Interested in becoming a teacher? If you can commit to teaching math, science or special education, the Arizona Board of Regents has a loan program that could help in a big way.
The regents created the Loan Forgiveness Program for Math, Science and Special Education Teachers to help students pay for their education. First-time bachelor’s degree students can get a full-coverage student loan with a 100 percent forgiveness provision for teaching at least one year longer than the number of years they received loans.
Many have already taken advantage of this program and are building their qualifications to teach in these high-need areas. Incredibly, however, there have yet to be enough applicants to fill all the available slots.
The need for quality teachers has never been greater. With the new requirement for high-school students to take additional years of math and science, the Arizona Department of Education projects an additional 400 mathematics and 250 science teachers will be needed annually.
Schools are already struggling to find qualified math and science teachers. Even with teachers moving to Arizona each year, the state’s universities still need to graduate 700 new math and science teachers. But with too few college students choosing these critical areas of study, the state is 500 short of what it needs.
“The loan-forgiveness program is one way the state can help infuse more math, science and special education teachers into Arizona’s classrooms,” said Regent Ernest Calderon. “Strong teachers, and more of them, are critical to the future success of our children.”
The regents have posted applications for the 2009-2010 academic year. Completed application packages must be postmarked between Jan. 15 and Jan. 19. For more information and to download the application, visit www.abor.asu.edu.