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WGU Ohio
A University Built For You

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About WGU Ohio

WGU Ohio was established in 2018 as a partnership between Western Governors University and the state of Ohio with a unique mission to help Ohioans obtain a quality education. When WGU was established in 1997, the founding governors realized that technology, the internet, and a new model of competency-based education could transform higher education by creating new opportunities for working adults.

The mission of WGU Ohio is to expand access to affordable higher education for Ohio residents through online, competency-based programs that address key workforce needs. Western Governors University is available to learners across the country, and coursework is offered online so students do not have to go to a campus location. Students in Ohio can recieve unique scholarship, financial aid, and other opportunities at WGU as a result of the partnership between WGU and the state of Ohio.

“I am always fascinated by innovators—entrepreneurs and companies who build the better mousetrap, reinvent themselves, tear down barriers, and prove the doubting Thomases wrong. Western Governors University is such an innovator. They are disrupters in a space that has been sorely in need of disruption for some time now.”

Pat Tiberi

Ohio Business Roundtable


Online Education
Built for Life

We're an online university dedicated to making higher education accessible for as many people as possible. Everything we do at Western Governors University is aimed at increasing accessibility and opportunity for each student, regardless of their background, motivations, or life situation. That focus helps produce success for our over 300,000 graduates. Our curriculum focused on today's workforce needs is why WGU grads have a 98% employer satisfaction rate, and why our students see an average salary increase of over $18,000 just two years after graduating.* 

*2021 Harris Poll

Affordable Education

Personalized Learning

Expanded Access

Workforce Skills

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What Our Alumni Are Saying

People love their WGU experience. See why it means so much to them and what makes us different.

"My new career as a software engineer is very new, but I am proud of the fact that I have been able to already contribute to the software product in my first 10 days. About one year ago, I didn't know how to code, and now, I'm actually using my skills to help a tech company!"

— Claire Bogdan
B.S. Computer Science, WGU Ohio

"My degree from WGU provided me the credential needed to pursue the next step in my career. Though I love teaching, I wanted more out of my career. I pursued my degree to provide me a path to expand my options within the profession of education."

— Ashley Mauger
M.S. Educational Leadership, WGU Ohio

"I will be the first in my family to have a bachelors degree. Growing up I knew that I could make something of myself by always learning. I have used this throughout my life and I try to learn something new everyday. I feel accomplished when I can use newly gained knowledge." 

— Margaret Gill
B.S. Nursing, WGU Ohio

"Eventually, with my experience from college and from work want to work as an IT Manager and lead the department. There is ever growing demand of qualified personal in field of Information Technology and Business, and it really is a great time to learn more, grow more and experience more to keep up with the change of phase in industries."

— Sager Upret
B.S. IT Management, WGU Ohio

"I grew up in a 1 parent household. I never financially felt like college would be an investment I could make and a degree is something I never thought I would be able to earn. Its been really special to have earned mine."

— Dino Dunn
B.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, WGU Ohio

K.L. Allen, WGU Ohio Chancellor

Dr. K. L. Allen has served as chancellor of WGU Ohio, the state affiliate of the online, nonprofit Western Governors University since May 2020.

Dr. Allen has close to two decades of higher education experience, ranging from launching and leading collegiate departments of business development and veteran affairs to being a professor in business, economics, and education. He is also a veteran of the Army National Guard.

Dr. Allen is an advocate for socioeconomic equality, education, and entrepreneurship, as illustrated by his 60-plus published op-eds. A native of North Carolina, Dr. Allen is passionate about removing social and economic barriers so that individuals may pursue educational opportunities that can help improve their chances to overcome those barriers. As Chancellor of WGU Ohio, he has championed the university’s mission of changing lives for the better by creating pathways to opportunity.

Dr. Allen earned a B.A. in criminal justice, an M.B.A. in global management, and a doctorate in educational leadership, where his research focused on employee engagement, socioeconomics, and leadership. He is an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi and sits on several boards in Ohio such as the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Dayton Chamber of Commerce EPI foundation, and the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Alison Bell, WGU Regional Vice President, Central

Higher education veteran Alison Bell is the Regional Vice President of WGU's Central Region. Bell has more than 20 years of higher education leadership experience, including four years of prior experience with WGU as general manager of WGU Indiana operations from 2010-2014.

