TUCSON, Ariz. — A new 17-month teaching program at the University of Arizona helps Sunnyside School District Employees become teachers.
The pathway education program at UArizona was introduced in 2018 to help make it possible for people to get a bachelors degree in teaching, but don't have the funds or time to do so. The University is partnering with the Sunnyside school district because they wanted a community dedicated to their schools.
Laura Garcia is an example of that. She's a special education teacher assistant at Santa Clara Elementary School. She's been with the district for two years and wants to become a teacher, but that didn't seem possible.
"I was at a point in my life where I can't get anymore finical aid, so I don't have the finances," Garcia said.
Soon, she received an email from UArizona about this program that gave her the hope she needed to reach her dreams.
"There are lots of people who are going to be outstanding teachers who don't have the resources to become teachers," One of the people who helped create the program Marcy Wood said.
Garcia said she grew up, went to school and graduated in the Sunnyside District, so she's excited to be able to go back soon as a teacher.
"That means that they're dedicated to that district, there aware of that community and the special assets that the community has and can draw upon those to support students," Wood said.
Her goal is to be an elementary school teacher and then eventually go back to special education.