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Alternative Teacher Certification Programs in Texas

Like everything else in Texas, alternative teaching certification is big. Although there was a dip in the number of alternative certifications issued in Texas from 2014-2015, the number of teachers who earned their teaching credential through alternative means increased again in 2016. According to the latest data from the Texas Education Agency, 12,553 teachers obtained an alternative teaching certification in Texas from 2015-2016. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) reports that 40 percent of the state’s new teachers enter classrooms through alternative routes. If you’re considering a career shift into teaching, Texas just might be the state for you to make that switch!

The biggest hurdle on your way to alternative certification in Texas may be deciding which teacher preparation program to choose. In fact, there are over 200 approved teacher certification programs in Texas! The TEA lists dozens of these Alternative Certification Programs (ACPs) that include state-approved non-profit and for-profit options. Cost and requirements of Texas ACPs 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.

Alternative Teaching Certification Programs in Texas

Looking for the best alternative teaching certification programs in Texas? The following are options for becoming a teacher in a few of Texas’ largest cities:

  • Houston: 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.
  • San Antonio: 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.
  • Dallas: The Compass Alternative Certification Teacher Academy is available through Dallas ISD. The program requires a five-week pre-service training, which includes a practicum with real students and coursework/assessments; an on-campus assignment with an assigned mentor; certification coursework and testing; and a committee review for your teaching certification.
  • Austin: The Region 13 Austin ISD Teacher Academy Program (ATA) is provided by a partnership between the Austin Independent School District and the Region 13 Educator Certification Program. The program is 17-months and focuses on the areas of math, science, bilingual education, and bilingual special education.

If you’re looking for alternative teacher certification, Texas is ready for you. Contact the schools with Texas ACP options to start.

Learning Outcomes and Curriculum for Texas Alternative Teacher Certification Programs

In Texas, alternative teacher certification is big business, so make sure you are working with reputable and accredited Texas ACP providers. As you work through an alternative certification program in Texas, you can plan on gaining a wide range of new teaching skills.

Whether you go through an independent certification agency, like Texas’s Education Career Alternatives Program (ECAP), or choose a university program like the alternative teaching certification post bachelors program at Texas State, you’ve got to ask yourself a couple of hard questions. For instance, you should ask, “Will ECAP teach me the fundamentals of educational theory to support my teaching activities?” Similarly, you need to ask, “Will an online Texas teacher alternative certification program from a big university cost more than I can afford?”

Many programs stress the need to develop strong teacher-student communication skills and learn how to connect with students of varying needs and abilities. In addition, instructors may help you learn how to reflect on your teaching skills, assess your successes and shortcomings, and use this information to create a more effective learning environment throughout the year. To reach this goal, programs may require students to take in feedback from instructors and use it constructively.

Since curriculum development is a crucial part of any educator’s career, a Texas alternative certification program will likely include curriculum creation strategies that future teachers can use to address different subjects and topics within the classroom. When you look into how to become a teacher in Texas, pay close attention to the curriculum you are going to follow. Part of building a strong alternative certification curriculum is understanding each class and the individual needs present within that class, which is why student assessment is an important skill that is addressed in quality programs. Assessment techniques taught may include presentations, written exams, verbal exams, and group projects. In addressing these learning outcomes, Texas teacher certification students may learn how to make a strong classroom environment that cultivates learning and mutual respect. The combination of all of these skills can help you prepare to pass the Texas Educator Certification exam.

Best Online Alternative Teaching Certification Schools in Texas

Texas has made it a point to make education one of its top priorities. As such, there is a constant need for qualified teaching professionals. If you’ve decided a career switch to teaching is right for you and you prefer to earn an education degree online, check out these programs: 

University of North Texas
The University of North Texas has a few online degrees available from their education department. These include an accelerated course towards gaining a masters in the educational leadership discipline. 

Walden University Online
Walden University offers a certified online degree program that contains a large number of options in the education field. Another feature of the university lies in the alumni network that is willing
to provide guidance to students on their learning journey. 

The University of Texas at El Paso
The University of Texas at El Paso offers a small selection of online degrees in relation to their education department. The school does also offer some guidance in terms of tuition assistance for
working students.

Grand Canyon University
The online education department at >Grand Canyon University boasts a vast amount of degrees for interested parties. In addition, the body of potential students can take advantage of the school’s
policies with regards to tuition. To that end, there’s also assistance for those who were previously veterans.