Before returning to WGU, Bell served as Director of Degree Completion at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, where lead operations and supervised academic coaching and career staff.

Bell earned a B.A. in Psychology from Indiana University and a M.A. in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education from Ball State University.

WGU Ohio Board Members

Barb Smoot (Chair), President & CEO, Women for Economic and Leadership Development

Barb Smoot is the President & CEO of Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD), the organization that develops and advances women’s leadership to strengthen the economic prosperity of the communities it serves. As WELD’s chief visionary and strategist and first president, Ms. Smoot is the architect and driving force behind WELD’s unprecedented growth. She serves as primary community liaison, overseeing fundraising, collaborative partnerships and development and implementation of strategic initiatives, including WELD’s national expansion. Under Ms. Smoot’s leadership, WELD has grown from a single location serving the Central Ohio region to a national organization adding new regional chapters each year.

Ms. Smoot has been formally recognized for her leadership accomplishments and contribution to the community. She is a 2021 Medical Mutual Pillar Award Winner for Community Service –Nonprofit Executive Director of the Year, 2020 YWCA Columbus Woman of Achievement, Columbus CEO 2017 CEO of the Year for Small Nonprofits, 2021 Otterbein University Honorary Alumna and a member of Columbus Business First’s Power 100 for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Claudia Y. W. Herrold, Executive-in-Residence, Philanthropy Ohio

Claudia Y. W. Herrold serves as Philanthropy Ohio’s first executive-in-residence after serving as its chief communications and public policy officer, working in the fields she’s long had a passion for – passions that started in high school when she worked in her first political campaign and was editor of her high school newspaper. She built her skills and knowledge in journalism and political science when she attended college in Washington, D.C., and then graduate school at the University of Michigan. Claudia has worked at Philanthropy Ohio since 1998, one of two “veteran” employees who have seen the organization grow into its current vision. As executive-in-residence, Claudia is responsible for developing and managing public-private partnerships and the organization’s Consultancy Collective.

When she’s not overseeing the website, blog, newsletters, reports and marketing efforts or advocating on philanthropy’s behalf with state and federal officials, Claudia plays with her grandchildren, knits, reads, gardens and plays bridge.

Kenneth Webb, Vice President, Republic Bank

Kenneth has more than over 26 years of financial services experience and over 30 years of community outreach and engagement. Kenneth now serves as a Vice President, Regional CRA Business Development Officer at Republic Bank in Norwood Ohio. Kenneth is active in the community serving on several boards in the Greater Cincinnati Region. They include the Board Chair of Master Provisions, Executive Board for Habitat for Humanity Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, Little Sisters of the Poor, Advisory Committee, Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley and Youth Services Center Advisory Board for Holmes Middle School and Conner High School, Life Learning Center in Covington (interim President 2016).

Kenneth has been a recipient of the Outstanding Young Men of America Award, YMCA Black Achiever, and graduate of Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio Leadership Program Class XVIII. Also graduate of the Leadership Dayton Program Class of 2014. NKY Chamber Leadership Class of 2019 (VP Class of 2019) Kenneth holds a degree from the University of Louisville in Biology and minor in Pan-African Studies. A thirty-year member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and one time Brother of the Year for the State of KY.

Scott Dutey, Superintendent, Portsmouth City Schools

Scott Dutey, Superintendent, Portsmouth City Schools graduated from Marshall University with a Bachelor of Science, Ohio University with a Master Ed. Administration, and Ashland University where he received his Superintendent Certification. Scott has a long history in education dating back to his time at Dawson-Bryant Local Schools as a Teacher, Principal, and Assistant Superintendent from 1990-2009.

Scott joined Portsmouth City Schools in 2010 as the Curriculum/Federal Programs Coordinator, and then became Superintendent 2011.

