Frequently Asked Questions
The Arizona Teacher Residency is different from most other programs in Arizona because it:
- Requires a year-long 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, which we hope most will choose to do.
- Requires a three-year commitment to teaching in partnering districts after the residency year.
The initial partner districts include Osborn School District, Roosevelt School District, and Tempe Elementary School District. The program will expand in coming years to partner with additional districts across the state.
Please visit our Partners page for more information.
Please sign up for updates about the Arizona Teacher Residency and mark your interest as a school or district in partnering.
Supervising Teachers will be selected through a community nomination process. From these nominations, we will invite teachers to apply. After careful review, selected teachers will be invited to an interview which will include an observation.
For eligibility information, please visit our Supervising Teachers page.
Selected Supervising Teachers will receive a $2,000 stipend during the residency year for their work in supporting their resident. Payments will be made in January and June in separate installments of $1,000. Supervising Teachers will also receive training and additional professional learning opportunities from the Arizona K12 Center.
For additional benefit information, please visit our Supervising Teachers page.
Residents are in schools four days a week, apprenticing and completing up to two service hours per day for the school.
For Potential Applicants
The Arizona Teacher Residency is a two-year graduate program, with each resident serving one year as a teaching apprentice, then one year as an AZTR teaching fellow (this occurs in the second year of the program, when residents become a teacher of record). Residents receive two years of induction support (in their second year in the program and the following year).
In total, residents commit to a school district for four years (one year as an apprentice, and three years as a teacher of record). Our first cohort enrolled in the summer of 2022. They will graduate with their master’s degree from NAU in the late spring of 2024.
In their first year of the program, residents will:
- Complete a one-week summer institute in Flagstaff
- Be paired with one Supervising Teacher for the full year
- Work in a partnering school four days a week, apprenticing and completing up to two service hours per day for the school
- Receive support from a District Program Coordinator throughout your apprenticeship
- Complete coursework on Fridays and one evening class each semester
In their second year of the program, residents will:
- Complete two summer courses in a hybrid model
- Secure employment in the district in a full-time teaching position
- Complete two online courses in the fall
- Receive induction support from an Arizona K12 Center mentor (which will continue through year three)
- Complete a capstone project/thesis based on their teaching experiences to be presented to their residency cohort
No. Residents must work in a partnering district throughout the residency year.
Currently, we only offer a master’s degree plus certification in elementary education, which prepares an educator to teach kindergarten through eighth grade. The coursework will be generalist in nature, as opposed to focused on a particular content area like math, science, or art.
In coming years, we are planning to offer secondary certification to serve high schools and will determine concentrations based on the needs present in partnering schools/districts.
No. In the first year, most coursework will be taught in-person by faculty affiliated with the Arizona Teacher Residency and the Arizona K12 Center at Northern Arizona University. These courses will take place all day on Fridays and once a week after the K-12 school day.
In the second year, when residents become teachers of record, most of the coursework will be online. There is also required coursework during the summers before and after the resident’s first year that will be taught in a hybrid format.
This program was created for aspiring teachers. You are eligible to apply if you have (or will have by spring of 2023) a bachelor’s degree in any concentration, are legally authorized to work in the U.S., and are not already a teacher.
Admission decisions will be announced late spring, before a resident’s first academic year.
We currently accept 30 residents but will be expanding the cohorts every year, resources permitting. The goal is to support annual cohorts of 100 residents across the state.
The first cohort began in July 2022 with a two-week summer institute at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. Residents began their apprenticeship in schools at the beginning of August 2022.
Yes. This program requires a four-year commitment in total: One year as a teaching apprentice and three years as a teacher of record.
When residents enroll in the program, they must sign an agreement that states they will commit to serving as a teacher for the three years after their residency year in the same district/school in which they are prepared. This agreement amounts to a four-year minimum commitment to a partnering district.
In their first year of the program, residents will receive a cost-of-living stipend. Additionally, the
program can offer health care to residents who need it, as well as other sources of direct
In the second year, along with finishing their master’s degree coursework, residents will
be employed by the district and receive a salary for teaching full time.
Most applicants will have very little out-of-pocket cost. Arizona residents can apply to the Arizona Teachers Academy to cover their master’s degree tuition at NAU. Funding provided by the Arizona Department of Education will cover other program expenses.
Residents will be expected to pay for their Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card and any required books for courses.
You are eligible to apply for ATA scholarship if you are:
- Admitted to NAU as an in-state or out-of-state student,
- Enrolled in an NAU ATA eligible degree program such as the degree program(s) offered through the Arizona Teacher Residency,
- Eligible for and have a current FAFSA on file with NAU’s Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA),
- Willing to commit to the ATA teaching service commitment (for Arizona Teacher Residency participants, this will include two years of teaching in an Arizona public district, public charter, or Bureau of Indian Education school after you complete the two-year eligible degree program).
Yes. The MEd Elementary Education with Certification degree program being offered through the Arizona Teacher Residency will provide pedagogical content coursework designed to enhance your knowledge and skills regarding effective teaching practices—even if you have an Arizona teaching certificate, such as a/an:
- Emergency teaching certificate
- Emergency substitute certificate
- Subject Matter Expert Standard Teaching, Grades 6-12 Certificate
- Specialized Secondary STEM Certificate, Grades 6-12
- Or another Arizona teaching certificate besides an Arizona Standard Professional Elementary Certificate
Through your admission to NAU and enrollment in the MEd Elementary Education with Certification (as well as meeting the other ATA requirements), you will be eligible to apply for the ATA scholarship.
No. If you already have an Arizona Standard Professional Elementary Certificate, you may want to consider pursuing another NAU ATA Scholarship eligible degree program. For more information, review the ATA’s degree programs and dual enrollment options.
If you are already certified as an elementary teacher in another state, you may want to first apply for an Arizona Standard Professional Elementary Certificate through Arizona’s reciprocity procedures.
Although the Arizona Teacher Residency may not be a good fit if you are issued an Arizona Standard Professional Elementary Certificate through the reciprocity procedures, you may want to consider pursuing another NAU ATA Scholarship eligible degree program. For more information, review the ATA’s degree programs and dual enrollment options.
If you have an out-of-state teaching certificate in an area other than elementary education and you are interested in teaching at the elementary level (Grades K-8), then applying for the Arizona Teacher Residency and MEd Elementary Education with Certification degree program may be a good fit for your interests and career goals.
Your eligibility for the ATA scholarship will be evaluated by OSFA once your ATA Agreement is received. Your account is evaluated after you are registered for courses for the term and tuition and fee charges have been posted to your account.
An ATA scholarship will disburse to pay any remaining tuition and mandatory fees after all other federal, state, and institutional grants and tuition waivers are applied. The ATA scholarship is disbursed approximately 10 days prior to the first day of classes and applied to any remaining tuition and fees charges.