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The mission of WGU Tennessee is to expand access to affordable higher education for Tennessee residents through online, competency-based degree programs that address key workforce needs.
WGU's Core Themes
WGU Tennessee is the only state-endorsed university in Tennessee that operates entirely online. As a private, nonprofit institution established by the state of Tennessee, WGU Tennessee works in partnership with our parent institution, Western Governors University.
WGU Tennessee is led by Chancellor Kimberly Estep and an Advisory Board who reside in Tennessee and provide guidance on the most effective ways the university can meet the needs of Tennessee residents.
About Kimberly Estep, WGU Tennessee's Chancellor
The WGU Tennessee Advisory Board includes:
John Ingram (Chair), Chairman, Ingram Industries, Nashville
Jerry Askew, Senior VP, Government Relations, Tennova, Knoxville
Tim Attebery, President, Holston Valley Medical Center, Kingsport
Shannon Brown, Senior VP/Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer, FedEx Express, Memphis
David A. Golden, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary, Eastman, Kingsport
Thom Mason, Director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge
Carol Ross-Spang, Senior VP, Human Resources, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Memphis
Ralph Schulz, President & CEO, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Nashville
John Steele, Senior VP, Human Resources, HCA, Nashville
Blair Taylor, CEO, Memphis Tomorrow, Memphis
Karen Ward, Senior VP/Chief Human Resources Officer, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Chattanooga
WGU Tennessee operates under the same governance as that of its parent institution, WGU: a Board of Trustees consisting of educators, industry leaders, and state governors.
Board of Trustees
Another crucial source of support is our National Advisory Board, made up of representatives from prestigious corporations and foundations. Members provide ongoing support and advice to the university.
National Advisory Board Members
WGU Tennessee’s curriculum, learning resources, mentoring, and student services are provided by our parent institution, Western Governors University. WGU’s skilled administration and faculty work with industry councils consisting of academic and industry experts to produce comprehensive and superior degree programs.
Health Professions Program Council
Nursing Program Council
General Education Council
Business Program Council
Information Technology Program Council
Education Program Council
WGU is a nonprofit online university that was founded by 19 U.S. governors. However,
it is a private university, not a state university. WGU developed out of a vision
for the future of higher education that emerged among the governors of the Western
Governors Association (hence our name), but WGU operates independently with its
own governance structure.
Each Program Council at WGU is composed of WGU faculty and outside experts in the
field of study. The council is responsible for guiding the development of degree
programs. The council will help define the skills and knowledge that a competent
graduate should possess, determine the best ways to assess the competence, as well
as monitor and review the relevance of each program over time.
WGU mentors serve as advisors to students. To learn more about the mentor’s role,
click here. Or speak to an Enrollment Counselor.
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