College of Education offers short master's program
The UA College of Education is offering a fast-track master's degree program with teaching certificate training for prospective Tucson teachers.
In conjunction with seven local school districts, anyone with a bachelor's degree can participate in Teach for Tucson - where all classes and training would be in secondary schools.
The same number of credits for a regular master's degree is compressed into two summer sessions and two semesters. The first group of students will start this May and graduate next year.
The college is in the process of recruiting students and there have been 90 inquiries as of yesterday, said Robert Hendricks, assistant dean for professional preparation for the College of Education.
"A lot of the individuals who've contacted us are mid-career individuals who are interested in making the transition into teaching," he said.
Teach for Tucson has advertised in the Arizona Daily Wildcat and the Arizona Daily Star and plans to advertise in Phoenix newspapers, Hendricks said.
The program is an alternative to the current post-baccalaureate program, which takes two years for teaching certification.
Hendricks, who is also an education associate professor, said it is a "total immersion experience" in the school districts, with an opportunity to get a paid internship.
Financial aid, such as tuition waivers, will be available for students, Hendricks said.
The school districts in the program are Amphitheater, Catalina Foothills, Flowing Wells, Marana, Tucson Unified, Sunnyside and Vail.
"They're looking at these students as prospective employees," Hendricks said.
"Another advantage of a master's degree is you'll start with a higher starting salary," he added.
John Taylor, dean of the College of Education, said it will cost students $5,000 a year plus the chance to get an internship paying up to $7,000.
"I think this should be a great incentive for people who already have a bachelor's degree who want to get their certification," he said.
Teachers are in need in the science, math and foreign language areas, said Wade McLane, superintendent for the Marana Unified School.
"I think it's a win-win situation for everybody for the schools and the students," he said.