Nov. 17, 2012
-- For Aaron Hoosier, a deep east Texas resident in Lufkin, Texas, the dream of a college education seemed like an opportunity just out of reach for him that is until he found himself standing on stage at WGU Texas' first commencement ceremony. His story is not unlike many of other graduates that have turned their dreams of higher education into reality with the launch of WGU Texas in August 2011. Balancing career, family, and academic responsibilities was not easy for the 32 year old HR professional;
he started and stopped at other universities, in order to take care of his elderly mother, a cancer survivor with congestive heart failure. The reality for him was that going to a traditional university put extreme time restraints that hinder him from being able to care for his loved one and to continue working. That is until he found WGU Texas and achieved his goal of earning this Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management from an affordable regionally accredited institution, while continuing to take care of the other major priorities in his life.
When talking with Aaron Hoosier and why he picked WGU Texas he stated very candidly, “It was very hard to explain to my professors at traditional brick and mortar universities that I am missing class to take my mother to chemotherapy or to her doctors. I found myself being docked whole letter grades they just didn’t understand. In my professional life as an HR manager it was a none-issue because I was around very supportive colleagues. You hear that careers can suffer when caring for elderly parents but it’s not just working careers that can take a hit. If you are in college your academic career can suffer too. That is why I am so thankful that I was able to find WGU Texas. Also the fact that I had to pass The Professional in Human Resources (PHR®) certification exam as part of my degree plane really gives me a great deal of personal and professional pride. Not only do I have the ten plus years of working experience as a human resources manager but I have professional credentials to highlight the value that I can bring to an organization.”
WGU Texas hosted its inaugural commencement ceremony in Austin, Texas on November 10, with more than 120 proud graduates from all over the state of Texas walked across the stage in a formal conferral of degrees. The commencement address was given by Dr. Stefanie Sanford, Director of Policy & Advocacy, United States Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who reminded the students that “They’re creating history”
“We’re in a time of good sociological and mercantile change. Our educational institutions and people have to change along with it,” she said. “Not only are these students participating in a change, they are a change.”
This change that Dr. Stefanie Sanford spoke of started when WGU Texas (http://texas.wgu.edu
) was established on August 3, 2011, through a partnership with nationally recognized Western Governors University by an Executive Order from Governor Rick Perry. As of date, WGU Texas' ground-breaking, competency-based, mentor-guided learning model has spread across the state, and enrollment at WGU Texas now stands at 3,300 students and growing.
For more information please view http://texas.wgu.edu