Overview: The Alternative Teaching certificate is valid for two years and may be extended yearly for no more than two consecutive years. The certificate entitles the holder to enter into a teaching contract while completing the requirements for an Arizona Standard Professional teaching certificate. The candidate shall be enrolled in an Arizona State Board-authorized alternative path to the certification program, or an Arizona State Board-approved teacher preparation program. An individual is not eligible to hold the Alternative Teaching certificate more than once in five years. Requirements may be subject to change and are fully referenced in the Arizona Revised Statutes and Administrative Code R7-2-601, R7-2-607, and R7-2-614 (E).
A formal review is required to verify that all requirements have been met. Please visit the "How to Submit Official Documents" below for the proper submission of the required documents. Failure to submit documents as described could cause a delay in the processing of the application.
Submit the following:
Application: A completed Application for Certification.
Fee: The fee for this certificate is $60. Per Board rule, certification fees are non-refundable.
Official Transcripts: Official Transcripts documenting your Bachelor's or more advanced degree and all applicable coursework.
Note: If you completed your degree and applicable coursework at an institution outside of the United States, you must submit an evaluation from a Department approved foreign credential evaluation agency. Please see the "Approved Foreign Credential Evaluation Agencies" list.
Program Enrollment Verification: A letter verifying that you are enrolled in an Arizona State Board-approved alternative path to certification program or an Arizona State Board-approved educator preparation program. The letter must be signed by the appropriate designee from the educator preparation program.
Subject Knowledge Exam Requirement(if applicable): Applicants who are seeking an Alternative Teaching Certificate that reflects the certification area they are qualified to teach must meet the subject knowledge exam requirement for the Standard Professional Teaching Certificate they are pursuing. Applicants who do not meet the subject knowledge exam requirement may qualify for an Alternative Teaching Certificate that does not show a certification area. For information on the subject knowledge exam requirement, please review the requirements for the Standard Professional Teaching Certificate you are pursuing.
The Alternative Teaching Certificate may be extended yearly for no more than two consecutive years. There is no fee to apply for extesnion of an Alternative Teaching certificate.
AZDPS IVP Card: Submit a photocopy of your valid Arizona Department of Public Safety Identity Verified Prints (IVP) fingerprint card, (not the paper copy), with your application
Program Enrollment and Adaquate Progress Verification: A letter from the Board-approved alternative path to certification program or an Arizona State Board-authorized teacher preparation program verifying you are enrolled and making adequate progress toward completion of the teacher preparation program. The letter must be signed by the appropriate designee with the educator preparation program. For more information on Arizona State Board Approved Educator Preparation Programs, follow this link.
This certificate includes the following allowable deficiencies that must be completed within the specified timeframe:
U.S. Constitution: A college/university course OR a passing score on the approved exam covering United States Constitution.
AZ Constitution: A college/university course OR a passing score on the approved exam covering Arizona Constitution.
Applicants will have three (3) years to complete the above allowable deficiency requirements, except that if you are certified in History, Social Studies, or Political Science/American Government they have one (1) year to meet these requirements. If these are not met within the allowable timeframe, the certificate will be placed on a non-disciplinary suspension. Once the deficiencies are corrected, the non-disciplinary suspension will be removed and the certificate will be re-activated to the original expiration date. For additional information and resources for meeting these deficiencies please visit the Deficiency Removal page.
Documents Requiring Submission by the Verifying Authority
Official Transcripts: Transcripts that are uploaded through the educator portal or emailed by the applicant are not official and will not be accepted. Official transcripts and foreign credential evaluations must be submitted as follows:
Electronic official transcripts must be submitted directly by the college or university to [email protected].
Paper official transcripts must be in a sealed envelope and mailed by the college or university to the Arizona Department of Education - Certification Unit; PO Box 6490, Phoenix, AZ 85005-6490.
AZDPS IVP Card: Submit a photocopy of the Arizona DPS IVP Fingerprint Clearance card.
Program Verification Letter: A letter verifying that you are enrolled in an Arizona State Board-approved alternative path to certification program or an Arizona State Board-approved educator preparation program. The letter must be signed by the appropriate designee from the educator preparation program.
Pursuant to section 41-1093.01, Arizona Revised Statutes, an agency shall limit all occupational regulations to regulations that are demonstrated to be necessary to specifically fulfill a public health, safety, or welfare concern. Pursuant to sections 41-1093.02 and 41-1093.03, Arizona Revised Statutes, you have the right to petition this agency to repeal or modify the occupational regulation or bring an action in a court of general jurisdiction to challenge the occupational regulation and to ensure compliance with section 41-1093.01, Arizona Revised Statutes.