WGU Number One Provider of Math Teacher Master’s Degrees, 7/26/12

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News Brief - 7/26/12

WGU—Number One U.S. Provider of Master’s Degrees for Math Teachers

Online university is first in degree conferral for master’s in math education, according to Eduventures study

SALT LAKE CITY — Western Governors University (WGU), www.wgu.edu, is leading the way in producing K-12 math and science educators, according to a recent study conducted by education research and consulting group Eduventures. The study, which used data collected by the U.S. Department of Education, found that in 2011, WGU was the nation’s largest provider of master’s degree programs in math education. In addition, WGU was the third largest provider of master’s degrees in science education and fourth largest provider of bachelor’s degrees in math education. The nonprofit, online university is also a top provider of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in science education, including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, General Science, and Earth Sciences.

Established just nine years ago, WGU’s NCATE-accredited Teachers College has 11,000 students and 9,000 graduates nationwide. Since its inception, the Teachers College has focused on developing and training teachers in the high need areas of math and science education. WGU math and science graduates compare very favorably to their counterparts at other universities in the PRAXIS exams (the national tests required for teacher certification)—in the past year, WGU graduates scored higher than the national average on 9 of the 10 math and science exams.

Currently, U.S. students rank 23rd in math among students in the top 65 industrialized countries in the world, and the demand for more college graduates in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields is continuing to grow. According to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, “Economic forecasts point to a need for producing, over the next decade, approximately 1 million more college graduates in STEM fields than expected under current assumptions.”

“Our rigorous programs are designed to produce teachers who can provide their students with a solid foundation in math and science,” said WGU Teachers College Dean Dr. Philip A. Schmidt. “Because WGU uses a competency-based learning model that requires students to demonstrate mastery of all subject matter in their degree programs, our graduates are well prepared to teach these challenging subjects.”