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WGU Hires Melissa Ruggiero as Strategic Partnerships Manager

Ruggiero to develop partnerships in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island to expand higher education access for underrepresented communities.

Mar 21, 2023

BOSTON, M.A. — Online, nonprofit, accredited Western Governors University (WGU) has appointed New Hampshire resident Melissa Ruggiero as strategic partnerships manager to develop and nurture relationships in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In her role, Ruggiero will work to expand WGU’s partnership network and further develop employer relationships, in an effort to increase awareness and student access to higher education, improve affordability and enhance student experience.

Ruggiero has more than 10 years of higher education, admissions and workforce training experience, with a particular focus on sales and business development. Prior to WGU, Ruggiero was director of strategic partnerships at Community College of Aurora, Colo., where she increased enrollments and employer partnerships. At Regis University in Denver, Colo., she built and nurtured relationships in the healthcare sector to help employers address talent development needs.

“Melissa is passionate about the WGU mission and eager to leverage her higher education knowledge and relationship building,” said Rebecca Watts, Ph.D., WGU regional vice president for the northeast region. “Her previous work with healthcare training programs will especially help us expand our partnerships with area healthcare employers, to achieve our mission to provide equitable education access to high-quality, low-cost, competency-based degree programs that lead to in-demand, thriving-wage careers.”  

Ruggiero holds a M.A. in adult education and corporate training from Regis University and a B.A. in international education and Spanish from Ohio Wesleyan University. In her volunteer time, she has helped develop the Ohio Wesleyan Young Alumni Chapter in Denver, Colo.

Designed to support adult learners, WGU provides an asynchronous, competency-based, mentor-supported model that allows students to access coursework at a time convenient for them, and to accelerate at their own pace. WGU offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the in-demand career fields of business, K–12 teacher and leader education, information technology and health professions.

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