Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
Student teacher helps student with writing assignment.

West Valley School Districts

Make a difference. Become a teacher! 

NAU is excited to announce a West Valley partnership with Tolleson, Littleton, Union, Pendergast, Buckeye and Saddle Mountain School Districts to offer pathways to teacher certification.

Follow your passion. Study locally. Serve your community.

Hands-on pathway to teacher certification

NAU, in collaboration with West Valley Elementary School Districts, is offering hands-on pathways to teacher certification. When combined with the economic benefits of the Arizona Teachers Academy, it can also be tuition-free.

This unique partnership is available to anyone interested in pursuing an NAU degree that leads to teacher certification. The goal of this new partnership is to attract talented people to become educators for their community. NAU’s in-person courses will be offered in the afternoon/evening, making it convenient for paraprofessionals and other working professionals.

Benefits of the Partnership

N A U student working on their laptop.


Application Process

If you have interest in participating in the West Valley partnership, please fill out an interest form and NAU Student Services staff will reach out to discuss getting started.

Eligible degree programs

The following nationally accredited, state-approved, rigorous degree programs are available.

Undergraduate degree programs

Elementary Education (BSEd)

Special and Elementary Education (BSEd)

Early Childhood Endorsement (UCERT)

he Elementary Education junior level, teacher preparation coursework for the BSEd Elementary Education and BSEd Special and Elementary Education programs are taught primarily in-person at a local convenient location. Prerequisite coursework (freshman and sophomore general studies and additional admission requirements for professional education programs) as well as some junior and senior level teacher preparation courses are also delivered online via synchronous Zoom meetings or asynchronous formats. The Special Education coursework for the BSEd Special and Elementary Education program is taught via a synchronous zoom format, and the coursework for the Early Childhood Endorsement (UCERT) that can be taken in addition to one of the BSEd programs is offered online. If you are not already working for one of the partner school districts, you are encouraged to check out the paraprofessional or other instruction positions that would provide additional hands-on experience while completing your undergraduate degree program (see Open Positions: Apply Now! and school district contact information below).

Graduate programs online

Elementary Education with Certification (MEd)

Special Education Mild/Moderate Disabilities with Certification (MEd)

Early Childhood Special Education with Certification (MEd)

Teaching Science with Certification (MAT)

These graduate degree programs are delivered online. They can be taken through a traditional pathway completing required coursework followed by student teaching, or an alternative pathway.he latter allows students who meet additional requirements to apply for an Arizona Department of Education Alternative Teaching Certificate and be hired by one of the elementary school districts as the teacher of record for a class while simultaneously completing the online graduate degree program with NAU.

Open Positions: Apply Now!

West Valley School Districts are hiring paraprofessionals for the upcoming school year. Additionally, if you already have a bachelor’s degree and are interested in pursuing one of the graduate degrees leading to teacher certification that are listed above, you might also be able to qualify for an Arizona Department of Education Alternative Teaching Certificate and a teaching position. Open positions with partner districts allow you to start your teaching career while earning your degree. Check out the school districts’ job boards and contact the school districts directly for more information about open positions:

Tolleson Elementary School District

Jodi Gunning, Administrator of Human Resources

Phone: 623-533-3910


 Available Positions

Littleton Elementary School District

Maria Williams, HR Supervisor

Phone: (623) 478-5644


Available Positions

Union Elementary School District

Luis Vasquez, Human Resources Analyst

Phone: (623)440-3644


Available Positions

Pendergast Elementary School District

Patti Tussey, Chief H.R. Officer

Phone: 623-772-2232


Available Positions

Buckeye Elementary School District

Teresa Wong

Phone: 623-925-3410


Available Positions

Saddle Mountain Unified School District

Patti Thompson, Director of Student Services

Phone: 623-474-5104


Available Positions

Contact NAU to get started or schedule an advising appointment

Phone number: 602-728-9510