Charter schools are publicly funded education alternatives that are sponsored by community colleges or Arizona's charter school board. To learn more about the certification requirements for charter school teachers in Arizona, read on.
Requirements for Charter School Teachers in Arizona
|Average Salary for Teachers Arizona (2017)*|| $30,500 (Preschool)
$44,220 (Elementary School
$43,670 (Middle School)
$48,050 (Secondary School)
|Required Degree||Bachelor's degree (for certification)|
|Required Field||Subject area in which you will teach|
|Testing Requirements|| AEPA Assessment of Professional Knowledge
AEPA Subject Knowledge Exam
Constitutions of the United States and Arizona Exam
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Teacher training requirements in Arizona's charter schools are not governed by the state, even though these are technically public schools. Because of this, charter schools create their own teacher eligibility requirements, which may differ from school to school. However, some charter schools ask that their teachers have state certification. For the rest of this article, we will take a look at the basic requirements for state certification, since this is the more advanced set of requirements.
The minimum degree requirement for certified teachers is a bachelor's degree. It is best if these programs are in the area you want to teach and include an educator preparation component that consists of education classes and a student-teacher internship. On top of this, within three years of certification, you'll be required to complete courses on the Arizona Constitution, the U.S. Constitution, ethics, and dyslexia. It might be a good idea to incorporate those into your bachelor's degree program if possible.
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Like most states, Arizona has exam requirements that must be met prior to certification. Arizona uses the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments (AEPA) to test prospective teachers. The first exam you'll need to take is the Assessment of Professional Knowledge test. There are three of these, though the Early Childhood exam is typically for those who want to work in preschools. You'll likely find yourself taking either the Elementary or the Secondary exam, depending on the grade level you wish to work with. Both of these exams have the same structure and scoring requirements. You'll have three hours to complete the 100 multiple-choice questions, written case study, and writing assignment. You must earn at least 220 or higher on your exam to pass.
After this exam you'll take the subject knowledge exam(s) in your content area. Each of these exams is set up differently, but you might need to complete one or more depending on the subject you wish to teach. If you have a degree in your teaching subject, you could be exempt from this testing requirement.
The final exam you'll take is the Constitutions of the United States and Arizona assessment. This exam is 2.5 hours long and includes 100 multiple-choice questions. You'll need to score 240 or higher to pass. Not all endorsements require this final exam, but many do, so be sure to check your specific requirements.
Fingerprinting and Application Requirements
In Arizona, all prospective teachers applying for certification must have an Identity Verified Prints (IVP) fingerprint clearance card. To get one, you will simply register and set up an appointment to be fingerprinted online at the Fieldprint website. You will then arrive to the appointment, bringing along a state-issued ID and your appointment number. After your fingerprints have been taken electronically at the local fingerprinting office, Fieldprint will send the fingerprints electronically for a background check, the results of which will then be sent back to the certification agency.
A copy of your fingerprint card, in addition to your school transcripts and check or money order for the $60 application fee, must be submitted with your certification application.
Certification Resources for Charter School Teachers in Arizona
If you choose to be certified as a teacher in Arizona, you'll need to study for some exams. Below are a couple of links to study guides that may help you.