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Do I Need A Teaching Degree To Become A Texas Teacher

by
Micah Fikes
Micah Fikes on November 21, 2017

Are you thinking about becoming a teacher in Texas?

Good choice!

Though there will always be a demand for teachers, some teaching positions and areas are expected to grow more than others in the coming years.

According to Projections Central, the state of Texas ranks third in projected growth amongst all states for teachers from 2012 to 2022 at just under 20%.

One common misconception, amongst candidates for teaching positions is that you need to be an education major or hold a teaching degree to be a qualified teaching candidate.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Great teacher candidates come in all different shapes, sizes and educational backgrounds.

In this article, we will take a look at the backgrounds that Texas school districts are looking for in teacher candidates, the educational requirements to fill an open position, and the process of becoming a teacher.





You Don’t Have To Major In Education To Become A Teacher

 


teaching-degreeOne of the common questions that we field in our phone interviews with prospective teaching candidates is: Do I need a degree in Education to become a teacher?

Unequivocally, the answer is no!

In fact, in some cases, you don’t need a college degree to become a teacher…...more on that later.

There are some people that have a teaching career focus in mind when beginning their undergraduate studies and choose to become education majors. Conversely, there are others that pursue a variety of majors and/or liberal arts degrees and ultimately become teachers.

The bottom line is that an educational focus in education is not a requirement to become a teacher.

Districts are looking for candidates from a variety of backgrounds including history, english, liberal arts, STEM, foreign language, etc.

In fact, the three most in-demand teaching jobs across the state of Texas are STEM, bilingual and special education.




What Are The Educational Requirements To Become A Teacher?


The majority of teaching jobs require a bachelor’s degree to step foot in the classroom, with several notable exceptions where specific work experience is valued.  The basic state requirements are as follows:

You must have a bachelor’s degree in any major from an accredited institution of higher education as required by the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Administration Code.

Minimum 2.5 Grade Point Average with your GPA being confirmed in one of two ways:

  • Minimum 2.5 GPA posted on official transcript from accredited institution
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA in the last 60 semester hours of courses attempted

There are also certain instances where you can find a teaching job without the completion of a degree. There is a need for Career and Technical Education, or CTE, teachers. For these jobs, your time in the workforce could translate into a Texas teacher certification in less time than that you would think.

CTE in Texas covers a variety of subject areas including: culinary arts, cosmetology, criminal justice, fire technology, welding, and auto maintenance—among others.

If you have five years of full-time, paid experience completed within the last ten years in a CTE field, or if you have attained an associate’s degree, along with two years of full-time, paid work you can still explore teaching opportunities



What Is The Process Once You Obtain A Degree



A-Teaching-DegreeIf you have the prerequisites laid out in the last section completed, you can comfortably pursue a career as a teacher.

So what’s the next step?

There are 3 major ways through which you can obtain a Texas teaching certification; an alternative certification program, through a university program or through transferring your out-of-state certification.

The most popular route to becoming a teacher in Texas is through an Alternative Certification Program (ACP), with almost half of new teachers coming through this route. This route is popular with career changers and recent college graduates from non-education majors (e.g. math, science, english, etc.).

ACP’s provide a pathway for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree or valuable work experience to be able to obtain a Texas teaching certificate.

These programs (offered by universities, community colleges or other companies sanctioned by the state) allow you to obtain training in the area and grade level that you would like to teach, based on your previous qualifications.

Here are the steps:

  • Take Subject Specific Content  Exam(s)
  • Apply to an Alternative Certification Program
  • Apply for a Probationary Certificate
  • Find A Job And Complete Your 1-Year Internship
  • Pass The State Required PPR Exam (Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities)
  • Apply for a Standard Teaching Certificate

This article will give you a more in-depth look at your options - How To Get A Texas Teaching Certificate


Conclusion


Now that you have a better understanding on what the requirements are, it’s time to start looking at the right partner to help you on your path to becoming a teacher.  

Check out our blog post that offers you some insight into the difference between the “Big Three” alternative certification providers - Texas Teachers, iTeach or ECAP...Which Program is Right For You?

Finding the right partner can establish the foundation for your career.

 

How To Become a Teacher in Texas Checklist

Written by Micah Fikes

Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank. In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.

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