Fort Hays State, Hays USD 489 enter cooperative agreement to offer master’s degrees for teachers


HAYS, Kan. – Thanks to an innovative agreement between USD 489 and Fort Hays State University, USD 489 teachers who want master’s degrees now have an opportunity for a break on tuition.

The new program, titled Teachers Empowered to Achieving Masters, or TEAM, was developed through a collaborative process involving leadership at both organizations.

“This is an example of two organizations coming together to create a program that benefits the local community,” said Dr. Joey Linn, vice president of student affairs at FHSU.

The agreement was approved by the USD 489 Board of Education in December and was signed by FHSU President Tisa Mason on Jan. 2.

Under the agreement, teachers approved by their building and district administrators will be able to get $75 per credit hour from the district and another $75 per credit hour from Fort Hays State. Teachers will be responsible for paying enrollment and student fees and the remaining tuition costs.

The memorandum of understanding signed by the district and FHSU says teachers must be full time and have approval from their building and district administration to seek a graduate degree from FHSU. An alternative is for teachers to get up to 18 graduate credit hours in an area designated by the district as “high need,” based on open positions for which qualified applicants are lacking.

The district will provide the university with a list of approved teachers by Aug. 1 for the fall semester and Intersession (the break between the fall and spring semesters), and by Dec. 20 for the spring semester and summer session.

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