SALT LAKE CITY, July 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Western Governors University (WGU), www.wgu.edu, is leading the way in producing K-12 math and science educators, according to a recent study conducted by education research and consulting group Eduventures. The study, which used data collected by the U.S. Department of Education, found that in 2011, WGU was the nation's largest provider of master's degree programs in math education. In addition, WGU was the third largest provider of master's degrees in science education and fourth largest provider of bachelor's degrees in math education. The nonprofit, online university is also a top provider of bachelor's and master's degrees in science education, including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, General Science, and Earth Sciences.
Established just nine years ago, WGU's NCATE-accredited Teachers College has 11,000 students and 9,000 graduates nationwide. Since its inception, the Teachers College has focused on developing and training teachers in the high need areas of math and science education. WGU math and science graduates compare very favorably to their counterparts at other universities in the PRAXIS exams (the national tests required for teacher certification)—in the past year, WGU graduates scored higher than the national average on 9 of the 10 math and science exams.
Currently, U.S. students rank 23rd in math among students in the top 65 industrialized countries in the world, and the demand for more college graduates in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields is continuing to grow. According to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, "Economic forecasts point to a need for producing, over the next decade, approximately 1 million more college graduates in STEM fields than expected under current assumptions."
"Our rigorous programs are designed to produce teachers who can provide their students with a solid foundation in math and science," said WGU Teachers College Dean Dr. Philip A. Schmidt. "Because WGU uses a competency-based learning model that requires students to demonstrate mastery of all subject matter in their degree programs, our graduates are well prepared to teach these challenging subjects."
Featured on NPR's "All Things Considered," The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, CNN's "Schools of Thought," and in The New York Times, WGU is the only university in the U.S. offering competency-based degree programs and the only nonprofit, fully online university with students in all 50 states. WGU offers 50 degree programs in K-12 teacher education, business, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. Since its incorporation in 1997, WGU has grown into a national institution, with more than 16,000 graduates and current enrollment of 34,000 students. WGU is self-sustaining on tuition of approximately $6,000 per 12-month year for most programs.
WGU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). WGU's Teachers College is the first and only exclusively online provider of teacher education to receive accreditation for its teacher licensure programs from NCATE, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. The WGU bachelor's and master's nursing degree programs have been accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and its B.S. in Health Informatics is accredited by CAHIIM (Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education).
On June 11, 2010, WGU Indiana was created by Governor Mitch Daniels as Indiana's eighth state university. WGU Washington was established by the Washington State Legislature on April 22, 2011. On August 3, 2011, the state of Texas created WGU Texas. WGU Indiana, WGU Washington, and WGU Texas are state-endorsed and offer degree programs that are accredited through Western Governors University.
The university has earned the support of more than 20 leading corporations and foundations. They include institutions such as AT&T, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lilly Endowment, HCA, Hewlett-Packard, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle, SunGard Higher Education, and Zions Bank. More information is available at www.wgu.edu or by calling 866.225.5948.
SOURCE Western Governors University