Pathways to Teaching

About Pathways to Teaching

pathways to teaching.jpg

young women showing a book at front of class
In the inaugural class is Olivia Gonzales, a first-generation college student who is now working in a fourth-grade classroom to gain field experience. Before enrolling in the program, she worked as a nanny and in a children’s gym.

Pathways to Teaching is a new, innovative College of Education Teacher Preparation Program that seeks to “grow our own” teachers by supporting Tucson-area residents in earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with an ESL endorsement. Developed by Marcy Wood, Pathways Program Director, the program is a collaboration between the college’s Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies and Sunnyside Unified School District. Pathways to Teaching offers students an opportunity for their community to invest in them as a future educator for local schools.

Is Pathways For You?

Are you interested in teaching in elementary and middle school?  Do you work for Sunnyside Unified School District? Are you a Desert View High School or Sunnyside High School graduate?  Do you have children or work in the SUSD neighborhood community?

  • Earn a degree in elementary education (K-8) with an ESL endorsement
  • Full tuition covered through a combination of forgivable loans and scholarships (fees not included)
  • Receive a monthly stipend of $1,000
  • Hands-on experience with an experienced teacher in SUSD classrooms
  • UA classes will be held at a SUSD school site
  • Completion timeframe: 17 months (spring, summer, fall, and spring)
  • Graduation in the May of the final spring semester

What People Are Saying

"The paid tuition and monthly stipend allow me to put all my focus and energy into learning and completing my educational goals in becoming a teacher. Through the program, I will be well prepared to start teaching on day one after graduation."
–Suzanne Mendoza, long-term substitute teacher at Liberty Elementary School

"The Pathways to Teaching program offers quality education at the University of Arizona and is building another generation of teachers with the drive and determination to motivate, educate, and innovate Tucson youth. The program is essential for providing Arizona, and more specifically Tucson, with highly qualified teachers for the future."
–Brenda Glass, computer clerk at Lauffer Middle School

"What led me to join the Pathways to Teachers program is the strong community that it’s helping to build for the future. As students in the program, we will be made into a strong and very bonded cohort and will help to pave the way for future teachers."
–Kayla Minjares, Pathways to Teaching student

Pathways to Teaching requires completion of an associate’s degree in elementary education or AGEC-A with 60 transferrable units and UA College of Education elementary education program prerequisites. Meet with an advisor from the College of Education to review completed coursework. An application will be made available to candidates who have met with an advisor in the college.

Ready to Apply to Pathways to Teaching?

Complete the following steps:

  1. Contact and meet with Program Coordinator Maria Orozco.
  2. Schedule an appointment with a College of Education academic advisor. Maria will provide you with the advisor link once you email and confirm your interest in the Pathways to Teaching Program. You will need to send your unofficial transcripts of higher education learning institutions at least 3 days before you meet with the advisor.
  3. If necessary, meet with a Pima Community College advisor to register for the prerequisite courses needed before the spring semester begins.
  4. Apply for Pathways to Teaching Program and the University of Arizona

Application for Pathways to Teaching is available the second Friday in September. Prepare for the application by having the following items ready to electronically upload:

  • IVP Fingerprint Card: we will need a scan of the front and back of the card
  • Advising plan obtained from your meeting with your academic advisor from the UA College of Education
  • Three recommendation forms/letters
  • Two 500-750 word essays in response to the following prompts:
    • What do you believe are the most effective ways to engage students? How do you know? Provide an example of what you might do as a teacher that would have a positive impact on student learning.
    • Describe your experience working with children and/or youth in educational settings that serve young people and why you want to work in your chosen profession. This should be a 500-750 word essay that outlines some of the work you have done with children, including activities you have participated in or directed, and summarizes your overall experiences and motivations for your intended profession (teaching) and the population you wish to work with (elementary-aged).   ​
  • (Optional) If your GPA is below the required 2.50 and/or you are missing any application requirements, please prepare an additional essay addressing the circumstances that have affected your GPA/ability to complete all application requirements by the deadline

Application review can take up to three weeks from the application’s final due date to receive a response from the program.

If you have attended the University of Arizona in the past, regardless of how many years it has been, you will need to apply as a Re-Admit. Please be aware that there are deadlines for the spring semester. 

Pathways to Teaching orientation will be the week of January 6, 2020 at a Sunnyside Unified School District school site (exact location TBD).

Learn more about financial resources, and follow these steps to apply.

Take a look at our photo gallery page for photos from Pathways to Teaching.