Western Governors University (WGU) will observe National Teacher Appreciation Week from May 3–7 by offering up to $2 million in scholarships for current and future education professionals pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree program in WGU’s Teachers College.
In 2020, Tennessee saw a decline in educators due to COVID-19 and issues related to overall access to a higher-education degree.
The WGU Loves Teachers scholarship is designed to help current teachers improve their skills in classrooms or administration or to educate new teachers entering the workforce.
According to a report released by Education Law Center, Tennessee is facing a crisis in not only teacher retention, but also state funding. In 2020, wealthier districts had about 19–20 students per teacher, while the poorest districts saw a student-teacher ratio of 24:1. Of the 140 districts in Tennessee, the need for ESL (English as a second language) teachers is twice as high in poorer districts in the state where there is the most need.
“At a time when students need inspiring and innovative educators more than ever, we offer this scholarship to help professionals pursue their academic dreams,” said Kim Estep, WGU’s Southeast Regional Vice President.
“We’re incredibly honored to support the continued learning and hard work of next-generation teachers and leaders.”
New and enrolling WGU students may apply for the scholarship now through June 30 at wgu.edu/teacherappreciation. Each WGU Loves Teachers scholarship is valued at up to $4,000, which is $1,000 per six-month term and renewable for up to four terms.
Scholarships will be awarded based on a candidate’s academic record, financial need, readiness for online study at WGU, current competency, and other considerations.
Last year, WGU distributed more than $5.5 million to 2,511 students across the country. The university gave more than $250,000 to 111 Tennesseans who applied for the WGU Loves Teachers scholarship to pursue a teaching career.
WGU’s Teachers College has graduated more than 50,000 educators in the U.S. and currently enrolls more than 33,000 students. With WGU’s competency-based, flexible, online degree programs and low, flat-rate tuition, students progress through their courses as soon as they demonstrate mastery. This enables them to learn while working and graduate with less debt than their peers.
To learn more about WGU’s Teachers College and its academic programs, visit wgu.edu/online-teaching-degrees.