Residents earn degrees

Published 1:16 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Western Governors University (WGU) held its 33rd semi-annual commencement ceremony at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on July 15 and celebrated the graduation of more than 10,000 graduates.

Residents receiving degrees include, Kathleen Jones, of Buckingham, who received her master of science degree in nursing leadership and management; Scott Warlitner, of Cumberland, who received his master of science degree in nursing education; Rose Payne, of Dillwyn, who received her master of science in nursing education degree; and Patricia Hill, of Jetersville, who received her master of science degree in nursing leadership and management.

At the commencement, the online, nonprofit university recognized 6,348 undergraduates and 4,140 graduates who have completed their degrees in business, information technology, K-12 teacher education and health care, including nursing.

Email newsletter signup

Clayton M. Christensen, the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and Founder of The Christensen Institute, delivered the commencement address and joined President Scott D. Pulsipher in honoring the more than 1,000 new alumni participating in the ceremony.

According to a press release, students who were not able to attend the ceremony in person were able to watch the event via live video stream on WGU’s website.

“WGU has made convenient and affordable higher education available to busy adults,” officials said in the release. “Demand for its competency-based programs can be seen in the year-over-year growth of WGU’s national impact.”

The release cited that 40 percent of this year’s graduates represent the first generation in their families to complete college.

“The average time to graduation for bachelor’s degrees was two years, three months and the average time to graduation for graduate programs was one year, eight months,” officials said in the release.

“Since WGU’s founding in 1997, the online, competency-based university has awarded more than 87,000 degrees; 20,000 of them in just the past year.”

According to the release, designed to meet the needs of working adults, WGU’s competency-based learning model makes it possible for students to fit studying into their busy lives.