NAU launches pathway to Arizona Physical Education Teaching Certification

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Northern Arizona University is now accepting applications for a new, fully online program that offers a pathway to secure the Standard Arizona Physical Education teaching credential for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field. The program was approved in December by the Arizona Department of Education and is the only alternative pathway to a physical education certification available in the state.  

Many physical education teachers in Arizona and throughout the country have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than physical education and are teaching under an emergency or temporary credential. These PE teachers may be required by their school district to secure their PE teaching certificate within a certain timeframe. NAU’s 100 percent online program gives them the opportunity to complete the required coursework for a teaching certificate while continuing to teach.  

The Physical Education Pathway to Standard AZ Certification (PEPC), is eligible for the Arizona Teachers Academy (ATA) program, which covers all remaining tuition and mandatory fees after other grants and tuition waivers have been applied. To receive the ATA scholarship, individuals must commit to one year of teaching in an Arizona public school for each year they receive the scholarship.  

“This program addresses a huge need in public education today: There are simply not enough physical education teachers. Through PEPC, we can help individuals who have their bachelor’s degree in another field efficiently and conveniently get their Arizona PE teaching credential,” said PEPC program director Steve Palmer. “Children deserve to have knowledgeable and passionate PE teachers who are effective at managing a class and at teaching children the skills needed to become and remain physically active for life. This program makes that happen, while allowing the teachers themselves to graduate with little to no debt thanks to the Arizona Teachers Academy program.” 

For those not teaching physical education, but still interested in PE certification, NAU has options. Learn more at 

To learn more about the Physical Education Pathway to Standard AZ Certification Program, visit