A baseball slugger steps up to the plate, takes a big swing, and crushes the ball over the fence for a homerun. The effort helps his team on the way to victory and provides tangible evidence of his value to the club. For the player, homeruns are a key performance indicator—or KPI—a quantifiable measure used to evaluate success.
No matter the pursuit, KPI’s help us recognize progress toward our goals. A retail manager might look at sales per square foot. A marketer might gauge success by website visits or qualified leads.
At WGU Washington, the number of degrees earned is the most important KPI—and the online, nonprofit university recently surpassed the 20,000-graduates milestone! That means 20,000 bachelor’s and master’s degrees have been awarded to hard-working women and men across the state, opening new doors of opportunity for those individuals and strengthening Washington’s workforce.
“We are so proud of all our graduates and the important impact they’re making in their communities and statewide,” said Dr. Tonya Drake, Chancellor of WGU Washington. “When WGU Washington was created in 2011, the vision was to give Washingtonians another option to earn a degree—and gain in-demand knowledge and skills. Achieving 20,000 graduates validates that vision and demonstrates the important resource our university provides students and this state.”
The distinction of being the university’s twenty thousandth graduate goes to Edward Pinto of Quincy. Pinto earned a master’s in English Language Learning while working full time as a Spanish teacher at Wapato High School. He says his degree will help him follow his passion of helping students of color in central Washington graduate from high school.
“For me, education has been life changing, and I hope my achievements inspire others, as well,” said Pinto. “I am a first-generation college student and a person of color. WGU Washington provided me a wonderful opportunity—and I am honored to set a positive example for underrepresented groups in my community.”
In many ways, Pinto exemplifies many WGU Washington students. He’s established in his career. He’s married (his wife, Sarah, is currently a WGU Washington student!). He chose the university because its innovative, online model fit into his busy life and allowed him to study and learn on his terms. He took advantage of WGU Washington’s competency-based learning approach and graduated ahead of schedule.
“It’s an honor to be recognized as the twenty thousandth graduate and join all the other alumni celebrating that milestone,” said Pinto. “I know how much my degree from WGU Washington means to me and my family. It’s cool to think about so many others across the state who went for it, earned a degree, and had their lives changed because of it.”
WGU Washington’s mission is too make high-quality, low-cost degree programs accessible for more Washingtonians, and its KPI is how many individuals graduate. Topping the 20,000-graduates milestone means the university and all its alumni—including Pinto—are hitting it out of the park.
The celebrate this exciting milestone, WGU Washington is offering up to $20,000 in scholarships for newly enrolled students. Called the WGU Washington 20,000 Graduates Scholarship, the university will select four students to receive up to $5,000 toward any of WGU Washington’s more than 60 degree programs in information technology, business, K-12 teacher education or health professions, including nursing.
Learn more about the WGU Washington 20,000 Graduates Scholarship at washington.wgu.edu/20k and by following @WGUWashington on social media.