HOW TO EARN YOUR TEACHING CERTIFICATION IN ARIZONA
Interested in teaching in the state of Arizona? With a Bachelor’s degree and a desire to make a difference, the Arizona Center for Teacher Preparation can help you achieve your dream.
WHAT MAKES THE AZCTP DIFFERENT?
The Arizona Center for Teacher Preparation, also known as AZCTP, offers a flexible, affordable path to earn your teaching certification in Arizona. You can complete our program in 1-2 years for less than $3500. Compare the cost of our program to the cost of taking 25-30 credit hours at a state university and it’s no competition.
Plus, we have our students mentor with experienced teachers during their first year of teaching. Having a pro that’s taught before as a resource for help and inspiration makes the transition into full-time teaching smooth.
In order to enroll with the Arizona Center for Teacher Preparation, you will need to meet and fulfill the following requirements:
1. Hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher. This degree does not need to be in the subject you wish to teach.
2. Pass a background check. This will be similar to the background check the Arizona Department of Public Safety will conduct on you before employment.
3. Submit your college/university transcripts to AZCTP once enrolled in the program.
CLASSROOM QUALIFIER PROGRAM
Once you meet the Arizona Center for Teacher Preparation’s requirements, you will be able to enroll in our Classroom Qualifier Program.
About the Program
The Classroom Qualifier Program is self-paced, meaning you can complete the program on your own time. You can finish the program in 1 month or in 11, it all depends on how much time you can dedicate to studying. You will have 1 year maximum to complete the program.
The program is online, meaning you can study anywhere. We have even had students complete the program overseas! You will be able to print out study materials as needed.
The program will let you know when you’re ready to test. The Classroom Qualifier Program includes practice tests that will indicate whether it’s time to take your exam.
In order to earn your certification, you will need to pass the Professional Teaching Knowledge (PTK) exam. This exam will consist of 100 multiple choice questions and a writing component. All AZCTP exams are proctored at Pearson VUE testing centers. Click here to find the testing center nearest you.
ARIZONA STATE TEACHING REQUIREMENTS
In addition to the AZCTP Classroom Qualifier program and exam, the state of Arizona requires that you complete the following requirements before you can apply for an intern teaching certificate (a requirement to begin teaching):
1. Take the National Evaluation Series (NES) exam in the subject you wish to teach.
You can take the NES exam before or after taking the AZCTP PTK exam, but will need a passing score before applying for an intern certificate with the Arizona Department of Education.
This test is separate from AZCTP. It will be your responsibility to schedule, pay for, study for, and take the NES exam. Visit the NES website for more information or refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for a list of subjects to test in.
2. Submit your IVP fingerprint card, official college transcripts, proof of AZCTP enrollment, application, and fee to the Arizona State Department of Education.
TEACHING AND MENTORSHIP
Once you have met all of the requirements above and passed the PTK and NES exams you will be able to apply for a teaching position in the state of Arizona. The state also requires that new teachers complete a mentorship program through AZCTP, known as the Employed Internship program. The program requires the following steps:
1. Obtain a full-time teaching position in an Arizona public school through the Arizona Department of Education. You will begin teaching on the Arizona 1-year Teaching Intern Certification. This certification can be renewed if needed (see #4 for an example).
2. Contact AZCTP at firstname.lastname@example.org notifying us of your new position. We will work with your new school to arrange your mentorship program.
3. Begin teaching.
4. Throughout the course of your first year of teaching, you will need to complete 6 classroom observation sessions with your mentor (see Educator Preparation Rule R7-2-604.17). Your mentor will sit in on your class and observe, take notes, and provide you with feedback on your teaching style.
* Please note that the Arizona Department of Education requires that all teachers be mentored for the full time they are in a classroom during their first school year. If you begin teaching in the middle of a school year, your school will assign you a mentor for the remainder of that school year. However, you will not be able to begin the American Board Employed Internship program until the first semester of your school second year. The six scored American Board observations required for your Arizona Provisional Certificate will be completed through the next August-May school year. You will be able to teach on an Intern Certificate throughout this process as long as the American Board’s Professional Teaching Knowledge exam has been passed.
**Mentorship may be completed at a charter school provided the mentor teacher is state certified.
UPGRADING YOUR TEACHING LICENSE
In order to upgrade your Teaching Intern Certification into a Provisional 3-year Teaching certification from the state of Arizona, you will need to complete the following:
a. Pass the PTK exam and finish your mentorship program through AZCTP
c. Complete the first 45 hours of the Structured English Immersion (SEI) training course. This program is used in all public schools across the state and will help you teach English Language Learners, or children that are not fluent in English.
This training course is separate from AZCTP and can be completed before or after completing the PTK exam. See the Arizona Department of Education’s website for information on how to enroll in this training course.
d. Complete an online course on the U.S. Constitution through an Arizona college or university*. This is an Arizona state requirement.
e. Elementary Education teachers must complete an online Phonics course through an Arizona college or university*.
Once you have finished all of these requirements, you will apply to the AZCTP for your Institutional Recommendation (IR) form. This form will be our recommendation to the Arizona Department of Education that you are ready for your Provisional 3-year Teaching Certification. Email us at email@example.com to request this form.
After upgrading to a Provisional certification, you will need to teach for at least 2 years before converting to your Standard Teaching License. This license will need to be renewed every 6 years with the Arizona Department of Education throughout the rest of your career.
*Contact the Arizona Department of Education for information on which college courses are accepted to fulfill these requirements.
Read answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions.
Call 1-877-669-2228 (Option 1) to speak with a representative of the Arizona Center for Teacher Preparation/American Board for answers to any questions you may have.
Or, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.