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Navigating The New Texas Teacher Certification Rules

Texas Teacher News

Micah Fikes
Micah Fikes on October 25, 2017

This year, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has rolled out a variety of new rules and their implementation directly affects teachers. While these changes may initially be a little intimidating, if you’re armed with the right information, you can easily navigate the shift and stay on track to gain your Texas teacher certification. 


The Run Down

texas teacher certificationThe changes consist of a few key elements. These include the addition of new certificates for those on the road the becoming a teacher, the removal of 10 Generalist and Career and Technical Education certificates, and the resulting overall shift in the timeline of test taking.


Eliminated Certificates

Overall, Texas is saying goodbye to 10 certificates. Teachers who already have a valid certificate in one of the eliminated areas will not be not affected. However, it is important to note that as of September 1, 2017, new ones will no longer be issued. For the certificates being retired include:

  • Agricultural Science and Technology: Grades 6-12
  • Business Education: Grades 6-12
  • Health Science Technology: Grades 8-12
  • Marketing Education: Grades 8-12

Additionally, a number of generalist certificates will be retired. These include ESL and bilingual generalist certificates, among others.


Changes for Educator Preparation Programs and Certification


The next change pertains to certificates for Educator Preparation Programs (EPP) and their candidates. Effective September 1, 2017, there is a new Intern certificate for interns enrolled in an EPP. It is valid for one year and is non-renewable. The enrolled intern must complete the content test for the area in which they plan to teach, but it is important to note that the EPP that the intern is enrolled in will have final say in who is eligible for the intern certificate.

Along with the new Intern certificate, there will be a change to the Probationary certificate. This certificate will now be valid for one year and will only allow for one renewal. The EPP student will be required to take the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities test, as well as their content area subject matter test. Just like with the Intern certificate, the EPP will have the final say in who is eligible for the Probationary certificate.


What It Boils Down To


texas teacher certificationWhat it boils down to is this: the testing required to become a teacher is shifting thanks to the new step introduced. As of September 1, 2017, someone who wants to teach must show their stuff through the content knowledge exams prior to getting a teaching job. This is a change from being able to utilize a new teacher’s educational background as proof of content knowledge.

Ultimately, this new rules mean that before a teacher can obtain their probationary certificate, they must pass the exam(s) for their content area. Timing is essential when it comes to these new rules. If you are considering becoming a Texas teacher, you must plan when you will take your exams. The exams are only offered on certain dates, so it is best to register early.

We have a full rundown of the changes to the testing requirement in this blog post, Effect of New TEA Regulations on Becoming A Teacher in 2017.


Who Can Help?


The interesting thing about these Texas teacher certification rule changes is the language that allows EPPs to decide who meets the eligibility requirements for the certificates. 

On top of that, each district can interpret the rules as they see fitIf you have questions on how to become a teacher and how these new rules will impact you, contact us to set up a time to discuss your objectives, and we can help you figure out what you need to do to find a role in the classroom.

ECAP has identified a number of solutions to get teachers into the classroom and keep them there.


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Topics: Texas Teacher News

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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