Western Governor’s University helps local college compete for returning students

posted on Monday, Aug 22 2011

In a growing competitive educational market, brick-and-mortar institutions are trying to compete against each other and new fully online schools. As more people return to college, classrooms are becoming crowded and physical resources are often limited. Online programs can allow campus administrators to effectively serve more students and compete with the large number of campus-based universities.

The Post and Courier reports that Washington’s state universities are helping run a nonprofit online school called Western Governors University Washington (WGUW). The virtual school serves students who are looking for internet-based education and helps the state compete with virtual universities.

"Access to education is going to become the number one issue in the U.S.," Jean Floten, chancellor of WGUW, told the news source. "We’re going to have to figure out how to get more people through our system and our pipeline to be competitive."

At WGUW, students can enroll in 50 different programs, including an online master‘s degree course of study in nursing. The school is targeting students who are looking for the convenience of internet-based coursework and working professionals who want to advance their careers without quitting their current jobs to do so.

The ability for public universities to compete is vital to their financial futures. According to Inside Higher Education, 75 percent of public institutions said online learning was the number one way they could increase revenue and cut costs.

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