The U.S. has been experiencing a teacher shortage as the number of teachers retiring and the number of students entering the K-12 environment continues to rise. 1 To help prepare educational leaders who can make positive changes in the classroom and the industry, the University of Phoenix® School of Advanced Studies is proud to announce it has awarded three educators with full-tuition doctoral scholarships. The unwavering academic integrity and commitment of these three incredible educators as inspiring leaders in their communities has been recognized by full-tuition scholarships toward a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) from University of Phoenix. Armed with these degrees, recipients Joseph Gent, Lindsay Harrison and April Pratt will be able to pursue their goals to make a difference in their classrooms, communities and country as a whole. The Ed.D. will help these individuals build on their experience and become even more familiar and adept with educational leadership skills, adult-, special- and early childhood education, as it equips them to evaluate and understand any prevailing trends in the areas they choose to serve following graduation. "There is a great need for educational leaders who can transform the country's complex educational environments into schools that meet the current and future expectations of students," said Hinrich Eylers, Ph.D., P.E., Executive Dean, School of Advanced Studies, University of Phoenix. "We are confident our scholarship recipients will use what they learn to give back to the communities they serve and encourage educational excellence." The Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership scholarship recipients include: Joseph Gent; Pahrump, Nev. - Gent, a special education support services professional in the largest geographical school district in the continental U.S., has a strong desire to help communities improve their socio-economic statuses through education. As a U.S. Marine in Iraq, he witnessed firsthand the power and positive impact of formal education. Upon earning his Ed.D., Gent plans to continue his life of service and leadership. Lindsay Harrison; Lake Butler, Fla. - Collaborative lessons are the foundation of good teaching for Harrison, a member of the Union County School Board. Harrison firmly believes determination goes hand in hand with leadership, and has always been a learner at heart. She believes a teacher's life experiences should influence who they are in the classroom, and looks forward to reaching new heights upon earning her degree. April Pratt; Denver, Colo. - Pratt, a distinguished fifth-grade teacher at Sand Creek Elementary School, will be pursuing her Ed.D. to continue to find ways to inspire and challenge students across the state, and looks forward to continuing to lead in her school as well as community, in line with her personal values of service and altruism. The first in her immediate and extended family to go to college, Pratt hopes to be a superintendent who makes a real difference. 1. American Institutes for Research: It's 2016: Do You Know Where the Teachers Are? For more information about all University of Phoenix scholarship opportunities, including scholarship requirements, visit www.phoenix.edu/scholarships. For more information about this program, including on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed the program and other important information, please visit www.phoenix.edu/programs/degree-programs/education/doctoral/edd.html. Apollo Education Group, parent company of University of Phoenix, is dedicated to being a good corporate citizen by serving communities and individuals across the country. Through its corporate social responsibility efforts, Apollo Education Group focuses on giving in the areas of education, workforce readiness and sustainability. To learn more about the impact of these efforts, please visit http://csrreport.apollo.edu/. About University of Phoenix® School of Advanced Studies School of Advanced Studies is home to doctoral programs at University of Phoenix, and develops leaders who create new models that explain, predict and improve organizational performance in their fields. The practitioner degrees offered through the School of Advanced Studies at University of Phoenix are designed around the Scholar, Practitioner, Leader™ Model, incorporating lifelong learning (scholarship), social and workplace contribution (practice), and the ability to exert positive influence (leadership). More information can be found at www.phoenix.edu/schoolofadvancedstudies. About University of Phoenix University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. ( Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S., as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.