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California Community Colleges Board of Governors Approves Partnership with Nonprofit Western Governors University

News Brief - 9-18-17

The California Community Colleges’ Board of Governors today approved a new partnership with Western Governors University (WGU) that allows graduates of California’s 114 community colleges to transfer and seek their bachelor’s degree at a discount from the fully accredited, online institution. Students will be granted admission to WGU if they have completed an Associate Degree for Transfer or appropriate lower division transfer credit requirements. Students who earn an Associate Degree for Transfer and are accepted to a compatible WGU program will enroll with the equivalent of junior standing.

“WGU’s distance learning format, competency-based learning model, and discounted tuition will enable students graduating from a California community college the flexibility to earn a bachelor’s degree without leaving home and at an affordable price,” said Board of Governors President Cecilia V. Estolano.

WGU Nevada Chancellor Spencer Stewart said this type of higher education model is the wave of the future. “This partnership is a significant step for California, and it’s an approach we expect more states to follow as the overall higher education sector looks to design more efficient pathways for students,” Stewart said. “By removing unnecessary barriers, this partnership will further enable individuals to earn quality higher education degrees in high-demand career fields.”

A nonprofit university based in Salt Lake City, WGU offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in four high demand subject areas: teaching, business, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. All WGU students enroll as full time, and tuition is charged at a flat rate per six-month term, regardless of how many courses are attempted or completed. Tuition and fees total just more than $6,000 annually. Under the terms of this agreement, students transferring from a California community college will be offered a 5 percent tuition discount for up to four academic terms. In addition to the tuition discount, transfer students are eligible to apply for a Community College Partnership Scholarship totaling $2,000 and dispersed in $500 increments for up to four terms.

“Partnering with the California Community Colleges system will make it possible for more busy adults in California to complete their degrees affordably and without disrupting their lives,” said WGU President Scott D. Pulsipher. “This agreement will enhance WGU’s ability to deliver on our promise and mission: To change the lives of individuals and their families by expanding access to high quality programs that lead to recognized, respected credentials.”

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