Arizona Alternative Teacher Certification Programs

According to The Arizona Republic, Arizona is facing a severe teacher shortage, especially in the areas of math and science. Due to new requirements placed on high school students to take more years of math and science courses, the Arizona Department of Education estimates that the state will need to hire an additional 400 math and 250 science teachers. Arizona's three public universities are not able to keep up with the demand, and produce approximately 500 fewer math and science teachers than are needed each year. Teacher shortages are also occurring in the art, music, reading, and special education areas. According to data compiled by the National Center for Alternative Education, approximately 12.5 percent of teachers in the state of Arizona entered the profession through an alternate certification program.

The Arizona Department of Education has several programs in place to help professionals earn a teaching certificate. In order to be eligible for any of these state-approved programs, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Possess a bachelor's degree in any field from an accredited institution
  • Complete 45 hours or a three-credit college course in educating bilingual children
  • Undergo professional finger-printing and a background check

Featured Online Programs:

Online programs may not be available in all states

Two programs you may consider are Troops to Teachers or Arizona's Homegrown Program. Troops to Teachers is a federally funded program created to assist eligible military personnel in making the career change to education in high-need schools. Stipends of up to $5,000 are available to reimburse the costs associated with teaching certification, and bonuses of $10,000 are available for those who agree to teach for at least three years in a school with a high population of low-income students. The Homegrown Program provides a means for school districts to train teaching assistants and school para-professionals to become certified teachers. Each school district establishes its own selection criteria and programs, but these programs generally consist of professional training, interning, and mentoring.

Schools in Arizona:

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