The California Community Colleges’ Board of Governors today approved a new partnership with Western Governors University (WGU) that allows graduates of California’s 114 community colleges to transfer and seek their bachelor’s degree at a discount from the fully accredited, online institution.
Students will be granted admission to WGU if they have completed an Associate Degree for Transfer or appropriate lower-division transfer credit requirements. Students who earn an Associate Degree for Transfer and are accepted to a compatible WGU program will enroll with the equivalent of junior standing.
“WGU’s distance-learning format, competency-based learning model, and discounted tuition will enable students graduating from a California community college the flexibility to earn a bachelor’s degree without leaving home and at an affordable price,” said Board of Governors President Cecilia V. Estolano.
A nonprofit university based in Salt Lake City, WGU offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in four high-demand subject areas: teaching, business, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. All WGU students enroll as full-time, and tuition is charged at a flat rate per six-month term, regardless of how many courses are attempted or completed. Tuition and fees total just more than $6,000 annually. Under the terms of this agreement, students transferring from a California community college will be offered a 5 percent tuition discount for up to four academic terms. In addition to the tuition discount, transfer students are eligible to apply for a Community College Partnership Scholarship totaling $2,000 and dispersed in $500 increments for up to four terms.
“Partnering with the California Community Colleges system will make it possible for more busy adults in California to complete their degrees affordably and without disrupting their lives,” said WGU President Scott D. Pulsipher. “This agreement will enhance WGU’s ability to deliver on our promise and mission: To change the lives of individuals and their families by expanding access to high-quality programs that lead to recognized, respected credentials.”
WGU was established in 1997 by a bipartisan group of 19 U.S. governors looking to expand access to affordable higher education. The university, which is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, enrolls more than 83,000 students and has 90,000 graduates. All of WGU’s 60+ degree programs are competency-based, a learning model that focuses on measuring learning rather than time spent in class. Students study and learn on a schedule that fits their lives, with individualized support from faculty. They advance as soon as they demonstrate mastery of course subject matter, which allows many students to accelerate their progress toward a degree, saving time and money.
All WGU curriculum is developed in collaboration with industry experts, ensuring that graduates have the competencies, or concrete skills, needed by employers. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education.