Alternative Pathways to Teacher Certification
The AZ Intern Certificate is an alternative pathway to teacher licensure that is designed for students who have secured a contract with a district in a high needs area and who are currently enrolled in one of the three following Master's degree programs:
- Masters of Education in Elementary Education
- Masters of Education in Secondary Education
- Masters of Education in Special Education
Under the Intern Certificate, students who meet specific eligibility requirements work under contract in an appropriate grade K-12 classroom while completing their coursework. To be eligible, students must have passed the AEPA/NES subject knowledge exams, have a current AZ Fingerprint Clearance Card, have completed the SEI requirements and have secured a potential teaching contract upon obtaining the AZ Intern Certificate.
If you would like to request additional information, determine eligibility or have questions regarding our Teaching Intern program please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information regarding the Alternative Pathway Program or AZ Intern Certificate visit the AZ Department of Education website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I am an undergraduate student; can I participate in the AZ Teaching Intern program?
A: No, undergraduate students are not eligible. The Teaching Intern Program focuses on recruiting mid-career changers, retired professionals or recent college graduates interested in becoming a certified teacher in Arizona.
Q: What if I meet all other requirements but have not yet secured a full time teaching position?
A: GCU can provide an initial letter verifying enrollment into one of the approved Master programs to those students that provide us with the AES/NES scores, SEI requirement, a valid FPC and transcripts bearing a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. This letter can be shared with districts and can help students market themselves for positions. However, GCU is unable to provide a letter of recommendation to take to the state without a letter of intent to hire from a district.
Q: Will I be supervised by someone from GCU?
A: Yes, once a student provides GCU with a valid AZ Intern Certificate, the student will be observed a minimum of two times per semester/16 weeks by a GCU Faculty Supervisor.
Q: Will I be required to take any additional classes?
A: AZ Teaching Intern students follow the same program requirements displayed on the Program of Study as non-AZ Teaching Interns.
Q: Will I need to complete student teaching?
A: Yes, AZ Teaching Interns must complete all program requirements as specified on the Program of Study. AZ Teaching Interns may complete the student teaching portion of the program within their own classroom. The AZ Intern will be observed by the GCU Faculty Supervisor four times over the 16 week student teaching period.
Q: What happens if I stop working or lose my position?
A: The AZ Intern must contact his/her Academic Counselor immediately. If this occurs, the student can simply remain in his/her current program of study as a regular student, and the AZ Intern certificate will lapse after one year.
Q: What happens if my Intern Certificate expires?
A: The AZ Intern Certificate is valid for one year. The student will need to renew his/her certificate with the AZ Department of Education before the expiration date. In order for an intern to be eligible to renew his/her certificate for the second year, he/she needs to have successfully completed at least 50% of the Master degree program, request a letter from the College of Education and send the signed letter to the ADE.
Q: Who can I contact with questions?
A: Students that have questions or are interested in becoming an AZ Intern may contact: AZTeachingInterns@gcu.edu