Certification

Basic Requirements

The Texas Education Agency has set five basic requirements for becoming a certified teacher. The five requirements are:

  1. Obtain a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. You must complete a Texas Education Agency approved educator preparation program.
  3. Pass the required certification exams for the education program you have chosen.
  4. You will need to submit an application to the Texas Education Agency once you have completed all the requirements. Don’t forget to make sure you have verified your eligibility for certification first before you apply.
  5. All first time applicants must be fingerprinted and have a national criminal background check.

Prerequisite Coursework

At a minimum, each individual who becomes certified in Texas must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institute of higher education. The only exception to this rule is if you would like to be certified in some career and technical education areas.

Texas teacher education programs usually consist of both curriculum and fieldwork, such as student teaching. If you have already graduated from college with a degree outside of education, you have other options available to you if you would like to become certified to teach.

In order to become certified in Texas, the following tests are required.

Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification
230 THEA Reading Required for all license areas. Required for entrance into teacher education programs.
220 THEA Writing Required for all license areas. Required for entrance into teacher education programs.
230 THEA Mathematics Required for all license areas. Required for entrance into teacher education programs.

If you hold a Standard Certificate that was issued by the Texas State Board on or before 1999, you must apply for a certificate renewal every five years. This includes paying a fee, passing a background check and completing at least 200 hours of continuing education units.

Master Teacher Certification

Texas teachers can also receive a Master Teacher Certificate. You must already be certified in Texas. You can receive a Master Teacher Certificate in the areas of reading, math, technology and science. This is considered a supplemental certificate so it is not required to teach these subjects. The certificate will allow you to mentor to other teachers and give you a competitive edge in your field.

In order to earn a Master Teacher Certificate, you must have a minimum of three years teaching experience. You will also need to successfully complete an approved Master Teacher Certificate program and pass the certification exam in your desired subject area.

Student Services Certificates

To become certified in a student services area such as a school counselor, librarian, educational diagnostician, reading specialist or master teacher there are four requirements you must meet.shutterstock_148044401

  1. Complete an approved Educational Preparation Program for your specific certification type.
  2. Hold a master’s degree from an accredited agency as identified by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
  3. Complete the required test or tests.
  4. Have at least two years of classroom teaching experience in a public or private accredited school.

Please also note that an educational diagnostician is required to have a valid classroom teaching certificate.

Out-of-State Certification and Reciprocity

If you hold a certification from another state, you will need to have your credentials reviewed by the Texas Education Agency. Complete an application for review of credentials on the Texas Education Agency website. There is a fee of $180 that is non-refundable. If you hold a certification in student services or administration but do not have a classroom teaching certificate, you will also need to submit documentation of at least two years school experience in your certification area.

Once your credentials are reviewed you may be issued a one year non-renewable certificate. In order to receive a standard certificate, you will need to complete additional tests related to your certification area. When you have completed all the requirements, you will be eligible for a standard certification.

Alternative Certification Program

Alternative Certification Programs, or ACP’s, are a non-traditional way to become certified to teach in Texas. ACP’s can allow you to teach while you are becoming certified. Programs to receive an Alternative Certification in Texas are offered at universities, community colleges, private entities, school districts,  and education service centers. The Texas Education Agency can assist you with deciding what programs are right for you.

Principal and Superintendent Certifications

Becoming certified as a superintendent or principal in Texas is a little different from receiving a standard classroom certification.

There are five requirements for obtaining a Principal certification.

  1. You must hold a master’s degree from a university that is accredited by an accrediting agency that is recognized by the Texas Higher Education Board.
  2. Hold a valid classroom teaching certificates
  3. Have two years of credible teaching experience as a classroom teacher
  4. Successfully complete an approved principal educator preparation program
  5. Successfully complete the required exam

To obtain a Superintendent certification, you will need to meet four requirements.

  1. You must hold a master’s degree from a university that is accredited by an accrediting agency that is recognized by the Texas Higher Education Board.
  2. You must hold a Principal certificate or the equivalent issued by the Texas Education Agency, another state or country.
  3. Successfully complete an approved principal educator preparation program
  4. Successfully complete the required exam

Adding Subject Areas to Your Texas Certification

What if you are already certified to teach in Texas, but would like to add additional subjects to your existing certification? To become certified in a different subject area, you will need to take the appropriate subject area exams. Please note that this option is not available for individuals who would like to add administrative positions to their certification, only classroom teachers.

Contact Information

As of August 2014, the Texas Education Agency oversees 1,247 public school districts, open enrollment charter schools, juvenile justice districts, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Texas School for the Deaf. More than 5 million students are currently enrolled in Texas schools.

Texas Education Agency
http://www.tea.state.tx.us/
1701 N. Congress Avenue Austin, Texas, 78701
(512) 463-9734