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Renee Charles
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Kath Conver
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Comstock Hall 110
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Enhancing Student Achievement Through the Educator

December 9, 2013

The Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, released results earlier this month, which it does every three years, showing U.S. students ranked below average among the world's most-developed countries in math and were close to average in science and reading. These most recent results are from data collected in 2012 from 65 countries.  In reaction to the PISA findings, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said America needs to "make college affordable, and do more to recruit and retain top-notch educators."  

Teachers have a great responsibility of educating our future leaders which is why it’s important for them to continually expand their knowledge base so they can be top-notch educators.  An advanced degree is one way to do so.  

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), having an advanced degree makes you more marketable and could lead to a higher salary.  The report shows that teachers with higher degrees earn higher salaries with an 11.3% differential in public schools and 8.2% in private schools.  The NCES reports that only 20% of teachers with three or fewer years of experience have master’s degrees while 54% of teachers with more than 10 years of experience have one.  

Many claim that an advanced degree is too costly to pursue.  However, Bradley offers a Professional Educator’s Scholarship (PES) to all full-time district employees interested in obtaining advanced degrees in a variety of concentrations.  It provides for 50% off of the standard tuition rate for up to 18 semester hours per academic year.

Jeff Bakken, Dean of Bradley’s Graduate School, hopes local teachers will take advantage of this resource.  “Our local teachers can obtain their advanced degrees while still working and they can do it right here in their own back yard.  When you add it all up, it is actually less expensive for a teacher to attend Bradley for a master’s degree than it is to commute to one of the four year public institutions in our region.”

This discount makes obtaining an advanced degree more affordable and Bakken believes that will benefit students in long run.  "When teachers further their education and enhance their skills, the students are the ones who ultimately reap the benefits.  If we work harder to educate our educators we can make a difference in future generations.”

Teachers interested in the Professional Educator's Scholarship will need to verify their employment to begin the enrollment process at http://www.bradley.edu/academic/gradschool/admission/tuition/.  Registration is open now.

Watch the story on the Professional Educator Scholarship that aired on WMBD/WYZZ TV.  http://www.centralillinoisproud.com/story/bradley-university-special-scholarship-for-local-e/d/story/_y9ER-pCFU-ML6nLqIHvkA



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