ADE/ESS is acutely aware of the shortage of qualified special education teachers and related service providers across Arizona. ESS has multiple activities and programs to support public education agencies that confront this shortage every school year. The resources and links below are designed to assist school leaders in maximizing professional learning for educators and creating the working conditions that nurture and support highly skilled educators.
Recruitment and Retention Resources
Arizona Education Employment Board (AEEB) The AEEB is a free service for anyone seeking educational employment in Arizona. Districts, charter schools, secure care facilities, and other educational agencies are able to post current job openings. The AEEB is a comprehensive recruitment service that allows job seekers to use an online application, select openings in the areas of their expertise and locations of their choice, register for the Administrator Contact List, and receive weekly notices of new job postings.
The CEEDAR Center provides opportunities to learn through resources, tools and archived webinars covering critical topics for administrators such as shortages, principal preparation for special education, family engagement, and more. ADE has partnered with the national CEEDAR Center to address recruitment/retention challenges by leveraging state policies and educator programs to implement an action plan to better prepare general and special education teachers and school leaders to improve outcomes for students with disabilities in Arizona’s K–12 schools. CEEDAR has developed the Educator Shortages in Special Education: A Toolkit to Develop Local Strategies to support recruitment and retention efforts of state education agencies and public education agencies.
The Arizona Coalition for Educator Preparation and Practice (ACEPP) is a collaboration of faculty and staff from Arizona colleges and universities, public education agencies, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), and the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR). Our mission is to improve educator preparation and practice in Arizona so that all leaders and teachers can provide each student, including students with disabilities, an equitable opportunity to achieve. Learn more about ACEPP by visiting the ACEPP edWeb page.
Professional Learning and Sustainability Contact Information
Recruitment and Retention Specialist Kim Rice (602) 771-4299
ESS offers information and activities of evidence-based practices through trainings, resources, and technical assistance to support improved outcomes for students with disabilities. For more information, please visit the Professional Learning and Sustainability webpage.
The General Education Teacher to Special Education Teacher (GETSET) program provides funding reimbursement to certified general education teachers who want to pursue a career change to become certified in an area of special education.
Certifications that satisfy the application requirements:
Professional Learning and Sustainability (PLS) in-state recruitment efforts encourage and educate related service providers about the benefits of working in school-based positions. These recruitment efforts include participation in conferences at the Arizona Physical Therapy Association (AzPTA), Arizona Occupational Therapy Association (ArizOTA), Arizona Speech Language and Hearing Association (ArSHA), AT Still University OT and PT Job Fairs, ASU Job Fair, and the Arizona Association of Career Service Personnel. Out-of state recruitment efforts for special education teachers and related service providers include participation in the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), and American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
Special Education Learning Experiences for Competency in Teaching (SELECT) is a federally funded program sponsored by the Arizona Department of Education and offered through the Institute for Human Development at Northern Arizona University. SELECT courses are recommended for special and general education teachers, administrators, related service personnel, paraeducators, and other interested individuals.
Certified school personnel can take SELECT classes for renewal hours. SELECT classes can be taken for university credit for those teachers or administrators who are required by their school districts to have official transcripts and for those who may need to transfer hours out of state (tuition and associated fees apply). The classes can also be taken for professional growth contact hours for free. For more information, please email [email protected].
The Special Education Teacher Tuition Assistance (SETTA) program provides funding reimbursement for tuition assistance to paraprofessionals and educational interpreters that leads to special education teaching certification.
Certifications that satisfy the application requirements:
Teach Camp is a year-long support system designed for beginning special educators. The goal of Teach Camp is to increase retention of our newest special education teachers by giving them the tools they need to survive and thrive during their first years in the classroom. For more information, please visit the Teach Camp webpage.
The Teach In AZ website is a resource for those seeking information about Arizona certification, how to become a teacher in Arizona, education websites, and statewide openings.
Recruitment and Retention Data Collection
ESS conducts an annual survey of all public education agencies in Arizona to help track, quantify, and understand special education personnel shortages. For more information about the Teacher Attrition Survey, please visit the webpage.
The Center for Technical Assistance in Excellence for Special Education (TAESE), in partnership with ADE/ESS, is pleased to offer Saturday Mornings with the NRCP for free to all paraeducators, teachers, and administrators working in Arizona public education agencies.