BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Trust (BlueCross) will endow $10,000 in scholarship funds to WGU Tennessee, the state-endorsed, nonprofit online university launched last summer as part of Governor Bill Haslam’s “Drive to 55” initiative, officials announced on Tuesday.
“There’s a gap in the health care industry when it comes to medical analytics and nursing analytics professions in Tennessee,” said Karen Ward, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and WGU Tennessee advisory board member. “We see this scholarship as a way to fill that gap.”
WGU Tennessee will match the donation, creating $2,000 scholarships for 10 new students, beginning immediately.
“We’re grateful for the support of business leaders like BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee,” said Kimberly K. Estep, chancellor of WGU Tennessee. “Increasing the higher-educational opportunities available to adult students is vital to the development of a strong, skills-ready Tennessee workforce, which is what these scholarships are all about. This generous donation by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will pay dividends to our state’s economic future.”
Since WGU Tennessee officially launched 11 months ago, enrollment has risen to more than 1,100 students – an increase of more than 30 percent. Established to meet the needs of working adults who wish to complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree and advance their careers, WGU Tennessee was created through a partnership between the state of Tennessee and nationally recognized Western Governors University. WGU Tennessee is ideal for busy adults with family and job responsibilities. This month the university recognized nearly 150 graduates at its inaugural commencement in Nashville.
WGU Tennessee enrolls students into its competency-based programs each month. Tuition is $3,000 for a six-month term, during which students can complete an unlimited number of competencies. Earlier this month, WGU announced that tuition would remain at $3,000 per term for the seventh year in a row. Those interested in learning more can visit tennessee.wgu.edu.