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GCU helps fill teacher vacancies through intern program

(Grand Canyon University Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona faces a whopping teacher shortage, and Grand Canyon University has stepped in to help fill the void.

The West Phoenix school has developed a program that allows students to finish their diplomas while filling teacher vacancies.

GCU worked closely with Arizona school superintendents and the state board of education to introduce the “student teaching intern certificate.”

Grand Canyon College of Education Dean Kimberly LaPrade said students must meet certain requirements as part of the teacher intern program.

“The students have to have 3.0 GPA,” LaPrade said. “They have to have their testing complete — content knowledge and professional knowledge exams.”

LaPrade said students receive considerable support from a mentor who is a veteran educator at GCU.

A university supervisor is also available to ensure students are successful in the classroom.

LaPrade said the intern teaching program is not for every student.

“This is a select process. They have to be interviewed,” LaPrade said. “There’s certain standards that have to be maintained because we want to ensure the very best teacher for our students in the classroom.”

Last semester, the student teaching intern certificate from the university enabled 10 top students to teach classes in public schools this year.

More than 1,500 teaching positions remain unfilled in Arizona, according to GCU.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit

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