INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- On Saturday, more than 800 graduates from 36 states and Canada will receive their diplomas at Western Governors University's (WGU) 69th commencement in Indianapolis, Indiana. The commencement ceremony, which will include both master's and bachelor's graduates, begins at 9:30 a.m. EDT at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. For those graduates, faculty, and staff who are unable to attend the ceremony in person, the entire program will be streamed live at: https://www.wgu.edu/about/students-graduates/commencement.html.
Dion Brown, one of two graduates speaking at the commencement, will share his story of obtaining his degree while serving as an active duty member of the United States Air Force. A second-generation graduate from Las Vegas, Nevada, Brown was referred to WGU by his father who earned multiple degrees from the school. Following in his father's footsteps, Brown, who earned his B.S. in Business – Information Technology Management, plans to continue his education at WGU and pursue a master's degree in IT.
Pete Yonkman, president of Cook Group and Cook Medical in Bloomington, Indiana, will give the commencement address. Yonkman is actively involved in community issues, including adult education, workforce development, fostering start-ups, and creating a business culture that supports entrepreneurs. In addition to Brown, Yonkman will also be joined by Michelle Shaffer, from Carmel, Indiana, who will receive her M.S. in Nursing – Education.
At the ceremony, WGU will recognize the 14,116 undergraduate and 10,687 graduate degree recipients who completed their degrees since January of this year, including 1,307 from the state of Indiana. Areas of study included 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, 4 months, while the average time for graduate programs was 1 year, 8 months. The average age for those graduating is 39 years old.
WGU pioneered competency-based education, which measures learning rather than time spent in class. Designed to meet the needs of working adults, students 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 money.
Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 106,000 students nationwide and has more than 122,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation's leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just 21 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today's rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies, and was featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at www.wgu.edu.
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SOURCE Western Governors University