Gov. Bill Haslam has launched an online, competency-based university aimed at giving Tennesseans better access to a higher education.
WGU Tennessee was created through a partnership between the state of Tennessee and nationally recognized Western Governors University.
Western Governors University President Robert W. Mendenhall joined Haslam on Tuesday to sign the memorandum of understanding that officially establishes the university in Tennessee.
Officials say it was formed to meet the needs of working adults who are looking to complete a bachelor's or master's degree to advance their careers.
WGU Tennessee offers accredited programs in business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing.
Tuition is about $6,000 a year for most degree programs, regardless of how many courses a student completes.
Kimberly Estep, former vice president for academic affairs and student services at Nashville State Community College, will serve as WGU Tennessee’s first chancellor.
Estep has more than 25 years of experience in higher education as a professor and an administrator. She will be based in WGU Tennessee’s main office in Nashville.
Estep has previously held faculty and administrative positions with Thomas University in Thomasville, Ga., Friends University in Wichita, Kan., and Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga.
The City Paper staff contributed to this article