Skip to content Skip to Live Chat

Part of Western Governors University

May 8, 2023

Future of Higher Education

OpenPath Newsletter April Edition

OpenPath newsletter by WGU

Removing Barriers to Education for All Learners

Welcome to this edition of OpenPath. This month, WGU Labs studies how high-quality education made available to those in prison can benefit everyone; Stacey Ludwig Johnson shows why competency-based education is critical to the future of education; and President Scott Pulsipher writes that higher education needs new and innovative models to serve today’s students.  

If you know others who’d welcome insights on these topics, please invite them to subscribe. If you have feedback on this newsletter, feel free to contact us.

Classroom with empty desks and chairs

Colleges in Prisons: Overcoming Barriers to High-Quality Prison Education

One recognized solution to an increase in incarceration rates and reconvictions is investment in well-designed prison education programs, which have been shown to lead to a 43% reduction in recidivism.

person typing on a laptop

The Sustainable Value of Competency-Based Education

Competency-based education delivers workforce readiness by allowing for the personalization of each student’s academic journey instead of enforcing one-size-fits-all pedagogical models.

rolled up diploma with a red ribbon

Higher Ed is Ripe for Disruption: Unleashing the Talent Inherent in Every Individual

While important steps have been taken to democratize higher education, fewer than 50% of U.S. adults have earned a post-secondary credential that could benefit their careers, change their lives, and transform their families.

News We're Reading

Inside Higher Ed: TICAS Report Shows Path to Debt-Free College

A new 100-page report featuring six papers from The Institute for College Access and Success explores how the federal government can partner with states to make college debt-free for all students.

The Chronicle of Higher Education: How Anti-DEI Bills Have Already Changed Higher Ed

While anti-DEI legislation hasn’t yet become law this spring, the proposals have already had an impact on campuses.

WGU Student Story

Jennifer Powell 
B.S. Nursing (2019) 
MSN, Leadership and Management (2022) 
Depew, New York

When Jennifer Powell worked at a hospital system in western New York, she was inundated with COVID-19 cases. Her hospital shut down all elective and outpatient services, including the ER. Jennifer, along with her colleagues, trained for specialized ICU positions to help the state manage the pandemic. She was the first night-shift nurse who volunteered to learn CRRT and dialysis, which meant that she would care for the sickest patients, a role she willingly took on because of her community’s need. Jennifer and colleagues worked 12-hour shifts in full personal protective equipment for more than a year. She knew that her team was struggling with the heavy workload, so she helped moderate a nightly virtual support group for healthcare professionals.  

Jennifer Powell
Share this:

One online university. Four colleges. Flexible degrees.

Our focus on your success starts with our focus on four high-demand fields: K–12 teaching and education, nursing and healthcare, information technology, and business. Every degree program at WGU is tied to a high-growth, highly rewarding career path. Which college fits you?

Want to see all the degrees WGU has to offer? View all degrees