Gov. Nixon's State of the State Address

Governor Nixon Announces His Intent to Establish WGU Missouri

In his January 28 State of the State Address, Governor Nixon announced his intention to establish WGU Missouri in partnership with Western Governors University. Western Governors University looks forward to expanding access to higher education for Missouri residents.

"Now, we've made it our mission to help more high school students graduate, go to college, complete their degrees and enter the workforce. That's the traditional path. And I'm glad more students are taking it. But there are nearly 750,000 Missourians who started college but never completed their degrees. They left school, got jobs, started families, moved on with their lives. At this point, some of these folks may feel that going back to college is too expensive, or too hard to juggle with work and raising kids.

I want to change that and help these adult students finish the degrees they started years ago, so they can get better jobs and meet their full earning potential. This year, we'll do more to help these adult students finish their degrees online, from an accredited university that's putting down new roots in Missouri. Let me tell you about its history.

In 1995, 19 governors came together to provide a realistic option to help adult students complete their degrees at an affordable price. They founded Western Governors University, a nonprofit institution that offers bachelors and masters degrees in four areas Missouri's employers are looking for: business, health care, teacher preparation and information technology. The point is that with today's technology, we can make it easier than ever for folks to finish their degrees without disrupting their lives, and help them move up the economic ladder.

It's designed to meet the needs of real people with real lives. You can take your tests after work, on weekends or at night, after the kids are asleep. Instead of paying tuition by the credit hour, students can take as much coursework as they want for a flat rate. And how quickly you earn your degree depends on how quickly you master the subject matter: you advance at your own pace.

In the past three years, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, and the states of Texas and Washington have established WGU in their states. And starting this year, we will begin enrolling students at WGU Missouri.

We'll be helping Missourians who never finished college, who are underemployed and who need degrees to move up, reach their full potential. Now that's a mission we can all get behind."