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The following local residents have earned a degree from Western Governors University (WGU). The online, nonprofit university has graduated over 190,000 students from across the country since its inception in 1997.

n Casey Smith of Franklin, Idaho (83237) received a Bachelor of Science, Business Management

n Kevin Wells of Georgetown, Idaho (83239) received a Master of Science, Educational Leadership

n Pamela Higley of Montpelier, Idaho (83254) received a Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8)

n Tristian Bush of Montpelier, Idaho (83254) received a Bachelor of Science, Business Management

n Karen Dickson of Preston, Idaho (83263) received a Bachelor of Science, Nursing

n Lillian Panter of Preston, Idaho (83263) received a Bachelor of Science, Accounting

n Tara Chase of Preston, Idaho (83263) received a Master of Arts, Mathematics Education (K-6)

n Joshua Mazza of Soda Springs, Idaho (83276) received a Bachelor of Science, Business Management

n Sara Hirschi of Soda Springs, Idaho (83276) received a Bachelor of Science, Accounting

WGU has recognized 7,734 undergraduate and 5,254 graduate degree recipients who have completed their degrees since April 1, 2020. Their areas of study include 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, 3 months, while the average time to degree for graduate programs was 1 year, 5 months. The average age for those who graduated is 37 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. This model has also served students especially well amid the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing them to continue their programs successfully.

About WGU: 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 123,000 students nationwide and has more than 190,000 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 23 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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