Inspire.Teach is a multipronged spectrum of activities sponsored by Estrella Mountain Community College’s Teacher Education Program. It involves the entire pipeline of teacher development from recruitment (elementary and high school students) to preparation (EMCC students) to pathways (guiding students to the best route to university certification programs) to professional development at the post-graduate level. EMCC is committed to inspiring students from all groups to
- explore teaching careers
- increase the number of diverse professionals within Arizona’s education work force
- address the need for quality teachers by strengthening the pipeline and preparing effective teachers for the classroom
- provide continuing educational opportunities for certified teachers
The Associate in Arts Degree in Elementary Education (AAEE) is for students interested in early childhood, elementary or special education. This degree transfers as a block to any of Arizona’s state universities, as well as private institutions. It is also appropriate for those who wish to work as instructional assistants in Arizona’s public schools.
Teach West is a unique fast track teacher preparation program that involves EMCC, Arizona State University (ASU), and the Avondale and Pendergast school districts. Students earn their AAEE degree from EMCC, then complete their bachelor’s degree in 18 months at the ASU Professional Development School (PDS) in Avondale or Pendergast Elementary School District.
Estrella Mountain has created a partnership with Grand Canyon University (GCU) to offer a 3+1 program in Elementary Education. Students can take 84 credits at EMCC and complete the remaining 36 credits through GCU. Students are able to take EMCC courses concurrently with GCU courses, and all coursework, (including GCU if cohort is at least 16 students) is taught on EMCC campus.
Another option is the Associate in Arts (AA) degree. The AA is a general degree, most appropriate for students pursuing a degree in secondary education or for students with transfer credits seeking an elementary, early childhood or special education degree. The AA will transfer to any state or private university.
EMCC maintains a Future Teachers Club. The purpose of the organization is to provide professional development opportunities for students to complete their degree programs and be well prepared for the teaching profession. Participation in club activities help students develop communication and leadership skills as they create a support network with fellow students and west valley teachers and administrators to achieve their goals.
Education Professions is a 2+2+2 program. The first “2” represents juniors and seniors at the high school level, the middle “2” represents two years at EMCC, and the last “2” represents the final two years at a university. The program’s structure ensures a smooth transition from high school to the community college and from the community college to the university, thereby increasing the likelihood for success. In addition to dual enrollment courses, Education Professions students visit EMCC’s campus every spring to engage in education program activities.
EMCC also offers an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in teacher assisting. The AAS degree is designed to transfer toward a Bachelor's in Applied Science (BAS) degree and suitable for students who want to become instructional aides or for working paraprofessionals who need to meet current federal regulations.
In addition to undergraduate coursework for students interested in becoming teachers, EMCC offers professional development opportunities for certified teachers. EMCC has courses for Structured English Immersion (SEI) and Gifted Education leading to full endorsements from the Arizona Department of Education.