Arizona Teachers Academy Annual Report: Increase in enrollment and degrees means more qualified teachers in front of Arizona classrooms
August 26, 2021
Enrollment in the Arizona Teachers Academy continues to expand, supporting growth of the Arizona teacher pipeline and addressing Arizona’s teacher workforce shortage. In fiscal year 2021, total enrollment growth in the Arizona Teachers Academy increased 22 percent year-over-year, according to the ATA Annual Report, approved by the board today.
Nearly 950 students earned degrees in 84 different academic programs – a 17 percent growth in degrees earned, year-over-year. Since the Arizona Teachers Academy’s inception in 2017, 2,032 students have completed an academy program.
“The Arizona Teachers Academy is an innovative approach to getting more qualified teachers in front of Arizona classrooms – and it is an effort that is paying off,” said ABOR Chair Lyndel Manson. “The continued growth in enrollment and degrees is great news for Arizona’s students and families. We are truly appreciative of Gov. Ducey’s and Regent DuVal’s vision and the state investment in this important initiative that has such an impact on the future of our children.”
In addition to the legislatively appropriated $15 million in fiscal year 2021, the governor granted the Academy an additional $6 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund. As well, an additional $15 million for the academy was allocated from Proposition 207 one-time funds. In fiscal year 2021, the academy expended $20.5 million of the available funds, with the balance available for future scholarships.
The Arizona Teachers Academy offers a year-for-year full tuition scholarship for students who commit to teach in Arizona public schools. Each of the three public universities, Rio Salado Community College, Scottsdale Community College and Pima Community College, operates a unique academy allowing the enterprise to offer undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to earn their teaching degree tuition free.
In addition to tuition scholarships, students enrolled in the academy have access to support services during and after completion of their program of study. These services are provided by the university and community college in partnership with school districts and include new teacher induction and mentoring to improve outcomes and retention.