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FAQ: Beginning the Teacher Preparation Program

  • Q: Are the Rio Salado Educator Preparation Orientations mandatory?

    The Rio Salado College Educator Preparation Program in-person orientation is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended. The orientation covers the Rio Salado College Educator Preparation Program options, teacher certification, highly qualified requirements, and how to get started. In-county/state students can register for an in-person orientation by visiting:

    If you reside out-of-county/state it is highly recommended that you contact a Rio Academic Advisor by phone (480) 517-8580 or by email and request an orientation DVD and materials.

  • Q: What course or courses should I take first if I am unsure which program I want to pursue: early childhood, elementary, secondary, or special education?

     If you are unsure about the level you wish to teach, we recommend you research each area. Many Level I courses are shared in common by the elementary, secondary, and special education programs.

  • Q: When will Fingerprint clearance be required?

    You must apply immediately through the Arizona Department of Public Safety for fingerprint clearance in order to apply to the Educator Preparation Program. Fingerprint clearance packets may be obtained by contacting the Arizona Department of Public Safety at: Department of Public Safety Application Clearance Card Team, 2320 N. 20th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85005 (602) 223-2279 Classification takes 10-12 weeks. Specific details about fingerprinting and can be found in Get Started.

  • Q: Are all courses offered during the summer when schools are closed?

    Any Level II methods course that requires a practicum will not be available during the late Spring and beginning of the Summer I term. Therefore, you must plan accordingly. To review the most recent program plan refer to the Post-Baccalaureate website listed under Programs Offered.

  • Q: What if I have already taken some education courses at another regionally accredited college or university?

    Students with previously earned college credit can apply to the Rio Salado Educator Preparation Program Transcript Evaluation Committee and request course evaluation for possible equivalency and/or substitution. Please visit our Post-Baccalaureate site (PDF) for the Transcript Evaluation Form.

  • Q: How do I meet the United States and Arizona Constitution requirement?

     For students applying for an Arizona Teaching certificate and transferring reciprocity, Rio Salado College recommends completing POS220 US and Arizona Constitution.  If you have not taken either of these courses as a part of your undergraduate program, US and Arizona constitution will be listed as a deficiency o your certificate and you may not be able to transfer your Arizona teaching certificate to another state with deficiencies.         

  • Q: Does Arizona hold reciprocity agreements with other states?

    Individuals interested in this information should check the ADE website for this information. Note: out-of-state students are responsible for verifying that the state in which they intend to teach will accept the Arizona teaching certificate.

  • Q: What is the mandate from the Arizona Department of Education for a Structured English Immersion (SEI) Provisional or Full Endorsement?

    To be eligible for an Arizona Provisional Teaching Certificate, all teachers will be required to complete Structured English Immersion coursework. Prior to  applying for an Arizona Standard Teaching Certificate, all teachers must meet the requirements for a Full SEI Endorsement. The course to satisfy these requirements are built into Rio's curriculum (EDU251). For more information about SEI Endorsements, please visit the Arizona Department of Education