The shortage of teachers is growing, according to the Learning Policy Institute. An analysis of data from the 2015-16 school year revealed that if trends continue, there will be an additional 145,000 teachers needed by 2025. Student enrollments are projected to grow by 3 million in the next decade, due to higher birth rates and immigration.
Alabama is no exception. The U.S. Department of Education listed more than a dozen academic disciplines in the state with shortage areas, including English, mathematics, science, history and special education.
More teachers are needed. Thankfully, current and aspiring teachers can pursue a master’s degree to expand or start their teaching career — a current teaching certification or degree isn’t required. For instance, online alternative teaching certification options from the University of West Alabama allow students to receive master’s-level certification and a master’s-level degree. It’s ideal for someone with a bachelor’s degree who wants to switch careers, or educators seeking a change in their teaching area. Other master’s degrees can lead to pay increases and advancement opportunities, such as administrative roles.
Here are some scholarships that make earning a master’s degree in teaching more affordable.
|Teaching Scholarship||Applicable UWA Degrees|
|Teacher Connect||Online Education Degrees for Certification|
|ACS-Hach Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Scholarships||Alt. A Biology 6-12 (M.Ed or MAT), Alt. A General Science 6-12 (M.Ed or MAT)|
|James Madison Fellowships||Alt. A Social Science 6-12 (M.Ed or MAT)|
|AFCEA STEM Teacher Scholarships||Alt. A Mathematics 6-12 (M.Ed or MAT), Alt. A Biology 6-12 (M.Ed or MAT), Alt. A General Science 6-12 (M.Ed or MAT)|
|NCTM Grants||Alt. A Mathematics 6-12 (M.Ed or MAT)|
Scholarships for Teachers
The Teacher Connect program at UWA partners with school systems to help teachers and aspiring teachers complete education degrees online while qualifying for a tuition scholarship of up to $100 per credit hour. It can be applied to all 35 online education programs for certification (undergraduate and graduate level) at UWA.
- Relevant UWA degrees: All teaching degrees
ACS-Hach Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Scholarships
The ACS-Hach Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Scholarship is awarded to recent graduates and graduate students with limited work experience and an interest in becoming secondary chemistry teachers. Scholarship recipients must be pursuing a master’s degree in education or becoming certified as a chemistry or science teacher. Other eligibility requirements apply.
The award includes scholarship stipends (up to $6,000 for full-time study or up to $3,000 for part-time study) toward the degree or certification, as well as support and mentoring throughout the three-year teaching commitment.
- Relevant UWA degrees: Alt. A Biology 6-12 (MEd or MAT) and the Alt. A General Science 6-12 (MEd or MAT)
James Madison Fellowships
The James Madison Graduate Fellowships are awarded to individuals who desire to become outstanding teachers of the American Constitution at the secondary school level. One recipient in each state per year receives a maximum of $24,000.
- Relevant UWA degrees: Alt. A Social Science 6-12 (MEd or MAT)
AFCEA STEM Teacher Scholarships
The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) offers scholarships of $2,500 up to $5,000 each for students actively pursuing a graduate degree or credential/licensure for the purpose of teaching science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) subjects at a U.S. K-12 school.
- Relevant UWA degrees: Alt. A Mathematics 6-12 (MEd or MAT), Alt. A Biology 6-12 (MEd or MAT) and the Alt. A General Science 6-12 (MEd or MAT)
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) offers several grants, awards and scholarships for those who are pursuing teaching mathematics at various grade levels. Each offer has separate eligibility criteria and award limits.
- Relevant UWA degrees: Alt. A Mathematics 6-12 (MEd or MAT)
Federal Loan Forgiveness Programs
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program allows teachers to be forgiven for up to a combined total of $17,500 on specific federal loans. Qualifications include full-time teaching for five complete and consecutive academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families. Other eligibility requirements apply.
Advancing Your Teaching Career
Advance (or start) your teaching career with an online teaching degree from the University of West Alabama. Develop the skills and knowledge needed for advancement inside or outside the classroom, in a convenient online format from one of Alabama’s oldest and most prestigious universities.