Updated 11/01/2010 01:00 PM
Nonprofit Online University Offers Options For Busy People
A university founded by governors from acros the United States helps people with limited time and funds achieve their career goals. NY1's Employment reporter Asa Aarons filed the following report.
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Thousands of people hope to walk from the shadows of unemployment to a new career.
Many can achieve their career vision thanks to the collective idea of 19 U.S. governors.
In the mid 1990s, the state leaders responded to the growing needs of a workforce longing for higher education but short on the time and money it takes to get one. As a result, Western Governors University was born.
"The university opened about 14 years ago, and currently has about 14,000 students," says Philip Schmidt, associate provost of Western Governor's University. "We are a competency-based university. The emphasis is on how much you know about a subject, not the amount of seat time you put in a classroom."
The university is fully accredited, so the degree is recognized. It is totally online. From the start, the governors realized the benefits of distance learning for the modern professional. It is nonprofit, which sets it apart from many other traditional and online universities.
Those three things make WGU very attractive to people trying to earn a degree and support a family.
"What I wanted to do is to graduate from an MBA program, but it was practically impossible because of the constraints of time and money. WGU came out as the first choice," says Ciprian Purutiu.
The university also provides study for the training certificates that help make a modern career.
Michael Wyatt earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology through Western Governors.
"I was under time constraints, and most IT professionals will understand that, and so it just seemed like the answer to me," Wyatt says.
The competency-based learning style is not a free ride. Students say the degrees take plenty of energy and effort to achieve. However, for those trying to advance, reinvent, or jumpstart their careers, the university might be worth a look.
"These are working adults, typically paying for their own education, typically they have a family," says Schmidt.
Learn more about Western Governors University at www.wgu.edu.
If you have an employment story, a job, a new interview technique, or something you want to share with those looking for work or those doing the hiring, contact Asa Aarons at email@example.com.