Northern Arizona University is increasing the number of students who participate in the Arizona Teachers Academy, giving more students the opportunity to earn a tuition-free university degree and pursue teaching careers statewide.
For the 2019-2020 academic year, the NAU Teachers Academy now includes all undergraduate and graduate education programs leading to teacher certification—in Flagstaff, at statewide locations and online. Master’s degrees in mathematics education and science teaching, available online, also are eligible for the Teachers Academy Scholarship.
The Teachers Academy began in fall 2017 at all three Arizona universities in response to a request from Gov. Doug Ducey to create a pathway to produce more graduates who are qualified to teach in the 21st century and do so while minimizing student debt.
Thanks to funding from the State of Arizona, the NAU program expanded to offer students in all the university’s teacher certification programs. Students choose from elementary or special education programs at nearly 20 statewide locations across eight counties; graduate programs in the Phoenix area, Tucson and Yuma; more than 20 undergraduate and graduate programs at the Flagstaff campus; and several graduate programs available online.
Denisha Ozuna attends NAU at Yavapai College in Prescott.
“I’m part of the Arizona Teachers Academy. It has helped me financially, first and foremost. Going back to school to get my bachelor’s degree—as a 30-year-old with a family and a job—doesn’t only revolve around me,” she said. “This opportunity not only helps me, but it also helps my family’s future. Being able to have the support of the Teachers Academy Scholarship provides reassurance that I can be an educator and only focus on that.”
NAU had more than 800 Teachers Academy students enrolled in the 2018-2019 academic year and will be accepting applications for students enrolled in teacher education programs in the 2020-2021 academic year. Current or admitted students should check their LOUIE accounts for eligibility for the Teachers Academy and associated financial benefits.
More than 400 NAU Teachers Academy students are earning their degrees at the Flagstaff campus, and 40 percent are studying at NAU locations throughout the state, which allows students to continue living and working in their communities while pursuing degrees. The university celebrated the graduation of more than 70 Teachers Academy students in December.
Ozuna expects to graduate with her bachelor’s degree from NAU’s College of Education in spring 2021.
Learn more about the NAU Teachers Academy
Students who aspire to become teachers are encouraged to apply for admission to the university and join the Teachers Academy. An Arizona Teachers Academy Scholarship will be provided to cover any remaining tuition and mandatory fees after all available grant aid and tuition-based scholarships have been applied. Students receive a high-quality, tuition-free education by completing the following items:
- Apply for admission to NAU and enroll in an eligible undergraduate or graduate education program.
- Complete a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Submit an Arizona Teachers Academy agreement, which is found in students’ NAU LOUIE accounts after being admitted and submitting the FAFSA.
- Achieve good academic standing.
- Commit to teaching at an Arizona public school for the amount of time equal to the number (or portion) of years that a Teachers Academy Scholarship is received.
Participation in the Arizona Teachers Academy at NAU is first-come, first-serve for students who complete all eligibility requirements, up to the allowable funding provided by the state.
“I enjoy being in a small class setting through my cohort because it builds a community in our classroom and we can make stronger connections to each other’s experiences,” Ozuna said.
She looks forward to being an elementary educator at a K-8 school.
Find more details about NAU’s Teachers Academy, including eligibility criteria, application process and a list of available education degree programs.
Dena Stevens | NAU External Affairs and Partnerships