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New status gives Academy more flexibility to achieve its college readiness mission through partnering with other institutions and grant funding
WGU Academy—a largely independent operating unit of Western Governors University that was established in 2018—today announced that it is now a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. The Academy’s new status provides greater flexibility to pursue its mission of dramatically scaling college readiness solutions through service agreements and partnerships with other higher education institutions, K–12 schools, community groups, employers, and foundations.
WGU Academy began enrolling students in April 2019 and has already served over 10,000 individuals identified as needing additional preparation before enrolling full time into WGU. The Academy provides a low-risk and low-cost on-ramp to admission into WGU by providing transferable courses, but more importantly by developing students’ essential non-academic competencies: self-awareness and self-efficacy, a sense of belonging and growth mindset, and an increased capacity for ownership and accountability.
“That was all Rollo’s vision,” said David Ostrowe, who spent five years on the board, three as chairman, before being tapped as Gov. Kevin Stitt’s secretary of digital transformation and administration.
Ostrowe said the amount the agency was able to give to education immediately increased after the change.
The agency gives about $65 million a year to education.
Redburn has worked on improving the agency’s relationship with lawmakers after a rather rocky start.
“People used to run when they saw me coming,” he said about lawmakers. “Now, people call to ask for our opinion about bills and what we need to make the lottery better.”
He was also onboard when Oklahoma joined other multistate lotteries such as Powerball and Mega Millions.
He counts among his accomplishments getting 711 to come on board as a lottery partner. The agency in 2020 flipped a switch that turned on the lottery for 108
Event paid tribute to the planet as part of Indigenous People’s Day