SALT LAKE CITY -- Stephanie Caldwell of Quaker City has received her Bachelor of Arts in Special Education from Western Governors University (WGU). The university held its 33rd semi-annual commencement ceremony at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City on July 15 and celebrated the graduation of more than 10,000 graduates.
At the commencement, the online, nonprofit university recognized 6,348 undergraduates and 4,140 graduates who have completed their degrees in business, information technology, K-12 teacher education, and healthcare, including nursing. Clayton M. Christensen, the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and Founder of The Christensen Institute, delivered the commencement address, and joined President Scott D. Pulsipher in honoring the more than 1,000 new alumni participating in the ceremony. Students who were not able to attend the ceremony in person were able to watch the event via live video stream on WGU's website.
WGU has made convenient and affordable higher education available to busy adults. Demand for its competency-based programs can be seen in the year-over-year growth of WGU's national impact. Forty percent of this year's graduates represent the first generation in their family to complete college. The average time to graduation for bachelor's degrees was two years, three months and the average time to graduation for graduate programs was one year, eight months.
Since WGU's founding in 1997, the online, competency-based university has awarded more than 87,000 degrees; 20,000 of them in just the past year.
Designed to meet the needs of working adults, WGU's competency-based learning model makes it possible for students to fit studying into their busy lives. Students complete courses as soon as they demonstrate that they have mastered the subject matter, enabling them to move quickly through material they already know and spend more time on focusing on what they still need to learn. As a result, many students are able to accelerate their studies, finishing faster and saving money.