Ken Tietz, Vice President, Public Sector & Healthcare, CGI

Ken Tietz is a triple threat. He has an entrepreneurial spirit, deep IT acumen, and serious tenacity. He is fascinated by the process of using technology to grow businesses. According to him, it’s the ultimate challenge and reward. Ken refers to leadership as an “opportunity” and considers his greatest professional achievement to be the relationships he’s cultivated over the years. The most fulfilling aspect of his job is hiring, mentoring, and watching as the people under his charge evolve toward their potential.

When he’s not using technology to solve business problems, Ken takes every opportunity to get outdoors with his family. No matter the season, he seeks adventure. From skiing and snowboarding to wakeboarding and surfing, Ken loves just about any sport that gives him an adrenaline rush. The more rugged and remote — the better.

Kashif Smiley, Home Lending East Sales Strategy Owner, JPMorgan Chase

Kashif Smiley works work for JPMorgan Chase as the Home Lending East Sales Strategy Owner. In his role, he is responsible to developing strategy in key markets that help Black and Hispanic people become homeowners. Prior to this role, Kashif led the firm-wide diversity recruiting strategy across all six (6) lines of business and was a Strategic Sourcing and Category Manager in Global Supplier Services for the firm. Kashif joined JPMC in 2017, after four years at Procter & Gamble as a Senior Manager in Global Procurement & Supply Chain, and three years at Accenture as a Strategy Consultant.

Kashif has experience developing innovative business solutions with large-scale transformation efforts and strategic initiatives that exceed targets and optimize resources. He is also a high-performance strategic thinker, with expertise in relationship management, strategic negotiation techniques with experience leading cross functional teams. Kashif is a problem solver and critical thinker, who analysis and identifies business process improvement opportunities. In addition, he is a team builder and organizational culture developer who communicates effectively with customers, stakeholders, and cross-functional teams building trust and supporting the proper execution and enforcement.

Lisa Gray, President, Ohio Excels

Lisa A. Gray is the founding president of Ohio Excels, a non-profit coalition of Ohio business leaders focused on strengthening education policy and workforce solutions. Gray’s career has been dedicated to improving the educational outcomes of all of Ohio’s students.

Prior to leading Ohio Excels, Gray had her own consulting practice specializing in public policy development, government relations, advocacy, strategic planning, and project management with an emphasis on public education. Her clients included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Achieve, Inc., Philanthropy Ohio, Battelle for Kids, Ohio Business Roundtable, Teach for America, Jobs for the Future and the Office of Governor Taft, among others.

Prior to starting her consulting practice, Gray was the Director of Policy and Communications at Battelle for Kids from 2001-2005. In 2000, Gray served as the Project Director of the Governor’s Commission for Student Success. The bipartisan commission, appointed by Governor Taft, developed recommendations for improving Ohio’s K-12 public education system.

Gray also served as the Deputy Executive Assistant to Columbus Mayor Greg Lashutka. Prior to joining the Mayor’s office, Gray served in a number of positions at the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

Gray graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, with a BS in Elementary Education. At the start of her career, she served as an elementary school teacher.

Gen. Mark Bartman, Major General (Ret.), USAF 9G Consulting LLC

General Bartman’s most recent military assignment was as The Adjutant General, Ohio National Guard, Joint Force Headquarters, Columbus, Ohio, from 2015 to 2019. He was a member of the Governor’s cabinet and was responsible for the command of the Ohio National Guard and the military readiness of the Ohio Militia. General Bartman led the flag officer heads of these components in the day-to-day operation and management of the readiness, fiscal, personnel, equipment, and real property resources of the agency.

General Bartman graduated from The Ohio State University in 1982 and entered military service in September 1982 through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program as a distinguished graduate from Detachment 645. General Bartman has served in numerous staff and operations positions in the United States Air Force and the Ohio Air National Guard to include serving as the Air National Guard lead to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force for the Total Force Task Force and commanding the 180th Fighter Wing. He is a command pilot with more than 3,200 flying hours, including 29 combat missions in Operations Provide Comfort, Northern Watch, and Southern Watch.

