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WGU Announces Learn Where You Live Scholarship

Student at WGU College Adult Program

New Scholarship Opens More Pathways to Higher Education for Rural Residents

Learn Where You Live Scholarship supports adult learners seeking a college degree in rural communities

SEATTLE, Wash. (May 31, 2023) Wanting to stay in your hometown shouldn’t bar you from obtaining a college education that can help you reach your career goals. A new scholarship opportunity from Western Governors University  (WGU) is aimed at adult learners who live in rural areas of the country, so they, too, can access a quality, affordable, accredited degree where they live. 

The Learn Where You Live Scholarship is valued at up to $3,000 and is available to new students or returning graduates who want to further their education at WGU. Scholarship recipients will receive up to $750 per six-month term, renewable for up to four terms. Applicants must live in a rural area of the U.S. as is designated by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Brian Cameron, who lives on the Oregon Coast near Oceanside, said he would not have been able to pursue his bachelor’s degree in business management where he lived if not for the remote online program at WGU.

“It’s hard to find resources living in a rural community,” he said. “The online business program has allowed me to get a proper degree and do it from home. I can literally study anywhere when I have time away from work, whether that be at coffee shop or by the ocean.”

The launch of the new scholarship comes on the heels of WGU’s Northwest Regional team’s rural jobs report,  Shifting Winds: Examining Employment Trends in Rural Northwest Regions. The research, conducted in partnership with WGU Labs, shows that while demand for talent shifted throughout the pandemic, rural healthcare job listings continue to dominate in these regions, and rural STEM-sector job postings are rising significantly — with up to a 183% increase in rural areas. Demand for bachelor’s degrees has also increased as a requirement compared to high school diplomas.

The most sought-after skills were auditing, marketing, computer science, business development, project management, accounting, Agile methodology, finance, workflow management and data analysis. With more than 60 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in business, healthcare, IT, and education, WGU can prepare adult learners with the skills that employers are seeking.

“This is a commitment the university has made and certainly the Leavitt School of Health has made,” said WGU Senior Vice President of the Leavitt School of Health, Keith Smith, PhD. “We’re in the process of adding several non-clinical programs, a portfolio that meets the entire spectrum of needs for rural health.”

“Everything we do at Western Governors University is aimed at increasing accessibility and opportunity for each student, regardless of their location, background, motivations, or life situation,” added Tonya Drake, PhD., regional vice president of WGU.“Many students want to go back to school and pursue higher education, but the cost and location can be overwhelming and deter many students from attending college.”

Drake, who grew up Longview, Wash, had to leave her hometown to get her bachelor’s degree.

“A lot of people leave and don’t come back. Great strides have been made, but I still have nieces and nephews who live in rural parts of the state and wonder if they will have to leave their towns to get an education and a good-paying job,” she said. “The rural community is the backbone of our economy, and we look forward to helping people gain the degrees needed to obtain in-demand jobs in their hometowns.”

To find out more about the scholarship and apply by June 30, visit the Learn Where You Live Scholarship page.

‘It’s never too late to complete your college degree’

Studying WGU - Dena Royal

Senior citizen achieves three WGU degrees in less than three years

At 65 years old, Dena Royal is set to make a little history herself this coming weekend as she walks in Western Governors University’s (WGU) biggest Seattle commencement event in the school’s 25-year history. The former resident of both Whidbey Island and Friday Harbor will celebrate earning three degrees in just two and a half years.

Royal’s extraordinary accomplishments as an adult learner mirror WGU’s tradition of breaking traditions by creating more attainable pathways to education.  She started college in the 1970s but like so many others, life got in the way, and she never completed her degree. After raising her children as a single mom, Royal decided it was time to prioritize her education.

“After extensively researching universities, WGU became the obvious choice due to affordability and flexibility,” she said.

With WGU’s flat-rate tuition being about half that of most other online colleges, there is a built-in incentive for students like Royal to accelerate their learning to make it even more affordable to earn their degree. Because the tuition per term is fixed, it doesn’t matter how many courses students complete—they’ll still pay the same rate. Nearly half of WGU students can complete their degrees without taking on any new student debt and among those who do borrow, the average student debt at graduation is less than half the national average.

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, WGU is giving away $125,000 in scholarships to 25 people. (WGU 25th Anniversary Next Generation Scholarship) They will be awarded throughout 2022 and each is worth $5,000 in tuition.

The road to earning three degrees—one bachelor’s and two masters—came to fruition after Royal made some major life changes at 63 years old.  

“I sold my yarn shop on Whidbey Island and moved aboard a vintage houseboat in Friday Harbor, Washington. I began working part-time as a paraeducator at the local elementary school and decided it was time to check off the first item on my bucket list: completing my college degree,” she said.

