Happy New (Academic) Year!


Tracy Lorenz, President
Western International University

July 1, 2016   |     West Now Home

The summer season is typically a great time of year to enjoy the weather, take a trip, or simply spend time with family. As we begin our new 2016-2017 academic year and prepare for our annual Commencement ceremony on September 17, it’s also a great time of year to reflect on and tell you about all that we’ve been accomplishing at West this past year to stay true to our vision and evolve with changing technology and student expectations.

Looking back over the 2015-2016 academic year, we’ve continued to innovate at West to make a quality higher education more accessible and affordable for working adults. We restructured our faculty model to increase the number of full-time lead faculty positions to support our faculty members and ultimately, our students. We also hired two additional deans to oversee our program curriculum and assessment. These changes provide greater stability in the planning and development of curriculum and instructional activities and offer more dedicated support for both our faculty and students.

West also launched a new, innovative program that will benefit students whose employers provide tuition assistance. The Internal Revenue Service allows employers to provide up to $5,250 in tax free education assistance. Even with our low tuition fees, annual education costs may exceed $5,250. We believe that a quality education can also be affordable, so we built our EDGEucate program to cap tuition costs beyond the $5,250 tax exemption in any calendar year for students utilizing their employer’s tuition assistance benefits. You can learn more at west.edu/edge.

Our EDGEucate program and degree curriculum focused on workplace relevancy has extended our vision with several organizations in both degree and professional development programs. We’ve developed customized programs that focus on delivering industry-specific, in-demand skills for workers. This fills a need for workers to gain critical skills employers require and earn academic credit toward a degree should they continue their education.

We’re constantly focused on providing the best possible learning experience to our students. New changes and updates in our my.west.edu student website will be launched over the next several months. We’re redesigning several pages to create a more cohesive learning environment. Our goal is to provide a clear, structured path to navigate to information quickly and easily.

I am extremely proud of the determination and commitment our students and graduates have demonstrated throughout their programs, as well as the efforts by our faculty and staff to continue pursuing West’s mission and vision. I look forward to seeing you and celebrating with you at our annual commencement ceremony in September.

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