KENT – Thursday, Seattle Business magazine honored WGU Washington for its significant work bridging the statewide skills gap. During the 2018 Community Impact Awards ceremony at Seattle’s Nordic Museum, the nonprofit, online university received the Silver Award for Job Training. The magazine cited WGU Washington’s application of innovative, distance-learning technologies to help educate the business leaders, nurses, teachers, and IT professionals Washington needs to remain strong in the 21st-century economy.
“I’m thrilled Seattle Business magazine recognized our university in this way,” said WGU Washington Chancellor Dr. Tonya Drake. “This state is home to so many, socially-focused organizations, and to be honored among them is a true honor.”
The Community Impact Awards honor businesses and organizations making tangible, measurable effects on their communities. A panel of judges considered influence and outcomes in several categories, including job creation, workforce development, volunteer efforts, board service, and innovative business models promoting social goals.
In 2011, state lawmakers partnered with nationally-recognized Western Governors University to create WGU Washington – the first and only legislatively-endorsed, online university in the state. The goal was – and remains – to expand access to higher education for professional men and women and meet the increasing demand for a skilled and educated workforce.
Since its launch, WGU Washington has rewarded the vision of the state’s leadership. The university has awarded more than 13,000 bachelor’s and master’s degrees and expanded its enrollment to more than 11,000 full-time students. Additionally, WGU Washington has become the state’s third largest transfer university – trailing only the University of Washington and Washington State University.
“This Community Impact Award belongs to our university’s students and graduates,” said Drake. “Those individuals – many of whom are working and have families – made the brave decision to go back to school and earn the degrees they’ve long dreamed about. Now, they are difference-makers at work and in their communities.”