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U.S. Department of Labor Announces $3 Million Grant

U.S. Department of Labor Announces $3 Million Grant to Train Teachers in Rural Areas

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $3 million grant to the Western Governors University (WGU) in Salt Lake City to expand distance-learning to students in the teaching profession.

“America’s economy is increasingly knowledge-based and our future success depends on today’s students excelling academically, especially in math and science,” said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. “With this $3 million grant, Western Governors University will launch an innovative program to boost the quality of education in rural areas through improved and accessible teacher training.”

WGU, a nonprofit, private university founded and supported by the governors of 19 Western states, will receive $1 million per year for three years to test a new training model designed to increase the number of qualified rural teachers, particularly in the hard-to-fill disciplines of math and science.

WGU will offer academic support and mentoring throughout the program as well as professional development opportunities for up to one year following a student’s graduation from the program. The distance-learning aspect of the program allows individuals to continue residing in their communities while accessing their classes.

Additionally, the grant will assist WGU in providing scholarships of up to$1,500 per student per term for up to five terms. Each scholarship will cover more than half of the tuition for a six-month term.

“Rural areas throughout the country are in need of talented professionals to prepare young people for careers in growing industries,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Emily Stover DeRocco. “The distance and online learning competency-based curriculum Western Governors University is testing will offer new and innovative ways for prospective teachers to gain their credentials and find rewarding careers in rural America’s classrooms.”

In October 2006, WGU Teachers College became the first online provider of teacher education to receive accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and is able to directly certify or have its graduates certified in nearly every state.

For more information on the DOL’s employment and training programs, please visit http://www.doleta.gov.

U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet athttp://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Labor

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