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Teachers College rolls out incentives for would-be educators

January 21, 2014

Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College is on a mission to produce more and better teachers. Through new scholarships, accelerated programs, national outreach to veterans and on-site graduate classes for school teachers and administrators, the education college is poised to attract significantly more students.

Many of the new education programs are concentrated on ASU’s Polytechnic campus in Mesa and its West campus in northwest Phoenix, according to Connie Pangrazi, Teachers College assistant dean at the Poly campus.

“We are launching two scholarship programs in fall 2014 to attract students to the Poly and West campuses,” Pangrazi said. “For students in Barrett, the Honors College, we will pay their $1,000/semester honors college program fee when they are enrolled at either campus. We also will offer a one-time Trailblazer Scholarship of at least $500 and up to $1,000 to any Teachers College student working toward teaching certification when they pay their deposit, register for new student orientation and sign up for housing at either the Poly or West campus.”

Additionally, Teachers College is targeting particularly high-achieving students with a proposed accelerated, tuition-saving program unveiled in fall 2014. The accelerated model allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and is designed to produce students ready to teach in three years, Pangrazi explained. Students will also participate in some differentiated learning experiences designed to increase their marketability.

“In their third year, the students in the accelerated model follow the same path as traditional four year education majors, getting a full year of classroom experience through an iTeachAZ student teaching residency,” she said. “As student teachers, they work with mentor teachers in local schools while completing ASU coursework at a local school site.

“An added benefit of the accelerated model is that it has the potential to lower tuition costs for students since they receive their bachelor’s degree in three years instead of four,” Pangrazi said.

Teachers College also plans to contribute to ASU’s consistent ranking as a top “Military Friendly School” by G.I. Jobs magazine. Teaming up with the Pat Tillman Veterans Center and College of Technology and Innovation, Teachers College is co-hosting a Veterans Open House from 4 to 7 p.m., Feb. 18, at the Polytechnic campus. The special event on the site of the former Williams Air Force Base will encourage vets to enroll in one of the college’s teaching programs. Also on-hand will be Troops to Teachers, a U.S. Department of Defense program that helps eligible military personnel begin a new career as teachers in public schools.

“This first-ever ASU event offers one-stop shopping for veterans wanting to pursue a teaching career,” said Steven Borden, director of the Pat Tillman Veterans Center and retired Navy Captain. “Working with ASU recruiters, we are casting a wide net for participants by contacting military bases, ROTC units and more than 150 city and community colleges nationwide to take advantage of this ‘second service’ opportunity.”

During the open house, interested veterans and their dependents can tour family and married housing on the Poly campus and talk with advisors about transcripts, admissions and financial aid. They also will be able to meet veterans who are Teachers College students, faculty and alumni. Also, veterans who apply for ASU admission that night or within 24 hours will have undergraduate application fees waived. Potential students will have access to on-site computers to submit their applications, and webinars will also allow off-site vets to participate in event activities.

For more information about opportunities for veterans in education, visit For details about the event or to RSVP, please contact Connie Pangrazi at

For veterans wanting to work in education, but outside a traditional school setting, Teachers College also offers up to 12 military course credits toward its educational studies degree. Typically, this program prepares ASU students to work with children, youths and adults as teachers in nonprofit or government organizations, private educational or recreational settings, or as educational entrepreneurs in children and youth-oriented fields. For details about the program, go to

Finally, on-the-job teachers and administrators who want to advance their education will be able to enroll in district-embedded courses beginning in summer 2014. This new Teachers College program is tailored primarily to early childhood and gifted student educators who require special state certification. Teachers will enroll as graduate students and take their classes on-site via video-conferencing with ASU faculty at the Poly and West campuses.

“Currently, we are assessing school district needs and videoconferencing availability,” Pangrazi noted. “Once we have completed our surveys of teachers and administrators, we can announce where and when these classes will be available in the summer.”