Certification Updates – August 2017

August 28th, 2017

Certification Rule Changes – Effective August 9, 2017

A number of significant Certification rule changes are now in effect due to the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 1042, SB 1057, and amendments to Board of Education Certification rules.  This document provides a summary of the changes to Certification rules and requirements that are in effect as of August 9, 2017.

Senate Bill 1042 Certification Changes

Certification Timeframes

Unless otherwise specified, all educator certificates will be issued and renewed for twelve years.

Provisional Teaching Certificates

Applicants who meet all applicable teacher preparation and exam requirements may now qualify for a twelve-year Standard teaching certificate.  Two years of full-time teaching experience during the valid term of a Provisional certificate will no longer be required.

Subject Matter Expert Standard Teaching Certificate (grades 6-12)

SB 1042 establishes a new Subject Matter Expert Standard Teaching certificate for grades 6-12.  The Subject Matter Expert Standard certificate requires a valid Arizona Department of Public Safety IVP fingerprint clearance card and one of the following:

  • Verification of teaching experience in the applicable subject area of certification for the past two consecutive years, and for a total of at least three years, at one or more nationally or regionally accredited  postsecondary institution; or
  • Official transcripts documenting a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree in the applicable subject area of certification; or
  • Verification of at least five years of work experience that is relevant to the applicable subject area of certification.  “Work experience” means work experience identified in the submission of a resume verified by a hiring superintendent or personnel director at the public school or the Department of Education which demonstrates knowledge or skills relevant to a subject area.

Individuals who qualify for a Subject Matter Expert Standard certificate are exempt from the Subject Knowledge exam, Arizona Constitution, and U.S. Constitution requirements.  The Subject Matter Expert Standard certificate does require a passing score on the Professional Knowledge Secondary exam within two years from date of issuance, unless the applicant qualifies for the certificate with three years of postsecondary teaching experience.

Certification Exam Waivers

SB 1042 provides new options for Certification applicants to meet Arizona Educator Proficiency Requirements.   The new options to meet the Professional Knowledge, Subject Knowledge and Administrator exam requirements are outlined below.

Professional Knowledge Exam Waiver

Applicants may now qualify for a waiver of a Professional Knowledge exam requirement with one of the following:

  • Verification of three years of full-time teaching in any state, including Arizona, in the same area of certification or endorsement in which the person is applying for certification in this state.
  • A passing score on a substantially similar Professional Knowledge exam from another state.
Subject Knowledge Exam Waiver

Applicants may now qualify for a waiver a Subject Knowledge exam requirement with one of the following:

  • Verification of three years of full-time teaching in any state, including Arizona, in the same subject area of certification that the applicant is applying for in this state.
  • A passing score on a substantially similar Subject Knowledge exam from another state.
  • A Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree in the subject area of certification.
  • Verification that the applicant taught the subject area for the past two consecutive years, and for a total of three years, in an accredited college or university.
  • Demonstration of expertise in the subject area through verification of at least five years of work experience in a field that is relevant to the subject area.  “Work experience” means work experience identified in the submission of a resume verified by a hiring superintendent or personnel director at the public school or the Department of Education which demonstrates knowledge or skills relevant to a subject area.
  • Individuals who are applying for a Secondary certificate in a Science or Mathematics subject area may waive the Subject Knowledge exam requirement with the following:
    • Verification of five years of work experience in a Science Technology Engineering or Mathematics field; and
    • Official transcripts documenting a postsecondary degree or 24 semester hours of coursework in the Science or Mathematics subject area.
Administrator Exam Waiver

Applicants may now qualify for a waiver of Administrator exam requirement with one of the following:

  • Verification of three years of full-time administrative experience in any state, including Arizona, in the same administrative area of certification that the applicant is applying for in this state.
  • A passing score on a substantially similar administrative exam from another state.
Allowable Deficiency Requirements

Certificates will no longer be subject to earlier expiration due to allowable deficiencies.  Instead, a certificate with allowable deficiencies will be suspended if the certificate holder fails to complete the deficiency requirements within the allowable timeframe.  A suspension for failure to meet deficiency requirements is not a disciplinary action and the certificate holder will be allowed to correct the deficiencies within the remaining timeframe of the certificate.

