WGU Tennessee Chancellor Kimberly Estep
KINGSPORT — Since WGU Tennessee was launched in July 2013, the number of Tennesseans in the online Western Governors University program has grown from about 600 to almost 1,000.
WGU Tennessee Chancellor Kimberly Estep said this is a step in the right direction for a goal of having 5,000 active WGU students, which as a group are an average of 37 years old and generally have families and full-time jobs.
“Our goal is for 5,000 students in five years,” Estep said, adding that WGU Tennessee has about 700 alumni.
Estep said the WGU growth, in turn, will help propel Gov. Bill Haslam’s Drive to 55 program, an effort to have 55 percent of Tennesseans with a certificate or at least two-year degree by 2025. That number is 32 percent now.
She said the typical WGU Tennessee student gets a four-year degree in 35 months, just shy of three years, with master’s programs taking less time.
“Everybody does online now,” Estep said. “What makes us different is the competency-based education.”
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