SALT LAKE CITY -- More highly qualified teachers will be in classrooms, thanks to a scholarship fund provided to Western Governors University by the Qwest Foundation. The $50,000 scholarship fund will provide 10 teacher scholarships valued up to $5,000 each for working teachers in the 14 states where Qwest offers local phone service. The fund, now in its third year, opens doors to teachers to earn their master's degree online while working in their own classrooms. WGU's online degree programs are focused on adult learning through the creation and delivery of flexible, technology-based instruction. "An excellent education system is so important to our society, and Western Governors University helps provide the next generation of educators with tools for success," said Jerry Fenn, Qwest President in Utah. "I'm pleased that the Qwest Foundation is working with WGU to provide much-needed scholarships for people in this very noble profession to mentor our students for years to come." WGU is the only online university accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The online graduate degrees eligible for this scholarship include the Master of Education in Learning and Technology, Master of Education in Measurement and Evaluation, Master of Arts in Mathematics Education, Master of Arts in Science Education, Master of Arts in English Language Learning, Master of Arts in Special Education and the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. The WGU-Qwest Excellence in Education scholarship money will be credited at the rate of $1,000 per six-month term, renewable up to five terms. Although WGU's competency-based programs allow students to complete the requirements of the degree programs in less than two-and-a-half years, the scholarship monies are based on a reasonable experience of five six-month terms to complete the programs. Qwest Scholarship recipient Roger Jerman, who is studying for his Master of Arts in Teaching Science, found this to be a great opportunity. He credits the scholarship for enabling him to go back to school. "Without the scholarship, I would not have the means to earn this degree and achieve the goal of teaching in a more advanced institution," Roger said. "And for my family, it means we can have more earning power and the ability to help send my children to college." Candidates must currently be a licensed K-12 teacher in a U.S. school in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington or Wyoming. This is a competitive program and scholarships will be awarded based on academic record, current competency and other considerations. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible. More about the WGU-Qwest Excellence in Education Scholarships can be found at: www.wgu.edu. About the Qwest Foundation The Qwest Foundation's core principle is that investing in people and communities provides lasting value for the future. The Qwest Foundation awards grants to community-based programs that generate high-impact and measurable results, focusing on pre-K through grade 12 education.