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WGU and Kenzie Academy Partnership Creates New Route to IT Degree

Western Governors University (WGU) has teamed up with a bootcamp provider to convert credentials into credits. WGU is working with Kenzie Academy, which runs year-long online and in-person programs in software engineering and user experience (UX) engineering. Those who finish the Kenzie coursework may be able to transfer up to 36 credits to one of seven bachelor degrees in information technology offered by WGU.

This type of partnership "gives people the flexible option of on ramps and off ramps instead of a traditional, linear four-year path, reflecting the needed shift to a lifelong learning model in postsecondary education," explained Chok Ooi, co-founder and CEO of Kenzie Academy. The partnership between the two schools allows for people "to fluidly move between school and work," he said.

According to Elke Leeds, WGU's dean and academic vice president for the College of IT, most of the university's students enroll having some college and no degree. The kind of short-term programs offered by companies such as Kenzie "provide quality training and lead to good jobs," especially useful to people who "don't have the luxury of devoting multiple years to a degree" and for whom a coding school might "be the best option," she added.

"We want to recognize the value of their earned credentials and have created a pathway for them to apply their prior learning to a degree program so they can work toward a bachelor's degree when it's the right time for them," Leeds noted. "Applying their credential along with WGU's competency-based model ultimately allows students to pursue a bachelor's degree in less time."

More information about the transfer program is available on WGU's website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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