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Ashford University Presents Academic Scholarships to Elementary School Teacher and Mother of Four Students
Cheli Vasquez and Cara Nickels receive full scholarships to attend Ashford
Degan Elementary School teacher, Cara Nickels (center), received a scholarship to attend Ashford University.

In support of its partnership with No Excuses University network of schools, Ashford University recently awarded two deserving individuals with scholarships to attend Ashford University and further their education. Cheli Vasquez, a parent of four current and former students at Eastside Elementary School in Jacksonville, Texas, was awarded an undergraduate scholarship and Cara Nickels, a teacher at Degan Elementary School in Lewisville, Texas, was awarded a graduate scholarship to Ashford University’s College of Education.

This is the second year Ashford University is granting these scholarships, which cover full program tuition and a waiver for technology fees. To apply for the scholarship, parents and teachers involved with No Excuses University were asked to submit an essay detailing what it means to be part of a school in the No Excuses University network.

The No Excuses University network of schools helps students attend college by promoting a comprehensive college readiness model starting in pre-kindergarten. The organization was founded upon the principle that every student deserves an opportunity to be educated in a way that prepares them for college. No Excuses University schools primarily serve at-risk student populations.

“The awarding of these scholarships is a culmination of hard work and dedication from both Ashford University and the No Excuses University network of schools,” said Dr. Tony Farrell, Ashford University executive dean of the College of Education. “These scholarships could change the lives of the individuals who receive them.”

Ashford and No Excuses University announced their strategic partnership in 2014. As part of the partnership, Ashford will introduce a four-course specialization within its master’s in education degree program that focuses on No Excuses University’s six systems for school improvement. Those systems include a culture of universal achievement, collaboration, standards alignment, assessment, data management, and interventions.

About Ashford University

Where heritage meets innovation – that’s Ashford University. At Ashford, students discover relevant degree programs, innovative technology, and cherished tradition. Ashford offers associates, bachelor’s, and master’s online degree programs. For more information, please visit,,, or call Marianne Perez, Media Relations Manager, at 858.513.9240 x11636.


About No Excuses University

No Excuses University (NEU) is a network of over 250 K-12 schools across the nation founded on the belief that every student deserves an opportunity to be educated in a way that prepares them for college. NEU achieves this mission through the strategic implementation of their Six Exceptional Systems for school improvement:  A Culture of Universal Achievement, Collaboration, Standards Alignment, Assessment, Data Management, and Interventions.  For more info: