Full-time employees of St. Louis, Clayton and University City and their school districts now may attend University College for half the standard tuition. Charter school employees also are eligible. University College is the professional and continuing education division of Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.
The new tuition assistance program is part of Washington University’s effort to build a smarter, stronger region.
“We have a responsibility to contribute to the social, cultural and economic health of the communities around us,” said University College Dean Mark Rollins. “One way to do that is to provide world-class educational opportunities for people whose work is central to the fabric of those communities and impacts many lives in important and powerful ways.”
University College offers some 50 degree and certificate programs. Eligible employees may use the tuition assistance program to earn a graduate degree in, for instance, education or nonprofit management; complete a certificate in human resources management or entrepreneurship, or simply to explore a new topic such as ancient Rome or international politics.
Rollins said University College plans to expand its offerings to better meet the needs of today’s educators and public servants. It also may expand the program to other municipalities and districts. University College offers part-time, evening, online and summer school classes.
Henry S. Webber, executive vice chancellor for administration, said the program complements other education initiatives such as the College Prep Program, which serves talented, low-income high school students; its charter school sponsorship of KIPP St. Louis and the Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls; and the Washington University Contract Employee Scholarship, which helps the university’s 700 full-time contract employees earn a degree.
“This program is an exciting addition to our continued efforts to make a Washington University education affordable and accessible,” Webber said. “It’s also an important commitment to our neighbors who work in communities that make St. Louis a great place to live, work and go to school.”
Kelly Garrett, executive director of KIPP St. Louis, said KIPP teachers and administrators are sure to embrace the opportunity to continue their own educations.
“The ability to develop our teachers and support their growth is one of our highest priorities,” Garrett said. “Now the ability to pursue an advanced degree at one of our nation’s top universities is within their reach.”