Pursuing a new certification is a thrilling step in your professional journey. However, it’s natural to have questions and concerns, especially when it comes to costs.
The financial aspect of obtaining a Texas teacher certification is often the first thing on your mind, since it can greatly impact your decision-making process. Whether you’re investing in yourself or your company, understanding the cost is crucial in determining the value and benefits of the certification.
Let’s delve into these Texas teacher certification fees and see what’s in store for you on your path to success.
Texas State Certification Fees
To earn your Texas teaching credential, you will have to pay a set of certification fees over the course of the certification process. These fees include costs for testing, exam reviews and your actual certifications.
These costs are important to remember when considering the overall price of how much it will cost you to earn a teaching certificate in the end. According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the following are standard certification costs you will encounter on your journey:
Certification Exam (additional fees may apply)
Background Check & Fingerprinting
Certify Teacher Exam Review Program
$35 (for ECAP interns only)
Texas Teacher Certification Program Costs
Earning your Texas teaching credential begins with meeting the requirements needed to earn a certification. That means either you will need to pursue certification through a bachelor’s degree in education at an approved college or university, or you will need to pursue certification through an educator preparation program.
Let’s begin with fees associated with earning a four-year degree in education. The average tuition cost of college in Texas is about $8,600 per year for in-state public universities. When you consider room and board fees, that number rises to about $18,710 for in-state students. At private four-year universities, fees are an average of $48,000 per year.
If you’ve already earned your bachelor’s degree, but in another field, earning a second degree in education is likely cost-prohibitive.
Educator preparation programs allow you to complete the training and exams required to become a teacher in Texas. Nearly 50% of all new teachers become certified educators by taking this path.
To be eligible for an educator preparation program, also known as an alternative teacher educator program, you must have a 4-year college degree with a 2.5 GPA or higher. If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, and instead have an associate’s degree or no degree at all, you can still be accepted into an educator preparation program with a certain number of wage-earning years of experience and the desire to teach in fields like cosmetology, criminal justice or the culinary arts.
While it takes four years to earn a college degree in education, completing an educator preparation program typically only takes six months. However, at ECAP, some interns have earned their credentials in just a few short months.
So the big question is, how much are the fees through an educator preparation program? It depends, however the costs to attend an alternative certification program are all fairly similar. Below, we have compared the prices of the top three certification programs: ECAP, Iteach and Texas Teachers of Tomorrow.
TEXAS TEACHERS OF TOMORROW
Internship / Teaching Fee:
Additional Certification Fees
In addition to the certification fees we outlined above, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll likely run into some other costs along your way toward certification.
A hidden cost some may face come in the form of test preparation. To earn your certification, you must pass important exams like your content tests, the Science of Teaching Reading exam, and the PPR, or Texas Examinations of Educator Standards Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities. While a single-subject teaching credential focuses on becoming certified to teach in one area, you may choose to broaden your appeal and knowledge as an educator and earn a multiple-subject teaching credential by taking more than one context exam.
Course test prep for these exams is a big business … a business that can drain your wallet. However, the best educator preparation programs will include test preparation as part of the curriculum or at a low cost.
There are also several free preparation materials available that certification programs should connect you with to ensure you’re fully prepared for these important tests.
Another cost consideration, albeit after you earn your certification, is your re-certification. A standard certification is valid for five years. An on-time renewal is $22, according to the TEA. Late renewals will cost more - $32 in the first six months after they are due and $42 after six months. If you do not renew, the TEA will place your certificate on “inactive status.”
To renew a teaching credential, you’ll also have to take continuing professional education (CPE) courses. 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.
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. Some undergraduate and graduate coursework can count toward CPE credits as well. While some of these activities may be free, others are available for a fee.
Know Your Fees
It is important to be aware of the various fees associated with obtaining a teacher certification in Texas in order to budget effectively and avoid unexpected expenses. Knowing what fees lie ahead can also help you determine whether you may need financial assistance or alternative funding sources to help cover the costs of your certification.
The good news is that some programs like ECAP allow you to defer most program costs until you start your teaching career and begin drawing your first paycheck. While other programs may let you defer these costs, you may pay more overall in the long run.
Having a clear understanding of the costs involved in the certification process can help you make informed decisions and is an essential step in achieving your goal of becoming a certified teacher.
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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