Bartlett resident Lacy Acuff’s journey to receive a graduate degree took her from Bartlett to Seattle, Wash.
She recently graduated with a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from WGU Tennessee, and she joined the commencement exercises with other students in Washington.
WGU Tennessee is an online, nonprofit university formed through a partnership between the state of Tennessee and nationally recognized Western Governors University. There are seven other WGU state-based universities, one of them being WGU Washington. Students and graduates are welcome to attend any WGU commencement.
Most students attend commencement ceremonies in or near their home state. But Acuff decided to travel all the way to the Emerald City to walk across stage.
“I traveled to Seattle for the commencement ceremony because it was a sense of accomplishment that I finally finished my degree,” Acuff said. “I also wanted my boys at home to watch me walk across the stage so they would understand the importance of a higher education.”
Acuff discovered the online university through her husband, who is also a WGU Tennessee student. After seeing how well the university was working for her husband, she decided to enroll herself.
“I’ve loved the flexibility of it and that I could complete my coursework on my own time. This helped me finish my master’s in five and a half months,” Acuff said. “And because of the affordability, I was able to finish my degree with a cheaper tuition than one semester of my undergraduate degree.”
The state-endorsed university, launched on July 9, 2013, is preparing to celebrate five years of providing affordable education. As of today, more than 4,000 students have enrolled in WGU Tennessee, and the university has conferred more than 2,800 degrees.