BALTIMORE, 12 January –Western Governors University (WGU) and StraighterLine, recognized leaders in making quality higher education accessible to busy adults, have enhanced their partnership to make the path to a degree even more straightforward and affordable. In addition to easy transfer of approved gen-ed college courses from StraighterLine to WGU, students are eligible for discounts and scholarships that make WGU’s already low tuition even more affordable.
For busy adults looking to earn a college degree while balancing family and work, time and financial commitments can be daunting. The online, competency-based courses and programs offered by Straighterline and WGU allow students to study and learn on their own schedules and move at a pace that fits their lives and at a price that is about half the cost of most other online schools. Students can start their studies at StraighterLine, which offers ACE College Credit Service-approved general education courses for just $99 a month, with courses starting as low as $49, and then transfer seamlessly to WGU. WGU tuition is charged at a flat-rate of just $3,000 per six-month term, regardless of the number of courses.
“StraighterLine’s courses are a great option for adults considering online degree programs like those offered at WGU,” said Daren Upham, WGU’s Vice President of Admissions and Enrollment. In addition to being able to complete some general education courses very affordably, it’s a great, low-risk way to find out if online learning is a good fit for them.”
The StraighterLine/WGU partnership has already benefitted many students. According to transfer records over the past 3 years, 90 percent of students who transferred StraighterLine courses to WGU have completed their degrees or are still enrolled. And, students who transfer four or more courses from StraighterLine are eligible to receive a scholarship with tuition credits of up to $2,000 at WGU.
Says Burck Smith, StraighterLine’s founder and CEO, “college prices have skyrocketed, family finances have deteriorated and a degree is required by ever more employers. StraighterLine’s college savings network was built to solve this.”
Competency-Based Education for Busy Adults
Competency-based learning is focused on measuring learning rather than time spent in class. Ideal for busy adults, this innovative learning model allows students to study and learn on their schedules, advancing as soon as they demonstrate mastery of course materials. Students can apply prior education and experience to accelerate their studies, moving quickly through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn. As a result, many students accelerate their time to a degree, saving both time and money. The average time to complete a bachelor’s degree at WGU is less than three years.
The Importance of General Education Courses
Nationally, general education courses – the introductory courses that college students take in their freshman and sophomore years – represent about 1/3 of all course enrollments. Further, the successful completion of one or more general education courses is a strong signal that a student will persist to a degree. For WGU, StraighterLine is a terrific solution for students who need prerequisite courses prior to enrollment, are worried about going back to college or may need to try the online medium before enrolling directly. By starting with StraighterLine, students who enroll at WGU are far more likely to successfully complete their degrees. And because WGU charges tuition based on time spent to complete a degree rather than per course or per credit hour, enrolling in WGU with transfer credits from StraighterLine can also mean saving money and graduating with less debt – or none at all.
How does it work?
Thanks to a specific course-to-course articulation agreement between WGU and StraighterLine, students starting with StraighterLine know in advance how their credits will fit into WGU’s degree pathways. Further, students who successfully complete four or more StraighterLine courses are eligible for a scholarship of $500 per six-month term, renewable for up to four terms and $2,000.
Established in 1997 by a bipartisan group of U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, WGU has been recognized by the White House as what works in post-secondary education. The online university, which is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has more than 50,000 students and 40,000 graduates in all 50 states. WGU was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies for 2013 and featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. In 2014, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) recognized WGU for having the number one secondary teacher education program in the U.S.
WGU 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.
StraighterLine solves the number one issue facing students today – the skyrocketing cost of college – with high quality online courses that prepare students for success. StraighterLine combines a $99 a month college course subscription with guaranteed credit pathways to accredited degree programs to save up to 60 percent on the total cost of a degree. More than 10,000 students got started with StraighterLine last year.
StraighterLine takes the worry out of transfer with a College Savings Network of nearly 100 accredited colleges that guarantee credit acceptance of StraighterLine courses.
Having also been evaluated and recommended by the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT), StraighterLine courses will also be considered by more than 2,000 other colleges and universities for transfer to their degree programs upon request.
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