Innovation at Arizona State University: iTeachAZ

The Innovations Inventory of AACTE’s Innovation Exchange is an online database highlighting members’ pioneering practices in educator preparation that have shown a positive impact on issues of student learning, preparation program advancement, or educator workforce needs. This blog post is one in a series highlighting entries from the inventory. To request inclusion of your institution’s innovations, contact Jessica Milton at

In response to the call for increased rigor and effectiveness in teacher preparation, one of the largest teacher preparation programs in the country, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University (ASU), implemented iTeachAZ. The program includes changes in teacher preparation that focus on improvements in candidates’ content knowledge mastery, classroom readiness, and assessment literacy. The program provides a senior-year residency experience that extends student teaching from a single semester to a full school year, enabling students to live the “full life” of a teacher. ASU has also integrated performance assessments throughout the teacher preparation program.

The program is proving to pack a tremendous punch in terms of impact. A survey of about 1,200 principals in Arizona found that those teachers prepared through iTeachAZ performed higher than the state average on every indicator of teaching effectiveness. Test results from a partner school district of third- through eighth-grade students of first-year teachers demonstrate that those taught by Teachers College graduates scored significantly higher in reading and math than students of other teachers. In addition, evaluation data from a sample of teachers who graduated in 2009-2010 indicate that 88% were rated as either effective (63%) or highly effective (25%) in their first year of teaching. Recently, the Arizona Republic identified ASU’s teacher preparation model as the number-one step to making teachers better in Arizona by 2020.

To learn more about Arizona State or other institutions participating in the Innovations Inventory, visit

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Saroja Barnes

Senior Director for Professional Issues, AACTE