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EICC-Western Governors University Partnership

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Graduates of the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges now have another alternative to continue their education.

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Thursday the community college district signed an agreement that'll make it easier for its students to enroll in classes offered by Western Governors University.

Regional Vice President Angie Besendorfer says WGU offers only online classes, is 24 years old, and currently has 130,000 students enrolled.

"Our average student is in their 30's, they're working towards a degree while they're working full time, and they have families. The WGU competency-based model allows them to decide when they're going to study, where they're going to study, and allows them to decide when they're going to take their tests."

Western Governors University offers degrees in education, I-T, health care, and business. She says that makes it compatible with degrees offered by the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, including its technical programs.

"If you go get a practical skill, there is a place for you later to come to WGU - for instance if you have a degree in the HVAC area and then you want to own your own business, this is a great spot for you."

WGU is a private, non-profit university that offers a flat-rate tuition of 3,800 dollars for six months - and in that time Besendorfer says students can take as many classes as they want, and at their own pace.