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Graduates of East Central College and other Missouri community colleges can now receive a 5 percent tuition discount and seamless transfer to Western Governors University-Missouri under an agreement with the Missouri Community College Association. WGU Missouri will also provide a scholarship of up to $2,000 for select graduates of MCCA colleges. The first-of-its kind agreement will make it easier for students to extend their education and advance their careers.



East Central College leaders, along with community college leaders from around the state, announced the agreement with WGU Missouri July 21. It is the first such statewide agreement that MCCA has signed on behalf of the state’s community colleges. As part of the agreement, graduates of ECC will be eligible for the new WGU Missouri Community College Partner Scholarship, valued at up to $2,000.


Dr. Jon Bauer, president of ECC, noted that WGU Missouri adds to the array of transfer options available to graduates of ECC.  “We appreciate the opportunity to work with WGU to make a college degree more attainable,” Bauer said.


“WGU Missouri and Missouri’s community colleges are natural partners, striving to provide higher education for Missouri residents,” said WGU Missouri Chancellor Angie Besendorfer. “Because WGU focuses on affordability and flexibility for working adults, we believe this agreement will make it viable for more students who begin in community colleges to complete their bachelor’s degrees.”


Governor Jay Nixon lauded the agreement. “In order to continue growing our economy, it’s important to have affordable and accessible higher education options so that every Missourian willing to work hard -- no matter their age, background, or circumstances – can find a good job and move up the economic ladder,” Nixon said. “WGU Missouri and our state’s community colleges help students fit higher education into their busy lives.”


About 750,000 Missouri adults have some college but no degree. WGU Missouri’s flexible and affordable model can help these adults leverage their skills and experience to achieve their college degree while saving time and money. Established by Governor Nixon in 2013, WGU Missouri offers online, accredited degree programs in business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing.


Designed to meet the needs of busy adults, WGU Missouri uses competency-based learning, which allows students to study and learn on their own schedules and at their own pace. Rather than spending a prescribed amount of time in each course, students advance when they demonstrate mastery of course materials. This allows them to move quickly through what they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn. As a result, many students are able to accelerate their studies; the average time to complete a bachelor’s degree at WGU is about three years.


Participating colleges include Crowder College, East Central College, Jefferson College, Metropolitan Community College, Mineral Area College, Moberly Area Community College, North Central Missouri College, Ozarks Technical Community College, St. Charles Community College, St. Louis Community College, State Fair Community College, and Three Rivers College.


For more information on WGU Missouri, including benefits for community college graduates, visit

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