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How Do I Become a Teacher?

Teaching is an exciting and rewarding profession. The opportunity to shape young minds and develop the next generation of America's leaders is a huge responsibility. Teaching requires dedication and commitment, and preparing to teach takes a concerted effort to become a master teacher in content and theory.

In Arizona, to teach in a public school, and a growing number of private and charter schools, you must obtain a teaching certificate. To obtain a standard teaching certificate you must pass the Arizona Education Proficiency Assessment. The state requires a strong background in liberal arts with additional coursework in the theory and practice of teaching, as well as a field based practicum or student teaching.

There are many avenues to obtaining the education you need to qualify for a state teaching certificate. Most public and private colleges and universities offer programs to fulfill these requirements. Many community college and university programs have partnerships developed to facilitate the process of earning a bachelor’s degree and certification. The Maricopa County Community College District is the largest community college district, and offers the greatest variety of program options in Arizona.

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Undergraduate Teacher Preparation Programs

The undergraduate programs at both community colleges and universities are designed to develop potential teachers. An entry level teaching position is dependent upon obtaining a bachelor’s degree and state teacher certification. The following are the most commonly pursued areas of undergraduate degrees and certification. For additional information about certification in Arizona, visit the Arizona Department of Education’s website.

Elementary Education
Secondary Education
Early Childhood
Special Education

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Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Programs

Post-baccalaureate teacher preparation programs are designed for those who have already received a bachelor’s degree in another area, but now wish to enter the teaching profession. The programs incorporate teacher certification requirements for the State of Arizona into a curriculum that offers the essential skills students need to become highly qualified teachers. Most programs include strong field-based components to maximize student exposure to classroom environments before they begin teaching. Post-baccalaureate programs are offered as campus based and/or online programs. Click Here for more information.

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Endorsements

Endorsements are attachments to teaching certificates and indicate areas of specialization. In the state of Arizona, endorsements are issued for Art; Bilingual Education; Computer Science; Cooperative Education; Dance; Dramatic Arts; Drivers Education; Early Childhood Education (birth - age 8); English as a Second Language; Gifted; Library Media Specialist; Mathematics Specialist (K-8); Middle Grade (5-9); Music; Physical Education; Reading Specialist; and Structured English Immersion. Approved endorsement areas can be added to an existing certificate by passing the appropriate subject area portion of the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment. A Structured English Immersion, Bilingual Education or English as a Second Language Endorsement is required of all classroom teachers in Arizona. Optional endorsements may be required by local governing boards.

Maricopa Community Colleges - 2411 W. 14th St. - Tempe, Arizona 85281