Arizona Teacher Residency
Arizona Teacher Residency
recruit. prepare. support. retain.
The Arizona Teacher Residency is a first-of-its-kind graduate program in Arizona, modeled after medical residencies, to help recruit, prepare, support, and retain K-12 teachers. In its first year, the program will prepare teachers for grades K-8 but will expand to high school in future years. The two-year program aims to prepare aspiring teachers with a rigorous graduate education, a yearlong classroom apprenticeship, and ongoing professional learning through the Arizona K12 Center. Residents will receive a living stipend in the first year, a tuition free master’s degree, and a job at a partnering school district. In exchange, residents commit to serving in the partner district in which they were trained for a minimum of 3 years after the residency year.
For any questions about the Arizona Teacher Residency, please contact Arizona Teacher Residency Director Dr. Victoria Theisen-Homer at Victoria.Theisen-Homer@nau.edu or 602-443-6444.
How to Apply
Apply now to the Arizona Teacher Residency by completing this short application form. If you have (or will have by spring of 2022) a bachelor’s degree in any concentration, you are eligible to apply. The sooner individuals apply, the sooner they can get started on the multi-step application process and be considered for acceptance into the first cohort of Arizona Teacher Residency.
Step 1: Complete the application form by January 7, 2022.
Step 2: If selected to continue on in the selection process, we will be reach out to you to complete multiple additional steps, including:
- Unofficial transcript
- Names and contact information for three recommenders
- A personal statement
Step 3: We will invite semi-finalists to complete an application for the Master in Elementary Education degree (M.Ed.) with certification through Northern Arizona University
Step 4: Selection Event: Invited candidates will meet other applicants and complete selection activities such as an interview
Step 5: Admitted residents announced
Potential residents can learn more about the Arizona Teacher Residency by visiting the Frequently Asked Questions page that addresses several common questions about the program. The Arizona Teacher Residency will also be hosting its first webinar on the program for interested applicants on December 7 at 5:30 p.m., when participants can ask questions and have them answered in real time. Sign up for the webinar here.
About the Arizona Teacher Residency
With support from Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, the Arizona Department of Education, and Northern Arizona University, the Arizona K12 Center created the Arizona Teacher Residency in October 2021. Read more about the program's announcement in this press release from the Arizona Department of Education.
The Arizona Teacher Residency is a two-year program that prepares recent college graduates from any degree program and those looking to switch careers to be effective classroom teachers. It is different from other teacher education programs in Arizona because it:
- requires a yearlong intensive apprenticeship in partnering schools where residents slowly ramp up their instructional responsibilities under the guidance of a strong supervising teacher prior to becoming a teacher of record
- is a two-year graduate program leading to a master’s degree through NAU, with coursework that revolves around residents’ classroom experience
- offers direct support to residents and supervising teachers in the form of sizable stipends and extensive professional development opportunities
- supports residents through two years of induction after they become teachers of record and then sets them up to be able to pursue National Board Certification
- requires a three-year commitment to teaching in partnering districts after the residency year
The Arizona K12 Center at Northern Arizona University established the Arizona Teacher Residency program based on the teacher residency model codified by the National Center for Teacher Residencies and work by Arizona Teacher Residency Director Dr. Victoria Theisen-Homer. Her report “A Teacher Chasm in the Grand Canyon State: Assessing Arizona’s Education Landscape and the Potential of a Teacher Residency” was co-funded by Helios Education Foundation and Arizona Community Foundation.
Arizona Teacher Residency Standards/Curriculum
The Arizona Teacher Residency is part of the Arizona K12 Center’s robust program of professional development. Arizona Teacher Residency coursework will integrate the Five Core Propositions of National Board Certification and support residents through induction by drawing on new teacher support structures. Supervising teachers who oversee residents during their in-class apprenticeship will also benefit from the Arizona K12 Center’s existing training for mentor teachers and will have support to complete National Board Certification if they so choose.
About Teacher Residencies
The teacher residency model began in Boston and Chicago about 20 years ago and has since spread across the country. Most major cities now have at least one graduate teacher residency.
Research on the residency model demonstrates a number of clear benefits for students and schools. These programs boost teacher retention, recruit a more racially diverse teaching force, increase student achievement over time, and powerfully impact the classroom practice of their graduates.
Learn more about the teacher residency model from Arizona Teacher Residency Director Dr. Victoria Theisen Homer on this episode of 3Ps in a Pod podcast: “The Potential for an Arizona Teacher Residency Program”.
Arizona Teacher Residency in the News
We have been so grateful for the overwhelming community response to the program’s launch. Check out some of the great stories about the program:
- “Arizona launches graduate teacher-residency program with stipend, subsidized tuition,” Arizona Republic, October 26, 2021
- “New Arizona Teacher Residency Program aims to recruit and train new, diverse educators,” KJZZ, October 27, 2021