News Brief - 6/17/14 Online, competency-based university’s elementary and secondary teacher preparation programs receive high marks from NCTQ SALT LAKE CITY — The Western Governors University (WGU) Teachers College has earned top honors for its teacher preparation programs from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ). In its Teacher Prep Review 2014, the NCTQ ranked WGU’s secondary teacher preparation program as the top program in the nation from a list of 2,400 programs. In addition, WGU’s elementary teacher preparation program was ranked 16th in the nation—one of only 26 elementary programs to be recognized for high quality. WGU was one of only 10 institutions named to the top lists for both elementary and secondary teacher education. The Review cited WGU’s commitment and focus on quality: “The top program in the nation for secondary teachers is at Western Governors University, which had nearly perfect scores across the board and whose online training is accessible to any aspiring teacher in the nation. Primarily an online program, Western Governors University places staff in every state who carefully oversee the delivery of a strong student teaching experience.” “WGU’s top ranking for training secondary teachers and our high ranking for elementary teacher preparation validate the university’s online, competency-based approach to teacher preparation,” said Dr. Philip A. Schmidt, Vice President and Dean, WGU Teachers College. “Our program focuses on demonstrating mastery of the skills and knowledge effective teachers need, with a strong emphasis on a meaningful student teaching experience, ensuring that all graduates are classroom-ready on day one.” Established 11 years ago, WGU’s Teachers College offers the only competency-based teacher preparation programs in the U.S. With 11,000 students and 14,000 graduates in all 50 states, WGU is the country’s largest provider of math and science educators. WGU offers 20 undergraduate- and graduate-level teacher preparation programs, with licensure available in all 50 states. WGU is the first exclusively online university to earn accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) for its teacher preparation programs. WGU uses an innovative approach to learning called competency-based education, which measures learning rather than time spent in class. Students earn their degrees by demonstrating mastery of subject matter. Designed to meet the needs of adult learners, competency-based education allows students to take advantage of prior learning and experience to move quickly through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn. WGU faculty members work one-on-one with students, offering guidance, support, and individualized instruction. While WGU’s degree programs are rigorous and challenging, competency-based learning makes it possible for students to accelerate their programs, often finishing sooner, saving both time and money. Tuition for WGU’s teacher education programs, which has not increased since 2008, is charged at a flat rate of $2,890 per six-month term. For more information about WGU’s teacher education programs, go to www.wgu.edu/NCTQ14.