Becoming a Certified Texas Educator Through an Alternative Certification Program

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. The following steps must be taken to receive certification to teach in Texas through an ACP.

Steps to Receive Certification

1) Decide What You Would Like to Teach

Decide the specific grade levels of students and subject areas you would like to teach. This decision determines the certificate you need, the program you need to enroll in, and the certification tests you 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 classroom-focused 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 an unpaid clinical experience similar to student teaching in lieu of a paid internship.  To obtain a list of all ACP's in Texas, visit the TEA EPPs in Texas webpage, and click on the Alternative selection box found at the top right corner to select only those EPPs with an alternative certification program.

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

Following acceptance 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.

Certification in some career and technical education areas may require previous experience and/or industry-specific licensure.

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 must 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 you have secured a position, 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

Once you have secured a teaching position for your internship, you must apply online for an intern or probationary certificate, valid for one calendar year to meet state certification rules for you and the school. You must create an online account, apply, pay fees, and meet the requirements for a criminal background check. Your program must recommend you online for the appropriate certificate.

7) Complete All Requirements for a Standard Certificate

You must complete all program training, internship, examinations, and all other program requirements. If you do not complete all requirements within one year, it is sometimes possible to extend the probationary certificate for up to two years. Your program will advise you of your eligibility for an extension. You may not teach more than three school years in 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 must apply for a standard certificate online. If you qualify, your program will recommend you 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.