University of Jamestown Announces Teacher Education Scholarship

JAMESTOWN, N.D.: University of Jamestown recently established a Teacher Education Scholarship, which will provide $13,000 each year to any student majoring in elementary education or secondary education who meets a 3.0 GPA. 

“We saw the cost of attending a four-year university and what students knew about the average teacher income in North Dakota colliding in the minds of prospective families and steering them away from pursuing either a four-year degree, a degree in education, or both,” said Alyson Leas, Director of Admissions at UJ. “We are introducing this scholarship of $13,000 per year to help make a four-year education attainable to students who previously thought UJ was out of reach.”

While attracting new students, the scholarship will also benefit North Dakota’s rising need for teachers. This desired outcome is especially important as the state’s Education Standards and Practices Board declared all content areas as having a critical teacher shortage for the 2023-24 school year.

According to the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, reasons for shortages include enrollment growth, teachers entering other professions instead of teaching in rural districts, and fewer young people entering the profession. Stress from COVID-19 and school safety are also to blame.

“This is a positive step for UJ to recognize that our nation needs good, young, quality teachers,” said Jeff Stotts, Chair of the Department of Teacher Education at the University. “UJ is putting its money where its mouth is in offering this scholarship to support that endeavor.”

To further encourage students to consider the teaching profession, UJ is partnering with the Minnewaukan Public School District through a North Dakota Department of Public Instruction grant to recruit Native American students to the education program.  

“For decades, the University of Jamestown has been known for having a high-quality education program that is committed to preparing and supporting the teachers of the future,” said UJ President Dr. Polly Peterson. 

Stotts said The Department of Teacher Education at UJ incorporates the latest technology and topics into their curriculum to send well-prepared teachers into today’s changing workforce. For example, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education Jim Bear currently incorporates ChatGPT – a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence to generate text – in his courses.

In addition, UJ launched a program partnering with high schools, including Jamestown High School, to introduce the teaching profession to students before they even get to college. 

Said Stotts, “I really believe now is a good time to get into teaching. The demand is there, so that means salaries are starting to come up.”

For students looking to enter the profession, UJ is ready to support them. 

“We have heard from many school districts that UJ graduates are some of the most prepared, well-rounded, and creative teachers,” said Leas. “That is something we want to support, especially in today’s education landscape.”

Individuals interested in learning more about the Teacher Education Scholarship should contact UJ’s Office of Admissions at 800-336-2554 or admission@uj.edu.  

Established as Jamestown College in 1883 by members of the Presbyterian Church, The University of Jamestown is a private, liberal arts university granting Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees as well as master’s degrees in Education, Leadership, and Clinical Counseling. Doctoral degrees are available in Physical Therapy and Clinical Research. UJ Accelerated, the newest division of the University, is based in Phoenix, Arizona, and delivers intensive upskilling opportunities to learners in a variety of settings. For more information, please visit UJ.edu.

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