If you hold a standard Texas teacher certification, you must renew it every five years.
Planning ahead and making sure you meet the requirements necessary to renew teaching credential certificates is important since your certificate will be set to inactive if you do not renew by the expiration date, according to the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
Here is how to renew your professional license to ensure that your Texas teaching credential stays intact.
Meet Renewal Requirements
Continuing professional education (CPE) is a requirement to renew a standard certificate.
Classroom teachers must complete 150 CPE hours. Even if you hold classroom certificate areas in multiple areas, you do not need to complete more than 150 CPE hours.
If you hold an administrative or a student services certificate, you must complete 200 CPE hours. The same is true for multiple certifications. For example, if you have a classroom certificate and a student services certificate, you do not need to complete more than 200 CPE hours.
You must provide evidence through documentation that you have completed each CPE activity. Examples of documentation include transcripts, certificates of completion and attendance logs. You do not need to submit this evidence when you apply for certificate renewal, but you should keep ahold of it in case of a certificate audit.
Continuing education activities should be related to the certificates being renewed, including the content area and skills, as well as professional ethics and standards of conduct. Individuals can gain CPE hours in a variety of ways, including:
- Professional development activities like workshops, conferences and in-service or staff development given by an approved registered provider
- Undergraduate and graduate coursework through an accredited institution of higher education (1 semester credit hour is equivalent to 15 CPE clock hours)
- Independent study in content-area knowledge and skills, but not to exceed 20% of the required clock-hours (examples including interactive distance learning, developing curriculum, computer software and authoring a published work)
- Developing, teaching or presenting CPE activities, not to exceed 10% of the required clock hours
- Providing professional guidance as a mentor to another educator, not to exceed 30% of the required clock hours
If you need help tracking your professional development hours, TEA offers a CPE tracking worksheet. While this sheet does not have to be submitted to the TEA, it is a helpful tool in identifying appropriate CPE activities to meet your individual needs.
Complete Renewal Application
Six months before the deadline to submit your teaching credential renewal application, the TEA will send you an email reminder. The TEA will send this reminder using the email address that is on your educator account. If you use a new email and rarely check the email on your educator account, it is important to update your account so that you receive this reminder email.
Even if a renewal notification is not received, applicants are responsible for meeting any renewal requirements.
To complete your renewal application, follow these steps:
- Log into your TEAL account to access your educator account.
- Click on “View My Educator Certification Account.” This will log you into your Educator Certification Online System (ECOS) account.
- Verify that your profile information is correct.
- Click “Continue” at the bottom of the page.
- In the main menu on the left, select “Applications” and then “Renew a Standard Certificate.”
- Follow the prompts to submit the online renewal application.
- Pay the fee. The renewal fee for on-time payments is $22, although the price goes up for late renewals ($32-$42) and reactivations ($42).
FAQ About Renewing A Teaching Credential
In addition to the information provided above, you may have some questions regarding the renewal process or other requirements. Here are a few frequently asked questions about teaching credential renewals:
What can stop my certification renewal from being approved?
You must be in good standing in order for your certification renewal to be approved. The TEA will obtain information about criminal history and student loan and child support obligations from other state agencies.
You cannot be in arrears of child support, pursuant to the Texas Family Code, and you must not be in default on a guaranteed student loan reported by the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation or a judgment debt for a student loan owed to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (unless repayment arrangements have been made).
How does the TEA verify I have met all requirements for renewal?
According to the TEA, you will affirm through an online affidavit that all requirements have been met. You could be subject to criminal charges and sanctioning of your certificate if you provide false information. You are also responsible for keeping a record of your CPE hours, and if selected for an audit, will have to provide any relevant documents.
What if my certificate expired in fewer than five years? Do I still need to meet the same requirements?
When you apply for renewal, all certification areas will renew for one fee. This also allows you to count all the CPE hours you have earned toward renewal of your certificate. This may cause your professional certificate to be issued for less than the full five years. If this is the case, your CPE hours are prorated … 10 hours for each full year.
The TEA offers this scenario as an example: If your principal certificate expires after only two years, you must have an additional 20 CPE hours for a total of 170 CPE hours.
What if I can’t complete my CPE hour requirements?
You must complete the CPE hour requirements on time in order to renew your teaching credential. However, the TEA will consider hardship exemptions, such as documented health-related reasons or other extenuating circumstances.