Alternative Teacher Certification in Arizona

Alternative eduction teachers in Arizona have the same certification requirements as other secondary eduction teachers, and readers will also see they carry the same teacher education.

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To help students achieve their education goals and requirements, those in the Arizona Alternative Education Consortium aim to keep students engaged in school and prevent dropout. Alternative education teachers in Arizona carry a similar mission once they have completed the secondary education program and passed the required exams to become certified secondary teachers.

Arizona Alternative Teacher Certification Requirements

Average Salary for Arizona Secondary Teachers (2016)* $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
Degree Field Secondary education and chosen field
Testing Requirements NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary;
NES Secondary Subject Knowledge

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Teacher Education Programs

To become certified to teach alternative education to students in grades six through 12, Arizona teachers are required to complete a secondary education program. Students will take courses in topics like literacy, inclusion, and classroom management. To teach in a specific field, there are also courses in how to teach secondary students math, history, and science (among other disciplines). Some universities in Arizona require teaching candidates to maintain a minimum GPA in their education classes.

Because the state of Arizona requires secondary teachers to complete a semester of student teaching, teacher preparation programs offer this experience to students, in addition to hours of observation requirements in secondary classrooms. The hands-on experience of student teaching, however, allows future teachers to work with secondary students under the guidance of an experienced educator within their chosen subject area. Official transcripts from the teacher education program are required when an individual applies for certification with the Arizona Department of Education.

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Certification Requirements

Since alternative education teachers specialize in teaching secondary students, the Arizona Department of Education requires them to pass the National Evaluation Series (NES) test titled Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary with a score of 220. In three hours, test-takers are expected to complete 100 multiple-choice questions, one case study written assignment, and one work product written assignment. Student development, assessment, and the professional environment offered by schools are the topics covered by this exam.

Alternative education teachers focus on teaching a single subject or two within a secondary school setting. To become certified to teach a specific subject within an alternative school, Arizona teachers will also have to pass a subject knowledge exam for their field. Chemistry, Spanish, math, and English are just some of the options. With many being composed of 150 multiple-choice questions, passing scores for these are typically 220 to 240.

As a major step to certification, teaching candidates have to apply for a fingerprint clearance card. The Arizona Department of Public Safety issues these cards to individuals who pass an extensive background check. This card is used when someone applies to a teaching position.

Finally, within the first three years of teaching, all Arizona educators have to complete a course or exam that covers the Arizona state Constitution and the US Constitution.

A Helpful Link for Arizona Alternative Education Teaching Candidates

To help you prepare for the Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary exam, the link below offers some study materials.

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