Western Governors University Leads Nation in Awarding Bachelor’s Degrees in Teaching


WGU School of Education is meeting critical need for highly qualified educators

SALT LAKE CITY, May 16, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — New federal data show that Western Governors University’s School of Education  leads all institutions in the U.S. in conferring bachelor’s degrees in education.

WGU’s School of Education conferred 4,669 bachelor’s degrees during the 2021-2022 academic year, according to the most recent data released by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). This accounts for 5.2 percent of all bachelor’s in education conferrals in the country, marking a notable increase for such conferrals from WGU, from 4.7 percent in 2020-2021, and 3.8 percent in 2019-2020.


This achievement highlights WGU’s commitment to providing pathways to opportunity for people who want to become teachers, while addressing the teacher workforce shortage and improving the overall quality of education delivered to students.

“At Western Governors University, we have an established history of making an extraordinary impact on the education profession,” said Courtney Hills McBeth, Ed.D., WGU’s chief academic officer and provost. “By integrating principles from learning science, experiential learning and effective pedagogical methods, our academic programs prepare classroom-ready educators with the skills needed to make a valuable difference in their schools and communities.”

IPEDS is an annual survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics that collects institution-level data from postsecondary institutions in the United States.

According to data compiled by teachershortage.org, there are an estimated 55,289 teaching vacancies in the United States. During the 2021-2022 academic year, WGU’s School of Education conferred 2,043 master’s in teaching degrees in addition to its conferred bachelor’s degrees, making a national impact with 6,712 new classroom-prepared teachers. Along with a renewed focus at the federal level to better support and strengthen the teaching profession, WGU’s School of Education is helping to address the teacher shortage nationwide with programs that prepare graduates to provide personalized and responsive learning environments for students in their classrooms. 

“Our Initial Licensure Programs offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees that are mapped to teaching licensure pathways across all 50 states, with personalized support for each and every one of our students, wherever they live in the country,” said Stacey Ludwig Johnson, Ph.D., WGU’s senior vice president and executive dean of the School of Education. “On-the-ground classroom experiences and apprenticeships at this scale and scope, with partnerships with more than 4,000 school districts across the country, ensure that we are preparing our students to be the best qualified candidates for licensure.”

WGU’s School of Education has awarded 100,160 degrees to 91,888 graduates. Today, more than 43,000 students are actively pursuing degrees within the School of Education’s 30 graduate and undergraduate programs – programs designed to equip individuals with a passion for teaching or leadership with comprehensive training that is guided by an evidence-based curriculum. Accredited by both the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation, WGU’s School of Education offers programs that ensure students are thoroughly prepared to thrive as educators.

About Western Governors University (WGU):  

A nonprofit, online university established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, WGU now serves more than 175,000 students nationwide and has awarded more than 350,000 degrees to over 330,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In less than 30 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News and CNN and in The New York Times. Learn more at wgu.edu and wgu.edu/impact.  

About The WGU School of Education:

The WGU School of Education is the largest non-profit, competency-based degree conferrer of educators in the country. The School of Education offers 30 graduate and undergraduate programs and recommends students for licensure in all 50 states. The School currently enrolls about 43,000 degree-seeking students and has conferred 100,747 degrees to more than 92,000 graduates. 


CONTACT: Mark Toth Western Governors University 3854287503 [email protected] 

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