Western Governor's University

OFFICE OF GOVERNOR FRANK KEATING


STATE OF OKLAHOMA
State Capitol Building
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Contact: Rick Buchanan, 405-523-4278
June 26, 1997

Governor Announces Oklahoma to Join Western Governors University


WGU to Benefit Students, Business, Higher Education Facilities


Oklahoma City -- Governor Frank Keating and Chancellor Hans Brisch today announced Oklahoma's acceptance as a member of the Western Governors University. Governor Keating made the announcement today during a meeting of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. The WGU (formerly called the Virtual University) is a nonprofit, independent corporation that allows electronic access to a broad range of post secondary educational opportunities. Plans call for the first WGU offerings to become available in January of 1998.

"The 21st century has just arrived in Oklahoma," said Keating. "This 21st century approach to post secondary education combines the best and the brightest from all western states, along with today's technology, to provide an affordable and broad range of post higher education opportunities for Oklahomans whether they are at home, on the job, or in class. This is great news for students, for business, and our colleges and universities. This is truly a university without walls. I want to thank Chancellor Hans Brisch and the State Regents for their insight and leadership in this effort."

"As a result of Oklahoma's membership in WGU, our colleges and universities will be able to develop new markets both in and outside of Oklahoma, bringing new revenues to the state and extending Oklahoma's influence," Chancellor Brisch said. "We also believe that our involvement in the national and international learning markets WGU offers will make our courses and programs stronger and even more competitive. Above all, we're pleased with the opportunities and options Oklahoma's participation in WGU offers our state and its citizens. Oklahoma higher education looks forward to participating in the Western Governors University and we want to thank Governor Frank Keating for turning an opportunity into a reality," Brisch concluded.

The Western Governor's Association agreed in June of 1995 to explore ways it could collaborate in the development and delivery of distance learning courses and systems. The WGA decided this effort should focus on a credentialing system that would be based on a student's demonstrated competencies rather than on credit hours or seat time. The governors also wanted to expand educational opportunities, offering courses from a wider array of sources and reaching a wider array of students, paying particular attention to those who might not otherwise have access to higher education and to those needing workplace training.

The following states and territory are members of WGU:

Alaska
Arizona
Colorado
Hawaii
Idaho
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Mexico
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Oregon
Utah

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