Arizona Teacher Residency applications open, partner school districts revealed

Dec 1, 2021, 4:25 AM
(Pexels Photo)...
(Pexels Photo)
(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX – A new tuition-free graduate school program for aspiring Arizona teachers is open for applications and has selected three Valley elementary districts as its initial partners.

The Arizona Teacher Residency is modeled after medical residencies, offering education students classroom experience while they work toward two-year master’s degrees from Northern Arizona University.

The program, which was announced in October, covers tuition in exchange for a commitment to teach for at least three years within the district of the student’s residency.

Tempe Elementary and two Phoenix districts – Osborn and Roosevelt – will host residents for the 2022-23 academic year.

“We’re really excited to start with them,” Victoria Theisen-Homer, director of the Arizona Teacher Residency through the Arizona K12 Center at NAU, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

“They’ve been involved in this process since the beginning, but we are hoping to expand to additional districts.”

Theisen-Homer said the program aims to add high schools and districts in rural areas down the road.

Students of the program will take courses and be paired with a supervising teacher at a participating school during the first year.

They’ll be placed in front of the classroom during their second year and be provided a living stipend and receive a salary from the district.

Residency applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, but it doesn’t have to be in education. Jan. 7 is the deadline to apply for the inaugural year.

Theisen-Homer said initial application is a basic first step in a multiround admissions process that she hopes is completed by May.

“We’re hoping that folks start right now so we can immediately start inviting folks back to submit more information,” she said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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Arizona Teacher Residency applications open, partner school districts revealed