Teacher Certification

The traditional teacher certification route is through an approved teaching program at a state or community college. The teacher certification program usually lasts anywhere from four to six years. Mandatory basic competency courses, along with education classes must be fulfilled. The individual will then take the qualifying TExES or ExCET exams. Standard teacher certification programs then requires an intern to complete one or two semesters of field experience. After all appropriate teacher certification tests have been passed, the individual becomes a certified teacher in Texas.

Alternative teacher certification was developed out of a need to satisfy a shortage of teachers in urban and rural areas. Alternative teaching programs help to fill disciplines where there is a shortage of qualified teachers: math, science and bilingual subject areas. Alternative certification programs often take between 1 to 2 years to complete, with a teaching intern being able to receive valuable experience in the classroom after a short two to four month training period. A first year teaching intern receives the full pay and benefits a certified teacher would receive. The only requirement to apply for an alternative teaching certificate program is a bachelors degree from an accredited university.

Teacher certification at an institution of higher education:

  • Fulfill all program requirements
    • Usually 120 –140 college level hours
    • Will take an average of four to five years to complete
  • Take qualifying TExES / ExCET exams
  • Field experience
  • Apply for certification

Alternative teacher certification from a regional or university sponsored program:

  • Initial screening process
    • Fulfillment of requirements – bachelors degree, sufficient tests scores and college hour requirements.
    • Face-to-face interview
  • Orientation
  • Training courses
    • Face-to-face interaction or online modules
  • Take TExES / ExCET exams
  • Intern teaching for one year (full pay and benefits)
    • Mentoring from certification affiliates and an on-site teacher
  • Recommendation for full certification

Alternative teacher certification routes:

Class A:

  • Alternative teacher certification route has been designed to recruit individuals with a bachelors degree from an accredited university.
  • The alternative teacher certification route is not limited to shortage disciplines – (For example, math, science or bilingual).
  • Alternative teacher certification deals with the skills, knowledge and hands on experience necessary to train a qualified teacher.
  • Mentor program for the teaching intern is a necessity.

Class B:

  • Alternative teacher certification route has been designed to recruit individuals with a bachelors degree from an accredited university.
  • Alternative routes restrict individuals from teaching in certain disciplines – (Teaching interns must teach in shortage areas or certain subject areas).

Class D:

  • Rigorous screening process
    University classes must be taken to fulfill requirements.
  • Alternative teacher certification program is designed and implemented by an institution of higher education.

Class G:

  • Few requirements left to complete teacher certification.
  • For example, persons certified in one state moving to another

Class K:

  • Accommodate specific populations for teaching
  • For example, Teach for America or Troops to Teachers

Class I:

  • No alternative certification program offered

Resources available to help pay for a teacher certification training program:

  • Teach for Texas – Conditional grants for teachers if they agree to teach in Texas public schools for a specified amount of time. For more information visit www.collegefortexas.com
  • Teach for America – Program will give cash amounts to pay off school loans to teachers who commit to teaching in urban or rural schools for two years. For more information visit www.teachforamerica.org
  • Troops to Teachers – Helps military veterans transition into teaching. For more information visit www.esc13.net/troops