COVID-19 & Certification Updates

Published: April 21st, 2020

Public Health Emergency – AEPA/NES Exams

Pearson Education Inc., the company that administers Arizona exams required for teaching and administrative certificates, has recently closed all testing centers because of the COVID-19 emergency.  On April 20, 2020, the Department submitted several proposals to the Board of Education to ensure that educators who otherwise qualify for certification but are unable to meet exam requirements because of the current public health emergency, are able to be hired for the 2020/2021 school year.   The proposals and current status are outlined below.

Approved: Career and Technical Education Professional Knowledge Exam (CTE-PK) Deficiency Extension

The Board has approved a one-year extension for CTE certificate holders to meet the NES Professional Knowledge Secondary exam allowable deficiency requirement while there is a public health emergency.

Please note that the extension only applies to the three-year Professional Knowledge exam deficiency on CTE certificates (CTE-PK).   The two-year allowable deficiency timeframe for Subject Matter Expert certificate holders to meet the NES Professional Knowledge-Secondary exam requirement (SME-PK) is established in state statute and cannot be extended.

CTE certificate holders should submit one of the following to extend the CTE-PK deficiency timeframe:

  • Standard CTE certificate holders should submit the Application to Remove Deficiencies, proof of meeting all other allowable deficiency requirements, and the $20 fee.  Under this temporary rule change, there will be no fee to remove the CTE-PK exam deficiency once applicants meet the NES Professional Knowledge Secondary exam requirement.
  • Provisional CTE certificate holders should submit the Application to Transfer a Provisional to Standard Certificate, proof of meeting all other allowable deficiency requirements, and the $60 per certificate fee.  Under this temporary rule change, there will be no fee to remove the CTE-PK exam deficiency from the Standard CTE certificate once applicants meet the NES Professional Knowledge Secondary exam requirement.

Approved: Student Teaching Intern Certificate Exam Deferral

The Board has approved a one-year deferral on the professional and subject knowledge exam requirements for the Student Teaching Intern Certificate while applicants are unable to take the exams because of the public health emergency.

Opened: Emergency Teaching Certificate Rule

The Board opened rulemaking on a provision which would allow teacher preparation program graduates to qualify for an “unrestricted” Emergency Teaching Certificate without a request from a superintendent if the applicant was unable to take the required AEPA/NES exams because of a public health emergency.  If approved by the Board, an Emergency Teaching Certificate issued under this rule will be issued in the certification area that aligns to the applicant’s teacher preparation program and will be valid to teach in any Arizona public school.  A certificate issued under this provision will be valid for one school year and will not be re-issued or extended.

Opened: Interim Administrative Certificate Rule

The Board opened rulemaking on a provision which would allow individuals who otherwise qualify for a Standard Professional Administrative certificate, but who are unable to meet the AEPA/NES Administrator exam requirement because of a public health emergency, to qualify for a one-year Interim Administrative certificate.  If approved by the Board, an Interim Administrative certificate issued under this provision would be valid for one year and would not be renewed or extended.

You may review the proposed rule language and provide input on the Arizona State Board of Education website at https://azsbe.az.gov/ .

You may contact us at (602) 542-4367 or [email protected] if you have any questions.

Thank you for your service to Arizona’s students.

Review our Certification COVID 19 Response FAQs for more information.