New Requirements for Specialized Secondary STEM Certificate

The requirements for the Specialized Secondary Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) certificate have changed.  The new requirements for the Specialized Secondary STEM certificate are as follows:

  • Demonstration of expertise in a STEM subject matter through one of the following:
    • A Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree and completion of twenty four semester hours of coursework in an academic subject that is specific to science, technology, engineering, or mathematics; or
    • Verification of teaching experience in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics for the past two consecutive years, and for a total of three years, at one or more accredited postsecondary institutions.
  • Verification of work experience of five or more years in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.
  • A valid Arizona Department of Public Safety IVP fingerprint clearance card.

Senate Bill 1057 Certification Changes

Legislation under Senate Bill (SB) 1057 provides a new option for educators to qualify for renewal of a Standard certificate.  Under this new option, Educators who hold a renewable certificate which has expired for at least two years, but not more than ten years may qualify for renewal if they are in good standing and meet the following requirements:

  • Verification of at least ten years of experience in Arizona in the same area they are seeking renewed certification; and
  • A valid Arizona Department of Public Safety Identity Verified Prints (IVP) fingerprint clearance card.

Additional Certification Rule Changes

The Board adopted additional Certification rule changes related to the Elementary certificate, Emergency Teaching certificates, Teaching Intern certificate, and Certification Reciprocity rules.

Elementary Certificates

The Elementary certificate will now be valid for Kindergarten through grade 8 instead of grades one through eight.  Teachers who hold the Elementary certificate will no longer need an Early Childhood certificate or endorsement to teach kindergarten.

Emergency Teaching Certificates

The Board approved two changes to the Emergency Teaching Certificate rule:

  • Emergency Teaching Certificates will no longer be issued for special education teachers.
  • Emergency Teaching Certificates will no longer require completion of six semester hours of education coursework to qualify for re-issuance.
Teaching Intern Certificates

A passing score on the appropriate Subject Knowledge exam will no longer be required for applicants to qualify for the Teaching Intern certificate.  Additionally, Teaching Intern certificates will be issued for two years and may be extended yearly for two more consecutive years at no cost to the applicant.

Teaching Intern program graduates will need to pass the appropriate Professional Knowledge and Subject Knowledge exams, or qualify for a waiver of the exam requirements, in order to qualify for a Standard Professional Teaching certificate.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Certificates

Provisional CTE certificates will no longer be issued.   Instead, applicants may qualify for a Standard CTE certificates with the allowable deficiencies of Arizona Constitution, U.S. Constitution, the Professional Knowledge Secondary exam, and the required semester hours of CTE education courses.  Individuals who qualify for a Standard CTE certificate with deficiencies must complete all requirements and remove the allowable deficiencies within three years.  If a Standard CTE certificate holder fails to correct the allowable deficiencies within three years the certificate will be temporarily suspended and will not be valid for employment.  Please note that a suspension for failure to meet the allowable deficiency requirements is not a disciplinary action and the certificate holder may correct the deficiency within the remaining timeframe of the certificate.

Certification Renewal

The Board modified the renewal requirements to allow documentation of a current professional license as a counselor, social worker, psychologist, or speech pathologist to be used in lieu of proof of the required clock hours of professional development activities.  Additionally, the renewal rule has been updated to specify that awareness training regarding human trafficking of children will be accepted toward the required professional development hours for renewal.

Certification Reciprocity

The Certification Reciprocity rule now allows individuals to qualify for a comparable endorsement or Other Professional certificate if they hold a comparable certificate or endorsement from another state and are in good standing with that state.

 

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