Royal started in the Elementary Education program in 2019 and completed 91 CUs in less than six months. She was accepted for student teaching in the fall of 2020, but the school district cancelled Demonstration Teaching (DT) due to Covid and remote learning. Royal would not give up, though.

“I would not be deterred. I had worked too hard,” she said.
Royal persevered and achieved her BA in Educational Studies in October of 2020 and immediately started her Master’s in Learning and Technology. She graduated with her masters in May 2021 and then began her Master’s in Elementary Education on June 1, 2021.

“I only had six weeks to complete my DT prerequisites, but I did it! I completed my student teaching in November 2021, graduating with my teaching certification in December 2021,” she said.

But then life happened, again, and threw even more obstacles in Royal’s path.
On December 26, 2021, her beloved houseboat sank in a storm along with all her possessions.  Royal says she strongly believes that it was a sign from the Universe to try something new. So, she applied for remote teaching jobs in Alaska. In mid-March of this year, she was hired to teach in a remote, indigenous community in the Aleutian Islands. The school district asked her to finish out the school year, and she moved to Alaska with just five days’ notice.

“I absolutely love teaching a multi-grade classroom of K-5 students. WGU prepared me well in differentiated instruction and teaching in a culturally rich, diverse environment,” she said. “The superintendent wrote to me: ‘You have finished this year strong for our kids and community in a way I never thought we would!’”

Royal is back in her hometown on San Juan Island for the summer to visit family and attend the commencement for her three WGU degrees.  She’ll return to the Aleutians in August, and she’s already halfway through her fourth degree. That’s right: nearly four degrees, in four years.

“I highly recommend completing your college degree, no matter what your age, and WGU will be your partner and biggest cheerleader in reaching your goals. I’m proud to be a Night Owl!”

Seattle Ranked 4th For Best Readership

Seattle 4th Most Read City Education

According to, Seattle is ranked 4th for the best read city. Alexandria, Virginia topped the list. Now don’t let this confuse you and think Seattle is the smartest city… it just means we read a lot. It does make sense because we are coffee town USA with Starbucks and all. Miami came in 2nd place where their top orders were books, magazines, and health and mind. What else you going to do when you’re at the beach all day. If we actually had a good beach (and hotter weather) I’m positive we would be #1 on this list because everyone would buy more. On a side note, did you know Washington State sells more sunglasses than any other state? Yes, it’s true.

Gap in Seattle Schools Test Scores of Blacks

Seattle Education Student Studying

The American born blacks are doing lots worse than the immigrant blacks in their test scores in math. They use words like this is an “alarming” or “comparison shocks some”. I am no expert at anything but feel the need to give my spin on what I would think makes this happen. Everything has a pay off, there must be an incentive to do something. From the time you are a toddler you must eat your “veggies” to get your piece of cake.

I have always been amazed at how the Asians come over here, not knowing our language or culture and get to be the top achievers. Maybe there is something in their genetic make up but mostly it’s the way they are brought up at home. They are taught to study. They are taught to better themselves. I don’t know a thing about American born Blacks and Somali born blacks but I would imagine their genetic make up is the same. That being the case it has to be attitude. There are some rich Somali blacks and there are some rich American born blacks, so lets stick with the run of the mill type.

My take on this is our welfare society has ripped all ambition form the little American born blacks. I am using a broad paint brush and there are exceptions but for some reason American born blacks are raised to believe that because their great, great, great, great Grandaddy MIGHT have been a slave they should be handed everything on a silver platter. There are 3rd and 4th generation blacks who have lived on welfare. They even whine about that. Lets just take one family for an example. A little American black is born to a Mommie that has no idea who his daddy is or if she does know she wont say because she would not qualify for welfare. He can still slip in the backdoor of her “free rent” apartment, and eat from her food stamp supply of food. They can go to emergency rooms free, get a welfare check that gets raised every time she has another baby. That baby grow up knowing he is way better off to JUST HAVE FUN and not study, his Mom does not try to get him to study or support himself. He has a better life(better apartment, and food) than the little white boy and girl that got married and both have to work at flipping burgers and have no insurance.

If the United States stopped giving free rent and food to the Mommies and Daddy’s whose kids are doing so poor in school it would stop. There should have to be a pay off. The Mommies are home all day and could be teaching their pre schoolers all sorts of things, instead they give them no reason to do well in school at all. No punishment, no rewards and probably the parents dropped out of school and on and on. Lots of Somali blacks came here from war torn countries and refuge camps but still do better than the blacks who had a much better life here. The American born blacks are actually being harmed by insisting on things instead of earning things. Even trying to force whites to integrate with blacks backfired. I have worked with blacks, I have rented to blacks, I have lived beside blacks. I do not hate blacks but its how they act that makes me like them, not because someone is trying to force me to live or work with one.

