6 Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Arizona
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Are you thinking of becoming a teacher in Arizona? If so, keep reading to find out what you must do to become certified.
- Complete a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA. First, you must complete a bachelor’s degree and graduate with a 3.0 GPA. Also, you must complete a state-approved teacher preparation program at either the undergraduate or post-baccalaureate level, and the program must be in the subject area in which you plan to teach. For example, you could major in teacher education at the undergraduate level, which would allow you to become a teacher with just a bachelor’s degree. Or you can complete a bachelor’s degree in a major other than teacher education and gain certification by completing an alternate or post-baccalaureate teacher education program. You can even complete a joint master’s degree and educator preparation program, as well.
- Complete a student teaching experience. As part of your teacher education program, you will need to complete a student teaching experience at the grade level that you plan to teach.
- Pass the required exams. Potential teachers must complete a teacher licensure exam to become certified. Early childhood educators are required to pass the subject knowledge of the early childhood education portion of the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments (AEPA). Elementary and secondary educators are required to pass the National Evaluation Series (NES) Assessment of Professional Knowledge. Both the elementary and secondary assessments include 100 multiple-choice questions, a case study, and a written assignment. Teacher education candidates who studied specific subjects, such as history or mathematics, must pass AEPA or NES exam in their subject area
- Pass a background check. Potential teachers in Arizona must be fingerprinted and pass a background check. The process usually takes around 10 days. Applicants who have a criminal record may wait up to 55 days. Each background check is valid for six years.
- Complete an application. To apply for Arizona teaching certification, applicants submit a photocopy of a valid IVP fingerprint card, official transcripts, exam scores, and proof of fieldwork or practicum experience. Applicants also must answer a round of questions about their background. Applicants who are certified to teach in another state must submit a photocopy of a valid and comparable out-of-state educator certificate.
- Payment of all fees. The application process requires a $60 fee for each certificate, endorsement, or additional approved subject area. The licensure process typically takes one to three weeks; however, applicants may wait six weeks during peak season.
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