KIPP Houston and WGU Texas Sign Agreement - Northern Michigan's News Leader

KIPP Houston and WGU Texas Sign Agreement

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Partnership will help improve Houston's teaching workforce

AUSTIN, Texas, May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- KIPP Houston Public Schools and WGU Texas,, announced today the signing of an articulation agreement that provides its employees with incentives to pursue high-quality bachelor's and master's degrees at WGU Texas.

Under the agreement, KIPP Houston Public Schools employees who are admitted as students to WGU Texas will receive a 5% tuition discount (for up to four six-month terms) and be eligible for scholarships, valued at up to $2,000. Employees can choose from over 50 accredited bachelor's and master's degree programs in four colleges - IT, Business, Teachers College, and Health Professions, including nursing.

"We are committed to retaining the exceptional talent that exists here by supporting our employees' pursuit of advanced degrees," said Sehba Ali, Superintendent for KIPP Houston Public Schools. "This partnership offers our employees an affordable avenue to achieve their educational goals that will lead to career success."

Qualified, dedicated teachers are desperately needed throughout Texas, particularly in subject areas such as math and science. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) training is also critical to developing a workforce that will meet the demands of the 21st-century job market. However, according to a National Center for Education Statistics survey, more than a quarter of STEM teachers are not certified in the subjects they teach. In Texas, only 53% of secondary teachers have an undergraduate major in the core subjects they teach. For Texas, the greatest potential for improvement in student success is to prepare teachers for the fields they teach.

WGU Texas, through its partnership with national Western Governors University (WGU), is a recognized leader in online teacher education working toward the goal of ensuring that highly competent teachers are in every classroom.  The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) recognized WGU's Teachers College for its quality in the "NCTQ Teacher Prep Review" report. WGU was the only online university to be included in the NCTQ's Honor Roll, which was based on ratings of more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the U.S.

"We applaud the commitment KIPP Houston Public Schools has demonstrated in supporting the ongoing education of its employees," said WGU Texas Chancellor Ray Martinez. "Prepared teachers are a central influencing factor in student success. Helping their employees achieve their educational goals will ultimately benefit our state's economy and teaching workforce."

About KIPP Houston Public Schools

KIPP is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. Its mission is to develop in under-served students the academic skills, intellectual habits, and qualities of character necessary to succeed at all levels of pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, college, and the competitive world beyond. KIPP Houston Public Schools is KIPP's largest region, with 22 public schools serving nearly 11,000 students and an additional 1,000 alumni in college and beyond. KIPP has become a national leader in the movement to provide all children with access to an excellent education.

To learn more about KIPP Houston Public Schools, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About WGU Texas

WGU Texas is an online, accredited, nonprofit university aimed at expanding access to high-quality, affordable higher education for Texans. Designed to meet the needs of working adults who need to complete a bachelor's or master's degree to advance their careers, WGU Texas' innovative competency-based learning model allows students to apply prior education and experience to move quickly through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn. While students move through course materials at their own pace, faculty mentors provide continuous, one-on-one support. The approach has proved to be a great fit for working professionals who amass considerable knowledge and expertise in their field prior to earning a university degree. Tuition is affordable at approximately $6,000 per year for most degree programs, regardless of how many courses a student completes. Because they advance as soon as they demonstrate their mastery of subject matter, students on average graduate with a bachelor's degree in three years, saving both time and money. WGU Texas was established in 2011 through a partnership between the state of Texas and nationally recognized Western Governors University.

To learn more about WGU Texas, call 1-877-214-7011 or visit

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512-225-6652 or 512-965-4500

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