Cut of Mommies welfare check and food stamps if she cant help her child with his school work. If she knew unless he went to school and brought a passing grade home, “she would get fired from her job of collecting freebies”. It would change in a hurry. The American born blacks have a huge chip on their shoulders that the Somali blacks don’t and until that changes these little blacks would rather hang on corners in gangs or stay out all night because Mommie doesn’t care what they do. She doesn’t care if they bring home a good report card. Give them an incentive to study.

I was a really really poor little farm girl, baby of 12 that caught on early that if I was going to do anything different I had to study. I was the first in my family to graduate from high school. I was the valedictorian of my class. My parents made all of us little kids sit at the old kitchen table and study by a kerosene lamp. We had no running water, we had a three holer outhouse so if you think for one minute being poor automatically makes you do poor in school, YOU ARE DEAD WRONG. There was a willow switch waiting if we brought home a bad report card. There was no welfare or food stamps. We were taught, “work if you want to eat”. The little American born blacks don’t have a clue what its like to be poor. They have no incentive, they have been robbed of that. They have to want to better themselves but giving them more freebies is not the answer. Maybe school work camps for the children, and make Mommie get a job, even a low paid one.

Hope this generates some thoughts. Until you change the mind set of the American Born Blacks that they are so poor, so picked on etc etc nothing will change. LLL

Penn State Case

After reading/hearing about these coachs, assistant coaches, and assorted officials I just have to put my spin on this horrible story. I am a Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother and thru the years I have watched these sports figures get by with even murder. Think O.J. here. For some reason the coaches get salaries that are totally over the top. The schools get famous because they have jocks that can kick a ball, or shoot a hoop or whatever the flavor of the day is at that time.

Thru my many years of watching little league baseball, junior football, soccer etc and see how these little boys aspire to be GREAT/FAMOUS like these idiots we read about. The schools offer scholarships to little boys who they think will do good in sports but instead of the little hopefuls having to really study and get good grades they get pushed ahead, helped to cheat on tests, and once they get into college and hurt their knee or something they can barely read and write and are forgotten about. The players(that score a lot) and coaches can do almost anything and not get punished. Everyone will lie for each other to protect the school from negative publicity. Now on to what my story is about.

This is about Mike McQueray. Why isn’t he fired or perhaps put in jail? Its almost aiding and abetting a rapist to just walk away and tell someone a couple days later. In my way of thinking the buck stops with him. If he were a decent human being, a real man, a person who has any conscience when he walked in a locker room 9 years ago and saw a naked Jerry Sandusky holding a naked little boy around the hips up against him he would not have thought for one second who to tell. He would have jumped right onto the back of the rapist/molestor and beat the holy crap out of him. His first concern as a normal human would have been the little boy. No one will ever know what he told or to who, but for sure he really screwed up being a good citizen. Shame, double shame on him, and I do believe in Karma whether he does or not. As for the so called trial, the only winners will be a bunch of lawyers. They will drag this sucker out as long as possible and will focus on whether McQueray said the boy was being raped or molested. What difference did it make? Now is will focus on perjury, if he does not repeat word for word what he told who 9 years ago. Probably be a big mistrial. McQueray seemed to think he told the Athletic Director Tim Curley and then Vice President Gary Schultz his concerns in the 2002 incident and said he told them there severe sexual acts going on and that was all he needed to do. Rapist/child molester Sandusky should have been arrested that day or for sure been booted from the school even for nothing more than naked horseplay(his words) with little boys. If punishment to Sandusky had been sure and swift look at the misery these little boys could have been spared? Think how good the school’s reputation would be? But lying, covering up, making excuses have really brought Pen States reputation down. A so called well loved head football coach Joe Paterno was fired. He should have been fired. They all should, but most of all Mike McQueray who did not act like a good concerned human being that day nine years ago in the locker room. How could he walk away and not challenge the HORSEPLAY between a man and a little boy?

If I were a judge and it were possible to do(which of course it isn’t) I would turn the stinking slimball Sandusky over to the Mothers of the little boys who were raped, with the order to give him the Lorina Bobbitt treatment, one slice at a time. They are still more interested in protecting the schools reputation(it has none to protect anymore). They are questioning if he saw genitals etc, just stupid stupid stuff. I am not into porn but I think during intercourse you would never see anyone’s genitals. They lost the focus completely of what this crime that the school let happen with the top guys all knowing something was very wrong for years. Why is McQueray still working there? LLL

University of Washington Leadership Failure

College Books Photo

A new President is about to be named at the University of Washington and his name is Michael Young.  He was a busy guy today with press conferences and visiting the University of Washington.  Today was his first time ever at the University.  He took questions from the student leadership and the general feedback was that he is “down to earth guy and honest.”   The previous President was scheduled to make a little over $900,000 per year.  When asked today about his salary, he said he would be willing to take less.  Michael Young was very excited to be working at the University of Washington (I’m sure he was – I would be to if I was making 75K a month!).

