Becoming a Certified Texas Educator Through an Alternative Certification Program (ACP)

Do you hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and wish to become an educator in Texas?

Alternative certification programs (ACP’s) offer a nontraditional route to certification that may allow you to teach while completing the requirements. These programs are located in universities, school districts, education service centers, community colleges, and private entities. 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 an ACP

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 degree, coursework, and interests.

2) Select an approved Texas ACP.

ACP’s offer intensive focused on the classroom training. Many of these programs can be completed in one year during which time you may be able to teach as a paid intern with supervision and mentoring. Some programs offer a non-paid clinical experience similar to student teaching in lieu of a paid internship .

3) Meet the screening criteria of the program

Your program will advise you of the entry requirements such as basic skills, GPA, and demonstration of content knowledge. Some of these requirements are state-mandated and some may reflect the standards of the program.

4) Develop a certification plan with your program.

After meeting the screening criteria and being accepted into the program, you will meet with program staff who will advise you of the specific training courses, internship, tests, and other program requirements that you must complete.

5) Obtain a teaching position

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.

6) 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) Complete all requirements for a Standard Certificate

You will need to complete all program training, internship, examinations, and all other program requirements. If all requirements are not completed within one year, it is sometimes possible to extend the Probationary Certificate for up to two years. If this is needed, your program will advise you of your eligibility. You may not teach more than three school years in the Texas public schools on temporary credentials prior to receiving an initial Standard Certificate.

8) 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.

9) 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.