WGU Establishes Office in New Jersey to Increase Engagement with Students, Alumni, and External Partners in Northeastern States

Dr. Rebecca Watts appointed as Regional Vice President to lead team in 12-state region

SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Western Governors University (WGU) announced today that it has established an office in the greater New York City area to increase support for students, alumni, and external partners in 12 states in the Northeast. The university has appointed Rebecca Watts, Ph.D., as Regional Vice President.

Watts will lead university operations across the 12-state area—spanning the Eastern Seaboard from Virginia to Maine. In her role with the online, nonprofit university, she will help guide the strategic direction of WGU and further raise its profile among prospective students and university partners. She will play an instrumental role in developing and strengthening relationships with partner organizations that expand student access—especially among historically underserved student populations—to WGU’s nationally recognized postsecondary programs. Her leadership will also provide effective communications to external and internal audiences and strengthen WGU’s position as a leading organization in higher education.

Watts brings 17 years of experience as a leader in higher education. Previously, she was chancellor of WGU Ohio, a partnership between the state of Ohio and WGU to expand access to affordable higher education for Ohio residents through online, competency-based programs that address key workforce needs.

Prior to WGU, Watts served as executive director for the University of Wyoming Trustees Education Initiative, a statewide effort to support Wyoming’s K–12 schools with innovative educator preparation. As associate vice chancellor for P–16 Initiatives at the Ohio Department of Higher Education, she led educator preparation program review and approval, college readiness efforts, and STEM scholarship and college-access programs.

Watts holds a doctorate in higher education leadership from Ohio University and degrees in communication, including a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Springfield, a bachelor’s degree from Sangamon State University, Ill., and an associate degree from Lincoln Land Community College, Ill. She lives in Jersey City, N.J.

About WGU

Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 121,000 students nationwide and has more than 195,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just 23 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at www.wgu.edu


Contact for media inquiries:
Dulcey Antonucci, WGU Communications


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