring. Because skills data is not easily accessible or machine-actionable, making the switch to skills-based practices is a manual, expensive process for most employers and education institutions. The OSN is trying to solve this problem by creating a decentralized national network of open, accessible, machine-actionable skills libraries. Walmart’s newest round of funding will support that work.

You can learn more about the OSN by visiting their website at

Help Provide Access for All

Every year WGU is proud to provide thousands of students, like Mariah, with scholarship and emergency aid support so they can focus on their degree programs and get one step closer to graduating.

Thank you for generously supporting WGU students. Please consider paying it forward once again so more students in need can achieve their dreams. Make your gift now by visiting


WGU Advancement News


WGU Northeast Employees Give to Support Our Students

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As a way to help reduce economic hardships for our students, many colleagues donate to need-based scholarships, like the WGU Employees Give Back Scholarship and the WGU Student Emergency Aid Fund. In fact, 74% of all charitable gifts received by WGU Advancement in 2020 came from WGU employees.

Follow the link below to read inspirational stories about WGU Northeast Night Owls giving back.


WGU Receives $4.8M Grant to Develop and Lead Character Education Curriculum

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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. 


Lilly Endowment Grants WGU Indiana $1 Million to Propel Strategic Skill Translation Initiatives

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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."

Year in Review

Learn what our donors helped us accomplish last fiscal year, from July 2019 to June 2020.

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Previous Bulletin

Did you miss our last Bulletin updates from March 2021? It's not too late to catch up today!

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