Tonya Drake, WGU Washington’s chancellor and regional vice president, left, and Justin Guillory, president of Northwest Indian College. COURTESY PHOTO, WGU

Tonya Drake, WGU Washington’s chancellor and regional vice president, left, and Justin Guillory, president of Northwest Indian College. COURTESY PHOTO, WGU

Kent-based WGU Washington partners with Northwest Indian College

Agreement encourages tribal community graduates to earn university degrees

Kent-based WGU Washington has partnered with Northwest Indian College to offer graduates of the Bellingham-based college pathways to online university degree programs.

The partnership, announced Jan. 7, extends a generous transfer credit policy to Northwest Indian College alumni enrolling at WGU Washington – meaning more of their hard work will be recognized, saving money and allowing them to graduate sooner. Additionally, those individuals, plus college staff, will be eligible to apply for scholarships valued up to $3,000.

WGU Washington is the locally based affiliate of nationally recognized Western Governors University (WGU). The agreement with Northwest Indian College is the university’s first, formal partnership with an institution dedicated to serving reservation communities.

“Our institutions are driven by similar missions: to strengthen communities and help individuals improve their lives through education,” said Tonya Drake, WGU Washington’s chancellor and regional vice president, in a press release. “My family heritage is Cowichan, and I identify as First Nations. I am honored NWIC chose to partner with WGU Washington.”

Washington has the eighth largest Native American population in the country, according to an email from a WGU spokesperson. Native American communities continue to face obstacles to educational equity, as 28% of the general population holds a college degree, only 13% of Native Americans do.

Headquartered in Kent, WGU Washington is the state’s only legislatively endorsed online university. It offers more than 60 bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business, IT, teacher education and health professions, including nursing. Its innovative, competency-based education model allows students to study and learn whenever and wherever it is convenient and at a pace that fits their lifestyles.

“WGU Washington, like NWIC, is committed to student success and empowering students to achieve their educational goals,” said Justin Guillory, president of the college. “It’s also set up so students don’t have to leave their communities and strive to pursue a university degree. This partnership creates an opportunity for students to obtain quality, in-demand degrees without putting their lives – or their families’ lives – on hold. That’s vital as we continue to provide educational pathways for students to enhance their lives and our Tribal communities.”

Northwest Indian College is the only regional tribal college in the U.S. and the only accredited tribal college in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities recently extended the college’s accreditation to include distance learning, so students can continue their education remotely. Located on the Lummi Indian reservation near Bellingham, the college operates six, full-service sites at reservations in Washington and Idaho. The student body is represented by over 130 tribes from across the country.

About WGU Washington

WGU Washington is an online, competency-based university designed to expand access to higher education for Washington residents. In 2011, the Washington state Legislature created WGU Washington in partnership with nationally recognized Western Governors University.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Chad Wheeler. COURTESY PHOTO, Seattle Seahawks
Ex-Seahawk Wheeler accused of attacking girlfriend in Kent apartment

Lineman charged with first-degree domestic violence assault

t
Kent Police Blotter: Jan. 14-24

Robbery, assault, sex crime among incidents

Ian Simmers, COURTESY PHOTO
Kent man sues Bothell Police, King County for setting him up on murder charge

Ian Simmers, then 16, spent nearly 23 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit

Stock photo
District names four candidates for vacant Kent School Board seat

Joseph Bento, Russell Hanscom, Inal Tshovrebov and Thomas Williams

An AR-15. Courtesy photo
Mags, open carry at protests and AR-15s on Olympia’s agenda

Lawmakers are eyeing a number of bills which could change firearm regulations in the state.

t
Kent man, 21, injured as Tacoma Police vehicle fled crowded street

Officer hit pedestrians after people surrounded his vehicle downtown

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Lawmakers consider prohibiting use of credit score to determine insurance rates

Advocates say credit scoring makes low-income and minority policy holders pay more for coverage.

Police vehicle
20-year-old woman fatally stabbed at Kent apartment complex

Police arrest 24-year-old man after standoff

Stock photo
Calls that Social Security number has been ‘compromised’ leads to $400,000 scam

SeaTac man indicted for mail fraud in scheme that stole money from elderly victims

Most Read