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Part of Western Governors University

October 15, 2020

WGU Texas, Austin Community College District Partner to Eliminate Transfer Barriers for Students Who Seek Four-year Degrees

OWL Transfer Program will prepare students for successful transition to bachelor’s degree programs at online, competency-based university

AUSTIN – WGU Texas and Western Governors University (WGU) have announced a partnership with Austin Community College (ACC) to implement WGU’s “Onward With Learning” initiative—known as the OWL Transfer Program—to support students who seek bachelor’s degrees after completing their associate degrees. The program launched in September and is designed to remove common transfer barriers through early engagement with students and sustained support during their academic journey at ACC.

“WGU is committed to helping Austin Community College students further their educational achievements by removing barriers to transfer,” said Spencer Stewart, WGU’s Vice President of Partnerships. Austin Community College’s high-quality programs will prepare them for a four-year degree program at WGU Texas, and by engaging students early and often we can make sure they streamline their academic journey—saving them time and tuition costs.”

Benefits to students participating in the OWL Transfer Program include:

  • Guaranteed admission at WGU Texas for Austin Community College graduates participating in the OWL program.
  • Eligibility to earn a scholarship of $900 per six-month term, for up to two years.
  • Regular email communications through the OWL Nurture Program to keep students on track for success and graduation.
  • Free online transfer success courses and co-advising from WGU staff to ensure credit transfer maximization.
  • Access to social-emotional learning course—the Program for Academic and Career Advancement (PACA)—that helps develop students’ confidence, communication skills, help-seeking skills, and planning, time management, and study habits.

WGU—the nation’s largest online, nonprofit university—introduced the OWL Transfer Program this month to 21 community colleges across the country to serve thousands of students who are newly enrolled or who have completed less than 50 percent of their associate degree programs (30 credits), and who are interested in one of 13 bachelor’s degree programs from WGU Texas’ College of Business, College of Information Technology, or Teachers College.

“Austin Community College District is proud to partner with the WGU family to build seamless pathways for students who want to continue on toward their bachelor’s degree in one of the top industries in Central Texas,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC chancellor. “ACC leads the state in transfer student success. More students who start here go on to earn their bachelor’s degree in four years compared to other Texas colleges. But we know the pathway isn’t always easy. Now, more than ever students need flexible options. ACC and WGU’s online learning programs help busy students achieve their academic dreams. Together, we’re removing transfer barriers and transforming the educational landscape."

More information about the OWL Transfer Program, including a full list of eligible WGU Texas degree programs and a sign-up form for interested students, is available at

About Austin Community College District

Austin Community College is a nationally recognized two-year college serving Central Texas. ACC is focused on student success and providing affordable, flexible pathways to help students reach their education goals, learn new job skills, or advance their career. The college currently enrolls more than 70,000 students annually.

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Leslie Reed, Director, External Communications
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