The Online University for Tennessee

WGU Tennessee is a nonprofit, online university created to expand access to higher education for Tennessee residents. Established by the state of Tennessee through a partnership with nationally recognized Western Governors University, WGU Tennessee offers more than 50 accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs in high-demand career fields.

Download the 2014 Annual Report

A Unique History in Higher Education

WGU has been different since the very beginning. We were designed in 1995 by 19 U.S. governors whose driving goal was to break the mold of traditional higher education and come out on the other side with something new, something innovative: something that harnesses technology to teach in new ways, focuses on measuring learning rather than time, and provides more Americans the opportunity to build their careers and better their lives by finally finishing that bachelor's or master's degree they need to achieve their goals.

At the Heart of It All, Our Mission:

The principal mission of Western Governors University is to improve quality and expand access to post-secondary educational opportunities by providing a means for individuals to learn independent of time or place and to earn competency-based degrees and other credentials that are credible to both academic institutions and employers.

Accreditation and Recognition

WGU is regionally, NCATE, and CCNE* accredited. WGU is also a USDLA Best Practices in Distance Learning Award recipient.

*The bachelor's and master's degree programs at WGU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, 202-887-6791).

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A Proven Academic Model from a Nationally Recognized University, Customized for Tennessee

WGU Tennessee is Tennessee's only competency-based university, leveraging a unique approach to education pioneered by our parent institution, Western Governors University (WGU), which was founded by 19 U.S. governors in 1997, including the Governor of Tennessee.

As part of a partnership with the state of Tennessee, WGU provides the curriculum, learning resources, mentoring, and student services for WGU Tennessee.

What this means for WGU Tennessee students:

  • Competency-based education model that measures learning, not seat time. WGU Tennessee employs a unique competency-based approach to education. You'll advance in your degree program based on your demonstration of essential skills and knowledge in your chosen field.
  • Superior learning resources. You'll have access to all of WGU's courses of study, online learning modules, electronic textbooks, web-based tutorials, and simulations as you work to complete your program.
  • Affordable flat-rate tuition. At WGU Tennessee, you pay a flat-rate tuition. Unlike traditional colleges and universities, WGU Tennessee operates on six-month terms that can begin on the first day of any month, rather than semesters. Your own commitment and effort determine how much you can complete during each six-month term, which allows you to shorten your time to completion. Thus, the faster you progress, the lower your total and the more you save.
  • Full accreditation. WGU Tennessee degrees are granted under the current accreditation of Western Governors University, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Teachers college programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and Nursing bachelor’s and master’s programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, 202-887-6791).
  • Personal support from a dedicated mentor. Online doesn't mean alone at WGU Tennessee. You'll have the support of a mentor who will be your personal point of contact and your guide throughout your degree. You'll find that you'll actually receive greater support from your mentor than you ever did in a traditional classroom setting.
  • An online community for Tennessee students and access to WGU's national student community. You'll also be able to take advantage of WGU's student community and interact with students both within Tennessee and from all over the country and abroad.
NBC Reports on how WGU works.
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Questions and Answers

Select a question from the left, see the answer to the right.

Why would I choose WGU?

Because your professional success is our goal. If you’re seriously considering an online degree program, you want high-quality academic content that’s relevant to your career, tuition that’s affordable, flexibility that fits your lifestyle, and a strong support system to help you stay on track. These are the critical attributes of WGU as a nonprofit university founded by 19 U.S. Governors to expand educational access for the working adult.

Why is "competency-based" important?

The "competency-based" approach benefits you in two ways. First, you know you’re being trained to be competent in your field. You want high-quality academic content that’s relevant to your career. We make sure you know your stuff. Second, the approach lets you advance as quickly as you can demonstrate your competence through our rigorous assessments. It really is a "Show me what you know" approach that lets you take advantage of knowledge you already possess. You can use this knowledge, work hard in your program, and accelerate your time to completion. You could save both time and money. An Enrollment Counselor can explain this approach further.

What is WGU’s Mission Statement?

"The principal mission of Western Governors University is to improve quality and expand access to post-secondary educational opportunities by providing a means for individuals to learn independent of time and place and to earn competency-based degrees and other credentials that are credible to both academic institutions and employers."

What is WGU’s Promise Statement?

"We help our students achieve their dreams for a degree and career success by providing a personal, flexible, and affordable education based on real-world competencies."

Is WGU Tennessee a good fit for you?

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