The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
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UniversityNow Partners with SRJC

UniversityNow Partners with SRJC

UniversityNow Announces Innovative Public and Private Sector 
Higher Education Partnership with Santa Rosa Junior College
Establishes Partnership to Provide Community College Students With Free Foundational Courses and Affordable Bachelor’s Degree Options

UniversityNow, a social venture committed to transforming higher education, has partnered with Santa Rosa Junior College as part of the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) Wave IIIB grant program. The partnership is, in part, focused on a project to design developmental courses to support student readiness for college level work. A selection of students who need more preparation in the areas of math, reading, writing and online learning will be allowed to take as many of these courses as they can complete in one year at no cost.

Additionally, students who have earned an Associate Degree in Business from Santa Rosa Junior College, but who cannot enroll at a four-year state institution due, largely, to capacity constraints, will be provided scholarships to attend schools operated by UniversityNow – Patten University, which is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and New Charter University, which is nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council. This opportunity will provide a pathway for Santa Rosa graduates to complete the last two years of their Bachelor’s degree program online.

“After a national search for the right community college partner for the NGLC research project, we selected Santa Rosa Junior College because of their extraordinarily talented leadership and faculty, as well as their shared commitment to better serve students,” said Gene Wade, CEO of UniversityNow. “We hope that the results of our collaboration can demonstrate to others that public colleges can partner with innovative new models in order to improve college readiness and degree completion outcomes, while increasing access and affordability.”

Once the model of higher education in the United States, California’s community college system has been beleaguered by severe budget cuts amid rising demand for higher education. This created a wait list of over 600,000 students, who were unable to access the classes they needed in the fall of 2011.

The partnership between Santa Rosa Junior College and UniversityNow will allow both institutions to collaborate on addressing some of the most pressing challenges in higher education facing the country. Importantly, the partnership brings new opportunities for non-traditional students in California. The American Institutes for Research will independently evaluate and document the project’s outcomes, which could have important implications for future partnerships between private and public higher education entities.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to partner with New Charter University. Given the innovative features of their model and the cutting edge technology that UniversityNow has developed, we view this as a unique opportunity for Santa Rosa Junior College to develop programs that address the challenges our students face,” said Santa Rosa Junior College President Frank Chong. “We look forward to developing new programs to support incoming students who are enrolled in developmental courses and working toward meeting college level academic standards,  as well as the students who’ve completed their Associate Degree and cannot access affordable four-year degree programs.”

As an NGLC grantee, New Charter University was recognized for developing a breakthrough model for online and blended programs that could significantly improve post-secondary access, persistence, completion, and affordability for students, without compromising the quality of learning outcomes.

For more information, on the Next Generation Learning Challenges Wave IIIB grant, visit  


Share This: @uNow partners with Santa Rosa Jr. College via @NextGenLC grant; offers free developmental courses & college scholarships @NewEdu & @PattenU


About UniversityNow
UniversityNow’s mission is to make a high quality college education available to everyone who seeks it by building the most affordable and accessible network of accredited universities in the world. Headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., UniversityNow operates two universities that offer Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees: Patten University, which is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and New Charter University, which is nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council. UniversityNow’s breakthrough learning platform employs a unique model of individualized instruction, self-paced learning, and cutting-edge collaborative technologies designed to facilitate student-to-instructor and peer-to-peer learning and support that is customized to each student’s needs. Through its College Works Scholarship Program, UniversityNow also makes it possible for working adults with tuition assistance benefits to earn a college degree at no cost to them. Learn more by visiting UniversityNow’s website at