BATON ROUGE – Online, non-profit Western Governors University (WGU) will observe National Teacher Appreciation Week May 3-7 by offering up to 500 scholarships (totaling $2 million) for current and future education professionals who wish to pursue bachelor’s or master’s degree programs. WGU’s Teachers College is the nation's largest college of education by enrollment.
Each WGU Loves Teachers scholarship is valued up to $4,000 and designed to help current teachers improve their skill set in the classroom or move into administration or to assist professionals in obtaining the required credentials for a rewarding future career as an educator. Average tuition at WGU is approximately $7,000 per year, and the average time to complete a bachelor’s degree program is two and a half years. This scholarship provides students with significant financial assistance as they pursue an affordable, high-quality degree.
“Well educated, quality teachers are always essential, and this year especially as students return to normal after the disruptive school year brought on by the pandemic,” said Dr. Darrin Q. Rankin, Regional Vice President, WGU South Region. “In addition to educating our future workforce, teachers are of tremendous personal importance to our younger generation, serving as role models and offering guidance during critical times in their lives – and we need more of them! Our goal with these scholarships is to motivate aspiring teachers to pursue their education and help fill workforce demands for this essential profession.”
WGU student Danica Carpenter is a paraprofessional at Canyon High School in New Braunfels and an assistant wrestling coach with aspirations of becoming a teacher. She said she was “excited to receive the WGU Loves Teachers Scholarship. Even though WGU's tuition is so affordable, every little bit helps. Being a scholarship recipient also helps me feel that working towards my degree is what I'm supposed to be doing.” Danica joins around 100 other scholarship recipients across the state who are on their way to earning their teaching degrees.
In many states across the south, the demand for teachers continues to increase. As more teachers retire in Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, teaching shortages are critical in special education, STEM, art, music, world languages and IT. There is a vital need to increase the pipeline for future teachers, and urban and low-income communities will have the greatest need for teachers needed in the next decade.
In nearly 20 years, WGU’s Teachers College has graduated more than 50,000 educators in every state in America and currently enrolls more than 33,000 students. By providing competency-based, flexible, online degree programs, and low, flat-rate tuition, WGU
students progress through their courses as soon as they demonstrate mastery. This enables them to learn while working and graduate with less debt than their peers.
“At a time when students need inspiring and innovative educators more than ever, we offer this scholarship to help professionals pursue their academic dreams,” said Dr. Mark Milliron, Executive Dean of WGU’s Teachers College. “We’re incredibly honored to support the continued learning and hard work of next-generation teachers and leaders.”
New and enrolling WGU students may apply for the scholarship now through June 30 at www.wgu.edu/teacherappreciation. Each scholarship will be credited to the student’s account at the rate of $1,000 per six-month term, renewable for up to four terms. Scholarships will be awarded based on a candidate’s academic record, financial need, readiness for online study at WGU, current competency, and other considerations.
To learn more about WGU’s Teachers College and its academic programs, visit www.wgu.edu/online-teaching-degrees.