Western Governors University (WGU) has been recognized for exemplary support of adult learners and for advancing undergraduate student success through the adoption of digital coursework. The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) has named WGU the recipient of its 2017 Institutional Service Award, and the university has earned the Online Learning Consortium’s Digital Learning Innovation Award.
“These two awards recognize the outstanding support that WGU Indiana’s innovative, online competency-based education model offers students,” said WGU Indiana Chancellor Allison Barber. “Success in online education, especially among adult learners, is crucial to the state’s economy and its workforce pipeline.”
The CAEL award recognizes institutions that have provided outstanding programs and services for adult learners. WGU Indiana’s online learning model is ideal for busy adults, allowing them to study and learn on a schedule that fits their lives. Students work through course materials with consistent, one-on-one faculty support, advancing as soon as they demonstrate mastery of the subject matter. The average time it takes to complete a bachelor’s degree at WGU Indiana is less than three years.
In addition, the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) cited WGU among the winners of its Digital Learning Innovation Award. One of three institutions and 10 faculty-led teams to receive the award among 60 submissions, WGU was hailed for improving student outcomes by implementing a specialized course that focused entirely on the affective domain of learning, which is highly correlated with greater academic and career success. The project was implemented in the College of Health Professions with more than 10,000 nursing students taking the specialized course, which was the result of a decade of research and independent evaluation. Afterward, more than 76 percent of the students reported more motivation to graduate and subsequently have completed more challenging courses and are progressing academically at higher rates.
The 2017 Digital Learning awards were presented to honorees by Stacey VanderHeiden Güney, director of the Digital Learning Solution Network, during the OLC Accelerate conference in Orlando on Nov. 16. That same day, WGU President Scott Pulsipher accepted the 2017 Institutional Service Award at the CAEL Awards luncheon in Cleveland.
WGU Indiana offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate online degree programs in business, education, information technology and healthcare, including nursing. The non-profit university’s competency-based model allows students to accelerate through coursework at their own pace.
According to a 2016 Harris Poll, 95 percent of WGU graduates are employed, 87 percent of them in their degree field. According to a 2016 Gallup study, WGU graduates are more likely than graduates from other U.S. universities to have the jobs they want, feel engaged at work and have an emotional attachment to their alma mater. In 2012, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education recognized WGU Indiana for its contributions to the Commission’s “Reaching Higher, Achieving More” agenda for excellence in academic quality.
In 2017, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) again named WGU’s secondary teacher preparation program among the best in the nation for quality, ranking WGU in the top seven among 2,400 schools.
WGU Indiana has helped more than 5,000 Hoosiers achieve their dream of completing a college degree. Another 5,000 students are currently enrolled. For information about WGU Indiana’s degrees and scholarships, visit indiana.wgu.edu.