Teacher training program celebrates 15th cohort of graduates

Participants in Scottsdale Community College’s teacher training program graduated in May. (submitted photo)

Scottsdale Community College provided 20 students in the Scottsdale Teacher Education Partnership with their certificate of completion this spring, becoming the 15th cohort of students to go through the program.

STEP is designed for people who want to teach elementary or middle school students, and who already have a bachelor’s degree, according to a press release. Students in the program spend their last year gaining teaching experiences with a field-based approach, according to a press release, including internships, volunteer assignments and classroom work.

Most, if not all, the certificate holders will be teaching in public schools this fall, the press release stated.

“Every one of these candidates expressed to me that they needed to make a difference and that’s why they wanted to go into teaching,” said Mary Ellertson, STEP program director, in the press release.

During the past year, each student completed more than 300 hours of internships, 12 weeks of teaching and spent Monday and Tuesday evenings doing in-class work.

By the end of the program, students earned teacher certification courses credits and are prepared for the Arizona Education Teacher Exams.

“My goal is to be a junior high math teacher,” said Jennifer Koval in the press release. Ms. Koval already has her undergraduate degree and a master’s of business administration. “This program is helping me reach my goal.”

STEP is designed to honor the life experiences of prospective teachers as it helps them land a teaching job at these grade levels. The one-year program is approved by the Arizona State Board of Education.

Certificate earners are immersed in school classrooms during the fall and spring as interns and volunteers, working side by side with master teachers.

STEP students also take courses taught by professional educators well versed in what it takes to be a successful teacher.

The internship experience and career guidance usually leads to teaching jobs and greater teacher retention rates once they start teaching, Ms. Ellertson said in the press release.

For more information on the program, send an email to step@scottsdalecc.edu. Or visit http://bit.ly/2rBEjvV.

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