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May 26, 2021

Western Governors University Announces Partnership With Indiana-Based Utility Cooperative, NineStar Connect

INDIANAPOLIS Western Governors University (WGU) today announced a partnership with NineStar Connect, a nonprofit communications, energy, water and sewer cooperative located in Hancock County, Indiana. Local employees, cooperative members and customers will have access to WGU Indiana, established in 2010, and its more than 60 degree programs.

The partnership will encourage NineStar Connect’s nearly 130 employees to pursue educational opportunities to advance their personal goals and the work of the company. NineStar Connect strives to support the upskilling of its employees, and the collaboration with WGU is designed to fit into busy work and home schedules.

“As part of our mission of being an innovative, flexible online university, WGU will provide NineStar Connect employees with personalized learning pathways to higher education through this partnership,” said Alison Bell, WGU Indiana Chancellor and Regional Vice President for WGU. “We look forward to this collaboration with NineStar Connect as it will allow a streamlined approach to offering continuing education options to our Indiana workforce.”

Under the terms of this partnership:

  • NineStar will provide 100% tuition assistance to qualifying full time NineStar Connect employees enrolled in a WGU program.
  • NineStar Connect will offer a special “Broadband Promotion Package” to allow qualifying employees and members who are pursuing a degree with WGU to access high-speed, premium internet services at a discounted price.
  • Qualifying employees and members of NineStar Connect are eligible to apply for the WGU Collaborative Agreement Scholarship in the amount of $2,500, which is reserved for WGU’s collaborative partners.

“NineStar is excited to partner with WGU in order to provide an extra benefit for both its employees as well as members and customers,” stated NineStar Connect President & CEO Michael Burrow.  “For many years, NineStar has been committed to the concept of lifelong learning and we feel that WGU provides non-traditional ways for people who might be busy with work and family commitments to nevertheless pursue much needed educational opportunities.”

WGU, which offers affordable tuition and a competency-based model, maintains impactful and lasting relationships with reputable businesses across the country. Through partnerships like the one with NineStar Connect, individuals of all backgrounds are given the opportunity to pursue educational goals that can transform their lives. For more information on WGU, visit

About NineStar Connect: With headquarters in Hancock County and serving ten counties in East Central Indiana, NineStar Connect is a smart utility. It is the only rural co-op in the United States to offer fiber optic, electricity, water and sewer services, NineStar Connect’s mission is to deliver the utility infrastructure needed to drive economic development and growth for rural communities. More information is available at

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