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OneTen Coalition Names Nation’s Leading Nonprofit, Online University as Endorsed Education Partner

·4 min read

Western Governors University’s competency-based model will support coalition’s effort to create new skills-based educational and employment opportunities for Black Americans

OneTen Logo
OneTen Logo
OneTen Logo

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Western Governors University (WGU) today announced that it has been endorsed as an education partner by OneTen, a coalition of leading executives and organizations committed to upskill, hire, and promote one million Black Americans over the next 10 years into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement.

As part of OneTen’s network of talent development partners, WGU joins other leading local, regional, and national education and skill-building organizations that help diverse talent identify, develop, and build the skills needed to earn success. This is one of many partnerships that WGU has established to amplify skills-based education and hiring as a more objective, equitable, and efficient way to connect today’s students with available job opportunities.

“WGU was founded to provide pathways to opportunity for student populations that have been historically underserved by higher education,” said WGU President Scott Pulsipher. “Together with OneTen, we will expand equitable access to opportunity and advancement for more Black Americans, while creating more flexible talent pipelines and practices that will allow employees and employers to thrive.”

WGU is uniquely suited to support OneTen’s mission—and specifically its 10-year timeline—due to its skills- and competency-based education model, which effectively helps graduates connect with opportunities in their fields. The model measures competencies rather than seat time, allowing students to apply skills and knowledge they have acquired to accelerate through curriculum. WGU bachelor’s degree students’ average time to graduation is two years and three months, and the university’s flat-rate tuition of approximately $7,000 per year enables students to graduate with less debt. The mean debt at graduation per WGU undergraduate who borrowed is $14,255, compared to the national mean of $29,850. As the largest university in the country, WGU is also positioned to support OneTen’s vision at scale, graduating approximately 50,000 students per year.

OneTen was founded in 2020 with initial commitments from 37 major corporations dedicated to making a lasting, systemic impact on racial and economic justice. OneTen manages the relationships between talent partners, such as WGU, and employers to assure quality and long-term growth of workforce development programs and diversity initiatives, while employees use their skills-based education to secure meaningful employment.

“We look forward to having Western Governors University join us as an endorsed talent developer to support us in our mission to hire and advance Black talent in our country,” said Maurice Jones, Chief Executive Officer of OneTen. “This effort will require a high functioning, multi-disciplinary coalition from corporate America, talent developers, Black talent, talent supports, and others, and it is crucial we have high quality partners like WGU on that team. We are grateful for the work they have already done and are excited to partner with them going forward.”

About WGU

Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 128,000 students nationwide and has more than 240,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just 24 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at wgu.edu and wgu.edu/impact.

About OneTen

OneTen is a coalition of leading chief executives and their companies who are coming together to upskill, hire and promote one million Black Americans over the next 10 years who do not yet have a four-year degree into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement. We connect employers with talent partners, leading non-profits and other skill-credentialing organizations who support development of diverse talent. By creating more equitable and inclusive workforces, we believe we can reach our full potential as a nation of united citizens.

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CONTACT: Mark Toth Western Governors University 385-428-7503 mark.toth@wgu.edu