Western Governors University, Ohio Community Colleges Collaborate to Meet Needs of Adult Students

November 21, 2016

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A partnership between Western Governors University (WGU) and the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC) will extend online, competency-based learning opportunities to all Ohio community college graduates.

The agreement announced in October allows the graduates, as well as community college employees, to seamlessly transfer their coursework to WGU while also receiving a tuition discount at the accredited, nonprofit online university. It includes a transfer option for OACC colleges’ nursing graduates.

WGU was established in 1997 by 19 governors who sought to expand access to affordable higher education. As of October, WGU served more than 72,000 students in all 50 states and had 1,456 students in Ohio, Cleveland.com reported in a story about the collaboration.

“The needs of adult college students are different than those attending straight out of high school. Ohio’s community colleges understand that because we have adult students in our classroom every day. Those students need the option of having different and flexible pathways if we want more of them to finish their bachelor’s degree,” OACC President Jack Hershey said in a statement.

Hershey noted that, “By partnering with an online, competency-based university, Ohio community colleges are once again responding to a call from Governor John Kasich and doing our part to help increase the number of Ohioans who will obtain a bachelor’s degree and advance in the workforce.”

At a Glance:

ACE Member Institution: Western Governors University (WGU)

Initiative: Partnership with the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC) (A number of Ohio community colleges also are ACE members.)

Under This Initiative, WGU Agrees to:

  • Offer Ohio community colleges’ graduates and staff a five percent 5 percent tuition discount. Graduates and staff of OACC colleges will also be eligible to apply for scholarships of up to $2,000 offered through the WGU Institutional Partner Fund.
  • Prepare seamless associate degree to bachelor degree articulation agreements for all related degree programs in education, business, information technology and health professions.
  • Create a 3+1 transfer option for OACC colleges’ nursing graduates who possess an Ohio RN license and are employed as a nurse.
  • Work with OACC colleges to develop a reverse transfer program.

Become a member: As a member of ACE, you join nearly 1,800 organizations that collectively promote, protect and advocate for students, faculty and administrators in higher education. ACE is the most visible and influential higher education association in the nation, and we are at the center of federal policy debates concerning legislation that affects campuses across the country. See more on the ACE website.

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