Program offers tuition discount for Alabaster teachers

Alabaster teachers will be eligible to receive tuition discounts at UWA through a program approved by the city's school board. (File)

Alabaster teachers will be eligible to receive tuition discounts at UWA through a program approved by the city’s school board. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Alabaster City Schools teachers who are seeking their masters or education specialist degrees will be eligible for a tuition break when taking online classes with the University of West Alabama.

During its Sept. 11 meeting, the Alabaster Board of Education approved an agreement with UWA to participate in the university’s Teacher Connect program. Through the program, teachers can apply for the tuition break when seeking an advanced degree while taking online classes with UWA.

“It saves almost 50 percent for our teachers who want to participate,” Alabaster School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers said during the meeting. “I think we should do this for our teachers. “I think we should do this for our teachers.”

Vickers praised ACS Director of Human Resources Dr. Latanza Harrison and Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction Cena Davis for bringing the program to the attention of the School Board.

According to the university, teachers can qualify for a discount of $200 per credit hour on their tuition through the program, and can choose from UWA’s 38 masters and education specialist degrees while taking online classes.

“With accelerated online terms, teachers can easily earn their advanced degrees in two years,” read a UWA press release, noting Marengo County Schools, Hale County Schools and Demopolis City Schools have already signed on with the Teacher Connect program. “Students also see the benefit of their teachers’ participation and completion of degree programs made available through UWA Teacher Connect.

“Their teachers are exposed to the latest technology and trends in education, thus providing them with an educational experience that better prepares them for college,” read the release.

Harrison said there is no limit on the number of ACS teachers who can apply for the program. She said teachers participating in the program must maintain a certain GPA and meet other requirements.

“It sounds like a good program,” Harrison said. “It’s an opportunity for someone who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to get that advanced level degree.”