Ludwig, M. (2011) Perry launches Texas online university, August 3

The State of Texas has created its own online university through a partnership with Western Governors’ University, a fully accredited online university.

The report states:

Unlike traditional universities that are based on accumulating credit hours, WGU students work at their own pace and move on when they have proven mastery of the subject matter. The average time to a bachelor’s degree is 2½ years, and the average cost is $15,000. The university enrolls 25,000 students nationwide, including 1,800 from Texas…..

Nationwide, about 75 percent of WGU students are low-income, minority, first-generation or rural students. Tuition is a flat fee of $5,780 per 12-month year, and students can take as many classes as they want. Advancement is based on tests and assignments that prove mastery of the material, and students either pass or fail, they do not receive grades. Many of the degrees, such as nursing and education, require practicum in the classroom or a clinical setting.

At WGU, technology does the teaching through videos and interactive lessons. Faculty members are available via email for discussion and questions, and assignments are marked by an anonymous grading pool. Most interaction with a “real human” is a mentor assigned to each student who acts as a personal coach.

Texas has effectively adopted WGU as part of its state higher education system. Indiana did the same in 2010.


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