Rio Salado Teacher Program Offers Fast-Track Re-Career Option. Includes Paid Employment Opportunities for Candidates with a Bachelor’s Degree.
Have you considered a teaching career but hesitated because you’re not in a position to give up a paycheck to go back to school? Rio Salado’s Teacher-In-Residence (TIR) intern program was designed with your needs in mind.
The program provides a convenient and cost-effective way for students and working professionals with a bachelor’s degree to transition into a K-12 teaching career. Through paid employment opportunities in the classroom, students can earn an income while completing the certification coursework. The program can be completed in two years.
TIR candidates are paired with a partnering Arizona school district, to work full-time and receive the same salary and benefits of fully-certified classroom teachers. The average beginning salary for teachers is nearly $32,000.
The opportunities for post-program employment are also in favor of Rio Salado TIR program completers. Arizona school districts actively seek Rio Salado TIR candidates specifically because the program requires two years of classroom training, provides intensive mentoring and meets their instruction quality standards.
Rio Salado’s TIR programs are approved by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE).
“The need for teachers in Arizona is greater than ever,” said Director of Community Partnerships and Programs Kim Tobey. “Our state has had an ongoing shortage of science, math, special education and kindergarten teachers—especially in rural communities.”
The need has been so great that 938 teaching positions were filled by substitute teachers during the 2013-14 school year, according to the Arizona Department of Education.
“Although substitute teachers meet an immediate need, TIR candidates benefit from full-time employment, while receiving consistent and strong instruction that may not always be afforded to substitute teachers,” said Tobey.
There’s a greater shortage looming. Approximately 23%, or 26,000 educators, will be eligible for retirement by June 2018.
A 2015 report by the ADE’s Educator Retention and Recruitment Task Force cites that, “Arizona will not be able to ensure economic prosperity for its citizens and create the workforce of tomorrow,” if it cannot fill these vacancies.
“We also have a 6.6 percent unemployment rate, about one percent above the national average,” said Tobey. “With this program, we can help shrink that gap by putting people to work right away.”