According to the most recent statistics from the Texas Education Agency, in the 2016 - 2017 school year, more people turned to Texas Alternative Certification Programs to become teachers in Texas than any other path, including University Undergraduate, University Post-Baccalaureate and Out of State programs.
Total For All Program Types
Teacher certification programs are located in universities, school districts, education service centers, community colleges, and private entities. Alternative certification programs offer a non-traditional route to certification that allow you to teach while completing the requirements.
So, why are people turning to Texas Alternative Certification Programs in large numbers?
If you are a recent graduate, transitioning into an accredited alternative teacher certification program is seamless and doesn’t require staying in a university system.
But not everyone falls into the nice, neat little box of going to college, graduating with a degree and then entering straight into a teaching career.
Some people look for a job in their field and have difficulty getting hired, some start other careers, some go into the military, and some stay home to raise children. Others decide school isn’t for them and go straight into a trade or technical career.
Whichever situation you find yourself in, a quality, accredited alternative teacher certification program is a great way for you to get your teaching certificate and learn directly from people who have had years of experience teaching.
How To Qualify for an Alternative Certification Program
There are two ways to qualify for admittance in an alternative teacher certification program:
A Bachelor’s Degree - If you have a Bachelor’s degree in any major from an accredited institution of higher learning as required by the Texas Education Agency and Texas Administration Code, you must also meet the following criteria:
Minimum 2.5 GPA - Your GPA must be confirmed in one of two ways:
- Minimum 2.5 GPA posted on official transcript from an accredited institution - Minimum 205 GPA in the last 60 semester hours of courses attempted
Passed Content Test - You must pass at least one TExES Content Test. It is important to consult with the alternative certification program of your choice about which test is best for your particular teaching goal to save time and effort.
Students In Final Semester - If you are in currently completing your last semester of courses toward a bachelor’s degree at an institution of higher education, you are eligible to apply for an alternative teacher certification program. But you must provide the following:
Copy of your final semester schedule of classes letter from an academic advisor or registrar indicating that you are currently completing your final semester and are eligible for graduation official transcript through previous semester content test passed.
If you graduated from a university outside the United States Or U. S. Territories, you must provide the following:
Foreign transcripts that have been equivocated by a recognized transcript evaluation service
Proof of oral English language proficiency by passing the oral proficiency portion of the TOEFL
No Bachelor’s Degree - You don’t have a 4-year degree, but you have a 2-year degree and work experience or just years of work experience. You can still qualify for an alternative certification program by meeting the following criteria:
Associate’s Degree - If you have a 2-year associate’s degree, you must provide the following:
An associate’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning that at the time was accredited or otherwise approved by an accrediting organization recognized by the THECB
Two years of full-time wage-earning experience within the past ten years in the field to be taught
A current license is also required to teach Health Science Technology, Criminal Justice and Cosmetology
No Degree - As required by the Texas Education Agency and Texas Administration Code, you must also meet the following criteria:
You must have five years of full-time wage-earning experience within the past ten years in the field to be taught
Important note: A candidate may also be required to pass an appropriate certification test.
What the Alternative Certification Program Entails
Develop a Certification Plan - You will consult with with program staff who will advise you of the specific training courses, internship, tests, and other program requirements that you must complete.
Obtain a Teaching Position - When your program staff has determined that you are eligible for a Texas teachers internship, based on your progress and completion of any appropriate tests, they will provide you with an eligibility statement for employment purposes. You must secure a teaching assignment at the grade level and in the subject area of your target certificate. Your program may provide assistance and tips for locating a position. Once you have secured a position, an experienced, certified mentor will be assigned to work with you and additional supervision will be provided by the program.
Apply for a Probationary Certificate - Once you have secured a teaching position for your internship, you must apply online for a probationary certificate, valid for one calendar year to meet state certification rules for you and the school. You must create an online account, apply, pay fees, and meet the requirements for a criminal background check. Your program must recommend you online for the appropriate certificate.
Apply for the Appropriate Certificate - When you have completed all of the requirements, you must apply for a standard certificate online. If you qualify, your program will recommend you for the appropriate certificate. A criminal background check will be conducted prior to issuance of any certificate.
Look for and alternative certification program that has positive reviews, knowledgeable and experienced staff, and takes the time to speak with you about a customized path specifically geared toward your teaching goals. And, don't be afraid to call your local school district for a program recommendation. You will be working with these people for quite a few months, so you want it to be a positive experience.
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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