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White House Recognizes WGU's Innovative Approach To Job-Training

Online university lauded in new report for matching workers with the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st century

SEATTLE, Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Western Governors University (WGU) has been named to the White House's list of the most effective postsecondary job training programs in the nation.

Vice President Joe Biden recently released the Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity report. The report praised WGU for its use of competency-based education – a model that helps students gain the skills employers need – as well as outperforming the national average time to graduation and delivering superior post-graduation outcomes.

WGU Washington is the Seattle-based affiliate of WGU. WGU Washington utilizes the same model lauded in the White House report and is the only state-endorsed, online university in Washington. More students in the WGU system live in Washington than any other state.

"Education, particularly for working adults, is vital to our forward movement," said WGU Washington Chancellor Jean Floten. "We're honored the White House has recognized the important work WGU is doing, especially here in Washington state, to keep our workforce strong and our graduates successful."

According to the White House report, "WGU students experienced an average increase in income of $9,000 in the first one to three years after graduation, and an average increase of $18,600 within six years of graduation, significantly higher than the national average. With an average cost of $18,000 for a bachelor's degree, the return on investment of a WGU degree is 2-3 years."

This report was published in conjunction with the signing of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and is part of a larger initiative to train American workers with the skills and knowledge needed to keep the workforce strong.

The White House's recognition of WGU comes just weeks after the university's secondary teacher preparation program was named number one out of 2,400 schools evaluated by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ).  The recent report's recognition of WGU marks the second time the White House has commended WGU's unique model – last August, President Obama cited WGU as an example of innovation and affordability in higher education. The effectiveness of WGU's competency-based education model, which allows students to accelerate through their degree programs, plays a major role in the university's success. It is expected that, with the unanimous approval of the Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act of 2014  in the House of Representatives, universities across the nation will begin adopting the model.

About WGU Washington

WGU Washington was established by the State Legislature in 2011 in partnership with nationally recognized and accredited Western Governors University to expand access to higher education for Washington residents.

The state-endorsed, online university offers more than 50 bachelor's and master's degree programs in Business, Information Technology, Teacher Education and Health Professions, including Nursing. WGU Washington's competency-based learning model is designed to meet the needs of working adults by providing an affordable, flexible option for earning an accredited, respected college degree. It's non-profit and receives no money from the state.

Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is regionally accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Teachers College programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE*).

The university has earned the support of more than 20 leading corporations and foundations. They include institutions such as AT&T, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lilly Endowment, Hewlett-Packard, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle and SunGard Higher Education.

* One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 5380, Washington DC 20036, 202-877-6791

Follow WGU Washington:

Contact for media inquiries:
Jake Riddell – Public Relations Manager
(206) 512-0025
[email protected]

Contact for enrollment information:



SOURCE WGU Washington

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