AUSTIN – Among the 1,500 graduates recognized during Western Governors University’s regional commencement ceremony in Anaheim on June 8, San Antonio-bred Kathleen Satumbaga was selected to address the graduate class. Sataumbaga also received her M.S. Nursing – Leadership and Management degree from WGU Texas.
WGU’s 72nd Commencement recognized 6,569 students from 49 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and military installations overseas.
Although it is not required for graduates to attend commencement, nearly a quarter chose to do so to celebrate their achievement.
For Kathleen, walking across the stage to receive her diploma was the final piece of a plan she made long ago. “I knew from a young age that I would not settle for anything less than a graduate degree,” she said.
Kathleen’s father, an immigrant from the Philippines, taught her to prioritize getting an education. “I didn’t understand it until I was older,” she said. “Education can never be taken from me. Jobs and people come and go but no one can take away what I have achieved.”
In two years, Kathleen completed her BSN to MSN program with WGU Texas while undergoing major life changes. Overcoming personal obstacles was tough but Kathleen never felt her goal was unattainable. “My mentors provided the support I needed, and I never felt I did not have the tools necessary to finish,” she said, “WGU exceeded my expectations.”
Kathleen and 57 WGU Texas students received their degrees at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, joining more than 11,000 WGU Texas graduates.
WGU was designed to meet the needs of students not traditionally served well by higher education, including working adults, students with families, and rural students or those who do not live near a college or university. Competency-based learning—along with online access to their courses, study materials, and proctored assessments—means students are able to complete coursework on schedules that fit their lives—not driven by a syllabus or class schedules. Course materials and learning resources are available 24/7, and students work one-on-one with course and program faculty members to receive personalized instruction and support. As a result of this flexibility, many students are able to accelerate through their programs and graduate faster than they would at a traditional school. Of this graduating class, the average time to graduation for those earning a bachelor’s degree was two years, four months, while the average time for graduate programs was one year, six months.