INDIANAPOLIS — WGU Indiana, the online, competency-based university, celebrates its 10-year partnership with the state of Indiana and the nationally recognized Western Governors University. Over the last decade, WGU Indiana has remained committed to bridging the gap between talent and opportunity by making a quality education more flexible and more affordable for non-traditional learners, including Hoosiers in underserved communities and working adults.
WGU Indiana is the state's only fully online, competency-based university and offers more than 60 accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in business, information technology, K–12 education, and health professions, including nursing. WGU Indiana awarded 128 degrees in this first year and today, they’ve awarded degrees to more than 9,700 graduates and currently serve more than 5,600 enrolled students. WGU Indiana has students and alumni in all 92 counties in Indiana.
“Higher education and workforce skills have changed drastically over the last decade and WGU Indiana is constantly finding new ways to innovate that meet the evolving needs of our students and the job landscape,” says Alison Bell, Regional Vice President and Chancellor of WGU Indiana. “Opportunities that stem from higher education are limitless and our goal for the last 10 years, and for the next 10 and beyond, is to make sure that Hoosiers have equal access to those opportunities and to fulfill their potential.”
Mitch Daniels, former governor of Indiana, was part of the founding body of WGU who believed that technology, the Internet, and a new model of competency-based education could transform higher education by creating new opportunities for non-traditional learners. He went on to establish WGU Indiana in 2010 as the first state affiliate with a unique mission to help Hoosiers obtain a quality education. WGU Indiana is the first of the eight WGU state affiliates to reach the 10-year milestone.
Since its inception, WGU Indiana has strived to ease the financial burden of higher education for Hoosiers by offering affordable tuition in addition to scholarship opportunities in all four degree programs. More than 70% of WGU Indiana’s student population over the last 10 years are from underserved populations of the state, and 27% identify as low-income. Since 2010, WGU Indiana has awarded 2,602 scholarships to qualifying students, totaling more than $5 million over the course of its first decade and in 2019 alone, WGU Indiana increased the amount of scholarships awarded to students by 27%. These efforts have contributed to a generational shift in higher education where nearly half (46%) of all WGU Indiana students since 2010 have been first-generation college students within their family.
The online university continues fulfilling its mission to increase access to higher education and build on the success of its competency-based education model, which has resulted in 95% of WGU graduates being employed and 87% of those in their degree field. As an increasing number of jobs in the U.S. require a post-secondary education, WGU President Scott Pulsipher wants to expand the online university’s reach to a potential 40 million people in the United States through a 10x Vision plan. The 10x vision calls for scaling enrollment, creating new ventures to expand higher education access that complements WGU's business model, and increased funding.
In honor of its first decade, WGU Indiana invites students, alumni, faculty, staff, partners, community members, and media to a virtual celebration on Wednesday, June 10th from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. EST. WGU Indiana Chancellor and Regional Vice President Alison Bell will host the event and welcome speakers including WGU President, Board Member and Community Leader Scott Pulsipher and President and COO of the Indiana FEVER and former WGU Indiana Chancellor Dr. Alison Barber. Chancellor Bell will also be awarding the first recipient of WGU Indiana’s 10th anniversary scholarship winner.
Through WGU Indiana’s 10th anniversary scholarship, 10 newly enrolled students will be awarded $10,000 scholarships throughout 2020 in honor of its 10th anniversary, nearly the entire cost of a WGU Indiana degree. Applications are open and scholarships will be awarded on a rolling basis throughout the calendar year. Applications will effectively close on Nov. 1, 2020, but prospective students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. For more information on the 10th Anniversary Scholarship and to apply, visit indiana.wgu.edu/10x10.