SALT LAKE CITY – Amid a global pandemic that has highlighted more than ever the value—and the necessity—of access to high-quality distance education, the nation’s first online, competency-based university is once again being recognized for its leadership on the topic. At its 2020 Virtual Conference on July 23, the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) will name Western Governors University (WGU) its 2020 recipient of the 21st Century Distance Learning Award, the university’s 10th time receiving the honor.
“At WGU, we’re committed to providing high-quality online learning that connects our students with pathways to opportunity,” said Debbie Fowler, Senior Vice President of Student Success. “Now more than ever, Americans need affordable pathways to distance learning, and we won’t rest until we can ensure that all learners have the access they need to achieve their next step.”
USDLA’s 21st Century Distance Learning Award is given to an agency, institution, or company that has shown outstanding leadership in the field of distance learning. The award recognizes pioneering organizations in the field that have changed distance learning, challenged existing practice, or developed new and effective solutions. Because WGU continues to develop and implement innovations that support its mission to expand access, improve quality and relevance, and optimize student outcomes, the university has now won the annual award 10 times.
“Western Governors University continues to amaze us each year,” said Dr. Reggie Smith III, CEO / Executive Director of USDLA. “For several years now, they have consistently picked up some of our top awards in a very competitive awards program. Our awards process is not a ‘cut-and-paste-the-same-data-year-over-year’ kind of program. Every year requires new data, new outcomes, etc., and WGU has continued to deliver an exceptional submission representing the institution, composed of both qualitative and quantitative data. WGU has raised the bar of excellence again, and we are truly honored by their contributions within our industry and especially as an example of our best practices during a global pandemic with so many people learning at a distance now."
As an all-online university, WGU is able to reach students regardless of location. And because its programs are asynchronous and competency-based, students are able to log in and take charge of their studies and complete at an accelerated pace, saving both time and money.