Grow Your Own Program

Every school district’s students deserve motivated, empowered, and qualified educators. With Carey Education’s “Grow Your Own” partnership, K-12 public school districts can select students for a fast-track WCU program that will enable them to earn a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in only three years through a combination of dual enrollment classes, an accelerated schedule, and tuition waivers, all with the goal of these students going on to make significant difference as public school educators after graduation.

Program Overview


High School

Participating K-12 school districts choose students to participate in the “Grow Your Own” program. WCU counselors advise students on their schedules. Students graduate from their high schools with 12 hours of dual enrollment credits from William Carey University.
Year 1 at Carey
Students begin WCU classes the summer after they graduate from high school. They then take fall, winter and spring classes at WCU. Finally, they finish year one with summer classes. During this year, K-12 school districts coordinate placements for their chosen students as K-3 teacher assistants in district schools.
Year 2 at Carey
Students take classes at WCU in the fall, winter, spring and summer semesters. They also work as teacher assistants at a school in their K-12 district. Employment as teacher assistants has two benefits: 1) they enter the state retirement system; and 2) they qualify for 50 percent tuition waivers from WCU.
Year 3 at Carey
Students take classes at WCU in the fall, winter and spring trimesters. They also continue working as teacher assistants at a school in their K-12 district.
After Graduation
At the end of the third year, students have earned 131 credit hours and graduate with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Participating school districts agree to give hiring preference for teaching positions, when possible, to WCU graduates of the “Grow Your Own” program.
To learn more or start a GYO partnership in your school district, please contact:
Hattiesburg Campus: Dr. Katie Tonore –
Tradition Campus: Dr. Lori Windham –