New partnership aims to skill-up educators and address ongoing teacher shortages through a flexible, affordable online learning option.
INDIANAPOLIS (June 7, 2022) – WGU Indiana today announced its new partnership with the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township to offer school corporation employees pathways to earning their degree and filling much-needed roles within the school system. Through this agreement, current staff can enroll in programs offered by Western Governors University to increase career readiness through degree completion or credentials through the fully accredited and competency-based online university.
This partnership comes at an especially critical time in education, as districts across the country face teacher and substitute shortages. Only 1 in 6 students in Indiana who entered college from 2010-2012 ended up in a teaching career, and the number of special education teachers in Indiana dropped around 4% from 2014 to 2021. The current teacher shortage, and the steady decrease in students wanting to pursue this profession, will undoubtedly impact Indiana’s future workforce and our communities as a whole.
“You don’t have to look too far to notice that our schools are in dire need of more teachers to help educate students throughout Indiana,” said Alison Bell, WGU Indiana Chancellor and Regional Vice President. “Within each school district, there are many individuals who are just steps away from earning their degree or teaching license who can provide some much-needed relief to these ongoing staffing shortages. WGU Indiana’s flexible and competency-based online model is designed to meet students where they are and can help make obtaining these credentials possible.”
Under this new agreement:
- Warren Township employees will be eligible for WGU scholarships. WGU provides thousands of dollars every year to make furthering their education possible.
- Employees will be able to utilize their current knowledge and professional abilities to accelerate through their degree.
- Every employee enrolled, undergraduate or graduate, will be assigned a faculty mentor who will proactively reach out to support them on a weekly to bi-weekly basis.
“The Metropolitan School District of Warren Township deeply values our exceptional staff and has a keen interest in recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers,” said Brian Simkins, Chief Human Resource Officer with the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township. “Our partnership with WGU Indiana will help us to continue to Invest in People by identifying aspiring teachers within the District in order to improve teaching and learning, diversify the teacher force and increase the impact on our school community. We are committed to our goal of preparing educators who will make a difference in Warren.”
This new partnership coincides with WGU’s Teacher Appreciation Week campaign, May 2-6, which aims to recognize Hoosier educators for all their hard work and dedication they pour into shaping the next generation everyday. Throughout this week, roughly 600 teachers will receive an appreciation kit with WGU-branded organizational caddies with charging ports for their devices along with pens, post-its, candy and much more. WGU is also offering a WGU Loves Teachers Scholarship, with applications due June 30, 2022.
WGU offers a wide range of scholarship and grant opportunities to current and prospective students year round. For more information on additional scholarships and grants, visit wgu.edu/scholarships.
About WGU Indiana
WGU Indiana is an online, competency-based university established to expand access to higher education for Indiana residents. The university offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. Degrees are granted under the accreditation of WGU, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Teachers College programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), College of Business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). WGU Indiana has helped over 11,000 Hoosiers achieve their dream of completing a college degree. More than 5,000 students are currently enrolled. Learn more at www.wgu.edu/indiana.