WGU Ohio Expands Access to Higher Education

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Higher Education today announced  a new partnership that establishes WGU Ohio, an online, competency-based university created to expand access to higher education.

WGU Ohio was created through an agreement between the state and Western Governors University. The nonprofit offers  bachelor and master degrees in four high-demand fields critical to the state’s economy: business, teacher education, information technology and health professions.

WGU Ohio will be self-sustaining through tuition revenue and will receive no state funding, says John Carey, Ohio chancellor of higher education.

Carey joined business and education leaders as well WGU President Scott Pulsipher and newly appointed chancellor Rebecca Watts, at the Ohio Statehouse today to announce the partnership.

Watts, who previously served as associate vice chancellor at the Ohio Department of Higher Education, will lead WGU Ohio. She will be supported by an advisory board that will include business, community and education leaders from across the state.  

WGU Ohio has 2,200 enrolled students and 2,700 graduates, including Crystal Stewart of Cleveland, who recently earned her master’s degree in nursing.

“As a first-generation college graduate, I’m showing my daughter that with hard work and a good education anything is possible,” Stewart said in a statement. “My degree from WGU continues to open doors for me and today I proudly serve as director of nursing at a care and rehab center.”  

All WGU Ohio programs are competency-based, a learning model that focuses on measuring student learning rather than class time. Ideal for busy adults, it allows students to study and learn on their own schedules, moving quickly through what they already know so they can focus on what they need to learn. They have 24/7 access to learning resources and regular individualized faculty support, advancing as soon as they demonstrate mastery of course materials by writing papers, making presentations, and passing exams.

For many students, WGU’s learning model makes it possible to complete a degree faster—the average time to complete a bachelor’s degree is less than three years.

Tuition is charged at a flat rate of less than $6,500 per year for most bachelor degree programs and about $7,500 per year for most master’s programs, regardless of the number of courses taken. Students may begin their terms on the first day of any month.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.