2009-02-19 / People

Tamara Abel receives degree from Western Governors University

Tamara Abel of Lincolnton has received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Western Governors University (www. wgu.edu). The online, nonprofit university awarded more than 600 degrees at its semi-annual commencement ceremonies held in Salt Lake City on January 24. While more than 80 graduates attended the event in person, approximately 350 participated live via the Internet.

Sun Microsystems Chairman and Co-founder Scott McNealy delivered the commencement address. "Distance and online education used to be viewed as the wave of the future, but the success of the WGU graduates proves that the future is now," said McNealy. "WGU's unique approach embodies the power of technology for making higher education more affordable and accessible for people from all walks of life. Its demanding and highly respected curriculum ensures that graduates are well prepared to thrive in today's dynamic and challenging workplace."

WGU is the only accredited online university in the U.S. offering competency based degree programs. The private non-profit university has been a leader in online education for more than 10 years. WGU is the recipient of the USDLA 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning for 2008, awarded in recognition of WGU's success in expanding access to higher education. WGU has been honored as one of the 2008 Top 20 Military Friendly Colleges and Universities by Military Advanced Education magazine. WGU sponsors the Online Student Survival Guide, a blog that addresses many of the questions and daily concerns online students from any online college or university face.

Now serving more than 11,000 students, WGU was founded by 19 U.S. governors, and is supported by more than 20 leading corporations and foundations. They include institutions such as AT&T, BearingPoint, Dell, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hewlett-Packard, HCA, Microsoft, Oracle, Qwest, SunGard Higher Education, Sun Microsystems, and Zions Bank. WGU offers bachelor's and master's degrees in business, information technology, teacher education, and health professions, with students in all 50 states. More information is available at www.wgu.edu.

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