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NAU education program designed to increase teachers in Native American communities

A Northern Arizona University program is recruiting Native American educators who want to stay in their communities while completing their teaching degrees. 

It’s a virtual program that’s intended to help people working towards their elementary education degrees stay in Native American communities. 

Angelina Castagno chairs NAU’s Department of Educational Leadership.

"We’re really focused on partnering with community members who’ve been working in schools for many years as para-professionals or other educational assistants," she said.

It’s called the Preparing Indigenous Teachers for Arizona Schools program. Castagno said students can complete a college degree leading to a K-8 teaching certification in Arizona.

Teacher shortages continue to plague public education in the state. Castagno said this program was created to help increase the number of teachers in rural schools.

Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.