JEFFERSON — Teacher assistants in Ashe County Schools who are interested in earning bachelor’s degrees that lead to teacher licensure can now take advantage of a new scholarship opportunity. WGU North Carolina, an affiliate of online nonprofit Western Governors University, has signed a partnership agreement with Ashe County Schools that will provide TAs with scholarships of up to $4,800 after any Pell Grants have been exhausted.

Scholarship winners will receive tuition credit of $800 per six-month term, renewable for up to six terms. Additionally, all Ashe County Schools employees are eligible to apply for WGU Institutional Partner Scholarships valued at $2,000 ($500 per six-month term, renewable for up to four terms). Tuition is about $3,250 per six-month term for most WGU undergraduate degree programs.

WGU is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. WGU’s Teachers College is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation.

“We are excited to expand our partnerships with higher education and look forward to sharing this opportunity with our teacher assistants and aspiring educators in Ashe County,” said Dr. Eisa Cox,Superintendent of Ashe County Schools.

“We applaud Dr. Cox for exploring creative solutions to filling the pipeline of future teachers in Ashe County,” said WGU North Carolina Chancellor Catherine Truitt. “There are excellent TAs throughout the school system, and this grow-your-own scholarship initiative will hopefully empower those who would like to take the necessary steps to earn their teaching license.”

Designed to meet the needs of adult learners, WGU’s competency-based learning model allows students to take advantage of their knowledge and experience to move quickly through material they already know, so they can focus on what they still need to learn. Students complete their programs by studying with schedules that fit their lives, advancing as soon as they demonstrate mastery of the subject matter.

For more information about WGU North Carolina, visit nc.wgu.edu. For information about Ashe County Schools, visit www.asheschools.org.

About WGU North Carolina

WGU North Carolina is an online competency-based university established to expand access to higher education for North Carolina 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 Western Governors University, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities . Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. WGU has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN and in The New York Times. Learn more at nc.wgu.edu.

About Ashe County Schools

Ashe County is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the rural northwest of North Carolina. There are about 2,900 students in the school system that consists of six schools and a pre-school program (one pre-school, three elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and one early college). Find out more at www.asheschools.org.

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