Online, competency-based university has awarded nearly 1,500 degrees since inception in 2015
LAS VEGAS - WGU Nevada will celebrate its second commencement by honoring nearly 400 graduates from around the state on Saturday, May 20 at The Smith Center. With a diverse student population, the online, nonprofit university is turning out graduates to meet the higher demand of skilled workforce jobs in the Silver State. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m.
Representative Ruben Kihuen of Nevada’s 4th congressional district, will give the commencement address. Joining him on stage will be four of the graduates who will share their stories at the ceremony: Carrie Brown, M.S. in Management and Leadership from Sparks; Logan McDaniel, B.S. Business Management from Henderson; Samantha Brady, M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Las Vegas; and Cae Swanger, MBA in Healthcare Management from Henderson.
McDaniel has tackled many obstacles prior to earning his college degree from WGU Nevada. Among the challenges were the death of his young son, a divorce, career changes, and moves to several states. However, with the support of his wife and young children, even this adversity did not stop him from achieving his dream of earning a bachelor’s degree in business management.
“An online education through WGU takes a lot of work and a lot of dedication. It takes the ability to focus yourself, to manage your time, and to kick yourself in the rear when you are losing sight of the light at the end of the tunnel,” McDaniel said. “But there is light at the end of the tunnel, and in my opinion it is one of the most rewarding accomplishments we can challenge ourselves with. Meeting this higher educational goal has also helped me achieve greater things in the IT industry.”
Of the nearly 400 graduates that will be honored during Saturday’s ceremony, 132 are from the College of Business, 113 are from the College of Health Professions, 112 are from the Teacher’s College, and 38 are from the College of Information Technology.
“As the state-endorsed online university, WGU Nevada is helping working adults earn the respected degrees they need to advance their careers and succeed in the workplace,” said Chancellor Spencer Stewart of WGU Nevada. “We know that education has the power to change the lives of individuals, families, and communities.”
Kihuen added: “WGU Nevada is helping build the next generation of future leaders in our state. I am so proud of the graduates, staff, and faculty for working towards making Nevada a better place. Nevada needs leaders capable of moving our state forward and working to solve the emerging challenges of today's world. The hard work of these students - some with full time jobs and families - will not go unnoticed. Because of WGU Nevada, these students are prepared for long-term success and will help diversify our workforce.”
Recently, Gallup released the results of a new study that compares the satisfaction and overall well-being of Western Governors University (WGU) graduates with graduates from other institutions in the United States. For the third year, the results demonstrate that WGU graduates are more likely to have the jobs they want, feel engaged at work, and have an emotional attachment to the university.
About WGU Nevada
WGU Nevada is an online, nonprofit, competency-based university established to expand Nevadans’ access to higher education throughout the state. Formed through a partnership between the state of Nevada and nationally recognized Western Governors University, WGU Nevada is open to all qualified Nevada residents. The university offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the high-demand career fields of business, K–12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). WGU’s Teachers College programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and its nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)*.
In addition to WGU Nevada, there are five other WGU state-based, state-endorsed universities: WGU Indiana, established in June 2010; WGU Washington, established in April 2011; WGU Texas, established in August 2011; WGU Missouri, established in February 2013; and WGU Tennessee, established in July 2013. For more information, visit the WGU Nevada website, www.nevada.wgu.edu, or call 877-214-7005.