Certification Requirements to Become a Math Teacher in Arizona

To learn how to become a math teacher in Arizona, follow these five steps:

Complete an Approved Math Teacher Preparation Program
Successfully Complete Required Examinations
Apply for Initial Arizona Math Teacher Certification
Convert your Provisional (Initial) Teacher Certification
Renew your Standard Teaching Certificate

The Arizona Department of Education adopted Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards in 2010 to ensure a seamless transition to post-secondary education for all students.

Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards in mathematics are designed to show a progression of skills and emphasize problem-solving, modeling, and quantitative reasoning in the following areas:

  • K-5: Focus on number and operations
  • K-7: Graded ramp up to algebra, through fractions, proportional reasoning, and ratios
  • 6-8: Hands-on work with geometry, ratios, probability, and statistics
  • High school: Rigorous algebra, modeling, geometry, probability, and statistics

 


 

Step 1. Complete an Approved Math Teacher Preparation Program

The minimum educational requirement to become a mathematics teacher in Arizona is a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Beyond a four-year degree, however, you must complete an approved teacher preparation program that has been approved by the Arizona State Board of Education.

As such, many individuals choose to complete an Arizona State Board approved teacher preparation program, as it includes all necessary requirements for certification, including a student teaching experience. There are currently 21 approved teacher preparation programs in Arizona.

However, to draw more qualified teachers to the state, the Arizona State Board of Education offers an Alternative Pathways to Teacher Certification Program, which is designed for recent college graduates, career professionals, and retired professionals. Completing an Alternative Pathways to Teacher Certification Program allows you to achieve a teaching intern certificate.

To qualify for this certificate program, you must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and enroll in either an Arizona State Board Approved Alternative Path to Certification program or an Arizona State Board approved teacher preparation program.

While enrolled, you will teach through a teaching intern certificate. This means you must have a teaching contract when you receive your teaching intern certificate. The intern teaching certificate is a one-year certificate that may be extended to two years, if required.

Upon completion of all intern requirements, you are eligible to apply for a provisional teaching certificate with an institutional recommendation. You can view all related material related to the teaching intern certificate here.

 


 

Step 2. Successfully Complete Required Examinations

If you want to become a mathematics teacher in Arizona, you must complete a National Evaluation Series (NES) Professional Knowledge Exam in elementary or secondary AND one of the following:

The framework of the Mathematics subject knowledge test includes the following content domain:

  • Mathematical processes and number sense: 19 percent
  • Patterns, Algebra, and Functions: 24 percent
  • Measurement and geometry: 19 percent
  • Trigonometry and calculus: 19 percent
  • Statistics, probability, and discrete mathematics: 19 percent

NES provides computer-based testing at Pearson testing centers throughout the United States. You can find more information regarding examination content and registration through the NES website.

 


 

Step 3. Apply for Initial Arizona Math Teacher Certification

To apply for initial teacher certification as a mathematics teacher in Arizona, you must complete all appropriate application forms (you can download and print the forms here) and mail them, along with an application fee of $60 (made payable to the Arizona Department of Education), your official transcripts, and an Arizona Identity fingerprint clearance card.

You must contact the DPS at 602-223-2279 to request a fingerprint card.

All application materials must be sent to:

Arizona Department of Education
Teacher Certification
P.O. Box 6490
Phoenix, Arizona 85005

 


 

Step 4. Convert your Provisional (Initial) Teacher Certification

Your initial teaching certificate for Arizona is valid for a period of three years, after which you can either apply for an extension or convert your initial certification to the standard, six-year Arizona teacher certification (convert to a six-year certification applications and initial certification extension applications can be found here).

Once you have completed at least three years of full-time teaching experience on a valid Arizona teacher certificate, you may apply for a mathematics endorsement. To meet the requirements for a mathematics endorsement (K-8), you must submit a Verification of Teaching Experience form (signed by the District Superintendent or Personnel Director) and successfully complete Option A, B, or C:

Option A

Eighteen semester hours, which must include:

  • Three semester hours of geometry and measurement
  • Three semester hours of data analysis, probability, and discrete mathematics
  • Six semester hours of patterns, algebra, and functions
  • Six semester hours of number of operations; AND

Six semester hours, which must include:

  • Three semester hours of mathematics classroom assessment
  • Three semester hours of research-based practices, pedagogy, and instructional leadership in mathematics

Option B

Six semester hours, which must include:

  • Three semester hours of mathematics classroom assessment
  • Three semester hours of pedagogy, instructional leadership and research-based pedagogy in mathematics; AND

One of the following:

  • A passing score on the NES exam in middle grade mathematics
  • The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certificate in middle grade mathematics
  • An equivalent exam from another state in middle grade mathematics

 


 

Step 5. Renew your Standard Teaching Certificate

Your standard teaching certificate in Arizona must be renewed every 6 years. You must complete a Renewal of Certificate form and send it along with the $20 renewal fee to:

Arizona Department of Education
Teacher Certification
P.O. Box 6490
Phoenix, Arizona 85005

You must also provide documentation of the required professional development activities/education coursework, which must include one of the following:

  • At least 180 clock hours of professional development activities; OR
  • At least 12 semester hours of education coursework; OR
  • A combination of the two

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