Becoming a Certified Texas Educator Through a University Program

Are you a high school graduate who is interested in becoming a teacher?
Are you an undergraduate or college graduate who is interested in becoming a teacher?

University programs offer a route to educator certification while earning a degree at the same time. These programs also allow a person with a bachelor’s degree or higher to complete the requirements for an educator certificate by taking university coursework. In some cases, persons with a bachelor’s degree may be able to earn an advanced degree in addition to completing the requirements for a certificate. A list of approved programs is available. Only programs found on this list may recommend an individual for a Texas educator certificate.

Steps to Becoming a Texas Educator Through a University

1) Decide what you would like to teach.

You will need to decide the specific grade levels of students and subject areas you would like to teach. This decision will determine the certificate you will need, the program you will need to enroll in, and the certification tests you will need to take. The program you select will assist you in this process based on your interests and any prior coursework or degrees that you have completed.

2) Select an approved Texas university.

University educator preparation programs offer courses in the content area and courses to prepare you to teach, in addition to providing the required number of credits to earn a degree. The length of time needed to complete a university program will vary with each individual.

3) Meet the screening criteria of the program

Your program will advise you of the entry requirements such as basic skills, academic attainment needed. The number of semester hours and grade point average may vary with the program and certificate sought. Some of these requirements are state-mandated and some may reflect the standards of the university.

4) Develop a certification plan with your program.

After meeting the screening criteria and being accepted into the program, you will meet with your advisor to discuss your goals as a teacher. Your program will advise you of the specific coursework, student teaching or internship, and tests that you must complete. 

5) Complete the program, including student teaching or a teaching internship.

Your program will assist you in finding an appropriate student teaching placement or internship, and will guide you through this process. If you hold a bachelor’s degree already, you may qualify for a one-year paid internship as part of a post-baccalaureate program. If you qualify for a paid internship, please proceed to step 6.

6) Obtain a teaching position and apply for a Probationary Certificate. (post-baccalaureate candidates only)

If your program has determined that you are eligible for a teaching internship based on your progress and completion of any appropriate tests, they will provide you with an eligibility statement for employment purposes. You will need to secure a teaching assignment at the grade level and in the subject area of your target certificate. Your program may provide assistance in locating a position. Once a position has been secured, you will have an experienced, certified mentor assigned to work with you and additional supervision will be provided by the program.

Apply for a Probationary Certificate

If a teaching position has been secured for your internship, you will need to apply online for a Probationary Certificate, valid for one calendar year to meet state certification rules for you and the school. You will need to create an online account, apply, pay fees, and meet the requirements for a criminal background check. Your program will need to recommend you online for the appropriate certificate.

7) Register for and complete the appropriate examinations.

Your program must authorize you to register for examinations when you are at the appropriate point in the program. This will vary based depending on the type of program you are enrolled in. Persons in post-baccalaureate programs may be allowed to complete the content subject tests earlier than persons in an undergraduate program.

8) Complete all requirements for a Standard Certificate

You will need to complete all coursework, student teaching or internship, and examination requirements indicated on your certification plan.

9) Apply for the Standard Certificate

Upon completion of all requirements, you will need to apply online. If you qualify, your program will recommend you online for the Standard Certificate. A criminal background check will be conducted prior to issuance of any certificate.

10) Congratulations! You are a certified Texas educator.

When your certificate is approved, it will be posted to the agency website. You will be notified by email when your certificate is official.