Western Governors University to Honor More than 5,000 Graduates at Semi-Annual Commencement - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Western Governors University to Honor More than 5,000 Graduates at Semi-Annual Commencement

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SOURCE Western Governors University

ATLANTA, Feb. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Western Governors University (WGU), www.wgu.edu, will host its 26th semi-annual commencement on Saturday, February 8 at the Georgia World Congress in Atlanta, at 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time. The graduating class includes 5,585 bachelor's and master's graduates, helping the university surpass its milestone of more than 30,000 graduates since the nonprofit university enrolled its first student in 1999. More than 500 graduates and more than 3,500 family members, friends, faculty, and staff are expected to attend the event, traveling to Atlanta from at least 46 states. While WGU students complete their degree program requirements online, WGU holds in-person commencement ceremonies twice per year. Students who are unable to attend the ceremony in person can watch via a live stream on the WGU website.

Frank Alvarez, former CEO and president of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, will give the commencement address. Four speakers will share their WGU stories at the ceremony: Crystal Howard, MSN-Leadership and Management, from Zuni, New Mexico; Merit Sowards, B.S. Health informatics, from Bradenton, Florida; Marvin Perkins, B.S. Business Management, from Santa Clarita, California; and Tracy Anderson, B.A. Special Education, from Petersburg, Virginia.

WGU will confer 3,306 undergraduate and 2,279 graduate degrees in four disciplines: business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. WGU's online, competency-based model makes college possible for busy adults who must balance work, family, and financial obligations. It allows them to set their own study schedules and move quickly through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn. As a result, many students are able to accelerate their studies-the average time to complete a bachelor's degree is less than three years.

For more information about WGU's 26th semi-annual commencement, or to watch the event live, go to http://www.wgu.edu/wgu/commencement_winter2014

About Western Governors University

Recognized by President Obama as an innovative university that "awards credits based on learning, not seat time," Western Governors University is the only university in the U.S. offering accredited, competency-based bachelor's and master's degree programs at scale. Named one of  Fast Company's "Most Innovative Companies for 2013," WGU has been featured on NPR's "All Things Considered," NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, CNN's "Schools of Thought," and in The New York Times.

WGU was established in 1997 by a bipartisan group of U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education. Today, WGU enrolls more than 43,000 students in all 50 states and has more than 30,000 graduates nationwide. The university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Western Governors University has partnered with five states to establish state-based universities aimed at adding affordable capacity to state higher education systems. WGU Indiana, WGU Missouri, WGU Tennessee, WGU Texas, and WGU Washington are key elements in their states' strategies for increasing the percentage of adults with bachelor's or master's degrees. These state-endorsed universities offer degree programs that are accredited through WGU.

The university has earned the support of more than 20 leading corporations and foundations, including AT&T, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lilly Endowment, HCA, Hewlett-Packard, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle, SunGard Higher Education, and Zions Bank. More information is available at www.wgu.edu or by calling 866.225.5948.

Contact for media inquiries:  
Joan Mitchell – VP of Public Relations
801-428-5463 
jmitchell@wgu.edu

Contact for enrollment information:
866-225-5948 

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