The only chancellor in the eight-year history of WGU Indiana has been selected by the online university’s Utah-based parent to lead a new fundraising venture. Allison Barber will serve as president of WGU Advancement. The nonprofit will be based in Indiana and work as a dedicated funding source for scholarships by partnering with foundations, corporations, associations and individual donors.

In an exclusive Studio(i) interview, Barber said scholarships can help break down barriers for degree-seekers. Since 2010, she says WGU Indiana, alone, has awarded more than $3 million in scholarships. Barber adds WGU Advancement will provide support in other ways. "The majority of those children in Kindergarten today will be in jobs that we haven’t even heard about yet — not planned for — we don’t even know about them," she said. "How do we prepare for that? We’ll raise money for innovation so that WGU can keep expanding our impact in helping people find good jobs and good careers."

In addition to WGU Indiana, WGU has a state-based presence in Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. Barber says WGU Advancement will look to tap into its alumni network of some 110,000 graduates to raise funds and spread the word about the university. WGU President Scott Pulsipher says "we know that there are 36 million adults in the U.S. with some college and no degree. By creating a new funding source through WGU Advancement, we can do so much more. Our goal is to increase our impact tenfold – to provide a pathway to a better life, not for hundreds of thousands, but for millions."

WGU says WGU Advancement has already received support from partners including Indianapolis-based Strada Education Network, which is formerly known as USA Funds, Indianapolis-based the Lumina Foundation and the State of Indiana. You can connect to more about WGU Advancement by clicking here.

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