• September 22, 2020

WGU Labs partners with Propeller to advance basic student learning accessibility.

Greg M. Smith
  • by Greg M. Smith

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WGU Labs will research the effects of Propeller’s virtual learning environment on student access to the full range of required learning technologies.. 


Salt Lake City, UT – September 22, 2020 WGU Labs, Inc., an affiliate of online nonprofit Western Governors University (WGU), today announced a partnership with Propeller. The Propeller solution improves student access to vital, course-required applications and data through its cloud-based virtual learning environment. Propeller is founded on the belief that technology should never get in the way of life, learning, or accomplishment, and that a student’s ability to work, learn, and interact should extend beyond the bounds of a traditional campus.


Under the partnership, WGU Labs will research how the Propeller solution positively impacts student access to learning. The research will include analyzing in what ways access to the platform impacts the learning process, learning outcomes, and student retention. In addition to rigorous research, WGU Labs will also support Propeller’s market outreach.


“We had been looking into ways to grow our business and had spoken to several business accelerators. It was important to us that we found the right partner that put the student at the center of what they value. Improving student access to their institution’s learning environment, regardless of the cost of their device is core to what we value. WGU Labs has a passion for the student and we share a similar vision, it was clear they were the right partner to help grow Propeller impact,” says Propeller founder Greg M. Smith. 


A recent study by Indiana University found that 20% of students had problems maintaining access to effective technology. And the difficulties are more common for students from low-income families. 


“Greg and his team are addressing the income-based digital divide amongst postsecondary students. Educational success should not be based on the cost of your device.  It’s Maslowian — all students must have access to the internet and course required applications and data they need in order to achieve learning objectives.” Todd Bloom, Managing Director of the Accelerator at WGU Labs.  


Propeller marks the sixth partnership for the Accelerator at WGU Labs since its establishment. Crowell Moring advised on the execution of the Propeller and WGU Labs partnership.



About WGU Labs
WGU Labs is a nonprofit that is an affiliate of WGU. WGU Labs primarily provides research, services, inventions, and builds, and secondarily provides investments in strategically aligned innovative learning solutions that improve quality and advance educational outcomes for learners everywhere. Building on social psychology, learning science, and industry trends, WGU Labs accelerates education startups and develops its own research-supported, scalable products. Learn more about WGU Labs at https://wgulabs.org/.

About Propeller

As education IT veterans, our founders want all students to thrive beyond the bounds of a traditional campus and the confines of limited resources. We believe that technology should never get in the way of a school’s or a student’s ability to grow and engage with the world. With smart cloud computing, we saw an unmatched opportunity to help make better virtual learning possible for students on the devices they already have, freeing K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities from costly and burdensome software and hardware.

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