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WGU Indiana Chancellor: New Year Can Be New Start

For some Region residents, the New Year may mean back-to-school for perhaps the first time in a long time. Chancellor Allison Barber says that's where WGU Indiana, the state's nonprofit, online university, can comes in for many Hoosiers. Barber says one issue that plays over-and-over in an adult's mind is, 'should they finish that bachelor's degree,' or 'should they go further to get their master's degree,' so "we're challenging your listeners to go for a clean start in 2013 and pursue a college degree with WGU Indiana". Barber says WGU started two-and-a-half years ago, and has 32-hundred adults enrolled, with 155 from the Region.  Barber says having that bachelors or masters degree makes you more marketable for the new jobs coming to the state.
Here's a link to our interview with Chancellor Barber  http://www.indiana105.com/on-air/laura-waluszko.html
Barber, who used to teach in the Merrillville schools, says WGU Indiana's average student is 37 years old with a job and family commitments, and is "built for adults".  For more info visit www.indiana.wgu.edu   [lw]
WGU Indiana recently celebrated a couple of milestones; here are news releases on their 500th graduate and the first-ever scholarship started by a WGU Indiana graduate.
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WGU Indiana celebrates 500th graduate
Commitment to educating students for jobs in high-demand areas paying off
INDIANAPOLIS (December 21, 2012) – WGU Indiana, in just its third year as the state’s nonprofit, online university, has graduated its 500th student. With more than 3,000 students currently enrolled in one of WGU Indiana’s more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, Indiana’s eighth state university emphasizes the importance of developing a Hoosier workforce in high-demand career fields, such as Business, Education, Information Technology and Healthcare.
“This milestone of graduating our 500th graduate speaks not only to the growth of our university, but also to our commitment to developing Hoosiers ready to play an active role in our 21st century economy,” WGU Indiana Chancellor Allison Barber said. “It’s been proven time and again that college completion counts, whether it’s to earn a salary increase, qualify for a new job or satisfy a lifelong goal. Because 740,000 Hoosier adults have some college experience and no degree, we’ll continue to offer an affordable, high-quality option for those interested in going further.”
By 2018, more than half the jobs in Indiana will require a college credential. In 2010, only one-third of adults possessed a college degree. Considering the average annual income of someone with a college degree versus someone with only a high school education is $1 million more over the course of a 40-year career, Indiana’s future and the future of its residents depends on graduating more students.
“WGU Indiana continues to be a great example of a university dedicated to developing Indiana’s workforce,” said Gina DelSanto, Chief of Staff at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. “When Hoosiers are graduating from universities located in Indiana, then staying in Indiana, that spells good things for our state. WGU Indiana’s academic model works, and the university’s first 500 graduates are proving it.”
For more information on WGU Indiana, visit indiana.wgu.edu or call 877-214-7014.
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WGU Indiana announces first-ever scholarship donation from alumnus
Ida B. Sloan Scholarship given to BSN student, single parent
INDIANAPOLIS (December 17, 2012) – For the first time since the university was created by Gov. Mitch Daniels in June 2010, a WGU Indiana graduate has donated a scholarship to the state’s nonprofit, online university. In honor of his grandmother who was never able to complete her college education, 2011 WGU Indiana graduate Jody Sloan has created the Ida B. Sloan Scholarship, which is to be awarded to a single parent enrolled in an undergraduate program at WGU Indiana. Indianapolis resident Whittney Thompson has been recognized as the scholarship’s first recipient. Thompson runs a teen clinic at Irvington Preparatory Academy and is studying for her BSN in WGU Indiana’s College of Health Professions.
“I’m very proud that WGU Indiana and its alumni have come so far,” WGU Indiana Chancellor Allison Barber said. “By donating this scholarship Jody has not only honored his grandmother, but he has helped another member of the WGU Indiana family go further. With his success academically, professionally and philanthropically, Jody continues to be one of the many success stories we see from WGU Indiana graduates. We look forward to many more in the years ahead, including Whittney’s.
As a WGU Indiana graduate, Jody Sloan understands the positive life impact earning a degree can create. He was the first in his family to earn a bachelor’s degree, and upon completing his MBA at WGU Indiana, Sloan received a promotion from his employer, Sallie Mae.
“My wife and I are providing the Ida B. Sloan Scholarship to a single parent attending WGU Indiana in pursuit of an undergraduate degree in honor of my grandmother,” Sloan said. “As an alumnus, I have already benefited from my education, and I feel obligated to pay it forward in a way that would make my grandmother proud. Charlotte and I wish Whittney and all WGU Indiana students the best in their educational pursuits.”
“This scholarship would mean a lot to anyone, and I especially appreciate it as a single parent,” Thompson said. “The reason I’m pursuing my degree is for my son. Raising my son on my own and working in the clinics and at my home care job, I do a lot. It means so much to be recognized for that and know that someone cares.”
Ida "Billie" Sloan was orphaned at the age of five. The third youngest of seven sisters, she was unable to attend school beyond the fourth grade. Despite her limited education, she eventually obtained work as a scrub nurse and cleaned houses as a second job. After moving to Indiana, she served 21 years as a House Parent at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home in Knightstown, Indiana. She encouraged her son, grandchildren, and the students she cared for to finish high school and go to college so they could have better opportunities in life than she had. Ida understood the value of an education and often regretted not being able to finish school.
WGU Indiana was created for the 740,000 Hoosiers with some college experience and no degree. Its average student is 37 years old with a job and family commitments, so the university’s affordability, flexibility and high-quality model are important. At WGU Indiana, students proceed at their own pace and are supported by a faculty mentor. Enrollment occurs at the beginning of every month, and students can take as many classes as they can handle in a six-month term. This allows for students to potentially accelerate through their degree program and save money in the process. WGU Indiana has not raised tuition for three straight years, and its students enjoy free text books and are eligible for both state and federal financial aid.
For more information on the state’s nonprofit, online university, visit the WGU Indiana website at indiana.wgu.edu or call 877-214-7014.
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