Local residents earn degrees from WGU

Four Moab-area residents have earned degrees from Western Governors University, according to a press release from the school. They include Deb Holling of Castle Valley who has earned her Master of Business Administration; Gayle Audenried of Moab who has earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing; Jessica Johnson of Moab who has earned her Master of Business Administration; and Julie Albina of Moab who has earned her Master of Science in nursing and also leadership and management.

WGU has recognized 12,920 undergraduate and 8,885 graduate degree recipients, who have completed their degrees since June 1, 2018. Their areas of study include business, K-12 education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. The average time to graduation for those earning a bachelor’s degree was two years, five months, while the average time to degree for graduate programs was one year, seven months. The average age for those who graduated is 38 years old.

According to a statement in the press release, “WGU pioneered competency-based education, which measures learning rather than time spent in class. Designed to meet the needs of working adults, competency-based education enables students to study and learn on their own schedules with individualized, one-to-one faculty support. They complete courses as soon as they demonstrate that they have mastered the subject matter, allowing them to move quickly through material they already know so they can allocate time for what they still need to learn. As a result, many WGU students are able to accelerate their studies, saving both time and – under WGU’s flat-rate tuition model – money.”

WGU was established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to higher education. WGU now serves more than 114,000 students nationwide and has more than 136,000 graduates in all 50 states. “Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education,” said the press release. “In just 21 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy.” WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and was featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times.