As the country continues to face one of the largest teacher shortages in its history, Western Governors University recognizes the impact that teachers, administrators, and paraprofessionals have on their communities. As the largest teacher’s college in the nation, the university will mark American Education Week (Nov. 14-19th) by announcing the WGU Loves Teachers and Become a Teacher scholarship programs for current and future education professionals who wish to pursue bachelor’s or master’s degree programs in the Teachers College.
TheWGU Loves Teachers Scholarship and Become a Teacher Scholarshipare valued at up to $4,000 each and designed to help current teachers improve their skill set in the classroom or move into administration, and support future teachers in obtaining the required credentials to start a rewarding career as an educator. The accredited, nonprofit college’s commitment to keeping costs lowered reduces the need for student borrowing, resulting in graduate debt that is about half the national average.
“WGU’s Teachers College has a history of maintaining remarkably affordable, flat-rate tuition that allows students to pursue their professional passions without the burden of student loan debt,” said Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson, Senior Vice President of WGU and Executive Dean of the School of Education. “With these scholarships, we continue our commitment of offering accessible educational opportunities focused on the individual so that each and every student, regardless of circumstances, can see themselves on the path to a degree.”
According to data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), all states and the District of Columbia collectively report an unmet need of approximately 377,400 teachers for the 2022-23 school year, including elementary, secondary, and special education. As part of a solution to this teacher shortage, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, WGU’s Teachers College has graduated more than 32,700 students nationwide between Jan.1, 2020 and Aug. 31, 2022 who have launched as licensed teachers or advanced in their school-leader roles.
In Utah alone, schools are expected to face a shortage of almost 200,000 teachers by 2025, with many districts being unable to retain teachers for more than five years, according to a 2021 performance audit of teacher retention in Utah’s public education system.
WGU Regional Vice President Dr. Tonya Drake said the impact of teachers on student outcomes cannot be overstated.
“Teachers are the most influential in-school factor contributing to student success and are often the first role models that young people encounter outside of their homes,” she said. “Given the magnitude of their influence, every student in Washington deserves to have excellent, effective, equity-minded teachers, and an education system that fully supports their learning and growth. We continue to be committed to diversity and representation, and I salute the teachers who have answered this vital call.”
In the last 20 years, the Teachers College has conferred more than 70,000 degrees to educators across all 50 states, and has currently enrolled approximately 35,000 students. The college provides a broad portfolio of dozens of degree pathways in a student-centered, competency-based model with flexible scheduling to learn where and when students want within each six-month term. This enables students to progress through their courses as soon as they demonstrate skills mastery.
If you’ve dreamed of making a difference in the classroom, there’s no better time than now to answer the call. New and enrolling WGU students may apply by December 31, 2022 for the WGU Loves Teachers scholarship or the Become a Teacher scholarship by visiting WGU Teachers College.
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 130,000 students nationwide and has nearly 300,000 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 25 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. 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.
About The WGU School of Education
The WGU School of Education, the largest non-profit, accredited school of education in the country, is a champion of next-generation teaching, learning, and leading. The school is comprised of the Teachers College and the College of General Education, providing a proven, student-centered, competency-based model. The Teachers College currently offers 30 graduate and undergraduate programs, including several programs for initial licensure preparation, and currently enrolls about 35,000 active degree-seeking students. The College of General Education’s innovative portfolio of learning experiences prepares students to succeed in any degree program, as well as any choice of career, by building the knowledge and skills employers seek. The College of General Education serves students starting their degrees in the WGU Teachers College as well as the College of Business, the College of Information Technology, and the Leavitt School of Health.