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Want to become a teacher in Texas but don’t have a degree in education? Don’t worry, you’ve got options. If you already have your bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, you can get certified to teach with the help of an Alternative Certification Program, or ACP. And you’ll be in good company. Roughly 52 percent of newly certified teachers in Texas used an ACP, according to the most recent Texas Education Agency data.
Becoming a teacher in Texas sounds complicated at first, because the process depends on your unique situation. For example, your area of study, your GPA and what you want to teach all impact what you will have to do to become certified as a teacher in Texas. Fortunately, we’re here to walk you through it. This article is focused specifically on those of you who want to become teachers in Texas and need to use an Alternative Certification Program.
Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Texas Using an ACP
- Decide what you want to teach
- Pick an approved ACP
- Apply for the ACP
- Work with an ACP to determine your certification program
- Obtain a teaching position
- Complete all requirements for a Texas teaching certificate
- Apply for a standard Texas teaching certificate
We’ll go into more details on each of these steps below, but first let’s talk a little more about an ACP.
What Is an Alternative Certification Program?
An Alternative Certification Program, also known as an ACP, is a state-approved, intensive training program that prepares you to get certified as a teacher. These programs follow the same general standards as traditional teacher preparation programs and can be taken through universities, community colleges or even private companies. Our sister site, 240 Certification, is a well-respected ACP and is helping candidates get certified to teach in Texas. You can see a breakdown of the top Alternative Certification Programs in Texas, including ours. Beyond affordability, what makes 240 Certification so successful is that we assign an advisor to each certification candidate, unlike other programs. You always get a real person with us.
One of the benefits of an ACP program is that you may be able to teach as a paid intern while you are completing the program. Many of these programs can be completed within a year. Some of them offer the option of pursuing a master’s degree in education along with certification.
How to Become a Certified Teacher in Texas Using an Alternative Certification Program
1. Decide What You Want to Teach
Before you can become a certified teacher in Texas, you need to decide what grade levels and subject areas you would like to teach. This will determine the program you need to enroll in and the certification tests you will need to take and pass. The ACP you select will help you determine the best path for you based on your degree, coursework and interests.
2. Pick an Approved Texas ACP
You can see a full list of TEA-approved ACPs in Texas on this page (in the top right-hand corner, you will select Alternative). We’re a little biased, but we recommend you use 240 Certification. We’re the first recommendation on the TEA website.
3. Apply for the ACP
You will need to meet a minimum number of entry requirements, such as basic skills, GPA (most require a minimum of 2.5 or at least a minimum of 2.5 in your last 60 hours of coursework) and demonstration of content knowledge. You may be required to take the PACT if your GPA is below a 2.5 or you do not have enough coursework hours to support the certification area of your choice. While some of these requirements are state-mandated, individual ACPs may have additional requirements for acceptance. Be sure to check with the ACP of your choice to find out more.
4. Work with Your ACP to Determine a Certification Program
After your acceptance into a program, your advisor will help you determine the specific training courses, internships, tests and other program requirements you will have to meet to get your Texas teacher certification. A limited number of career and technical education areas may require previous experience and/or industry licenses or certification.
5. Obtain a Teaching Position
If and when you are eligible for a teaching internship or position, your program will provide you with an eligibility statement for employment purposes. Some ACPs will help you find a suitable internship or position, and you will have a certified mentor assigned to work with you and additional supervision. Depending on the time of year, it may be required that candidates complete 150 hours of coursework, 30 hours of observation and passed their content exam before they can secure a job with them. You will be required to obtain a teaching position at the grade level and subject area of your target certificate.
6. Apply for an Intern or Probationary Teaching Certificate
Once you have secured an internship or position, you must apply for an intern or probationary teaching certificate. You can apply for an intern or probationary certificate if you are enrolled in an approved educator preparation program and completing a supervised internship at an approved school.
For an intern certificate, you must have passed one or more content exams tied to your certification area. For a probationary certificate, you must have passed all of your content and PPR exams. Both of these certifications are valid for one year and will require a criminal background check. These exams are not easy, which is why many EPPs recommend our services to candidates. Fortunately, we know a little something about this and offer online study guides for the TExES exams that come with a money-back guarantee.
7. Complete All Requirements for a Texas Teaching Certificate
You will need to complete all program training, internships, examinations and other program requirements within the year of receiving your intern or probationary certificate, although sometimes this can be extended. You will be required to have passed your content and PPR exams — just like candidates following a traditional teaching path. As mentioned in step 6, these exams are not easy and do require preparation. If you want confidence you can pass on the first try, check out our TExES study guide.
8. Apply for a Standard Texas Teaching Certificate
Once all of these requirements are completed, you must apply for a standard teaching certificate in Texas. Again, you will be required to fill out the appropriate paperwork, forms and fees. The criminal background check should have been completed as a requirement for the intern/probationary certificate.
When your certificate is approved, it will be posted to the Texas Education Agency website and you will receive a notification by email. Then you’re legally certified to teach in Texas! You can also check for your certificate virtually here.
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