Western Governors University is an online-only, non-profit, public university that began enrolling students in 1999, founded through the cooperation of 19 state governors in the western United States. WGU's mission is to provide high-quality online degree programs for students who may not have easy physical access to colleges and universities due to geographical constraints. The most popular program at WGU is the online teaching degree, a specialty that education majors like Jennifer Shaft of Tecumseh, Mich., cite as a major reason for choosing to earn online teacher certification through this unique setup.
Online Teaching Degrees at Western Governors University
The Teachers College at WGU offers an online bachelor degree, post-baccalaureate programs, and master's degrees in the education field, with more than 10,500 students enrolled in the college, according to Dr. Philip Schmidt, Associate Provost for Academic Programs at WGU.
Schmidt notes that "for students interested in licensure in teacher education, WGU's Teachers College is the only one in the United States that is truly national in scope. WGU's teacher education candidates are able to be licensed in every one of the 50 states."
He adds that "the Teachers College prepares students for "initial licensure and/or endorsement licenses in mathematics, the sciences, social studies, elementary education, early childhood education, special education, English language learning, and educational administration, where the master's degree leads to the principalship license in those states supporting such a certification."
Current student Jennifer Shaft, a mother of two and full-time student, cited the online teacher certification as the deciding factor in choosing WGU: "It's the first online school I found that had a functional teacher education program that included the student teaching section that would allow me to become a certified teacher. I looked at local schools, but I simply could not afford tuition, even with grants and financial aid. WGU made it possible."
Online Teacher Certification at WGU - Accredited Education Degree
The scope of teacher training has changed dramatically in the past decade, with many states requiring that prospective teachers graduate from accredited programs and in some cases, requiring a full master's degree before receiving certification.
Online teacher certification coupled with the right accreditation makes WGU attractive for many students nationwide. Schmidt notes that "with regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and University, accreditation for its Teachers College from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, and accreditation for its Nursing Programs from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, WGU provides not only good value but, more importantly, robust programs that are highly respected throughout the education community."
Students can complete online teaching degrees through the bachelor's and master's in education degrees at WGU, all via distance education, with help finding local internships, practicums and student teaching positions. This gives students the ability to balance online bachelor degree and, if needed, master's degree programs with the need to remain within their home base.
Tuition and Fees for The Teachers College at WGU
Students purchase time - not class credits - at WGU. Tuition runs approximately $3,000 per six-month semester, or $6,000 per academic year. The university is fully accredited and accepts all federal and state financial aid, so the Pell Grant, state supplemental grants, and federal and private student loans can be used to pay tuition.
Students work at their own pace through the program, so each education major will have a different experience with pacing an online teacher certification path.
Teaching Jobs - How Does Western Governors University Help With Employment?
Schmidt notes that in a recent survey of online teaching degree graduates from WGU, "Sixty-six percent reported that they had received a raise, promotion, new position, or new job responsibility as a result of their degrees."
To learn more about online teaching degrees at Western Governors University, visit their website or call 866-225-5948.