Western Governors University Ohio (WGU Ohio) is an accredited nonprofit competency based online university that offers over 60 undergraduate and graduate degrees in the following colleges: business, teachers, IT, and health professions. WGU students follow a competency-based model of higher education that allows them to earn a college degree by mastering subjects and skills rather than logging seat time by attending in-person classes and lectures. Students don’t have to log on at a specific time. They can complete their programs by studying when it fits into their daily routines. This means that WGU students can continue to go to work, care for their families, and still earn a degree.

“Education should not be a cookie-cutter approach,” says Dr. K. L. Allen, chancellor of WGU Ohio. “We create an avenue where students can obtain a degree at their pace.”

Many adult learners have work and family obligations, but they also have considerable life experience. Armed with a degree from WGU Ohio, they have the skills and credentials necessary to make great contributions in their jobs and their communities.

“I’m a real believer that we have to have our dreams realized,” Dr. Allen says. “It makes our community and our society better. Taking one step outside of your comfort zone pushes you into a learning zone.”

If Ohio’s economy is going to bridge its skills gap and recover competitively from the disruptions of 2020, employers must be able to recruit more workers with the high-level skills and education that today’s careers require. And they’ll need those workers quickly.

Competency-based education closes the skills gap and helps busy working adults pursue rewarding, in-demand careers in health care, nursing, business, teaching and information technology. In addition to learning from instructors who are skilled at online teaching, each WGU Ohio student is assigned a dedicated advisor to motivate and mentor them throughout the process.

In 2020, WGU Ohio saw a 13% surge in enrollment. Today, more than 4,400 students are enrolled in bachelor’s and master’s degree programs at WGU Ohio.

“Education has no age boundaries,” says Dr. Allen, noting that the average age of a WGU Ohio student is 37. “We are always learning, whether informally or formally. That’s how we evolve.”