In Arizona, a highly qualified teacher is someone who is certified in their subject, and then has proven competency beyond certification requirements in that same subject. Below, we'll look at some of the ways teachers can gain that highly qualified certification standing.
Requirements for Highly Qualified Teachers in Arizona
|Average Salary for Teachers Arizona (2019)*|| $32,150 (Preschool)
$45,600 (Elementary School
$45,120 (Middle School)
$50,320 (Secondary School)
|Required Degree||Minimum of a bachelor's degree|
|Testing Requirements||AEPA or NBC exams|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Understanding Highly Qualified Teachers
Highly qualified teachers are those teachers who are considered subject-matter experts in their subject area. They have schooling or testing beyond traditional teacher roles. It is important to know that all Title I teachers must be highly qualified in order to teacher. Title I schools have been granted additional funding from the government because they are in high-risk and poverty-stricken areas. While highly qualified teachers are not only for Title I schools in Arizona, being considered highly qualified can lead to more career opportunities.
Pass the AEPA Test
The Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments (AEPA) has exams that test the subject knowledge and professional knowledge of over 30 subjects. For the highly qualified teacher, you must take the subject knowledge exam for your subject area. Each of these exams is set up differently and has its own scoring requirements.
Complete Advanced Education
There are two options to be considered highly qualified with an educational route. The first is to complete at least 24 semester hours in your subject area after you've been certified. This typically means you'll need to continue your education with a master's degree or post-baccalaureate certificate. Note that it is not necessary to complete the program, only to put the 24 hours under your belt. The other option is to advance your education with an advanced degree. This can be either a master's degree or a doctorate in your subject areas. This can also lead to better pay depending on the school district.
Pass the NBC Exam
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards offers the National Board Certification exam for teachers in over 16 subject areas. There are 25 certifications that each test on four components: content knowledge, differentiation in the classroom, learning environment, and effective/reflective practices. The first component, the content knowledge is a computer-based exam. It consists of 45 multiple-choice questions and three constructed responses. You'll have 30 minutes to complete each constructed response and 90 minutes for all the multiple-choice questions. The other three components will need to be included in a portfolio for review, and the requirements are as follows:
|Differentiation in Instruction||Student work & written commentary on instructional choices|
|Teaching Practice & Learning Environments||Video recording of teacher and students & 2 written commentaries reflecting on the interactions|
|Effective & Reflective Practitioner||Information on assessments, collaborations with families, and advancement of student growth|
Certification Resources for Teachers in Arizona
There are many assessments and exams required for becoming a highly qualified teacher in Arizona. To learn more about these exams, check out the links below. Be sure to look around the site for your subject area exams!