Special Education


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Special education certificates are designed for individuals who want to teach children with learning, physical, intellectual or behavioral disabilities from birth through high school. Certification requires in-depth knowledge of exceptional children, how children with disabilities learn, and the best strategies and methodologies for teaching exceptional students.

Special education certificates can be obtained in Arizona in the following areas: Mild-Moderate Disabilities (K-12), Early Childhood Special Education (Birth-Grade 3), Severe and Profound Disabilities (K-12), Hearing Impaired (Birth-Grade 12) , Visually Impaired (Birth-Grade 12), and Speech and Language Impaired (PreK-Grade 12).

All teachers working with English learners in an SEI classroom or on ILLPs are required to have an SEI Endorsement. To qualify for an SEI Endorsement, teachers must have completed 45 hours of SEI coursework from one of the Arizona State Board approved providers.

Special Education

Special Education

​Speech/Language Professional 
Non-Teaching Certificates

Structured English Immersion Endorsement

Speech-Language & Hearing Licensing


Physical Therapy Licensing

There are many programs available in the state of Arizona to achieve a bachelorís degree or higher in special education. There are also alternative pathways for people who have a bachelor
ís or higher degree in an area other than education.

The following institutions have State Board-approved professional teacher preparation programs in special education: Arizona State University, Grand Canyon University, Northern Arizona University, Ottawa University, Pima Community College, Prescott College, Rio Salado College, Rio Salado College/Northcentral University
, The University of Arizona, and University of Phoenix.


State Board-Approved 
Teacher Preparation Programs

Teaching Intern
Pathway to

Applicants who apply for a teacher certificate must submit an Identity Verified Prints (IVP) fingerprint clearance card (plastic). Non-IVP Arizona fingerprint clearance cards issued on or after January 1, 2008 will not be accepted.  


 The Arizona Department of Education requires all potential teachers to pass the Arizona Educator Exams. In November 1997, the State Board of Education adopted rules regarding the evaluation of educators applying for state certification. The rules require that applicants for teacher certification pass both a test of subject knowledge and a test of professional knowledge. The Arizona Educator Exams (AEPA or NES) were designed to ensure that each certified teacher or administrator has the necessary knowledge to teach or lead in Arizona public schools. Teacher candidates for special education take the test(s) that correspond to the certificate(s) they are seeking.

Special Education

Arizona Educator 

Financial Aid
Paying for school and related expenses can be costly, and many students are unable to pay their full tuition up front. There are many resources available to help you secure financial aid. Going through the financial aid process will help reduce and/or defer the costs of your education, allowing you to pay for it after you graduate and over a longer period of time.