What are the requirements to become certified to teach in Arizona?
To be certified to teach in Arizona, you will need a bachelor’s degree, completion of a teacher preparation program (such as one of the certification programs in the College of Education), passing scores on the Arizona Educator Exams subject knowledge AND professional knowledge tests, fingerprint clearance, and fees. The requirements for certification in Arizona are explained in detail by the state's Department of Education.
How do I start the certification process if I have completed a teacher preparation program at the UA?
There are two steps to obtaining your Arizona certification once you have completed a teacher preparation program at the UA; 1) obtaining an Institutional Recommendation (IR) from the UA and 2) submitting it and the other materials to the state for your certificate.
The College of Education recommends individuals who have completed the Teacher Preparation Program for certification to the state. The Institutional Recommendation form facilitates the certification process. The IR form and instructions are available in the COE Office of Student Services, EDUC 2nd floor. Students also receive this form during the Professional Development day prior to the student teaching semester.
The Institutional Recommendation Form is submitted to the Certification Officer in the Office of Student Services. The Officer verifies that you have successfully completed a teacher preparation program and that your degree has posted. The Certification Officer enters your information into an on-line form. Once completed, this form is sent to your email by the Arizona Department of Education; you must complete the Criminal History portion and can then print your Institutional Recommendation on your printer.
Once you print out your completed IR form, you must follow the instructions on the form to submit the IR, your fingerprint card, and the appropriate fees to the state for certification. You can also hand carry the materials to one of the state ADE offices listed on the IR form.
What is Certification Day?
The Office of Student Services arranges to have Department of Education certification officers come for one day to issue certificates on the spot. Certification Day is generally scheduled during the last week of May. Students must bring their printed IR form with them as well as their fingerprint card and appropriate fees (check or money order).
How do I get fingerprint clearance?
You must have your fingerprint clearance card prior to being admitted into the teacher preparation program. Forms are available in the Office of Student Services. Additionally, Eagle Fingerprinting comes to campus several times a semester to do fingerprinting for students. Dates and times are posted in Student Services and on the undergraduate listservs.
What are the Arizona Educator Exams?
Individuals who complete education degree programs at the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University who wish to teach in Arizona must pass appropriate Arizona Educator Exams. The state is in the process of switching from the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments (AEPA) to the National Evaluation Series (NES). Students seeking certification in early childhood education still complete the AEPA exams; all other certificates require the appropriate NES exams. These exams include a professional knowledge test and subject knowledge test(s). If you have completed an education program at another institution, you must also pass a proficiency examination in reading, grammar and mathematics.
What if I plan to teach in another state?
Teachers who apply for certification in another state will most likely find the process easier if they are already certified. We recommend that students pass the appropriate Arizona Educator Exams or contact the Department of Education in the state in which they plan to teach for recommendations. Certification Map
What tests do I need to take for Arizona certification?
If you complete your education program at the University of Arizona the following applies:
What material is on the tests?
The study guide contains the test objectives and some sample questions. You should plan to study before taking your exams!