Certification Changes and Updates


Published: April 2nd, 2018

New Middle Grades Teaching Certificate

On March 26, 2018, the State Board adopted a new Standard Professional Middle Grades Teaching Certificate.  The certificate authorizes the holder to teach the approved subject area(s) indicated in grades five through nine.  The certificate will benefit Arizona school districts and charter schools by expanding the pool of qualified educators who have specialized in teaching middle grades students.

The Standard Professional Middle Grades Teaching certificate requires the following:

  • A Bachelor’s degree;
  • A passing score on the NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary exam or the NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary exam, or qualification for a waiver of the exam requirement;
  • A passing score on one or more Middle Grades or Secondary Subject Knowledge exams, or qualification for a waiver of the exam requirement;
  • Documentation of one of the following:
    • Completion of a Board approved teacher preparation program in Middle Grades Education, or a teacher preparation program from an accredited college or university with substantially similar training; or
    • Verification of two years of full-time teaching experience in grades five through nine, and completion of college coursework or Board approved trainings which teach the knowledge and skills described in the Arizona Professional Teaching Standards and address specified topics; or
    • The applicant holds a valid, comparable Middle Grades Teaching certificate from another state and is in good standing in that other state.  Applicants who qualify with an out-of-state certificate are not required to meet the exam requirements.

Please see the Requirements for the Standard Professional Middle Grades Certificate for further information on requirements to qualify for the certificate.  You may contact the Certification office at 602-542-4367 or email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Posted in Certification Changes and Updates |
Published: January 2nd, 2018

Proposed Certification Rule Changes

The Board recently initiated rulemaking procedures for the following changes to Teacher Certification rules:

  • Proposed rule R7-2-614(E) establishing a District or Charter Standard Teaching Certificate
  • Proposed rule R7-2-609.01 establishing a Middle Grades Teaching Certificate for grades 5-9
  • Proposed amendments to R7-2-611 and R7-2-611.01 regarding Career and Technical Education Certificates.
  • Proposed amendments to R7-2-611 regarding Special Education Teaching Certificates.

The proposed rules are posted on the State Board’s website at https://azsbe.az.gov/rules.

There is a public hearing in regard to these open rules on January 3rd, 2018.  Please see the posting on the State Board’s website at https://azsbe.az.gov/public-meetings.

Additionally, there is an upcoming Certification Advisory Committee meeting on January 5th, 2018.  Please see the posting on the State Board’s website at https://azsbe.az.gov/public-meetings.

Posted in Certification Changes and Updates, News and Information |
Published: November 22nd, 2017

Certification Updates November 2017

Relevant Work Experience Verification

Legislation under Senate Bill 1042 allows applicants to qualify for a waiver of an AEPA/NES Subject Knowledge exam or a Subject Matter Expert Standard, 6-12 Certificate with demonstration of expertise in a subject through five years of relevant work experience. Board rule R7-2-606(U) defines relevant work experience as “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 skill relevant to a subject area.” The attached Work Experience Sample Letter may be used as a guide when verifying that a candidate meets the requirement of five years of relevant work experience in a subject area. The verification letter should be on official district or charter school letterhead and signed by the superintendent or personnel director.

Emergency Teaching/Emergency Substitute Request Forms

The Emergency Teaching and Emergency Substitute Certificate Request forms have been revised to include updated Background Questions. Please use the revised forms for all new Emergency Teaching or Emergency Substitute applications instead of the previous versions.

New Application to Transfer to a Standard Certificate

The application process to transfer from a provisional teaching certificate to a standard teaching certificate has been streamlined so that all provisional certificate holders submit the same application and fee. Individuals who are certified with a provisional or reciprocal provisional certificate and have completed all allowable deficiency requirements should use the Application to Transfer a Provisional Certificate to a Standard Certificate. The application must include the required fee of $60 per certificate to be transferred and the required documentation to satisfy all allowable deficiency requirements.

Student Teaching Intern Certificate Update

Arizona Christian University, the University of Arizona South, and the University of Phoenix have had supervision plans for student teachers recently approved by the Board and may initiate the process for the Student Teaching Intern certificate. The appropriate designees from these institutions have been added to the Student Teaching Intern EPP Contact list. Please review the Student Teaching Intern Information document for further information on this certificate.

Please contact the Certification office at (602) 542-4367 or [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

Click here to view a PDF version.

