Western offering tuition breaks to prospective teachers from out-of-state

CULLOWHEE – North Carolina is taking steps to attract prospective teachers from across the country to help address a severe shortage of public school teachers by making it more affordable for out-of-state students to cross the state line for the training necessary for careers in education.

Through the N.C. Teacher Incentive Program, a new scholarship program at Western Carolina University recently initiated by the North Carolina Legislature, a limited number of students from outside the state of North Carolina will be eligible to attend Western Carolina at in-state tuition rates.

“Thanks to this new program, we can offer the in-state resident tuition rate to students who pledge to stay in North Carolina and teach after they graduate,” said Phil Cauley, director of admissions at Western. “Someone who is interested in becoming a teacher, who wants to make a difference in the lives of children, can come to Western and save more than $35,000 over a four-year period while reaching those goals,” Cauley said.

In exchange for the awards, recipients must agree to teach in a public school in North Carolina one year for every year that they receive the scholarship. N.C. TIP awards are renewable for up to four years.

N.C. TIP is among the strategies being used to address a projected teacher shortage in North Carolina, which is facing a shortfall of nearly 5,000 classroom teachers per year over the next decade, said Michael Dougherty, dean of Western’s College of Education and Allied Professions.

“North Carolina is not alone. School systems in many other states are experiencing severe teacher shortages,” Dougherty said. “Graduates of our teacher preparation programs should have no problem finding employment after they receive their diplomas.”

Western Carolina University was founded as 1889 as a teacher education institution and is widely recognized as a leader in teacher preparation. In its most recent “report card” on teacher education programs, the N.C. State Board of Education recognized Western’s programs as “exemplary,” placing WCU among the top three institutions of higher education in North Carolina that offer teacher preparation programs.

For more information about N.C. TIP or any other undergraduate scholarship opportunities available to attend Western Carolina University, contact the Office of Admissions toll-free at (877) WCU-4YOU, or click on the Web at www.poweryourmind.com (link no longer active).