You can read our previous article about the University of Washington and Seattle’s Schools bad revenue but it all comes back to a failure in leadership.  Money that could be used for the students is being used and abused by upper management.  Teachers are the first ones to get the cut in the pay and we continue to hear about schools wanting more and more money in taxes and funding.  Should we keep increasing the taxes and approving school bonds that are just being wasted by upper management?  Michael Young isn’t special. We could have had a qualified University of Washington President for less than $250,000.  The rest of the money could have been used on students in need, low income, or scholarships.  This is just another example of a failure in leadership and the people in charge don’t have a clue.  Unfortunately, seeing it again at the University of Washington is sad.

About the University of Washington

The University of Washington (UW), established in 1861, holds the distinction of being one of the oldest and most esteemed institutions on the West Coast of the United States. Nestled in the city of Seattle, Washington, UW not only stands out for its rigorous academic programs but also for its innovative research, drawing students and scholars from around the globe. Encompassing three campuses – Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell – the university presents a dynamic learning environment, intertwining beautiful landscapes with state-of-the-art facilities. Offering a plethora of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across various disciplines, the UW sustains a robust educational ecosystem that cultivates intellectual prowess and research aptitude.

UW’s formidable reputation in research has been underscored by its contributions to various fields, including medicine, science, engineering, and the humanities. The university is renowned for its research in space exploration, environmental science, public health, and myriad other domains. Furthermore, UW consistently ranks among the top recipients of federal research funding, reflecting its pivotal role in advancing knowledge and innovation. With a strong commitment to sustainability, diversity, and societal impact, the University of Washington continues to shape future leaders, foster innovation, and contribute significantly to the global body of knowledge and research.

Update about Michael Young

Michael Young

Michael Young served as the President of the University of Washington (UW) from 2011 to 2015. Before his tenure at UW, Young had an extensive career in academia and administrative roles at other notable institutions. He served as the President of the University of Utah and had roles at other universities before taking the leadership position in Washington. Michael Young was earning an annual salary of $854,000, following a 6-percent raise implemented in October. After 3 years at UW, Young took a position as the president of Texas A&M University.

The Problem With Maria Goodloe Johnson And Seattle Schools

Maria Goodloe Johnson Seattle

As you know, Maria Goodloe Johnson was recently fired as the Seattle Public Schools Superintendent.  She most likely will not apologize for her actions and didn’t even attempt to keep her job.  It turns out she was making approx. $264,000 per year and is entitled to an additional $264,000 after she was fired per her severance contract terms.  Don Kennedy, the school’s Chief Financial Officer, was also fired without cause.  Mr. Don Kennedy was making approx. $174,000 per year and is entitled to $87,000 (half) after he was terminated. As we all know, that is how government works.  They create contracts that none of us regular people would ever get if employed. We would be immediately terminated without notice but not when you have a leadership position with the city.  I guess that makes you better than everyone else.

After reading those facts several things come to my mind.  First, lets talk about skills and education.  There are many well-educated school officials available all over the USA.  We all know (if not – you should) that everyone is dispensable and a few job wanted ads in some of major publications will result in more qualified talent then we can handle.  They will come from every state far and wide to work in the Seattle School District.  No severance or contract would even be required.  Maria Goodloe Johnson and Don Kennedy are not “that special” when it comes to their skills and education.  I understand from a public relations aspect Seattle School Officials want the public to feel “confident” in their hiring decisions but their process and the “value” they place in these individuals is overrated.  If they really wanted to make a change, with would hire them just like everyone else.  We all should be equals when it comes to hiring and firing.

From a money perspective, they obviously are being way overpaid.  Seattle doesn’t care about their spending and will just make up another law to take more taxes from you. It’s the democrats way to spend more than they have then claim they are broke and require more. In regards to salaries, $120,000 should be the cap for upper management.  Like most positions – there should be no severance terms.  You get hired and fired just like everyone else.  It’s not needed and wouldn’t hinder the resumes from pouring in.  This of course is the problem, Seattle leadership has created a monster and are now stuck with their bad policies and procedures.  Changing these procedures would be a public relations nightmare and cast someone being a dictator or extremist. 


There was an Audit published on February 23 that disclosed that the district expended over $1.5 million on endeavors of dubious public value, and nearly $300,000 on services that were not received. They found it to have, “questionable public purpose”.

Update 2023: Despite her efforts to address the district’s academic achievement gap and to improve overall student performance, her tenure was marred by a financial scandal involving a district-run small-business contracting development program. Maria Goodloe-Johnson passed away in 2012. The exact cause of death is unknown but family members stated she was sick for a year prior. She was 55.

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