Dr Angie Besendorfer and Dr Wee featured

Western Governors University and Northeast Iowa Community College announce partnership

Friday, December 10, 2021

The university’s competency-based approach to learning allows students to take advantage of their knowledge and previous experience to quickly move through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn.

Western Governors University (WGU), a fully online, nonprofit university, and Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) today announced a new joint partnership that will provide students graduating from NICC with an affordable pathway to earning their bachelor’s or master’s degrees from WGU. The agreement between the two institutions focuses on creating a seamless transfer of credits for NICC students transitioning to WGU. Additionally, under the terms of the agreement, graduates and NICC staff enrolling at WGU will now be eligible to apply for scholarships offered through the university’s Community College Partnership Scholarship fund.

The scholarships are valued at up to $2,500 each and are applied to WGU’s already-low, flat-rate tuition of about $3,800 per six-month term. Recipients of the scholarship will receive a $625 tuition credit each term, renewable for up to four terms based on academic performance. 

“Northeast Iowa Community College looks forward to partnering with Western Governors University to provide a quality and affordable option for our students who are pursuing further education after NICC. Similar to NICC, WGU understands the barriers faced by students and works diligently to overcome them. Both colleges have also embraced competency-based education to enable our students to progress at their own pace of learning. The outcome for the graduates will be access to family-sustaining careers,” stated NICC President Dr. Liang Chee Wee.

WGU offers NICC graduates and employees more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the high workforce-need areas of business, IT, K-12 teacher education and health professions, including nursing. The university’s competency-based approach to learning allows students to take advantage of their knowledge and previous experience to quickly move through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn. Students complete their programs by studying on schedules that fit their lives, advancing as soon as they demonstrate they have mastered the subject matter. WGU faculty members work one-on-one with students as mentors, offering guidance, support and individualized instruction. While WGU’s degree programs are rigorous and challenging, competency-based learning makes it possible for students to accelerate their progress and graduate faster, saving both time and money. 

“WGU is excited to partner with Northeast Iowa Community College,” said Dr. Angie Besendorfer, Regional Vice President of Western Governors University. “Both NICC and WGU are committed to providing in-demand education and training focused on improving lives, driving business success and advancing community vitality, and this partnership will help further that mission. Our academic programs are an excellent next step for NICC graduates who desire an affordable option to continue their educational journey while offering students the flexibility they require to gain the skills they need to succeed in the evolving workplace.”  

For more information on the partnership between WGU and Northeast Iowa Community College, visit www.wgu.edu/iacc.


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 130,000 students nationwide and has more than 250,000 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 22 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 www.wgu.edu.

About NICC

Northeast Iowa Community College serves eight counties in northeast Iowa and surrounding areas. Offering academic programs of study in a variety of disciplines, in addition to online and blended learning, customized business and industry training, short-term certification options and adult education and literacy, the institution is committed to affordable, high-quality education and training to ensure the growth and vitality of northeast Iowa. Learn more at www.nicc.edu.