Dan Molina, MAG Cloud Platform Customer Success Lead, Accenture

Dan Molina is an executive at Accenture, a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. He currently serves as the Global Customer Success Lead for Accenture’s Cloud Sourcing organization.

Prior to his current role, Dan served in a variety of roles over his nearly 23 year career at Accenture, including as the North America Go-To-Market Lead for VMware, as the Accenture Operations Local Market Lead for Ohio & Kentucky, as a Global Capability Lead, as a Global Enterprise Architect, as a North America Sales Lead in Infrastructure Outsourcing, as a Service Management Architect and Integration Architecture Designer/Developer.

Dan serves as the Board Secretary and Chair of Governance for Bethesda Inc, on the TriHealth Quality Assessment and Total Quality Management Committee and on the Advisory Board for the Western Governors University of Ohio. He was selected for Class 34 of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Cincinnati program (and subsequently sat on the steering committee for Class 35, 36 and 37) as well as their Leadership Exchange to St. Louis / Austin / Atlanta / Nashville. Hispanic Career World magazine featured Dan in an article about innovation and diversity and he was also selected as a two-time Regional Finalist for the White House Fellowship. Dan serves as an advisor to US Senator, Rob Portman (Ohio) and was reappointed by Governor Mike DeWine to serve as a state commissioner for the Ohio Commission on Hispanic-Latino Affairs.

Dan earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration at the University of Dayton. He is married with three children and lives in Cincinnati.

Darla Cade has been in the HR realm over 25 years specializing in compliance and talent management. 

She currently serves as Chief HR Officer for Germane Solutions, a niche GME healthcare consulting firm.  Ms. Cade is passionate about making a difference and feels solid company culture is critical to employee retention and a company’s success.  She has enjoyed working with Germane’s President and CEO—who share her passion for happy and successful employees.

Ms. Cade graduated from Wright State University with a Bachelors in Foreign Language (Spanish) and Business Management minor.  She received her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification from HRCi and later received her Senior HR-certification from SHRM (SHRM-SCP).  Additionally, she is a licensed life and health agent in Ohio, which has served her well as she administers company benefits. 

Ms. Cade is very active in her community and heavily involved in servant leadership. She has been a church pianist for over 30 years and a Children’s Church Leader.  Professionally, she serves on several boards with specific focuses: 

-CAIN (food bank in Cincinnati)

  • Executive Board Member
  • Chair of HR Committee

-Miami Valley HR Association/MVHRA – Local Chapter of Society of HR Management

  • Executive Board Member
  • Treasurer

-Employers Resource Association/ERA

  • 20+ Year Member

Ms. Cade was honored when asked to join the Board with WGU—leading by example, as she believes continuing education is what sets candidates apart.

Partner With WGU

If you are a company or community college that is looking to do something more for your employees or students, a partnership with WGU could be the perfect fit. Learn more about creating a partnership with WGU for tuition reimbursement, a scholarship, or other opportunity.

Connect with WGU Ohio


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Frequently Asked Questions at WGU

WGU is approved to offer federal student aid. You will need to apply using the FAFSA, which is used to determine your eligibility for aid. WGU’s FAFSA school code is 033394.

Scholarships are available for new WGU students and returning graduates. This video shows more about scholarship opportunities and how they can help you pay for school. Get information on:

  • How to apply
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Examples of scholarships
  • What happens after you apply
  • FAQs
  • Other financial aid options

WGU's tuition is a flat rate that is charged every six months. You can take as many courses as you are able in that six-month term—with no extra cost. You simply pay for the term and do as much work as you can or want to during that time. This means that finishing faster helps you save money—a major benefit you won't find at most other schools. 

You will be expected to maintain regular communication with your Program Mentor while enrolled at WGU. 

During a student's first term, the Program Mentor and student meet once each week by phone for a substantive discussion about engaging learning resources and assessments until the student achieves on-time progress (OTP).

After the first term, for students who meet and maintain on-time progress (OTP), the Program Mentor and student meet at least once every two weeks by phone for a substantive discussion about engaging learning resources and assessments.

