More than 200 students a month enrolling in innovative, affordable member of the state’s higher education family
AUSTIN Just one year after the state established WGU Texas through a partnership with Western Governors University, the nonprofit, online university has grown to enrollment of more than 3,000 students, a 60 percent increase since its launch. WGU Texas was established on August 3, 2011, by Executive Order from Governor Rick Perry with bipartisan support of the Joint Legislative Committee on Oversight of Higher Education Chairs, Senator Judith Zaffirini and Representative Dan Branch.
WGU Texas is self-sufficient on tuition of less than $6,000 per year and receives no ongoing state funding. With more than 50 accredited master’s and bachelor’s degrees in the high-demand fields of business, health professions (including nursing), information technology, and K-12 teacher education, WGU Texas focuses on providing affordable, high-quality opportunities for working adults.
First-year milestones include:
Milliron, a nationally-recognized innovator and leader in higher education, was appointed chancellor in December. He formerly served as Deputy Director of Postsecondary Success for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Following his appointment, the university announced the formation of its inaugural WGU Texas State Advisory Board made up of key leaders, including:
“Texas was ripe for the model we’ve been able to bring to the family of higher education in the state,” says Milliron. “Our goal is to provide hard-working adults with more flexible, personalized learning experiences that are affordable, map to high-demand career fields, and maintain the highest quality standards.”
Part of WGU Texas’ growth stems from the successful Finish to Go Further program with Texas community colleges. Graduates of partner community colleges (Texas Association of Community Colleges member institutions) are currently eligible for tuition discounts, waived application fees, and the opportunity to apply for scholarships.
WGU Texas’ model is uniquerather than earning degrees based on time spent in class, students advance toward their credential by demonstrating competency. Students may progress as quickly as their knowledge and skills allow. Learning is individualized and guided by a team of highly-qualified, full-time faculty mentors who provide personalized, one-on-one support as well as subject matter expertise. Degree programs are rigorous and challenging, but allow flexibility to accommodate work and family obligations. Tuition is affordable at approximately $3,000 per six-month term for most degree programs, and federal financial aid is available. Students may apply at any time, and new six-month terms begin the first of every month.