Alternative Teacher Certification in Arizona

Alternative teacher certification in Arizona may include an option to teach as you learn, and you can read more about the teacher preparation programs you may choose from, from elementary to secondary education.

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In Arizona, one way to earn a teaching degree and still earn money is to apply for a teaching intern certification, which allows you to teach in a classroom while still working towards your teacher education. We discuss here the bachelor's degree requirement for this special certification in detail, as well as your options for required exams.

Alternative Certification Requirements for Arizona Teachers

Average Salary for Arizona Teachers (2016)* $42,350 (Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education); $42,730 (Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education); $42,830 (Middle school teachers, except special and career/technical education); $48,020 (Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Any
Testing Requirements National Evaluation Series (NES) subject knowledge exam

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

To become a teacher through the intern certificate route in Arizona, you should first have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college. The transcripts to prove this previous education is required when you apply for the intern certificate. Additionally, during your time as a teaching intern, you will be expected to complete a teacher preparation program. In fact, you will have to prove you are enrolled in such a program when you apply for the internship. Students may choose from a variety of programs, but two major areas of study are elementary education and secondary education.

Elementary education programs in Arizona prepare you to teach students from kindergarten to grade eight and may include courses in: English language immersion for young children, teaching exceptional children, classroom management and literacy. There will likely also be classes in teaching elementary science, reading, and math.

If you are more interested in teaching grades six through 12, you will want to enroll in a secondary education program instead. Your coursework may include topics like: English language immersion for middle and high school students, classroom leadership, and content area literacies. Furthermore, you will take teaching methods classes that relate to your specific subject area.

Constitution Requirements

Once you earn your certification, you will have three years to take the state required courses on the Arizona Constitution and the United States Constitution. Another option is to simply prove your knowledge of these documents by taking a standardized exam called The Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments: Constitution of the United States and Arizona.

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Testing Requirements

Even those who hold a teaching intern certificate have to pass a required subject knowledge exam. If you want to teach elementary students, you will have to pass the National Evaluation Series (NES): Elementary Education Subtests I and II with a 220 on each subtest. To take both subtests at the same time, it would take you three hours and 15 minutes, and you will answer 150 multiple-choice questions. The first subtest focuses on notions such as: language development, phonological skills, and measuring reading comprehension. Subtest II, however, tests your knowledge of topics like: numbers, operations, equations, and life processes, physical science, the scientific method, and artistic processes.

On the other hand, if you want to teach secondary students, you would choose a subject area exam that focuses on your area of expertise. This may include physical education, chemistry, history, or English, among others.

Fingerprint Clearance

When applying for a teaching intern certificate, you will be required to provide a photocopy of your fingerprint clearance card. Typically, teaching interns will have this card, as they are working with children already. To get one, you will have to be fingerprinted and those will be used to look into your criminal history. The Arizona Department of Public Safety will check your state records, while the Federal Bureau of Investigation checks your federal criminal history.

Links for Arizona Alternative Teacher Certification

The specific test you may be required to pass to earn your intern teaching certification depends on your area of interest, but the following links can help if you are working towards an elementary education certification.

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