WGU Missouri Press Resources

2015 Annual Report

Chancellor's Biography

President Emeritus Bob Mendenhall's Biography

WGU Missouri Brochure (pdf)

If you are interested in writing about WGU Missouri or would like to interview a WGU Missouri representative, please contact:

Joan Mitchell
Vice President of Public Relations
801.428.5463
jmitchell@wgu.edu


Frequently Asked Questions and Facts

What is WGU Missouri?
Created through a partnership between the state of Missouri and nationally recognized Western Governors University, WGU Missouri is a state-based university offering affordable, high-quality degree programs for working adults in the state.

Why did the governor establish WGU Missouri?
Currently, there are nearly 750,000 Missouri residents who have completed some college but no post-secondary credential. A trained and educated workforce is vital to the state’s economy, and WGU Missouri provides another high-quality option for adults in the state who wish to complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree. WGU is designed to meet the needs of busy adults who, due to work and family obligations, may not be able to attend a traditional, brick-and-mortar university. By creating WGU Missouri, the state has added affordable capacity to the state’s higher education system without ongoing cost to the state.

How was WGU Missouri created?
An Executive Order and accompanying Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed on February 15, 2013, created a partnership between Western Governors University and the state establishing WGU Missouri as part of the state’s higher education system.

How is WGU Missouri funded?
Initial funding for WGU Missouri was provided through community development block grant funding of up to $4 million. In addition, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided a grant of $750,000 to support the startup of WGU Missouri, and the university has worked with the state to secure additional funding from private donors, both in Missouri and nationwide. Eventually, WGU Missouri will be self-sustaining on tuition of about $6,000 per 12-month year for most programs and will require no ongoing funding from the state of Missouri.

Are WGU Missouri students eligible for state financial aid?
WGU is working with the Missouri Department of Higher Education to obtain approval for qualified students to receive state aid.

Is WGU Missouri accredited?
WGU Missouri operates under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Degrees are granted under WGU’s current accreditation.

How is WGU Missouri governed?
A wholly controlled subsidiary of Western Governors University, WGU Missouri is led by a Missouri-based chancellor, Dr. Angie Besendorfer. WGU Missouri works under the guidance of an Advisory Board that includes corporate, community, and education leaders from the state. About Angie Besendorfer, WGU Missouri's Chancellor

Where is WGU Missouri located?
WGU Missouri
8000 Maryland Ave., Suite 410
St. Louis, MO 63105-3752

If WGU was already available to Missouri residents, why was WGU Missouri established?
Many Missouri residents have never heard of WGU. The establishment of WGU Missouri allows us to commit resources that will increase statewide awareness of the university and its programs, and experience in other states has shown that this will greatly increase enrollment. In addition, we have learned with WGU Indiana, WGU Washington, and WGU Texas that students find a state-endorsed, locally based university more credible.

WGU Facts

  • WGU is a nonprofit, online university established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors to expand affordable access to higher education.
  • WGU is the nation’s only accredited competency-based university.
  • In less than 16 years, WGU has grown to a national university with nearly 40,000 students and more than 20,000 graduates in all 50 states.
  • WGU serves students not well served by traditional colleges and universities. The average age of WGU students is 37, nearly 70% work full time, and more than 75% are classified as underserved in one or more of four categories: ethnic minority, low income, rural resident, or first-generation college student.
  • WGU offers more than 50 online, competency-based degree programs in the high-demand career fields of business, information technology, K-12 teacher education, and health professions, including nursing.
  • WGU’s online, competency-based model makes college possible for busy adults who must balance work, family, and financial obligations. It allows them to set their own study schedules and move quickly through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn.
  • WGU faculty members serve as mentors, working one-on-one with students to guide them through their coursework and support their learning.
  • WGU’s degree programs are developed in collaboration with representatives from industry and academia and are reviewed regularly to ensure that they are up-to-date and relevant.
  • WGU’s tuition is about $6,000 per 12-month year for most programs. It is charged at a flat rate, and has not increased since 2008.
  • Terms at WGU are six months long, and students may begin on the first day of any month.

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