Washington Education Association establishes $1.5 million Promise Scholarship for WWU’s aspiring teachers

Western’s Woodring College of Education to receive $1.5 million gift over five years from the WEA to support the future teachers of Washington state
WWU alumna Luz Lopez helps students in her Skagit County classroom.

Bellingham, WA, Sept. 21, 2023 — The Washington Education Association (WEA) has pledged $1.5 million in scholarship support to Western Washington University’s Woodring College of Education, which has a long history of providing Washington State with quality teachers and administrators.  

The scholarship is designed to extend to the fifth year of teacher preparation so that teaching candidates can continue receiving financial support while student teaching. Additionally, WEA member-teachers are committed to providing one-on-one mentoring and support to help ensure these students complete their programs and thrive in the classroom. 

Beginning in fall of 2023, WWU’s Woodring College of Education will put the first of the WEA funds into the hands of dozens of future educators. 

“As an education community, we must continue to lift diverse, aspiring educators who reflect the diversity of our public schools. Our students and communities deserve the best prepared and most innovative teachers. Together, we have the power and expertise to make a difference. For the future of education in our state and across the nation, we will continue to strengthen our public schools together,” said Larry Delaney, WEA president. 

“To ensure student success in Washington state, we need to recruit and retain educators who reflect the cultures and experiences of the students they teach. Western and our Woodring College of Education have always played a pivotal role in building Washington’s education workforce, and we’re grateful partners of the WEA as we work to empower the teachers of Washington state’s future," Sabah Randhawa, president of Western Washington University said.

Currently, more than 4,000 educators in the Washington state school systems are graduates of Woodring, and every county in Washington state has a Woodring-trained graduate on its workforce. 

About Western Washington University 

Western Washington University offers more than 200 academic programs on its main campus located in Bellingham, and at additional sites in Anacortes, Bremerton, Everett, Port Angeles and Poulsbo. Western is recognized nationally for its successes, such as being named one of the top public master’s-granting institutions in the Pacific Northwest for 25 years in a row by U.S. News & World Report. The report also ranks WWU in the top 10 in the West—a region encompassing more than 500 public colleges and universities from Texas to the West Coast—and also spotlights Western as among the best colleges for veterans. WWU is identified as one of the most sustainable, green campuses in the nation by the Sierra Club, is known for being a top producer of prestigious National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hollings Scholars, Fulbright Scholars, and Peace Corps volunteers, and nationally ranked for graduates who go on to earn research doctorates. The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Academic Workplace report named Western as one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, winning honors in two categories: teaching environment and tenure clarity and process. 

About the Washington Education Association 

The Washington Education Association is a union that elevates the collective voice of professional public school educators to best serve the students of Washington state. Our mission is to advocate for excellence, inclusion and a racially equitable public school system for all students, staff, and communities. Our vision is to ensure outstanding public schools for every student in Washington state. 

Media Contacts 

Brooke Mattox-Ball, bmattoxball@washingtonea.org, Communications Membership Engagement Specialist, Washington Education Association 

Jonathan Higgins, jonathan.higgins@wwu.edu, Director of Communications, Western Washington University