Developing the Teachers of the Future
The advancement of societies and communities is built on quality education—and particularly the education of children. WGU's School of Education believes in P–12 teachers and the impact they make. Our curriculum and faculty model are designed to train and inspire educators to achieve success in the classroom, in administration, and as leaders of learning in their communities. Our programs are dedicated to helping current and aspiring teachers pursue their own education in a way that works for their busy lives—allowing them to improve the lives of students in the process.
From Principles to Practice Podcast
This podcast is brought to you by Utah First Lady Abby Cox and Western Governors University Senior Vice President and Executive Dean of the School of Education Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson, facilitated by Marty Carpenter of Northbound Strategy. This limited series focuses on supporting teachers nationwide by providing strategies and resources to help educators thrive.
This podcast is designed as a discussion forum with topics important to classroom teachers as well as school district leaders and other community members who have a vested interest in the well-being of our nation’s educators. Hosts and guests will share practical advice, tips, and tools to support teachers and help them thrive. Also included in each episode are reflective questions to help expand educator expertise.
- WGU Executive Staff
- Program Council
- P-12 Advisory Council
WGU Executive Staff
Stacey Ludwig Johnson
Senior Vice President and Executive Dean of the School of Education
Ph.D., University of Colorado
Education Program Council
Program Director, STEM Education Research
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Conyers & Associates
President & CEO
President & CEO
Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity
Emeritus Rudy Distinguished Professor of Learning & Cognitive Sciences
Ruth L. Gottesman Prof. in Educ. Research
Wil Del Pilar
Vice President for Higher Education
The Education Trust
George Ann Rice
Planning Team Member
Troops to Education
Professor of Clinical Education
University of Southern California Rossier School of Education
Executive Director & CEO
SVP, Workforce Strategies
Strada Education Network
P-12 Advisory Council
Former Education Chief
Tennessee Department of Education
NEW ESD 101
Davis School District
Willard School District
The WGU School of Education has been awarded a grant by Lilly Endowment, Inc., one of the largest private philanthropic foundations in the U.S., to help expand and enhance the use of evidence-based instructional methods in Indiana, and in WGU’s teacher preparation programs by aligning with the Science of Reading.
With this grant, WGU will revise our current initial licensure preparation courses in literacy and reading instruction to align with Science of Reading principles and evidence-based research and improve literacy instruction within Indiana as well as other states we serve.
Seven key activities comprise the work of this grant:
Conduct a needs assessment, evaluating the current elementary education preparation programs to determine opportunities for redesign, using Science of Reading (SoR) evidence-based strategies.
Attend national and state literacy conferences to observe and engage with best practices in SoR methods.
Develop SoR subject matter experts among the WGU faculty.
Conduct a Science of Reading Colloquium for the WGU Teachers College faculty.
Explore SoR Activities for field-based and clinical experiences including the potential to leverage simulations and artificial intelligence.
Conduct an SoR study of WGU Elementary Education Preparation program graduates living in Indiana with survey and focus group analysis.
Explore tracking of the SoR efficacy of the Elementary Education Preparation Program on candidate performance and Pre K-12 student reading achievement.
With 25 years of experience training and placing teachers in classrooms across all 50 states, the WGU Teachers College has built strong relationships on ground with more than 2,600 school district partners. Recently, work with partners and governmental agencies in Iowa has resulted in a $12.8 million dollar grant-funded opportunity for districts partnering with WGU to address the teacher shortage in the Hawkeye State.
Key districts partnering with WGU have been approved with grant money coming from the state’s allocation of the federal Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) and the American Rescue Plan Act funds which combine to provide the $12.8 million in grant funding for the project.
WGU Teachers College has received funding from the Trellis Foundation to support the development of a virtual Center for Healthy Learning. This work will build a community of practice - a center of gravity – for pulling our energy together around the needs of students and educators as it relates to five primary critical areas for student academic, professional, and personal success in access institutions across P-20.
These five areas include (1) social-emotional learning, (2) diversity, equity, and inclusion, (3) character education, (4) mental health, and (5) basic needs. Each of these areas significantly interacts with the others and are core elements of healthy learning environments. While we feel strongly that this is a solid frame for this work, we are open to reframing this initial conceptualization after our continuing conversations.
The Center for Healthy Learning will strive to catalyze research, reflection, policy, and practice in these five areas to help ensure that more students in access institutions can flourish in their educations, and in their lives. Through the work of the center, we hope to help: (1) make access learning environments more attractive to and inspiring for increasingly diverse students; (2) improve student success rates; and (3) close attainment gaps.
WGU Teachers College is an eligible participant in the Federal Work Study Experimental Site Initiative Program (July 1, 2021- June 30, 2022). The Federal Work-Study (FWS) goal is to leverage funds to support the creation or expansion of education-related jobs, paid internships, student teaching and work-to-learn opportunities. According to the U.S. Department of Education, “The FWS Experimental Sites have incentivized student work opportunities that provide not only a paycheck, but meaningful skills training that aligns with students’ future career goals.”
The funding for this project may provide financial assistance to students in initial licensure programs, with two pathways to choose from. The first opportunity is for working paraprofessionals within the school district who are also enrolled in a WGU Teachers College licensure program. Under this program, WGU can reimburse the district for up to 75% of the qualified paraprofessional’s earned student wages. The remaining 25% is the non-federal share which must be paid by the district. This program has eligibility in all 50 states. Personnel at WGU Teachers College will work directly with the district to arrange for the necessary agreements and to confirm federal eligibility. Students in this program must meet federal requirements including financial need, U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizenship, a completed FAFSA form and is making satisfactory academic progress and other basic federal student aid eligibility criteria.
An additional Federal Work Study program allows WGU to provide funding to the district for eligible students completing their 12–16-week student teaching in those states where this program is allowed by law (CO, ID, IL, MI, MO, NE, NJ, NV, OK, UT, and WA). To learn more about this program, please complete the inquiry form.
WGU Teachers College trains and places thousands of teaching candidates in student teaching assignments across the United States every year. The student teaching assignments generally last three months and are full time unpaid jobs for those students, presenting financial hardship for many. In fiscal year 2021 (July 2020-June 2021), WGU awarded $700,000 in scholarships to students during student teaching, but we wanted to do more in fiscal year 2022. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) awarded WGU a total of $59,000,000 to support students across the university. WGU Teachers College received $10,000,000 of that HEERF funding to distribute to eligible students who demonstrated exceptional financial need to complete student teaching. More than 3,000 students received $3,000, one-time grants each, to help fund basic living, housing, school and travel expenses during student teaching so that they could focus on the work at hand and continue on their pathway to become the next generation of difference makers in education.