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 who know they want to become a teacher, the university four-year degree in education along with an extra year of certification training, 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.
Only 4 percent of Texas teachers get their certification via post baccalaureate program.
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
To see a complete list of specific occupations that qualify for the Career and Technical Education Certificate, please visit our No Degree page. 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, ECAP, Iteach and Texas Teachers of Tomorrow.
TEXAS TEACHERS OF TOMORROW
Internship / Teaching Fee:
As far as ECAP goes, the total cost to attend is $4,300, or what two NBA courtside seats will set you back to watch the San Antonio Spurs take on the Houston Rockets in March!
Of the $4,300 total cost, ECAP lets you defer over 94 percent of the cost, or $4,042, until you start your teaching career and draw that first paycheck. Other programs will allow you to defer, but you may pay more overall.
Your teacher certification program advisor will let you know what tests you need to take and when you are eligible to take them. These tests include your content exams and the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) test.
You will also need to apply for your intern certificate and your standard certificate.
Testing, certificate and exam review fees are among extra costs that you should consider when calculating the overall price of a teaching certificate.
Additional teaching certification costs:
Certification Exam (additional fees may apply)
Background Check & Fingerprinting
Certify Teacher Exam Review Program
$35 (for ECAP interns only)
Of course test prep is a big business and can also drain your wallet, but thankfully there are freepreparationmaterials available via the ETS website to prep for the Texas certification exams. There are preparation manuals and Tests at a Glance for each of the TExES tests.
ECAP has also partnered with Certify Teacher to offer a LOW COST content area test review program. Normally $80, this program costs just $35 for ECAP interns and offers a variety of study guides for your particular exams. All you have to do is fill out the form, and we will send you a password to get full access to the review program.
Other certification programs typically provide students with a list of options for review courses, but it’s up to the students to research and pay for the program they are interested in taking.
Certify Teacher 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.
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