SCC signs articulation agreement with WGU
Students attending Nebraska community colleges can add Western Governors University to the list of potential transfer schools after an agreement was signed Aug. 30.
Southeast Community College President Dr. Paul Illich joined Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, WGU President Scott Pulsipher and other representatives from the state’s two-year colleges for an articulation agreement signing ceremony in SCC’s Health Sciences Facility on the Lincoln Campus. Illich praised the arrangement.
“This is why we’re here, giving everyone access to the life-changing benefits of higher education,” he said. “None of us in higher education has ownership of learning. Learning happens everywhere. We need to make sure we’re being true collaborative partners.”
Representatives from Central, Northeast and Western community colleges also were in attendance. WGU’s agreement also includes Mid-Plains and Metro community colleges.
The event served as a renewal of a memorandum of understanding between WGU and the state of Nebraska initially signed 25 years ago when the state, and then Gov. Ben Nelson, helped create the University. Ricketts said the renewed partnership will help engage Nebraskans who are working adults and those with some college but no credential to complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees in high-demand fields.
Current WGU student Amanda Redler, seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education, and Brenda Soto, a WGU alumnus with a Master of Science degree in Health Leadership, also spoke during the ceremony, praising WGU for its flexibility and opportunities to numerous pathways.
“Today, more than 300,000 Nebraskans have some college, but no degree,” Pulsipher said. “This is untapped human potential that WGU was built to serve. Many of these individuals are from historically underserved populations such as rural residents, first-generation students, low-income, and people of color. They need a flexible, affordable path to opportunity. And Nebraska needs these individuals to have the right skills to drive their workforce and economy.”
Nebraska residents who choose to attend WGU are eligible to apply for the Nebraska Opportunity Grant, which awarded more than $21 million in 2020-21 to more than 13,000 students who attended the University of Nebraska, community colleges, independent schools, state colleges, or private career schools. The average grant was $1,609.
WGU also announced the launching of a new $200,000 WGU-Nebraska Partnership Scholarship.
Twenty-five years ago, 19 governors signed an MOU in Omaha that established Western Governors University as a nonprofit, online, competency-based university designed to serve working adult learners.
“What this agreement is all about is making sure there are many options for our students,” Illich said. “This will create a seamless articulation agreement with all of the community colleges and Western Governors University.”