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Arizona Alternative Certification Programs

According to the Arizona Department of Education, Arizona is experiencing one of the most significant teacher shortages in the country. With such a high demand for teachers, alternative certification programs are useful for those looking to become a teacher in Arizona. Here is a look at three programs aspiring teachers can use to obtain their teaching certificate:

Program Name: Arizona Transition to Teaching

Program Mission and Overview:

The Arizona Transition to Teaching program is designed to assist professionals who are changing career paths. The goal of Arizona’s Transition to Teaching program is to train highly qualified teachers so that all students can receive the education they deserve. The program targets individuals who want to change careers, are retired, or have recently graduated college and have not started a career yet. Upon acceptance to the program, participants are issued a teaching intern certificate that allows them to teach while pursuing teaching certification.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Candidates must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree in math, science, technology or engineering.
  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Pass the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment.
  • Have the Structured English Immersion Provisional Endorsement.

Candidates must then enroll in a two-year state-approved alternative path to certification teacher preparation program.

Financial Information:

The cost to participate in this program varies depending on the school chosen for the preparation course. Teachers who commit to teaching in Title I schools for three years are entitled to a $5,000 stipend.

Program Name: Arizona Center for Teacher Preparation

Program Mission and Overview:

The primary goal of the Arizona Center for Teacher Preparation is to offer a low-cost alternative to earning teaching credentials in order to encourage more individuals to pursue a teaching career. This program requires candidates to complete a Professional Teaching Knowledge program and exam and an internship to obtain the right certification.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

To enroll in this program, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an institution that is accredited by the United States Department of Education. The college or university must be regionally accredited by one of the qualified agencies listed in the candidate handbook. Candidates must pass a background check and meet all other criteria set forth by the Arizona Department of Education to obtain teaching certification. To apply for the Arizona Center for Teacher Preparation, candidates can enroll online.

Financial Information:

  • The cost of the classroom-qualifier testing and training program is $1,800.
  • Candidates who register for the paid internship must pay $3,000 in fees.
  • Those who sign up for both aspects of the program together pay only $3,850, for a savings of $950.
  • Eight-month payment plans are available for eligible candidates.

Program Name: Arizona Teaching Fellows

Program Mission and Overview:

This highly selective program seeks qualified candidates who are interested in starting a teaching career after pursing a different degree program. The primary goal is to fill the large number of open teaching positions in Arizona, particularly in high-needs areas.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Candidates for the Arizona Teaching Fellows program must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Meet the legal requirements for working in the United States.
  • Pass required testing in the prospective subject area.
  • Not currently be a credentialed teacher.

Only about 10 percent of applicants are accepted. Eligible applicants may apply online.

Financial Information:

The cost of participating in the Arizona Teaching Fellows program is $6,500. Students can utilize the payment plan options available to make the program more affordable.

Learn about following the traditional route for earning your teacher certification in Arizona.

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