Certification Changes and Updates


Published: March 10th, 2020

Certification Updates March 2020

New Special Education Endorsements

On February 24, 2020, the Board of Education adopted new special education endorsements for teachers of students with mild/moderate and moderate/severe disabilities.   The new endorsements will enable certified, experienced teachers to become qualified to teach special education without completing an additional teacher preparation program.

Certified teachers may apply for either a three-year, non-renewable provisional endorsement or a full endorsement in mild/moderate or moderate/severe disabilities special education.

The requirements for the provisional special education endorsements are:

  • A valid Arizona Standard Professional Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle Grades, Secondary, or Special Education teaching certificate; and
  • Verification of three years of full-time teaching experience in preschool through grade twelve; and
  • Six semester hours of specified special education courses; and
  • Verification of 15 clock hours of special education practicum, which may be embedded in the six semester hours of courses.

The requirements for the full special education endorsements are:

  • A valid Arizona Standard Professional Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle Grades, Secondary, or Special Education teaching certificate; and
  • Verification of three years of full-time teaching experience in preschool through grade twelve; and
  • Fifteen (15) semester hours of specified special education courses; and
  • Verification of 45 clock hours of special education practicum, which may be embedded in the 15 semester hours of courses.

Please click here to review the  requirements for the Mild/Moderate Disabilities and Moderate/Severe Disabilities endorsements for detailed information on these new endorsements.

Experienced Educator Renewal Option Reminder

Under the “experienced educator” option for renewal, an individual who holds an educator certificate which has expired for at least two years, but not more than ten years, may qualify for renewal with the following:

  • Verification of ten years of experience in the area of certification and in Arizona; and
  • A valid Arizona DPS IVP fingerprint clearance card; and
  • The educator is in good standing.

Please note that educators may only submit an online renewal application if their certificate is within the renewal time-frame, which is six months before to up to one year after expiration. Therefore, individuals who are applying under the experienced educator option must submit a paper renewal application.

Please call the Certification hotline for specific questions, 602-542-4367 or click here for the renewal application and requirements. Thank you for all you do to help ensure our teachers are ready for the classroom.

Posted in Certification Changes and Updates, News and Information |
Published: February 5th, 2020

Certification Updates February 2020

Additional Options for Certificate Renewal 

Educators who are applying for certification renewal may now use one of the following in lieu of clock hours of professional development: 

  1. A valid professional license as a counselor, social worker, psychologist, or speech pathologist issued by the appropriate state agency in this state or in another state; OR 
  2. A valid certificate issued by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards; OR 
  3. A valid Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology issued by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.  

Appropriately Certified to Teach Environmental Science 

Previously, the Certification Unit advised school districts that Environmental Science teachers were required to have an approved area in General Science, Earth Science, or Environmental Science.  The Department’s K-12 Standards and Title I divisions have now approved Biology as another approved area to meet the requirement to be “appropriately certified” to teach Environmental Science.  Therefore, the proposed Certification Guidelines for Teaching Assignments will be updated as outlined below. 

Environmental Science teachers in 9th grade must hold one of the following certificates: 

  • Secondary Certificate or 
  • Middle Grade Certificate or  
  • Elementary Certificate with a Middle Grade Endorsement 

-AND- 

One of the following approved areas: 

  • Environmental Science 
  • Biology 
  • Earth Science 
  • General Science 
  • Middle Grades General Science 

Environmental Science teachers in grades 10-12 must hold a Secondary certificate with one of the following approved areas: 

  • Environmental Science 
  • Biology 
  • Earth Science 
  • General Science. 
Posted in Certification Changes and Updates, News and Information |
Published: December 12th, 2019

December 2019 Certification Updates

New Computer Science Endorsements

The Board of Education recently adopted new endorsements for computer science teachers in grades PreK-8 and 6-12. The requirements for the endorsements are outlined below.

