You've worked so many years in a career and you're very good at what you do. But lately, you're drawn to the idea of teaching others.
What if you could inspire the next generation of elementary, middle or high school kids to explore a career and subject area you love? This is a very real possibility.
Professionals choose to become classroom teachers all the time. However, you must acquire a Texas Teacher Certification before entering a classroom as a licensed teacher in the state.
Like any professional career, you'll need to get a passing score on a series of tests to obtain that Texas teacher certification. One of those tests MAY be the TxPACT.
What Is The TxPACT?
An educator preparation program (EPP) is a popular path for individuals seeking a Texas teacher certification. If you already have the following credentials, you may apply for enrollment in an EPP.
Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
Have a minimum 2.5 GPA on an official transcript or in the last 60 semester hours of courses completed
Be at least in the final semester of your bachelor’s degree program in which you need to provide a copy of your final semester schedule of classes, a letter from an academic advisor indicating you are eligible for graduation and an official transcript through the previous semester
However, if you don’t meet the qualifications to enroll in an EPP, don't let that hold you back. You still have options.
If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, you can still qualify for an EPP.
If you have an associate’s degree, you must have at least two years of full-time wage-earning experience within the past 10 years in the field you plan to teach. If you have no degree, you must have five years of experience.
Even if your GPA is below 2.5 and you don’t have the required credit hours in your content area, you can still use the TxPACT alternative.
Who Is Required To Take The TxPACT?
If you have a bachelor's degree or in your final semester while receiving a bachelor, you may have two EPP criteria holding you back:
Your grade point average was below 2.5 OR
You didn't finish 12 semester credit hours in the subject area you wanted to teach. Note: You need 15 credit hours to teach math and science 7th grade or higher without taking TxPACT.
For example, many individuals seeking a Texas teacher certification got their bachelor's degree years ago, and maybe they barely graduated at the time. You'd do things differently if you went back to school today. But what's done is done. And you've learned so much since then.
However, you must take and pass this test before you can enroll in an EPP.
Available to the public, content specific TxPACT exams are used as a tool to qualify an applicant for program enrollment.
Typically, ECAP does not accept the TxPact exam for this purpose, however, theywe may require a TxPact exam in cases where transcripts are aged, or content demonstration via transcripts is within a narrow margin of the normal requirement. More information can be found on the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program page.
You'll take the TxPACT for the subject area you want to teach. The goal of this test is to ensure you know the subject well enough to enter a program. The subject area you choose could be Computer Science: Grades 8-12, Journalism: Grades 7-12, or Chemistry: Grades 7-12. You have many options.
It's important to note TxPACT is NOT an alternative to TExES content certification exams. Content exams focus on both subject matter and pedagogical content (i.e., effective teaching practices and essential academic skills), but you do not take these until AFTER you enroll in an alternative teacher certification program.
How Do You Register For The TxPACT?
Before you register to take the TxPACT, it’s important to check with the educator preparation program you are considering to ensure you must take this exam AND it may accept it based on your own personal qualifications.
Keep in mind that while every teaching credential program must follow the state’s EPP enrollment requirements, a program may have its own additional enrollment requirements that you must meet.
To take the TxPACT exam, you first need to acquire a TEA ID number as you set up a TEAL account with the Texas Education Agency on the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS). Be sure your name matches your Texas Driver’s License/State ID exactly when setting up this account.
Get familiar with how the test questions look … you'll have both multiple choice and those where you need to craft your own response.
Consider buying a subject study guide or review the subject matter using text books, library books and online resources to refresh your memory before taking the test.
Regardless of how long you've been working in the industry, refreshers are important. You may be surprised what you've forgotten simply because you haven't used it much in your line of work.
Plan your time. Make sure the exam date works for you and gives you enough time to study.
Consider joining a study group if available. Online options may exist.
If you do not pass the TxPACT, you can then schedule to retake the test at least 30 days after the previous test attempt.
You are limited to five total attempts, unless you have a test-limit waiver. The waiver process is lengthy and there are no guarantees, so be sure your test preparation is on point so you'll pass it the first time.
Once you pass the TxPACT and are accepted into an educator preparation program, you can begin the process of training to become a certified teacher in the state of Texas.
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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