SALT LAKE CITY — Jarett Tauiliili, a teacher at South Cache Middle School, and three other Utah students received scholarships last week that will allow them to attend Western Governors University (WGU), an online, nonprofit university, tuition-free for one year.
Tauiliili, and three other students, were presented scholarship checks during halftime of the Utah Jazz-Phoenix Suns game, as 40 of Tauiliili’s middle school students cheered, many of whom were attending their very first Jazz game.
“This scholarship means a lot to me as I try to better myself by becoming a more effective teacher through WGU’s master’s program,” said Tauiliili. “What makes this even more special is that many of my students are here tonight supporting me and enjoying their first Jazz game.”
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The four scholarship recipients are Tauiliili of North Logan; Kailan Anderson of St. George; Jadyn Blandin of Woods Cross; and Mostafa Elkhouly of West Valley City. All four are new enrollees at WGU and submitted an official entry form earlier in the Jazz season. Tauiliili is earning his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, Anderson is seeking her bachelor’s degree in nursing, Blandin is earning her bachelor’s degree in business management, and Elkhouly is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in network operations and security.
“The Utah Jazz support the efforts of Western Governors University to provide online educational opportunities with this free tuition program,” said Steve Starks, Utah Jazz president. “Our organization believes in the intellectual and economic value of education and giving students a chance to pursue their dreams.”
The majority of WGU students are working adults who benefit from the online university’s flexibility and competency-based online degree programs, which allow students to complete courses on their schedule, advancing as soon as they are able to demonstrate mastery of the material. This, combined with affordable, flat-rate tuition of about $6,500 a year for most programs, is making it possible for more students to earn degrees that are helping them advance their careers. More than 8,000 Utahns have graduated from WGU and 6,400 are currently enrolled, part of a growing nationwide student body of 95,000.