Utah Businesses Fund Scholarships For Utah Teachers

September 10, 2002

“These scholarships are specifically for teachers who want to integrate technology into their teaching and who want the flexibility provided by an online degree,” said Robert Mendenhall, president of WGU. “The program will help teachers incorporate technology into their instruction for improved student learning,” he said.

The scholarships are made possible by more than $500,000 contributed by Utah firms to enhance the teaching excellence in our schools. “As a supporter of education in Utah for nearly 130 years, Zions Bank is pleased to support the Western Governors University scholarship program,” said Scott Anderson, president and chief executive officer of Zions Bank. “We recognize the tremendous influence for good our teachers have on the lives of our children, and we are proud to support the continuing education of Utah teachers.”

Gov. Mike Leavitt said companies like Zions Bank are making an enormous contribution to improving the quality of education in Utah.

Marjean Johnston, a Jeremy Ranch Elementary School teacher in the Park City School District, concurs. “Making scholarships available for teachers is a tremendous way to send a message that our teachers are valued, and by extension, that our students are valued.”

All Utah teachers are eligible to apply for the scholarships, and some scholarships are designated for certain educators. Ten scholarships designated in honor of the late Sen. Pete Suazo are reserved specifically for ethnic minority teachers and some others are earmarked for teachers in Title I schools.

Sixty “Governors Excellence in Education Scholarships” were awarded earlier this year to educators throughout Utah. One recipient, Eric Mortensen, a Canyon View Junior High teacher in the Emery School District, said, “I am starting my fifth year as a public educator in rural Utah and am very busy with my teaching and coaching, not to mention my family and other responsibilities. Since I do not live near a university where I could pursue a master’s degree, the scholarship to WGU makes it possible for me to further my education and reach my goals.”

The deadline for applying for this round of “Governors Excellence in Education Scholarships” is September 23. Educators can apply online at www.wgu.edu/utah, where they will find details about the scholarship, course of study, and information on how to submit an application electronically. The scholarships will be awarded so that teachers may begin their course of study this fall. Ethnic minority teachers will find details and applications for the Pete Suazo Scholarships at www.wgu.edu/petesuazo.

The “Governors Excellence in Education Scholarships” are funded by American Express Centurion Bank, ARUP Laboratories, Bear River Mutual Insurance, Cache Valley Electric, CIT OnLine Bank, Citibank Universal Financial Corporation, CompHealth, C.R. England, Inc., Daw Technologies, Dr. Dinesh Patel Foundation, Evans and Sutherland, Fairchild Semiconductor, Farmers Insurance, Feature Films for Families, First Electronic Bank, Franklin Covey, Franklin Templeton, Gastronomy, Inc., GE Capital, Layton Companies, Management and Training Corporation, Merit Medical, Merrick Bank, Merrill Lynch Bank, Morgan Stanley, O.C. Tanner, Park City Group, Republic Bank, Sonic Innovations, Stampin’Up, Totally Awesome Computers, Transportation Alliance, Volkswagen Bank, Workers Compensation fund, Zions Bank. For more information about becoming a sponsor of teacher’s scholarships, call Margarita Guerra at (toll free) 1-866-225-5948.

WGU offers the only online competency-based degrees in the country. At the university’s Web site, www.wgu.edu, students can find competency-based degree programs, an online catalog of quality distance-learning courses, an online library, bookstore, and access to a personal WGU mentor who will guide a student through his or her customized degree program.

WGU was founded and is supported by 19 states and governors, as well as 23 leading corporations and foundations. WGU offers associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in three areas: IT, business and education.