Education major Sarah McWilliams has yet to receive her teaching certificate but she already has interviews with five different school districts.
McWilliams, who will receive her post baccalaureate teaching degree in May from Rio Salado College, will interview on April 17 at the Rio Salado College 6th Annual Teacher Career Fair.
The fair, a community wide event connecting public, charter and private schools with potential teacher candidates, is a yearly event at Rio Salado.
The year’s fair is expected to be the largest in Rio Salado’s history with more than 48 school districts/schools and dozens of teacher candidates to be in attendance at the event.
“The career fair is a great opportunity for teacher applicants to meet with districts seeking to fill positions and to recruit new teacher interns in high need areas,” said Janine Weyers, Rio Salado College field experience coordinator. The free event is open to the public. Job seekers are encouraged to bring their resumes and certification to distribute to school districts.
Participants will have the chance to learn about school districts throughout the state including benefits and programs available to new employees, said Weyers.
McWilliams, who hopes to teach English, says the career fair will save her time and money while allowing her to become acquainted with prospective employers.
“I think it’s great. It will definitely be convenient for me to attend one fair for five interviews. It makes my life as a working person much easier,” said McWilliams.
The event has a record of success in pairing newly certified teachers with school districts with openings.
“We’ve had students leave the career fair with a contract,” said Mary Briden Rio Salado College Director of Educational Programs and Partnerships
McWilliams, who graduated in journalism from University of Kansas, has been working in education for the past four years. She’s become so enthralled with education she decided to go back to college and earn her teaching certification.
“I can’t wait to get started on my teaching career,” said McWilliams.
She also attended Rio Salado College’s teacher prep program master teacher interview skills workshop. The three-hour workshop focuses on how teaching candidates can best present themselves when interviewing for a job.
“I think it was a good idea. It’s nice encouragement for us to do well in our interviews,’ said McWilliams.
Rio Salado College has a variety of teacher preparation programs including the only online post baccalaureate program in the state. Geared for busy adults with careers and families, the online program allows students to earn a teaching certificate from the comfort of their home. Begun seven years ago, the program has earned a reputation of making dreams come true.
“We’ve had students come to us with tears in their eyes so grateful for an online program. Before the online program there was no college flexible enough to allow students with demanding schedules to get their education," said Briden.
McWilliams has managed to finish the program in two years while working full-time.
Students in the post baccalaureate program do their student teaching and classroom practicums in person but the rest of the course work can be done online. In addition to the post baccalaureate program in early childhood, elementary, secondary and special education, the college also has early childhood undergraduate and professional development courses, specialty endorsement certificates and classes for K-12 educators.
A new program added this year allows students to earn 90 credits of education classes at Rio Salado and then transfer them to Northcentral University to complete their teaching degree online. The benefits include 90 hours at the community college cost, said Briden.
Rio Salado College, located in Tempe, AZ has more than 450 online classes with start dates every Monday. The college offers degrees and certificates in business, education, healthcare, law enforcement and more. For registration or more information call 480-517-8540 or go to www.riosalado.edu/registration
Rio Salado College
6th Annual Teacher Career Fair
Thursday, April 17 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Rio Salado College Conference Center
2323 West 14th Street
Free and open to the public