The Chandler Unified School District is pleased to offer an alternative path to certified teaching that removes barriers such as cost and time required in traditional college programs. The Educator Preparation Program (EPP), known as Chandler RISE, will prepare individuals to receive a Classroom-Based Standard Elementary K-8 or Mild-Moderate Special Education K-12 teaching certificate. Each year in the spring, the district will determine the teacher need and open up the application process for the following school year. An application, interview, and an in-box activity are among the preliminary steps for entrance into the program.
During the 2023-2024 school year, CUSD hired 26 teachers to be part of the first cohort of our Teacher in Residence program. Most participants come from staff already employed by CUSD. Many have been substitutes, paraprofessionals, counselors, and coaches, and while they are new to the teaching role, some have had roles in the education field for a decade or more. These teachers have shown perseverance, tenacity, flexibility, and grit. Their professional development during the 1st quarter included over 100+ hours achieved through additional contract days, release days, and time on their own. Coursework provided for RISE teachers is similar to that found at the college level. It includes sessions in classroom management, classroom engagement, content area methods, the science of reading, assessment, educational psychology, parent engagement, special education, technology, English language development and more.
The program provides a two-year model that combines classroom experience, coaching, and more than 400 hours of professional development each year. Candidates begin the school year in their own classrooms as the teacher of record and are supported through mentoring at both their own site and from the district program coordinator. RISE teachers will earn the CUSD base teacher salary each year of the program and will receive health insurance and other benefits including matching retirement contributions, holiday pay, and earned paid sick time.
The application window is now closed for the 2023-2024 cohort.
Based on student projections for the 2024-2025 school year, CUSD will not be taking a new cohort for the upcoming school year.
Each year, the district's needs will be evaluated for the upcoming school year's RISE placement. If you are still interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, you can check back at the end of the 2024 calendar year, or visit the ADE's page on Educator Prep Programs.
The program’s training will take place during scheduled release days and additional days are added to the standard teacher work calendar.
**Training dates are required for all participants.**
In general, training takes place in July before teachers return, during a week of fall break, a week of spring break, and 2 weeks after school releases in May. In addition, teachers will receive monthly release days from the classroom to participate in training.
All Chandler RISE teachers will have support from a certified teacher. This support may include, but not be limited to, modeling lessons, in the moment coaching, assistance with planning, guidance in data collection and any other systems in place within a classroom and school.
All Chandler RISE teachers will participate in the district's new teacher mentoring program. This support structure includes cohort meetings with an accomplished teacher and others in their first year, 1:1 coaching sessions, and mini conferences that provides learning sessions designed to meet the needs of new teachers. Most of these dates will be set by the mentor teacher and the group at the start of the school year.
Training for all Chandler RISE teachers is based on the inTASC Model Core Teaching Standards and Arizona's Professional Teaching standards. Every session falls into one of the following categories:
- Classroom Procedures & Management
- Learning Environment
- Standards & Curriculum
- Lesson Planning
- Instructional Delivery
- Personalized Learning
- Engaging Parents & Community
- Professional Responsibilities
- Special Education (Mild-Moderate)
Example Agenda -July 2023
State Requirements for Participation
To take advantage of this opportunity, potential participants must have the following without exception:
- a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, including an evaluation of coursework if your credentials are foreign
- a valid IVP fingerprint clearance card issued by Arizona Department of Public Safety
- a valid alternative teaching certificate (CUSD will expedite the paperwork for this once you have been accepted into the program)
State Requirements for Certification
- Participants must successfully complete two years of training and pass all applicable tests for their specific certificate.
- Participants must be evaluated by administration and perform comparable to other beginning teachers.
- Participants' students must perform comparable to other beginning teachers on state testing.
- Participants must either pass the U.S./AZ Constitution test or pass the class.
Costs to the Participant
While the training by CUSD is free of charge, below are the fees associated with certification that are not covered.
- cost associated with taking the Arizona Teacher Proficiency Assessments. (Elementary Ed -Content areas part 1 & 2, Professional Knowledge, Special Ed -Special Education)
- certification fees
- cost associated with passing the U.S./AZ Constitution test or taking/passing the U.S./AZ Constitution class
- cost associated with the assessment for Literacy K-5 endorsement (first attempt is free)
- cost associated with adding the Literacy K-5 endorsement to certification
- cost associated with adding the SEI endorsement