WGU Broadens Healthcare Education Focus, Appoints Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk Executive Dean of College of Health Professions

Online, competency-based health college adds strategic collaboratives and credentialing programs

SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Western Governors University (WGU) has appointed Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk Senior Vice President and Executive Dean of its College of Health Professions. In this role, Dr. Jones-Schenk will lead all strategic, operational, and academic initiatives and processes for the college, which has nearly 30,000 enrolled students and 70,000 graduates.

Dr. Jones-Schenk’s appointment is key to the college’s strategy to expand its scope to include professional development and credentialing programs as well as collaborative ventures aimed at advancing healthcare practice and administration. To help meet the demand for skilled healthcare workers, the College of Health Professions formed the Center for Professional Learning (CPL), and earlier this year, the CPL was selected as the first education partner to Futuro Health, a nonprofit collaboration between Kaiser Permanente and Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). In addition, the college now houses the Accountable Care Learning Collaborative (ACLC), a group established in 2015 to lead the transition to value-based care and address workforce competencies for that transformation.

COVID-19 has highlighted the need for expansion and innovation in nearly all aspects of healthcare education,” said Dr. Jones-Schenk. “We know we need more nurses, nurse educators, and nursing informatists, but we also need credentialed workers in areas such as medical coding, care coordination, and health leadership. While so many other institutions must focus now on adjusting programs and curricula to a virtual environment, WGU is fortunate that we can look at the issues created by COVID in a broader, more strategic way.”

Expanding the scope of our College of Health Professions and consolidating its leadership enables us to move our work in this area forward strategically and efficiently,” said WGU Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Marni Baker Stein. “Dr. Jones-Schenk is the right leader to catalyze the innovation and transformation needed to meet healthcare needs, both now and in the future.”

Dr. Jones-Schenk joined WGU in 2008, leading the university’s development and launch of the nation’s first competency-based prelicensure nursing program. Under her leadership, the College of Health Professions has grown to be the nation’s largest provider of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing. Dr. Jones-Schenk is a past president of the American Nurses Credentialing Center Board of Directors. She served eight years on the American Nurses Association Board of Directors and nine years as a Trustee for Park City Medical Center, an Intermountain Health Care facility in Park City, Utah. She serves on the board of directors of Aquifer, a medical education technology company, and was recently inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. She earned a Doctor of Global Health from A.T. Still University.

About WGU

Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 121,000 students nationwide and has more than 186,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just 23 years, the university has become a leading influence in the development of innovative workforce-focused approaches to education. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at www.wgu.edu.

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