A ten year old girl is sitting outside her home in India, helping her mother by watching her younger siblings-three brothers and two sisters- as they play in the dirt. Her mother is washing and ironing in a metal tub in front of the house. The money her mother earns by washing and ironing other people’s clothes allows her to buy food for one small meal each day. A man pulls up in a pick-up truck. When he walks up to the house and starts speaking to her mother, the little girl knows what he wants. Several months earlier, two of her friends from the village went with him. He finds jobs for young girls in the city and pays families a lot of money to take them away to work. She knows that her mother is going to sell her. At ten years old, her childhood is over; her mother is preparing to give her to a man who will put her to work in the sex trade. Such is common practice in the poverty stricken areas of rural India.
I want to be in a position to stop such tragedies that happen so commonly in poor sections of India and other financially underdeveloped countries around the world. I plan to teach overseas, and I need a quality education as a teacher in order to meet this goal. I decided to pursue my education at Western Governors University for several reasons, including the reasonable cost of enrollment, the availability of on-line community support, and the accredited teaching program. For me, WGU is the school that will best prepare me to begin my life of helping those who often cannot help themselves.
The prohibitive cost of a college education is the number one reason that I have yet to complete my degree in education. I am a single mother of three beautiful children ranging in age from fifteen to twenty-four. I have struggled for the last fourteen years to keep a roof over my family’s head and to ensure that the bills are paid; as a result, I have put my own education on the back burner. Needless to say, I was thrilled to find that the tuition at WGU is lower than the cost of attending the University of Southern Indiana just across town. I was additionally excited when I found out that each term at WGU is six months long and that I would pay the same price whether I finished six competency units or twenty. While it will be my goal to complete as many competency units as possible each semester, it eases some worries to know that I will not be pressured to complete a set number each semester. As the school is competency based, I will be able to prove my skill in courses and accelerate my education. This simple idea behind educational progression, i.e. not moving on until one has mastered a skill, is essential to the development of highly qualified graduates.
The second biggest factor in my decision to attend WGU was the distance learning program. As a WGU student, I will not have to drive thirty minutes each way to attend classes several times a week. This allows me time to go home and have dinner with my family before sitting down at the computer to work on my studies. In addition, I can continue to work full time while I am earning my degree, because I will not lose time traveling to and from class. Furthermore, through distance learning, I will be enabled to go faster or slower in my studies, depending on the class and what is happening at home. The knowledge that my assigned mentor will be calling and checking on my progress weekly will help me to stay focused on my goals. One of the most significant benefits of the distance learning programs is that it allows my daughter to see my dedication to school; I want her to see just how important education really is, regardless of someone’s stage in life.
Another major reason I have chosen WGU is the support given through the university’s on-line communities, which are divided by degrees and classes. Through these networks, I will have opportunities to interact with other students and develop both academic and personal relationships. The on-line nature of these meeting places will allow us to share teaching ideas, such as lesson plans or educational theories, not only in text form, but in a variety of other formats such as Power Point or spreadsheet. It will surely help me in my studies to be able to chat with other students who are going through the same processes that I am. The communities also have mentors who are there to help direct students through their studies. It seems that there is always someone available to lend help and support on-line.
Finding WGU’s accredited teaching program was a dream come true. At first, I found that every school online had only graduate level teaching courses, yet I still needed to earn my bachelor’s degree. The few schools I found that offered an appropriate teaching program were either beyond my budget or non-accredited. “What good is a degree,” I thought to myself, “if at the end I am not able to get a teaching license?” While studying at WGU, I will be able to arrange a different work schedule when the time comes and do my student teaching right here in town. Other programs I explored required students to travel to a different location for student teaching, or the program might offer a degree in Early Childhood Education without the teaching endorsement. WGU offers the complete package that I had been trying to find for several years.
I am confident that WGU is a wonderful choice for me. Because of the low tuition, distance learning, community support, and accredited teaching program, I will be able to reach my academic goals, specifically to earn my degree in Early Childhood Education with my teaching endorsement. WGU is the type of school that will allow me to progress at a pace that is most suitable to me, which I think will allow me to become the best teacher that I can possibly be. In the future, I will be empowered with an education and the tools to help those in need in far away lands. As it was for me, WGU is the best choice for working adults who dream of moving on to something bigger in their lives. Are you ready to step up and make your goals and dreams come true? Now is the time to do it!