WGU Washington’s Teachers College provides opportunities to ease tuition costs during national teacher shortage
KENT, Wash. (November 10, 2022) — As the country continues to face one of the largest teacher shortages in its history, Western Governors University (WGU Washington) recognizes the impact that teachers, administrators and paraprofessionals have on their communities. As the largest teachers college in the nation, the university will mark American Education Week (November 14–19) by announcing the WGU Loves Teachers and Become a Teacher scholarship programs for current and future education professionals who wish to pursue bachelor’s or master’s degree programs in the Teachers College.
The WGU Loves Teachers Scholarship and Become a Teacher Scholarship are valued at up to $4,000 each and designed to help current teachers improve their skill set in the classroom or move into administration, and to support future teachers in obtaining the required credentials to start a rewarding career. The accredited, nonprofit college’s commitment to keeping costs lower also reduces the need for student borrowing, resulting in average graduate debt that is about half the national average.
“WGU’s Teachers College has a history of maintaining remarkably affordable, flat-rate tuition that allows students to pursue their professional passions without the burden of student loan debt,” said Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson, senior vice president of WGU and executive dean of the School of Education. “With these scholarships, we continue our commitment of offering accessible educational opportunities focused on the individual so that each and every student, regardless of circumstances, can see themselves on the path to a degree.”
According to data sourced from the US Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), all states and the District of Columbia collectively report an unmet need of approximately 377,400 teachers for the 2022–23 school year, including elementary, secondary and special education instructors. As part of a solution to this shortage, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, WGU’s Teachers College has graduated more than 32,700 students nationwide between January 1, 2020, and August 31, 2022, who have then launched as licensed teachers or advanced in their school-leader roles.
However, across Washington State, there continues to be an extreme shortage of educators who reflect the diverse demographics of P-12 students and in the area of special education. There is currently an unmet need for almost 13,000 teachers.
WGU Washington Chancellor and Regional Vice President Dr. Tonya Drake said that the impact of teachers on student outcomes cannot be overstated.
“Teachers are the most influential in-school factor contributing to student success and are often the first role models that young people encounter outside of their homes,” Drake said. “Given the magnitude of their influence, every student in Washington deserves to have excellent, effective, equity-minded teachers, and an education system that fully supports their learning and growth. We continue to be committed to diversity and representation, and I salute the teachers who have answered this vital call.”
In the last 20 years, the Teachers College has conferred more than 70,000 degrees to educators across all 50 states, and has currently enrolled approximately 35,000 students. The college provides a broad portfolio of dozens of degree pathways using a student-centered, competency-based model with flexible scheduling, so students can learn where and when they want within each six-month term. This enables students to progress through their courses as soon as they demonstrate mastery of required skills.
If you’ve dreamed of making a difference in the classroom, there’s no better time than now to answer the call. New and enrolling WGU Washington students may apply by December 31, 2022, for the WGU Loves Teachers scholarship or the Become a Teacher scholarship by visiting WGU Teachers College.
About WGU Washington
WGU Washington is an online, competency-based university designed to expand access to higher education for Washington residents. In 2011, the Washington State Legislature created WGU Washington in partnership with nationally recognized Western Governors University. Learn more at WGU Washington.
About The WGU School of Education
The WGU School of Education, the largest non-profit, accredited school of education in the country, is a champion of next-generation teaching, learning, and leading. The school is comprised of the Teachers College and the College of General Education, providing a proven, student-centered, competency-based model. The Teachers College currently offers 30 graduate and undergraduate programs, including several programs for initial licensure preparation, and currently enrolls about 35,000 active degree-seeking students. The College of General Education’s innovative portfolio of learning experiences prepares students to succeed in any degree program, as well as any choice of career, by building the knowledge and skills employers seek. The College of General Education serves students starting their degrees in the WGU Teachers College as well as the College of Business, the College of Information Technology, and the Leavitt School of Health.