Certification Changes

Although we are aware of recent legislation that will impact certification requirements for current and future educators in Arizona, at this time we are not able to advise applicants on the details nor are the requirements currently in effect.

“Upon receiving the Governor’s signature, a bill is sent to the Secretary of State where it becomes an act, receives a chapter number for publication in the Arizona session laws, and is codified into the Arizona Revised Statutes. The new law takes effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns, or immediately if it is an emergency bill.”

SB 1042 and SB 1057 were not emergency bills. As a result, should the legislature adjourn in early May as expected, the new legislation would go into effect sometime in early August.

Please review our website at http://www.azed.gov/educator-certification/ for updates and more information as it becomes available.

Subject Knowledge Examination Waivers

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires teachers in Title I schools to be “appropriately certified” through being in compliance with certification requirements established by the State of Arizona. Board rule R7-2-607(J) requires teachers in grades 6-12 whose primary assignment is an academic subject area to pass the appropriate Board adopted subject knowledge exam, and further requires these teachers to have the area(s) of demonstrated proficiency specified on their certificate. Therefore, teachers who were designated as “highly qualified” through the AZ High, Objective, Uniform, State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE) rubric in a content area, or through 24 semester hours of coursework in the subject area, may not qualify as “appropriately certified” under ESSA.

To remedy this issue and promote the retention of experienced and effective teachers in core subject areas in grades 6-12, the State Board of Education adopted board rule R7-2-607.01. This rule provides a temporary grandfathering provision that allows teachers with a valid Elementary or Secondary certificate, or a Special Education certificate that includes grades 6-12, issued prior to August 1, 2016 to become “appropriately certified” in a subject, and add one or more approved subject areas to their certificate, without requiring a subject knowledge exam, if they meet the following requirements:

  1. Verification from the LEA that the teacher was “highly qualified” in the subject(s) as defined by NCLB, for reason that:
    – The individual was teaching in one or more subject areas based on a verified Arizona High, Objective, Uniform, State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE) rubric as highly qualified to teach the subject area(s) as defined under the No Child Left Behind Act; or
    – The individual has completed a minimum of 24 semester hours of courses in the subject area(s); and
  2. Verification that the teacher’s most recent evaluation was within the two highest performance classifications; and
  3. Submission of an application to add the approved area on or before August 1, 2017.

Related Information and Documents


New National Evaluation Series (NES) Subject Knowledge Exams

The Arizona State Board of Education has approved the adoption of the National Evaluation Series (NES) Mathematics (Middle Grades and Early Secondary) (NT 105) exam and the NES Social Science exam to meet the Secondary subject knowledge exam requirement to teach Social Studies in grades 6-12. [Read more…]

New Specialized Standard Career and Technical Education (CTE) Certificate

The Board has approved a new Specialized Standard Career and Technical Education (CTE) certificate which conforms to new legislation under Senate Bill 1502.  [Read more…]

Certification Updates, August 2016

A number of significant Certification rule changes are now in effect due to the passage of SB 1208 and amended Arizona Board of Education rules to align with the revised statutes.  The changes to Certification rules and requirements include renewal requirements, SEI, reciprocity and out-of-state exam information and are outlined below.

[Read more…]

New Mathematics Approved Area

The State Board of Education temporarily adopted the California Subject Knowledge Examination for Teachers (CSET) Mathematics Exam (Subtest I (211) and Subtest II (212)) to meet the requirement for a new Middle Grade/Early Secondary Level Mathematics approved area. An Arizona Educator exam for Middle Grades/Early Secondary Mathematics is currently under development and should be released in the late fall of 2016.

As a result of this change, there are now three Mathematics Approved Areas:

Middle Grades Mathematics which allows educators to teach Mathematics in grades 6-8. The Middle Grades Mathematics may be added to an Elementary, 1-8 certificate or a Secondary certificate with an existing 6-12 approved area. The Middle Grade Mathematics approved area cannot be the primary approved area on a Secondary certificate.
Middle Grades/Early Secondary Mathematics which allows educators to teach Algebra I, Geometry, General Mathematics, and Foundational Mathematics in grades 6-12.
Mathematics which allows educators to teach all Mathematics in grades 6-12.

Additional Information:
Middle Grade/Early Secondary Level FAQs
Application for Certification

Certification Renewal Rule Change

Certification Renewal
Educators who hold multiple renewable certificates expiring in different years may now align the expiration date of all certificates with documentation of 180 clock hours of professional development completed during the valid term of the certificate which expires first. Educators are no longer required to show that the professional development hours were completed during the valid term of each certificate being aligned. A technical change was also adopted which specifies certain professional development activities allowed by statute that may be accepted toward renewal.

Additional Information:
Application for Renewal of Certificate

Endorsements Grade Level Expanded

The grade level of the Special Subject Area endorsement, Gifted endorsements, and Library-Media Specialist endorsement has been expanded from K-12 to PreK-12. A technical change was also adopted to allow Early Childhood certified teachers to qualify for the Gifted and Library-Media Specialist endorsements. The rule change will help to ensure that teachers with these endorsements are appropriately certified to teach preschool students.

Additional Information:
Requirements for Endorsements

Teacher Intern Certificate Rule Change

Teaching Intern Certificate
The Teaching Intern certificate no longer requires completion of Structured English Immersion (SEI) training in order for applicants to qualify for initial issuance. Teaching Interns will be required to show completion of SEI endorsement training and apply to add the SEI endorsement within one year in order to qualify for extension of the certificate.

Please note that Teaching Interns who are placed in a SEI classroom must hold either the SEI, English as a Second Language (ESL), or Bilingual endorsement in order to be appropriately certified and highly qualified.

Additional Information:
Requirements for Teaching Intern Certificate

Application for Teaching Intern Certificate

Structured English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement Rule Change 9/28/15

Structured English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement Rule Change

As of September 28, 2015, individuals applying for a teaching or administrative certificate will have three years to fulfill the Structured English Immersion (SEI) requirement versus one year.

On June 22, 2015, the State Board of Education approved changes to the Structured English Immersion (SEI) endorsement rule.   Effective June 22, 2015, individuals may qualify for a Full SEI endorsement with three semester hours or 45 clock hours of State approved SEI endorsement training.  Completion of the Provisional SEI endorsement training is no longer required to qualify for the Full SEI endorsement.

Individuals who qualified for a Provisional SEI Endorsement with either a three semester hour or 45 clock hours SEI training now qualify for the Full SEI Endorsement and are not required to complete additional SEI training in order to maintain their certificate. These individuals may add the Full SEI Endorsement by submitting a completed Application for Certification and a check or money order for $60.