Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for your commitment to teaching Arizona students. You will undoubtedly make a difference in the communities you serve and we are grateful for the lives you will positively impact.
As a graduate of the Arizona Teachers Academy (ATA), you are required to teach at a qualified K-12 school in Arizona or if you decide not to teach, you must monetarily repay your scholarship amount.
The Arizona Board of Regents contracts a third-party vendor – Heartland ECSI – to track your scholarship and record your teaching service or manage your financial repayment if you choose not to teach.
When you receive communication from ECSI, they will reference your scholarship as a “loan.” This is simply the language that ECSI uses and does not change the scholarship-for-service terms of the Student Agreement you signed with the institution you attended. Your year-for-year service as a teacher in Arizona for the scholarship you received fulfills your service requirements.
IMPORTANT: PLEASE REFERENCE THE “ARIZONA TEACHERS ACADEMY” WHEN ECSI PROMPTS YOU FOR YOUR UNIVERSITY “SCHOOL NAME” OR WHEN YOU CONTACT THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE SUPPORT CENTER.
Q: As a graduate of the Arizona Teachers Academy, what steps do I need to take to report my teaching service that is required as part of the scholarship?
As a graduate of the Arizona Teachers Academy, you are required to teach at a qualified K-12 school in Arizona or if you decide not to teach, you must repay your scholarship amount. Service can only begin after graduation.
As a student/graduate of the Arizona Teachers Academy, you will receive email communication from ECSI shortly after you graduate. In this communication, you will receive a unique Heartland ECSI key/account number. You will use this to set up a user profile to access your account.
Q: I am applying to the Arizona Department of Education for certification. Is this cost covered by the Academy?
Yes. Once your school determines that you meet the qualifications for certification, it will notify the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) that you are an ATA graduate. ADE’s certification application process will waive the associated fees once ADE receives your information from the school you attended. Your fees will only be waived once ADE receives the information from your school.
Q: I need to take a certification exam. Is this fee covered by the Academy?
Yes. Your school can issue a voucher for the exam. Please contact your school to receive a voucher.
Q: What constitutes a "qualified K-12 school" in Arizona?
Qualified schools would include all district and public charter schools in Arizona, plus the Arizona state schools for the deaf and the blind, and any “School that serves primarily public school students with disabilities,” which is a school in which more than seventy-five percent of the students enrolled in the school are public school students who are placed at the school according to an agreement with a public school.
Q: How do I create a profile with ECSI and access my account?
The communication you receive from ECSI will provide you with information to set up your account.
Once you have created a profile, you need to connect to your account.
- Your account key is located in the upper right-hand section of all printed and mailed communications you receive from ECSI. For email communications, your account key is located in the lower left-hand corner. You can also search for your account key using your first and last name, social security number and zip code on the ECSI website.
The account key is a 17-character alphanumeric number with a hyphen. A sample account key is 01122-12345678912.
Q: What should I do if I already have an ECSI key/account number for a different student loan?
You can use your existing ECSI account to access your Arizona Teachers Academy scholarship information. You do not need to create a separate account. Once you have logged into your account you can add your ATA scholarship via the new ECSI Heartland key you have been provided.
Q: What happens after I create my user profile and connect to my ECSI account?
Once you create a ECSI account, locate the Service Obligation Report Form which is designed to help you report that you have a teaching contract and you have completed the year of teaching. Again, please be sure to type “Arizona Teachers Academy” when ECSI prompts you for your “school name.”
Q: When must I report my teaching contract?
The Service Obligation Report Form needs to be completed at the beginning of your teaching contract as well as at the completion of your teaching contract. When you report your completed year, you can also report the upcoming year if your contract is with the same employer. You can do this in the same report. (If your new contract is with a different employer, you simply need to fill out a separate Service Obligation Report Form.)
When you access the report, you will also find instructions on how to upload your report. Should you have any questions, please contact the ECSI Help Center.
Q: What if I don’t have a teaching contract immediately after graduation?
All graduates have a 12-month grace period to secure a position or begin monetary repayment of your scholarship.
Q: Do Arizona Teachers Academy scholarships accrue interest?
No, Arizona Teachers Academy scholarships do not accrue interest.
Q: What if I choose not to fulfill my service obligation after graduation?
If you choose not to fulfill your service obligation, ECSI will provide you with a payment schedule. Repayment of your scholarship will be handled by ECSI.
Q: Are there situations for which I can request a deferment of my teaching service?
Yes, there are unique situations for which you can request a deferment of your teaching service, such as disability or a call to active military duty. If you have questions, contact ECSI.