This grant will assist Western Governors University (WGU) with a portion of the start-up costs needed to establish a WGU North Carolina presence. WGU is a private, non-profit university that provides online, competency-based education. The competency-based model measures learning through mastery of concepts rather than through class time. Using the model, the average undergraduate student is able to complete a bachelor’s degree from WGU in less than three years. WGU students are often community college graduates, rural residents, or nontraditional students who would not attend traditional campuses to earn bachelor’s degrees. WGU confers 15% of all master’s degrees and 5% of all bachelor’s degrees in STEM teaching in the US, and has been ranked #1 in secondary education and #16 in elementary education by the National Council on Teacher Education. WGU NC will offer masters and bachelor degree programs in Business, IT, Teacher Education, and Health Professions (including Nursing and Health Informatics). WGU NC will have its own chancellor and advisory board. WGU enrollment in North Carolina is expected to increase from 1,000 currently to over 5,000 in 2019. Golden LEAF funds will be used for salaries and benefits for NC personnel.