SALT LAKE CITY -- The following local residents have earned a degree from Western Governors University (WGU). The online, nonprofit university held its 67th (Austin, Texas), 68th (Washington, DC), 69th (Indianapolis, Indiana), and 70th (Orlando, Florida) commencement ceremonies last fall and earlier this year to celebrate the recent graduation of nearly 22,000 students from across the country.

* Kody Skinner of Barnesville has earned his Master of Science, Educational Leadership (ST)

* Brooke Peters of Bellaire has earned her Master of Science, Curriculum and Instruction

* Scott Jones of Shadyside has earned his Master of Science, Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

WGU has recognized 12,920 undergraduate and 8,885 graduate degree recipients, who have completed their degrees since June 1, 2018. Their areas of study include business, K-12 education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. The average time to graduation for those earning a bachelor's degree was 2 years, 5 months, while the average time to degree for graduate programs was 1 year, 7 months. The average age for those who graduated is 38 years old.

WGU pioneered competency-based education, which measures learning rather than time spent in class. Designed to meet the needs of working adults, competency-based education enables students to study and learn on their own schedules with individualized, one-to-one faculty support. They complete courses as soon as they demonstrate that they have mastered the subject matter, allowing them to move quickly through material they already know so they can allocate time for what they still need to learn. As a result, many WGU students are able to accelerate their studies, saving both time and - under WGU's flat-rate tuition model - money.