The Computer Science, PreK-8 Endorsement requires:

  • A valid Standard Professional Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle Grades, Secondary, Special Education, or PreK-12 Teaching certificate
  • Nine semester hours of coursework to include the following:
    • Three semester hours in foundations for teaching computer science
    • Three semester hours in teaching and learning programming for educators
    • Three semester hours in a computer science elective

The Computer Science, 6-12 Endorsement requires:

  • A valid Standard Professional Elementary, Middle Grades, Secondary, Hearing Impaired, Visually Impaired, Mild/Moderate Disabilities, Moderate/Severe Disabilities, or PreK-12 Teaching certificate
  • Twelve semester hours of coursework to include the following:
    • Three semester hours in foundations for teaching computer science
    • Three semester hours in teaching and learning programming for educators
    • Six semester hours in computer science electives

Completion of a computer science training program through a public school may substitute for the required semester hours of coursework. Fifteen (15) clock hours of training, or the equivalent competency-based credential, is equivalent to one semester hour of coursework. All trainings must be approved and verified by the superintendent or personnel director. Please use the attached “Verification of Computer Science Training Form” when verifying trainings.

To assist you in facilitating a computer science training program, a list of Computer Science Professional Development Resources is attached. Additionally, recent legislation has established the Computer Science Professional Development Program fund. Up to $25,000 is available to public schools that offer instruction in grades 9-12 and public schools that do not currently provide high school computer science instruction. Please visit the Computer Science Professional Development Program website if you would like further information on this funding opportunity.

Approval of Athletic Coaching Trainings

The State Board has approved trainings through the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) to meet coursework requirements for the Athletic Coaching certificate. If individuals performing coaching duties within your LEA do not hold an Arizona teaching certificate and are interested in pursuing the Athletic Coaching certificate, they may find information on NFHS trainings at https://nfhslearn.com/.

You may contact the ADE Certification Unit at (602) 542-4367 if you have any questions regarding the recent changes. Thank you for your service to Arizona students.

Download the PDF of this Update

Posted in Certification Changes and Updates |
Published: May 23rd, 2019

May 2019 Certification Updates

Announcing our New Director

We are pleased to announce the appointment of our new Certification Director, Michelle Brady.  Ms. Brady comes to us with 18 years of experience in education. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Arizona State University, a Post-Baccalaureate in Secondary Education, a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and Leadership from the University of Phoenix. Ms. Brady brings her experience as a classroom teacher, instructional coach,  assistant principal and principal to the Department of Education.

School Counselor Certificate Update

On April 29, 2019, the Board of Education approved a rule change to the Standard School Counselor Certificate.  Under the revised rule, applicants may qualify for the certificate if they have a master’s degree and one of the following:

  • Completion of a graduate program in guidance and counseling;
  • Completion of a graduate program in counseling, social work, psychology, or academic advising;
  • A valid Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners license as an associate or professional counselor, master or clinical social worker, or marriage and family therapist;
  • A valid, comparable school counselor certificate from another state that is in good standing.

Applicants who qualify for the Standard School Counselor Certificate with a graduate program in counseling, social work, psychology, or academic advising, or with a Board of Behavioral Health Examiners license, must also complete both of the following allowable deficiency requirements within three years:

  • Practicum/Experience: A school counseling practicum, two years of experience as a school counselor, or three years of full-time teaching experience.
  • Semester Hours of Coursework:  Completion of six semester hours of specified coursework in school counseling.

A Standard School Counselor Certificate with allowable deficiencies will be temporarily suspended if the certificate holder does not correct the deficiencies within three years; however, a suspension for failure to meet allowable deficiency requirements is not considered a disciplinary action and the certificate holder may correct the deficiencies within the remaining timeframe of the certificate.

Required Signatures Guidance Documents

Certification applications frequently require a verification form, letter, or request from an appropriate administrator in a school district or charter school.  To ensure compliance with State Board rules and prevent delays in the processing of applications, please review the guidance document which outlines the required signature for verification and request forms.

Please contact the Certification Unit if you have any questions.  Thank you for your service to Arizona students.

Posted in Certification Changes and Updates, News and Information |