Blue Ridge College & WGU Expand Pathways for Education - TribPapers

Blue Ridge College & WGU Expand Pathways for Education

Blue Ridge Community College President Dr. Laura Leatherwood, left, signs an articulation agreement alongside Western Governors University (WGU) North Carolina Chancellor Dr. Ben Coulter, right. Submitted photo.

Hendersonville – Blue Ridge Community College students now have expanded four-year higher education pathways thanks to a new collaborative agreement with WGU North Carolina. Blue Ridge students who earn an associate’s degree in business administration, information technology, K-12 teacher education, and health professions are now able to transfer those credits and pursue a bachelor’s degree through WGU North Carolina, an affiliate of online nonprofit Western Governors University.

The articulation agreement was signed by Blue Ridge President Dr. Laura Leatherwood and WGU North Carolina Chancellor Dr. Ben Coulter on June 23, 2022, on Blue Ridge’s Henderson County Campus.

“This agreement with WGU recognizes that students today need access to more options for continuing their education as well as flexibility in how and when those options are pursued,” said Leatherwood. He continued, “at Blue Ridge, we’re always looking for partnerships that will benefit our students and fulfill our mission of building a competitive workforce. By providing personalized, online pathways built on competencies rather than predetermined timelines, we’re creating a win-win for everyone.” 

“We are delighted to add Blue Ridge to our ever-growing list of North Carolina community college partners,” said Coulter. “This agreement offers Blue Ridge Community College students, faculty, and staff greater access to continue their educational pathways and enable their professional aspirations. A central part of WGU North Carolina’s mission is to expand access to educational opportunities. Working with institutions like Blue Ridge will help us achieve that goal while addressing workforce needs and contributing to the state’s goal of 2 million North Carolinians holding either a postsecondary degree or a high-quality credential by 2030.”

Leatherwood added, “In addition to these personalized pathways available through WGU, there are also numerous resources available to offset the financial burden of attending college.” 

Blue Ridge students currently have access to the Brighter Future Scholarship, a tuition-free opportunity for students attending the 2022 summer and fall terms and spring 2023. With this agreement, graduates and staff from Blue Ridge are also eligible to apply for the WGU Community College Partner Scholarship—$2,500 disbursed in increments of $625 per semester for up to four terms based on satisfactory academic performance. 

About Blue Ridge Community College: Blue Ridge Community College is a two-year, postsecondary institution that elevates the educational experience to prepare students for 21st century success in the workplace or at four-year colleges and universities. Providing real-life, affordable, and accessible education, the college offers more than 200 degrees, diplomas, and certificates; more than 200 online courses; and fast-tracked job training. To learn more about Blue Ridge Community College, visit

About WGU North Carolina: Celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2022, WGU North Carolina is a fully-accredited, nonprofit online university established to expand access to higher education for North Carolina residents. The university offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business, teacher education, information technology, 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). Learn more at