Posted in Certification Changes and Updates |
Published: August 11th, 2017

Renewal Requirements, Certification Updates 2017

Certification Renewal– Effective August 9, 2017

Legislation under Senate Bill (SB) 1057 and amendments to Board of Education rules provide new options for educators to qualify for renewal of a Standard certificate. The following changes to certification renewal requirements are in effect as of August 9, 2017:

  • Educators who hold a renewable certificate which has expired for at least two years, but not more than ten years, may qualify for renewal, without the required professional development hours, 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.
  • Educators may use documentation of a current professional license as a counselor, social worker, psychologist, or speech pathologist in lieu of proof of the required clock hours of professional development activities.

Please contact the Certification office at 602-542-4367 or email [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

Click here to view/download this as a PDF.

Posted in Certification Changes and Updates |
Published: August 8th, 2017

Subject Matter Expert Certificate, Certification Updates 2017

New Subject Matter Expert Standard Teaching Certificate – Effective August 9, 2017

Legislation under Senate Bill 1042 creates a new Subject Matter Expert Standard Teaching certificate for grades 6-12. Effective August 9, 2017 applicants may qualify for the Subject Matter Expert Standard Teaching Certificate if they have a valid Arizona Department of Public Safety IVP fingerprint clearance card and proof of expertise in a subject area through one of the following: • Verification of teaching experience in the applicable subject area of certification for the last two consecutive years, and for a total of at least three years, at one or more regionally or nationally accredited postsecondary institutions; or • Official transcripts documenting a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree in the applicable subject area of certification from an accredited institution; 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.

A passing score on the NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge Secondary exam is required within two years from the date of issuance of a Subject Matter Expert Standard Teaching certificate, except that applicants who qualify with three years of postsecondary teaching experience are exempt from this requirement. If an applicant fails to meet the Professional Knowledge Secondary exam requirement within two years, the Subject Matter Expert Standard Teaching certificate will be suspended and will not be valid for employment. Please note that a suspension for failure to meet the Professional Knowledge Secondary exam requirement is not considered a disciplinary action and the certificate holder shall be allowed to correct the deficiency within the remaining timeframe of the certificate.

Individuals who meet the requirements for the Subject Matter Expert Standard Teaching certificate are exempt from the Subject Knowledge exam and Arizona and U.S. Constitution requirements.

Please contact the Certification office at 602-542-4367 or email [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

Click here to view/download this as a PDF.

Posted in Certification Changes and Updates |
Published: August 8th, 2017

Exam Waivers, Certification Updates 2017

Certification Exam Changes Effective August 9, 2017

This memo is to inform you of upcoming changes to Educator Certification exam requirements due to the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 1042. Effective August 9, 2017, there will be several new options for applicants to waive the required educator exams. The new options to waive Certification exams are explained below.

AEPA/NES Professional Knowledge Exams

Applicants may waive the AEPA or NES Professional Knowledge exam with one of the following: • Three years of full-time teaching experience in any state, including Arizona, in the same area of certification in which the person is applying for certification in this state. • The applicant has passed a substantially similar professional knowledge exam that has been adopted by a teacher licensure agency in another state.

AEPA/NES Subject Knowledge exams

Applicants may waive the AEPA or NES Subject Knowledge exam with one of the following: • A Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree in the subject area of certification. • Three years of full-time teaching experience in any state, including Arizona, in the same area of certification in which the person is applying for certification in this state. • The applicant has passed a substantially similar subject knowledge exam that has been adopted by a teacher licensure agency in another state. • Experience teaching courses relevant to the subject area for the last two consecutive years, and for a total of three years, at a regionally or nationally accredited postsecondary institution. • Demonstration of expertise in the subject area through five years of work experience in a field that is relevant to the subject area. • Individuals who apply for a Secondary teaching certificate may qualify for a waiver of an AEPA Science or Mathematics exam with verification of five or more years of work experience in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics field and twenty-four semester hours of coursework or a postsecondary degree in the science or mathematics subject area.

Please review the attached Arizona Educator Exam Waivers FAQs for further information on requirements and procedures to waive Certification exam requirements. You may contact the Certification office at 602-542-4367 or email [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

Click here to view/download this as a PDF.

Posted in Certification Changes and Updates |
Published: May 3rd, 2017

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.

Posted in Certification Changes and Updates, News and Information |
Published: January 30th, 2017

Additional Approved Area Exam Waiver

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

Posted in Certification Changes and Updates, News and Information |