Texas Alternative Certification Programs

(found programs from 111 schools)

Like everything else in Texas, alternative certification is BIG. The state leads the nation in the number of certificates issued through alternative routes - over 13,000 in 2008-2009 alone, according to the National Center for Alternative Certification. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) reports that 40 percent of the state's new teachers enter classrooms through alternative routes.

The biggest hurdle on your way to alternative certification in Texas may be deciding which teacher preparation program to choose. The TEA lists dozens of state-approved, non-profit and for-profit Alternative Certification Programs (ACPs). Cost and requirements vary from one program to another. Many can be completed in one year. Some programs allow you to teach as a paid intern while others require you to complete an unpaid teacher practicum. All alternative certification candidates must have a bachelor's degree or higher to qualify. The TEAs website offers a live chat option with a certification expert to help you sort through your options.

The following are options in Texas' two largest cities:

ACT Houston is a private program with lots of flexibility that has been providing a fast track to teacher certification since 2003. Participants choose a preparation program - evenings or weekends - that best suits their schedule. They also complete 30 hours of field-based experiences. Finally, participants choose either a paid, two-semester teaching internship or an unpaid 14-week teaching practicum.

The San Antonio Teacher Orientation and Preparation Program (TOPP) is available through Education Service Center 20. The program consists of three cycles: content preparation, pre-employment and employment. The first cycle consists of content area and pedagogy courses. The second cycle includes summer training and online courses. In the employment cycle, participants complete an internship.

Schools in Texas:

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