Once you have made the important decision to become a certified teacher in Texas, you naturally may want to know what it will cost to get into the classroom.
Before you take a hammer and have a whack at your piggy bank, or for those native Texans their armadillo banks, we can walk you through what becoming a teacher in Texas truly costs.
Certification Program Costs
For starters, you will need to complete a Texas teacher certification program, and there are three basic paths in Texas...a university four-year baccalaureate degree with certification; a post baccalaureate certification program; or an alternative education certification program.
For those just out of high school the university four-year degree will likely be the path. About 34 percent of Texas teachers, typically for elementary school positions, take this route according to Texas Education Agency (TEA) statistics from 2014-15.
Only 4 percent of Texas teachers get their certification via post baccalaureate program.
Sam Houston University has a certification program, for example, that takes from anywhere from 12 to 24 months to complete. The average per semester cost at the school is $9,121, putting costs for certification between $18,000 and $36,000. While this option is certainly the “Cadillac approach”, the upside is you can apply graduate work towards a master’s degree.
That brings us to the most preferred and cost-effective method to becoming a teacher in Texas; which is to complete an alternative education program. Nearly 50 percent of all new teachers arrive by this method.
There are 4 different ways you can be eligible to attend an alternative certification program:
Have a 4-year college degree with a 2.5 GPA or higher – and it doesn't matter if the degree came way back when bell-bottom pants were in style!
Have five years of full-time wage-earning experience within the past ten years in the field to be taught
Have an associates degree with two years of full-time wage-earning experience within the past ten years in the field to be taught
Work in one of the following fields...criminal justice, automotive, cosmetology, or culinary arts
If you meet any of these requirements, then you can get into the classroom without smashing that piggy bank.
The costs to attend an alternative certification program are all fairly similar. Here, we have compared the prices of the top three certification programs:
TEXAS TEACHERS OF TOMORROW
Internship / Teaching Fee:
As far as ECAP goes, the total cost to attend is $4,500 or what two NBA court side seats will set you back to watch the San Antonio Spurs take on the Houston Rockets in March!
Of the $4,500 total cost, ECAP lets you defer over 94 percent of the cost, or $4,250, until you start teaching and drawing that first paycheck.
Testing … 1,2, 3 … Testing
Your teacher certification program will let you know what tests you need to take and when you are eligible to take them.
You will need to pass content or subject tests which will cost $134 per test for core subjects and $65 for individual subjects.
New teachers will have to pass the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) test. The current cost of the test is $134.
Of course test prep is a big business and can also drain your wallet, but thankfully there are free preparationmaterials available via the ETS website to prep for the Texas exams. There are preparation manuals and Tests at a Glance for each of the TExES tests. ECAP also has aFREEcontenttest review program that you can get access to. All you have to do is fill out the form, and we will send you a password to get full access to our review program.
Preparation manuals include detailed test descriptions, test frameworks, sample questions with answers and test-taking strategies. Each of the Tests at a Glance gives a quick overview of the test. Two other publications available for download on the ETS website that may be helpful are Reducing Test Anxiety and Study Tips: Preparing for the Texas Educator Certification Tests.
There are also videos with information about how to get ready for a test and what it's like to take a test. So, no worries, you will be ready for your big test day.
The Final Steps at Your Fingertips …
The final step will be to apply for certification through TEA. As part of that process, you will be fingerprinted and go through a background check. The fingerprinting and background check costs $49.
Lastly, your first Texas teaching certificate comes with a $75 fee.
After that, you will be ready to teach and on your way to filling that piggy bank back up again.
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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7166 Baker Blvd., Suite B · Richland Hills, Texas 76118 Phone 817-284-7731 | Fax 817-284-3396