For students on financial aid warning, probation, or termination, the Program Mentor and student meet at least once each week by phone for a substantive discussion about engaging learning resources and assessments until the student achieves OTP.

WGU offers flexible pacing, meaning you can move through courses at a pace that meets your learning style and knowledge level. Students can go as fast as they can but not as slowly. Students are required to complete a minimum number of competency units per term to meet on-time progress. However, if you choose to study at 3 am daily, that we can accommodate. 

Your personal progress will be determined by the extent of your transfer units, your time commitment, and your determination to proceed at a faster rate. Traditionally, without an associate’s degree or equivalent, it will take 2 to 2.5 years. Master's degree programs are designed to be completed within 2 years. However, we work on a competency-based model, which gives you credit for passing assessments and proving you can perform a task or understand a course of study proficiently. 

Yes! If you are able to complete the minimum requirement before your term is over, you can add more courses, with no tuition increase.

Yes! WGU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), the highest form of accreditation.

An accredited online college offers the same valuable and respected degrees that an on-campus college offers. The main difference is that online colleges offer you flexibility in your program. For example, you don't have to go to campus and sit in a classroom. You can move faster through courses. You are largely independent in your education. These are benefits that help many students pursue degrees who may not be able to attend an on-campus college.

It depends on the type of degree and online school you choose. Some online bachelor's degree programs will take 4+ years, and some online master's degrees will take 2+ years.

However, WGU is designed to help students accelerate their online degrees. Our unique education model allows students to move through courses as quickly as they can master the material. This means that, on average, students finish bachelor's degree programs in three years or less, and master's degree programs in 18 months or less.

Source: WGU internal data

We may be biased, but we believe WGU is truly the best online college. Our unique education model, affordable tuition, and complete flexibility mean that students are truly in charge of their own education.

An online degree helps you learn skills and earn credentials that will boost your résumé and prepare you for a meaningful career. Either a bachelor's or master's degree will be key in helping you be prepared for a new job, promotion, or salary increase. The specific jobs you can be qualified for with an online degree will depend on the specific degree you pursue.

An accredited online college offers the same valuable and respected degrees that an on-campus college offers. The main difference is that online colleges offer you flexibility in your program. For example, you don't have to go to campus and sit in a classroom. You can move faster through courses. You are largely independent in your education. These are benefits that help many students pursue degrees who may not be able to attend an on-campus college.

It depends on the type of degree and online school you choose. Some online bachelor's degree programs will take 4+ years, and some online master's degrees will take 2+ years. However, WGU is designed to help students accelerate their online degrees. Our unique education model allows students to move through courses as quickly as they can master the material. This means that on average students finish bachelor's degree programs in three years or less, and master's degree programs in 18 months or less.

Typically online universities are able to offer less expensive tuition compared to brick and mortar universities. This is often because there are less building maintenance requirements, staffing needs, living expenses for students, etc. At WGU for example, tuition for an undergraduate program is approximately $4,005 for a six-month term. This is much lower than most online and traditional degree programs.

WGU has a generous transfer policy. Our transcripts department can accept official copies of transcripts from your previous educational institutions for a course-by-course evaluation that compares the context of your courses to those in our programs, to tell you what is comparable and transferable.

Yes! WGU is institutionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), the highest form of accreditation.

It depends on the program you are interested in pursuing. Some programs will have additional requirements however, the general admissions process is as follows: 

  1. Complete the enrollment application
  2. Contact Enrollment at 866-225-5948 to go over the program and admissions process specific to your desired degree program
  3. Submit official transcripts
  4. If desired, complete FAFSA form for financial aid

The enrollment process can take approximately 4-6 weeks. Start dates are the first of each month once enrollment has been completed.

Every school sets its own guidelines however, accreditation plays a big part in recognition and acceptance. WGU is institutionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), the highest form of accreditation. WGU graduates go on to continue their education at many colleges and universities. When WGU alumni self-report acceptance into graduate or doctorate programs, we add the university to a list so you can see where WGU graduates are continuing to pursue higher education.