New Grant Will Create Arizona Teacher Residency to Improve Retention

The state of Arizona is awarding $5 million to create the first-ever teacher residency in Arizona. The residency will follow similar models to medical residency programs. Arizona’s Department of Education awarded the grant to Arizona K12 Center at Northern Arizona University. The goal of the residency is to improve teacher retention in the state.

“Through this extended fieldwork and the master’s degree coursework that revolves around this experience, residents truly learn what it means to develop and sustain themselves as teachers,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said. “As a result, residencies have a strong track record of advancing teacher retention, and student achievement, too. Now is the time to establish a teacher residency program as another meaningful solution to addressing our teacher shortage.”

GrantWatch has similar grants available for Arizona K-12 teachers to go toward training and skills development.

Some Backround on Teacher Shortages

Arizona is not alone in having a statewide teacher shortage. Before the pandemic, many states were facing shortages of trained teachers. In March of 2019, a report from Economic Policy Institute showed that the teacher shortage was even worse than experts had feared.

“When indicators of teacher quality (certification, relevant training, experience, etc.) are taken into account, the shortage is even more acute than currently estimated, with high-poverty schools suffering the most from the shortage of credentialed teachers,” the report stated.

And then the pandemic hit, and things got much, much worse. The AP reported that the COVID-19 pandemic was causing major staffing shortages overall. In fact, as of this school year, a survey showed that “25 percent of teacher jobs that need to be filled remain vacant a month into the school year.” This means for many students, especially special education students could suffer from this shortage.

Teacher Residency Could Help Address Shortage

This $5 million grant from the Arizona Department of Education will allow for the design, launch, and expand the Arizona Teacher Residency.

So, what will this program look like?

Well, this new graduate program will exist to retain, prepare, and support k-12 teachers in the state. It will be a two-year program and will provide aspiring teachers with:

  • Stipends
  • In-classroom experience
  • A Masters Degree
  • A job with a neighboring school district

The program will teach recent college graduates and mid-career switchers how to become effective in-classroom teachers. The program will begin with a two-week summer institute, followed by a year of in-school apprenticeship under a supervising teacher. Afterward, this teacher will become the teacher of record in the program’s second year. The residents will complete graduate-level coursework throughout the two years and will be awarded a master’s degree from Northern Arizona University.

GrantNews Notes

Are you looking for more education-related grants? GrantWatch features an entire grant category specifically for education-related grants. Additionally, there are also categories specifically for elementary education, secondary education, and teachers.

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