WGU South Central Ohio ESC partners to fund Master’s Degrees for 10 educators

Staff report

PORTSMOUTH –Western Governors University (WGU) – a leading provider of bachelor’s and master’s degrees for teachers – has announced a partnership with South Central Ohio Education Service Center (SCOESC) to give Scioto County students more access to teachers with advanced degrees.

Thanks to a $150,000 grant from the State of Ohio, 10 Scioto County teachers will receive full funding for master’s degrees from WGU, with a focus on math and science teachers. The funds are part of an effort to recruit and retain more educators in Ohio and fill gaps in hard-to-find areas like math and the sciences.

“We are thrilled by the opportunity to help Scioto County students have greater access to educators with more advanced training. Not only does this help improve students’ educational experiences, it also helps advance the careers of Scioto County educators,” said Dr. K.L. Allen, chancellor of WGU Ohio. “WGU was created with the goal of tearing down the barriers that keep people from achieving the college degrees that help them reach their goals and this is a demonstration of that mission on many levels. We are one of the oldest and most accomplished online universities and we know that education is often held back by finances, proximity to a brick-and-mortar college or work and family obligations. With these master’s degree scholarships those barriers start coming down.”

“If we want all Ohioans in every corner of our state to share in Ohio’s success, we must start with education. When teachers are more highly trained it helps drive better learning outcomes for students. Students and regions both benefit. We’re excited about what this new effort will mean for our students and educators and proud to be able to partner with an agile and innovative partner like WGU to make it happen,” said Sandy Mers, SCOESC Superintendent.

The 10 Scioto County teachers will be selected by SCOESC and receive funding for tuition, class resources, and program fees for two years of online instruction at WGU. The funds are part of a statewide effort providing funding for advanced training for teachers statewide and is overseen jointly by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Educators interested in applying for the master’s degree scholarships can do so by contacting the SCOESC at www.scoesc.k12.oh.us.

Western Governors University was established in 1997 by a partnership of state governors to offer students, particularly adult learners, the chance to go to college while working and caring for their families. In 2018, Ohio became the 27th state to join the WGU partnership, offering a new pathway for Ohioans to seek careers in such in-demand careers as health care and nursing, business, teaching, and information technology.

Staff report