An agreement between Virginia’s Community Colleges and an online, nonprofit university is being billed as a way for students as a faster and more affordable way to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
In a news release, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced a new statewide guaranteed admissions agreement between Virginia’s Community Colleges and Western Governors University. The agreement, which the news release called unprecedented in Virginia, would allow nursing students to earn a bachelor’s degree in three years at a total estimated cost of $17,000 for tuition and fees.
“This agreement is exciting for Virginia students and families,” McDonnell (R-Va.), said in the news release. “I would like to commend these two bold and innovative organizations for coming together to help make a college education more affordable and accessible for Virginia families. In this particular case, it is creating an outstanding opportunity for students to prepare themselves for good-paying nursing careers – a career field that is often in demand in every region of the state.”
The agreement requires student to earn a two-year associate’s degree in nursing from one of the state’s 23 community colleges, such as Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke. After earning their license to practice as a registered nurse, and obtaining a job as a registered nurse, the student would gain acceptance to WGU, where they would complete nine additional classes to earn the bachelor’s degree.
“This could be a blueprint for offering similar baccalaureate opportunities in other high-demand fields such as information technology, business, and other healthcare-related programs,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, in the news release.