New partnership brings education opportunities

JACKSON, Tenn. – A new partnership is bringing educational opportunities to local teachers.

“We offer online programs for working teachers as well as for folks who are working in the school system that might want to become a licensed teacher,” said Kimberly Estep, chancellor of Western Governor’s University. “Bachelor’s and master’s degrees not only teachers college but also in business, IT and nursing.”

Employees with the Jackson-Madison County School System now have a chance to continue their own education.
Thursday, the district signed an agreement with Western Governor’s University, allowing teachers and other faculty members to take classes themselves online.

“This online component is very vital ,gives them time and give a viable option,” said Eric Jone, superintendent of Jackson-Madison County School System. “Just to give an example we a few teacher assistants that would love to become teachers but for whatever reason either financial or time they have not been able to pursue that.”

Dr. Jones says the online courses are easier for those who want to go back to school, but can’t attend on campus classes. Dr. Estep says the school has a system that makes affording college a little easier for working students.

“It only cost about $6,500 a year to go to WGU Tennessee and take a full load of classes. In fact, if students move more rapidly through the curriculum students can save money because we don’t charge by the course. We only charge a six month term.”

WGU says students who work for the school district are also eligible for up to 2-thousand dollars in scholarships.

Dr. Estep says at least one student from each of Tennessee’s 95 counties is enrolled as in courses at WGU.

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