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Arizona State Board of Education approved American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence’s relaunch throughout the state during its August 28 meeting.

This green light for the alternative path to teacher certification comes after Gov. Ducey’s urging to allow alternative teacher certification programs to help communities and schools fight the teacher shortage and find qualified, certified teachers.

“We want the most qualified, most talented people leading our classrooms. So let’s get with the times, and place trust in our school boards, superintendents and principals by letting them make the hiring decisions, and remove the obstacles,” said Gov. Ducey in his State of the State address earlier this year.

Making teacher certification paths more accessible is critical as Arizona is in need of more than 2,000 teachers, according to a report by Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association.

American Board focuses on recruiting career changers who already live in communities suffering from the teacher shortage instead of hoping outsiders will move to these areas.

“I always wanted to be a teacher. I knew I wanted to be one before I even finished my degree [in social work],” said Arizona teacher and American Board alum Shantel Tiner. “American Board was the best match because I could study from home and my son was in preschool at the time. American Board gave me the knowledge I needed.”

American Board helps individuals with a bachelor’s degree prepare for two exams: one to demonstrate their proficiency in pedagogy skills and the other to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject area they plan to teach.

Arizona Department of Education halted some alternative certification programs from accepting new candidates last year. Since then, dozens of potential teachers have been turned away from the opportunity to earn certification and enter classrooms where they are most needed amidst the state’s teacher shortage.

To learn more about how American Board helps empower career changers to earn their teacher certification and become educators in their community, click here.

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