Alternative Educator Preparation Programs

The State Board of Education is charged with the approval of alternative teacher and administrator preparation programs. These programs provide an alternative path to certification outside of the traditional four-year university path. At the completion of an alternative preparation program graduates must: 1) hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited postsecondary institution; 2) if applicable, demonstrate professional knowledge and subject knowledge proficiency; 3) obtain a fingerprint clearance card; 4) if applicable, complete training in structured English immersion; 5) if applicable, complete training in research-based systematic phonics instruction; and 6) demonstrate the required proficiency in the Constitutions of the United States and Arizona. 

Pursuant to A.R.S. § 15-501.01, the Board adopted a process for the approval of alternative preparation program providers that is substantially different and less restrictive than the process for traditional educator preparation programs. Also in accordance with statute, the Board created a pathway for school districts and charter schools to "grow their own" educators through a Classroom-Based Alternative Preparation Program. Providers who seek approval as an alternative preparation program or a Classroom-Based Alternative Preparation Program must apply to the Board on the forms provided by the Arizona Department of Education.

The Arizona Department of Education reviews program applications. Please contact their office at