LINCOLNTON, N.C. – WGU North Carolina, an affiliate of the national online Western Governors University, has signed an agreement with Lincoln County Schools to help Teacher Assistants (TAs) advance their careers by earning bachelor’s degrees and teacher certifications. WGU’s Teachers College is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP).
Any Lincoln County Schools Teacher Assistant who enrolls in one of WGU North Carolina’s teacher preparation programs will receive up to $800 in tuition credit per six-month term, after any Pell Grants have been exhausted, for up to three years. They will also receive a waiver code to apply to WGU for free. WGU’s tuition is around $3,250 per six-month term for most degree programs.
TAs will have access to WGU career services resources and events, and WGU North Carolina staff will be available to participate in any education/benefits fairs, seminars, and presentations offered by the school system. Additionally, WGU North Carolina will create a unique URL for Lincoln County Schools employees and promote this opportunity through printed materials, social media, on-site presentations, and other channels.
“As a former teacher, I know firsthand the challenges many North Carolina school systems face in hiring and retaining qualified teachers,” said WGU North Carolina Chancellor Catherine Truitt. “By making this degree pathway available to its TAs, Lincoln County Schools is leading the way in implementing creative solutions to fill its pipeline for future openings.”
“This is a wonderful opportunity for many of our TAs to pursue their dreams of becoming teachers,” said Dr. Lory Morrow, Superintendent of Lincoln County Schools. “WGU’s scholarship program will help them earn their teaching degrees while continuing to work as a TA in our schools. Being able to earn a degree on their own schedule is a game-changer for these future teachers.”
Designed to meet the needs of adult learners, WGU’s competency-based learning model allows students to take advantage of their knowledge and experience to move quickly through material they already know, so they can focus on what they still need to learn. Students complete their programs by studying with schedules that fit their lives, advancing as soon as they demonstrate mastery of the subject matter. WGU faculty members work one-on-one with students as mentors, offering guidance, support, and individualized instruction.