How to Become a Teacher

Becoming Eligible to Teach

The Arizona Department of Education is responsible for issuing teaching certificates to potential teachers in the state. If you have not attended a college or university teacher preparation program, you will need to apply for a Teaching Intern Certificate.

In order to be eligible for a Teaching Intern Certificate, you must be enrolled in an Arizona State Board approved teacher preparation program or an Arizona State Board authorized alternative teacher certification program.  You must also apply for an Arizona Department of Public Safety Identity Verified Prints fingerprint clearance card.

Arizona Teaching Application

Getting started on the Arizona Teaching Application begins with the following.

  • Fingerprinting & Background Check
    Apply for your Fingerprint Clearance Card (IVP) – visit the Arizona Department of Public Safety website to complete the process to receive your IVP card.
  • Enroll in ACP
    Enroll in an Arizona State Board approved alternative teacher certification program in the appropriate certificate area. The program will work with you to ensure your teaching intern certificate application is complete.

Submit All Your Documents

  • Complete Teaching Intern Certificate Application
  • Check or money order to ADE for $120 for your Teaching Intern Certificate
  • Copy of your valid Fingerprint Clearance Card (IVP)
  • Official college transcript documenting Bachelor’s or more advanced degree from accredited institution
  • Letter from Arizona Teachers of Tomorrow that you are enrolled in the program – signed by the Arizona Teachers official

Application Review

The ADE Teacher Certification Unit will review your application and determine if you meet the requirements. The teaching intern certificate will allow you to enter into a teaching contract while completing the requirements for an Arizona Standard Professional Teaching Certificate.

Begin Teaching!

Your Teaching Intern Certificate is valid for two years and may be extended for a maximum of two additional years. To apply for an extension you must submit an application (no fee this time), show your IVP fingerprint card, have a letter that says you completed your board approved alternative educator preparation program coursework with a transcript of those courses and documentation of completing the US and AZ constitution requirement.

A Standard Professional Teaching Certificate is good for 12 years and is renewable. In order to qualify for an Arizona Standard Professional Teaching Certificate, you must have the following:

  • Qualify and hold a valid Arizona Intern Certificate
  • A recommendation letter verifying successful completion of an Arizona State Board approved alternative certification program
  • A copy of your IVP finger print card
  • A passing score on the applicable NES/AEPA Subject Knowledge Exam
  • A passing score on the applicable NES/AEPA Professional Knowledge Exam
  • Official transcript or score report showing successful completion of the Arizona Constitution and U.S. Constitution requirements

Become an Arizona Teacher Today!

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