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July 7, 2022

WGU Receives $420,000 Grant to help Rural Texans Earn Degrees

Agreement provides scholarships, educational opportunities, and services for West Texans to pursue bachelor’s degrees

AUSTIN, TX–Western Governors University (WGU) and WGU Advancement—the university’s fundraising arm—announced today a new grant provided by Greater Texas Foundation designed to help support degree access among rural West Texas’ underserved and underrepresented students and adults who want to return to school. Increasing Postsecondary Attainment Rates in Rural West Texas – A Place Based Approach grant will fund program support and scholarships aimed at closing existing equity gaps in postsecondary education attainment for residents in select counties of rural West Texas.

“We’re grateful to Greater Texas Foundation for their support of WGU’s commitment to identifying and dismantling equity barriers in higher education,” said Annalisa Holcombe, President of WGU Advancement. 

Led by WGU, this program is designed to identify and re-engage adults who may have some college credit or have been out of the educational system altogether. WGU offers clear pathways and support to degree completion for any rural student and will support college completion with both associate and bachelor’s degree attainment. For those who are not yet ready to take on the rigors of a college degree program, WGU Academy offers preparatory programs that combine personalized support and coursework to prepare adult learners for academic success. 

“Nearly four million adults across the state of Texas have some college credit but no degree,” said Sue McMillin, President and CEO of Greater Texas Foundation. “This partnership with WGU will enable adults in rural West Texas to reenter postsecondary pathways with robust support to complete their credentials. We are excited for the opportunities this will bring to returning students across the region.”

Greater Texas Foundation invests in rural educational collaboratives and innovative community-wide partnerships to develop the talent pool to help rural communities thrive. 

“We know that a student’s chance of success greatly increases when there is support throughout their educational journey,” said Linda Battles, WGU Texas Chancellor and Regional Vice President, South Region. “WGU’s online, competency-based model removes the barriers of place and time, and provides a personalized, one-to-one approach from day one to ensure students have the tools they need to succeed. This program is a replicable model that can produce more equitable postsecondary and workforce outcomes by connecting directly with adult students across the state.”

For more information, email ruralwtx@wgu.edu.

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Leslie Reed, Director, External Communications
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