Burgum: Western Governors University and North Dakota Community Colleges form partnership – Natural Self Esteem

BISMARCK, ND Western Governors University (WGU) and the five community colleges within the North Dakota University System have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will offer their graduates and staff an affordable path to earning their bachelor’s or master’s degrees at WGU.

Additionally, under the terms of the agreement, those enrolling in any of the online nonprofit university’s 60+ undergraduate and graduate programs in business, IT, K-12 teacher training, or healthcare professions — including nursing — are now eligible to apply Apply for scholarships offered by the university Community College Partners Scholarship Program.

Graduates from Bismarck State College, Dakota College at Bottineau, Lake Region State College, North Dakota State College of Science and Williston State College can seamlessly transfer their credits to WGU. The university offers North Dakota Community College graduates and staff a competency-based approach to learning that allows them to use their prior education, training, and experience to quickly move through material they are already familiar with so they can focus on what they are doing still have to learn. Students complete their programs by learning on schedules that fit their lives and progressing as they demonstrate mastery of the subject. While WGU’s degree programs are rigorous and challenging, competency-based learning allows students to accelerate their progress and graduate faster, saving both time and money.

“The partnership provides students with additional opportunities beyond the more than 300 online graduate and undergraduate programs currently offered by the institutions of the North Dakota University System,” said NDUS Chancellor Mark Hagerott.

The letter of intent between the five presidents of North Dakota Community Colleges and WGU was first announced during Gov. Doug Burgum’s 2022 state-of-the-state address. During his remarks, Burgum highlighted the state’s recent efforts to address the challenges of the North Dakota workforce and to grow and diversify the economy, underscoring the critical need to provide residents with access to quality education to prepare them for desirable careers . While North Dakota signed the original charter for WGU 25 years ago, led by the then governor. Ed Schafer, Burgum, emphasized that the state looks forward to reinvigorating its partnership with WGU to improve educational opportunities for students of all ages and backgrounds.

“In North Dakota, we are focused on ensuring that every resident can thrive and achieve their full potential in the 21st Century economy. To be successful, we must better align our curriculum with the needs of North Dakota businesses. This new partnership with Western Governors University will provide North Dakoto residents with seamless access to one of the most innovative higher education institutions in the nation to continue their education while pursuing their career goals and opportunities,” said Burgum.

Under the terms of the agreement, students transferring from the North Dakota Community College system to WGU can also take advantage of scholarships to make tuition even more affordable. the Community College Partners Scholarship has a value of up to $2,500 and is applied to WGU’s already low flat fees of about $3,800 per semester. Scholarship recipients receive a $625 tuition credit each semester, which is renewable for up to four semesters based on academic performance. Applicants who do not have access to affordable high-speed internet can also apply for this WGU Online Access Grant, which covers the costs for the Internet installation and monthly access for the duration of the active and blameless WGU students. The program also provides equipment to needy students.

“We are pleased to offer continuing education opportunities to the graduates and staff of North Dakota Community Colleges,” said Dr. Angie Besendorfer, Western Governors University Regional Vice President. “WGU appreciates the important role that community colleges play in upskilling the workforce and is excited to provide pathways to higher education and career advancement for North Dakota residents.”

For more information on the partnership between WGU and North Dakota Community Colleges, visit visit www.wgu.edu/ndcc.

About WGU

The nonprofit WGU was founded in 1997 by 19 US governors with a mission to expand access to quality, affordable higher education. Today, it serves more than 131,000 students nationwide and has more than 257,000 graduates in all 50 states. As the nation’s leading competency-based university that drives innovation, WGU has been recognized by the White House, heads of state, employers and students as a model that works in post-secondary education. In just 25 years, the university has grown to be a leading influencer in transforming 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 has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN and the New York Times. Learn more at www.wgu.edu.

About the North Dakota Community Colleges

The North Dakota University System is a unified higher education system administered by the State Board of Higher Education. Established in 1990, the system includes two research universities, four regional universities and five community colleges. The mission of the State Board of Higher Education and the Chancellor of the North Dakota University System is to unlock the potential of higher education in the state to improve the quality of life and the social and economic vitality of all who serve the public colleges and universities.

Leave a Comment