WGU partnership beginsAug 1, 2022
Rockingham Community College has formed a partnership with WGU North Carolina, an affiliate of online nonprofit Western Governors University, enabling a seamless transfer of course credits for graduates to attend the online university.
RCC President Dr. Mark Kinlaw hosted WGU North Carolina Chancellor Dr. Ben Coulter on the RCC campus for a signing of the collaborative agreement on Thursday, July 14.
WGU will now provide to RCC graduates flexible, personalized learning pathways to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees through WGU. Going a step further, the agreement also extends to RCC employees, in support of workforce development and employee development goals.
“We are thrilled to partner with RCC to support a shared mission of expanding educational opportunities and enabling career pathways which serve the workforce needs of our communities, especially in rural settings, across North Carolina,” Coulter said.
WGU offers more than 60 accredited online degree programs in business, information technology, K-12 teacher education, and health professions – including nursing. These programs align perfectly with associate degrees RCC offers, so graduates will be able to transfer right into WGU to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
“One unique feature of WGU is the ability for students to accelerate program completion in our undergraduate and graduate degree offerings. Our programs are intentionally designed to be flexible, especially for adults who may be working, supporting a family, or have other life obligations. And as we are competency-based, students who demonstrate mastery of course content and assessment criteria can progress at their own pace,” Coulter said.
Tuition is approximately $3,800 for a six-month term currently, during which a student can take as many courses as they want.
“That means that whether a student completes eight courses or 20 during a term, the tuition doesn’t change – so the more courses a student finishes in a term, the quicker they finish, saving them money,” Coulter said.
That’s good news for RCC graduates, who already save a lot of money coming to the community college for their first two years.
In fact, RCC graduate Noah Dorsett is already enrolled at WGU. Dorsett, who holds an Associate in Applied Science degree and works on RCC’s Technology Support team as computer support and digital media specialist, is pursuing WGU’s Information Technology pathway.
“It’s wonderful to be able to continue my full-time employment and have a full online education where I can pursue certifications while still being able to gather experience in my professional environment as well,” Dorsett told Coulter.
WGU is a non-profit, fully accredited institution established in 1997. More than 135,000 students are enrolled nationwide, including more than 3,800 in North Carolina, and it boasts nearly 300,000 graduates across the country. WGU North Carolina was established in 2017.
“WGU was an early innovator at the dawn of online learning 25 years ago. During that time, we have established best practices and effective teaching methods meeting the needs of different communities of learners that may be underserved, low-income, or currently working but looking to upskill or having a change in careers,” Coulter said. “We are inclusive of all learners and have a level of portability and flexibility supporting attainment of high-quality, accredited degrees and certifications through the convenience of online learning.”
RCC graduates and employees are eligible to apply for the WGU Community College Partner Scholarship in the amount of $2,500, disbursed in increments of $625 per semester for up to four terms based on academic performance.
To find out more about WGU’s transfer pathways, visit https://partners.wgu.edu.
~By Gerri Hunt, RCC Director of Public Information