ERIC Number: EJ846078
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 12
Western Governors University: Creating the First Virtual University
Meyer, Katrina A.
New Directions for Higher Education, n146 p35-43 Sum 2009
Distance education in its many forms had been around for decades, but the Western Governors University (WGU) was arguably the first "virtual university" (VU) in the United States, or at least the first VU that gained widespread attention from the press and public. After the governors in the Western Governors Association announced they would create a western VU in 1995, WGU became a popular focus of the media, with 189 stories from 1995 to 2008 in the "Chronicle of Higher Education." The academic literature also contains many mentions of WGU, as an example of a VU, as a model of innovation, and as a threat to the status quo. Additional reports track the growth in VUs or the possible changes they might generate. Despite this attention from politicians, journalists, and some in academe, it is intriguing that so little research has focused on WGU as an institution, on its innovations, or its impact on higher education. This article discusses the author's research on WGU.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Virtual Universities, Institutional Research, Educational Research, Online Courses, Technology Integration, Electronic Learning, Distance Education, Educational History, Educational Innovation, Program Implementation, Administrative Organization, Educational Policy, Educational Cooperation, Program Development, Government Role, State Government, Consortia
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A