Washington, D.C.—July 20, 2008—The National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP), a nonprofit organization committed to creating and sustaining K–16 education partnerships, and Walden University, an accredited online institution and one of the nation’s largest providers of online graduate degrees to educators, announced that they will offer five $2,500 scholarships to Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) practitioners. These scholarships may be applied toward a graduate degree program offered by Walden’s Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership. In addition, all GEAR UP practitioners will be offered a 10 percent tuition savings* on a graduate degree program in the Riley College of Education and Leadership.

The announcement was made at the opening of the conference by Dr. Joe Ann Hinrichs, associate dean for doctoral programs in the Riley College of Education and Leadership, at the 2008 NCCEP/GEAR UP Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference provides GEAR UP educators with critical information and technical support, as well as a forum for networking and for researching career development opportunities

“We are very excited to be partnering with the NCCEP to expand opportunities for education professionals,” said Hinrichs. “It is only natural that Walden is collaborating with the NCCEP on this important initiative since both organizations share a common vision of increasing access to education and to the development of quality teachers.”

The graduate degree programs that the scholarship winners may choose from include a PhD in Education with eight specialization options, an EdD (Doctor of Education) with three specializations and an MS in Education with eleven specializations.† Applications for the scholarships must be received by Oct. 31, 2008, at www.WaldenU.edu/gearup or call 1-866-492-5336.

Walden is dedicated to attracting a diverse group of educators to serve the needs of the growing minority populations in the United States. In an effort to address a general shortage of teachers, as well as a shortage of multicultural educators, Walden is increasing access to quality graduate education through this scholarship opportunity and other specialized outreach efforts.

The NCCEP is committed to strengthening broad-based partnerships throughout the education continuum, from early childhood through postsecondary education. The organization’s annual conference this year marks 10 years of GEAR UP, a federal program that provides six-year grants to education/community partnerships and states in order to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The theme of the conference is “Celebrating Our Past & Shaping the Future,” and keynote speakers include best-selling author Daniel Pink and actor and musician Nick Cannon.

“We are pleased to offer this education opportunity with Walden University to GEAR UP practitioners,” said Dr. Hector Garza, president of the NCCEP. “Walden University has long been a leader in providing quality programs to educators, and they share our belief that a well-qualified teacher is at the root of a positive learning experience.”

For more information about the conference, please visit www.edpartnerships.org.

*Not valid for Tennessee residents.

†Scholarships are contingent on admittance to one of these programs. Offer limited to new students only and cannot be combined with any other offer.

The National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) serves as the national technical assistance provider, annual conference convener, and voice in Washington, D.C., for the GEAR UP program. NCCEP, a nonprofit organization committed to creating and sustaining K–16 education partnerships, works to increase academic achievement and access to higher education for economically disadvantaged students. By building broad-based partnerships, linking schools and communities, developing new initiatives, supporting proven programs, and using research findings to create successful frameworks for action, NCCEP aims to invigorate the principle of equal educational opportunity for all, and to help improve K–16 education in the United States. One of the primary objectives of NCCEP is to promote academic achievement and encourage education reform in schools, colleges and universities.

For more information, visit www.edpartnerships.org

About Walden University
Since 1970, Walden University has offered working professionals the opportunity to earn advanced degrees through distance learning. Today, this comprehensive, accredited online university offers master’s and doctoral degrees in education, psychology, management, public policy and administration and health and human services, as well as master’s programs in engineering and IT and bachelor’s programs in business, psychology, computer information systems, and child development. In January, Walden was ranked by U.S News & World Report as having the largest online graduate-level program in education by enrollment. For more information, visit www.WaldenU.edu.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.hlcommission.org; 1-312-263-0456.

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