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WGU Texas and Industry Leaders Meet to Prepare Information Technology Students to Go Further


HOUSTON, Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, officials from online, nonprofit university WGU Texas ( met with IT leaders from across Houston, in collaboration with the Greater Houston Partnership, as part of the university's ongoing effort to ensure its graduate and undergraduate degree programs in Information Technology meet the current and trending needs of the IT industry in Texas.

The university's accredited degree programs are regularly reviewed by program councils made up of academic and industry experts to ensure the learning outcomes are a direct match for needs in the workforce. Many WGU Texas undergraduate IT degree programs incorporate more than 10 recognized industry certifications. Students study for and complete certification exams at a tremendous cost savings, since the exams are included in WGU Texas' flat-rate tuition of about $2,890 per six-month term. The meeting today reviewed the certifications and skills being assessed in the degree programs.

WGU Texas uses a competency-based approach to learning that is ideal for working adults because it allows students to take advantage of prior education and work experience by moving quickly through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn. The approach has proven to be a great fit for working IT professionals who amass considerable knowledge, expertise, and often industry certifications in their field prior to earning a university degree.

Attending participants in the IT review council included: Eric Denton, Microsoft; Jesse Carillo, Hines; Umesh Verma, Blue Lance, Inc.; Marilza Hobbs and Jon Campbell, The Taligens Group, LLC.; Stephen Webster, StratITsphere; Mike Oller, Accenture Infrastructure Services; Bhaskar Patel, Cybersoft Technologies, Inc.; Ashlea Graves and Elaine Barber from Greater Houston Partnership; with Dr. Leo Irakliotis, Western Governors University; and, Wendi Prater and Kristian Fitzgerald from WGU Texas.

"These focus groups allow us to connect our program development and revision closely with industry leaders that are hiring our graduates," said Dr. Leo Irakliotis, National Director of the College of Information Technology at WGU. "We're grateful for these conversations and the assurance they provide that our degrees – and the certifications our graduates can earn on their pathways to the degrees – are highly relevant to the industry."

WGU Texas Chancellor Mark David Milliron added, "The IT industry in Texas is full of both increasing opportunity and great change. It's vital that the learning path we offer students is developed in partnership with those leading the industry so our graduates will be among the most prepared. For greater Houston, filling the gaps in IT talent is essential to the metro area's prosperity."

In addition to the IT program partnership meetings this week, WGU Texas joined its parent institution Western Governors University in announcing the Go Further in Information Technology Scholarship program that will support students with associate's degrees upon enrolling in any of WGU's bachelor's degree programs in Information Technology or Health Informatics. This program is an expansion of the WGU Texas well known Finish to Go Further program targeted at supporting Texas community college graduates that transfer after finishing their associate's degrees.

To learn more about IT programs with WGU Texas, please visit

About WGU Texas

WGU Texas is a private, nonprofit, online university expanding access to quality higher education for Texas residents. Established by the state of Texas through a partnership with nationally recognized Western Governors University, WGU Texas ( offers more than 50 accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs in key workforce areas including business, information technology, teacher education, and health professions including nursing. Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

WGU Texas uses an innovative competency-based academic approach that allows working adults to fit their education into their lives. WGU Texas measures learning, not seat time. All programs offer flexible online study, state-of-the art learning resources, expert faculty, and individualized mentor-guided support. WGU Texas provides a convenient, cost-effective way for self-directed, hard-working adults to earn a degree and get ahead. An affordable model, tuition is charged at a flat rate every six months of $2,890 per term for most degrees. Learn more at or call 1-877-214-7011.

Additional Resources
WGU Texas Talks Podcast with TechAmerica's Jeff Clark
Graduate Profile Jason Franklin, M.S. Information Security and Assurance
Student Profile Roberto Velasquez, B.S. Information Security, Network Design and Management

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