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How New Testing Requirements Have Impacted Online Teacher Training

Certification Tests, Teacher Training

Micah Fikes
Micah Fikes on March 31, 2020

As alternative teacher certification programs and their interns continue to try and navigate new state testing requirements in Texas, many have wondered how these new changes impact online teacher training.

The good news is that for many, these changes have opened up the opportunity for more comprehensive preparation courses, even for those not currently enrolled in an alternative teacher certification program like ECAP.

As a recap: 

  • Prior to Jan. 27, applicants took the appropriate content exam before officially enrolling in a program.
  • Now, applicants whose college transcripts do not meet the minimum GPA requirement or do not contain sufficient coursework must take a TxPACT exam that is used for program admission.
  • Those who do meet the standards above can be accepted without the TxPACT exam.
  • However, this change in timeline also means program interns must now wait to take the TExES exams  until after they have been accepted into a program and been given permission to take the test.

For those considering enrolling in an alternative teacher certification program that provides in-person and/or online training, or for those who are already enrolled in one, you may be concerned how these recent changes impact your timeline and quality of training.

More good news: Programs like ECAP have adapted their curriculum to meet these requirements. Here are some of the ways the new testing requirements have impacted online teacher training in Texas.


Additional Help With Timelines


online teacher trainingKnowing when and if you should take an exam is one of the first questions interns have.

As outlined above, some individuals must take a TxPACT exam for program admission, while others are not required to take this test. All interns must now wait to take the TExES until after they have been accepted into a program. They must also take the PPR (Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities) exam at the end of their coursework in order to become licensed.

This is a substantial amount of information to digest for each individual teacher candidate, not to mention knowing which practice tests and courses will best help them prepare for these tests. 

It’s now more important than ever for alternative teacher certification programs to work with each student individually to assess how these new requirements impact his or her timeline. Preparation programs should also continue to assist interns with determining which content exams best fit their end goals.


An Opportunity For Training … Even Without Enrollment


In addition to important teaching skills, the best alternative teacher certification programs always offer preparation for content exams as part of their curriculum … not as costly add-ons. 

In addition, the curriculum should include everything you need to know to pass the PPR, from styles of exam questions you should expect to how to develop the best study plan for you. Our article, How To Pass Your PPR Exam, delves into some of the most common mistakes test takers make so that you can learn what to watch out for when it’s your turn.

At ECAP, we know the importance of preparing for this test, which is why we offer practice tests, videos and online and in-person courses to help our interns prepare. 

However, this change in testing timeline handed down by the state of Texas has afforded us the opportunity to help others as well, regardless of whether they are ECAP interns or not. 

To help individuals maximize their preparation for this critical test, we are offering in-person PPR review courses. If you are already enrolled with ECAP, this review training is part of your curriculum. You will be notified of your specific training dates, and no registration or payment is required.

If you are not enrolled with ECAP, you can sign up for this course as well. This provides a great opportunity for individuals to take full advantage of a training curriculum that may not otherwise have been available to them. 

Each full-day session includes a brief review of the study materials and an extended workshop in best practices and techniques for the PPR exam questions, including:

  • How to approach unfamiliar question formats
  • Suggested approaches for common question formats
  • What kind of study materials you need
  • How to develop the best study plan
  • The best study materials to use
  • Other tips for success

This course also offers a full-length practice exam and on-site grading available.


Help Is Available


Navigating what you are supposed to do and when in order to obtain your teaching license can be an overwhelming experience. The timeline itself can be difficult to understand, not to mention any stress associated with preparing for a test that is one of the final steps you take to earn your teaching license.

Enlisting the help of a high-quality alternative teacher certification program that has your best interest in mind will help secure your future as a teacher. Our job is to put you in the classroom with the tools you need to be successful. 

Although new testing requirements have changed the order by which interns and prospective interns complete their requirements, our online and in-person teacher training programs continue to keep future teachers on the right track toward fulfilling their dreams.

Apply to ECAP

Topics: Certification Tests, Teacher Training

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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