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Teaching Programs in Texas

Due to this state’s sizable population, a large number of educational policies and materials are created in Texas, or with Texas in mind. This means that as a teacher you will have access to cutting edge curriculum that applies to Texas education.

In addition, Texas has developed its own initiatives in the pursuit of excellence in education. The Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI), which has been implemented in Dallas school districts, has three goals:

  1. Define excellence: TEI defines excellence through the lens of teacher performance, student achievement, and student experience (through a student survey)
  2. Support excellence: TEI proscribes and requires professional development at every experience level.
  3. Reward excellence: TEI focuses on aligning teacher compensation with student performance.

Read on to learn how to become a teacher in this forward-thinking state.

How to Become a Teacher in Texas

Texas offers both a traditional and alternative route to becoming a teacher.

Traditional Route

The Texas Education Agency outlines five steps to getting a degree via the traditional path:

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from a college or university: The college or university must be accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) or the U.S. Department of Education Database for Accredited Colleges and Universities (note that certification for health science technology and trades and industrial education do not require a bachelor’s degree).
  2. Complete an Educator Preparation Program: You must complete an Approved Educator Preparation Program. Programs are typically part of an education bachelor’s degree.
  3. Pass certification exams: Texas has developed its own testing for prospective applicants. See the licensure section below.
  4. Submit a state application: After the above requirements are met, you can apply for certification. Note that all first-time applicants are required to get a background check.

Through this route you will earn the standard certificate, which can be renewed every five years. 

Alternative Route

Texas provides alternative certification programs (ACPs) that allow you to teach while completing the requirements for the standard certificate. ACPs—also known as Educator Preparation programs—must be approved by the state of Texas.

This route is ideal for people who already hold a bachelor’s degree but have not completed a teacher education program. In order to be eligible for this program, you will need to show content proficiency by taking the Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT).

Once you pass the PACT, you can begin teaching with a probationary license while you complete an ACP. Programs typically take around one year. 

Licensure in Texas

In order to teach in public schools in Texas you need to complete requirements for standard certification. You can become certified in a number of subject areas.

If you take an alternative route to become a teacher, you can earn a probationary certificate. However, you must apply for standard certification within one to two years.
To apply for certification you need to take one of the following Texas-specific tests: Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) and Texas Examinations for Master Teachers (TExMaT). For more information, refer to the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website.

Paying for Your Education

The Texas Teacher Agency identifies a number of programs and grants that can help you fund your education.

  • Teach for America: Offers reimbursement for past student loans or awards money for future educational costs; applicants must be recent college graduates who commit to teaching in urban and rural public schools for two years.
  • Teacher loan forgiveness: A federal program that provides loan forgiveness—up to $17,500—for those teaching in low-income school or educational service agencies.
  • Grow-your-own programs: Some Texas school districts offer financial aid to students who agree to teach in the school district they graduated from.
  • Reimbursement for veterans: The Texas Workforce Commission has approved funding through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Texas Workforce Commission: This organization offers special programs to help candidates become and remain teachers.
  • Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: Refer to their site to learn about grants, financial aid, student loans, or scholarships.
  •  Career Outlook for Educators in Texas

    Texas is a fantastic place to become a teacher—predicted job growth for educators in Texas is nearly three times the growth predicated for the U.S. as a whole. CareerOneStop (May 2018) reports the following growth between 2016 and 2026:

    Level/Subject Area Percent Growth Number of Jobs
    Elementary School 20% 14,050
    Middle School 21% 7,000
    High School 21% 10,130
    Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle and High School 20% 1,000
    Special Education, K­–12 20% 2,660

    Post-secondary teaching positions are also seeing higher-than-average job growth.

    2018 Median Teaching Salaries in Texas
    • Elementary: $56,520
    • Middle shool: $56,580
    • Secondary: $58,190
    • Post-Secondary*: $82,519

    Statistics provided by the BLS

    *Average of all individual post-secondary teaching salaries provided by BLS.

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    State Resources

    Additional Education Degree Schools in Texas
    Angelo State University (San Angelo, TX)
    NCATE candidate
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Adult/Higher Ed, Curriculum/Instruction, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Special Ed
    Austin College (Sherman, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Art, English/Language Arts, Foreign Languages, History/Social Studies, Math, Music, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, Science, Speech/Communications
    Baylor University (Waco, TX)
    NCATE accredited
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Curriculum/Instruction, Instructional Technology, Phys Ed/Health
    Collin College (McKinney, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration
    Concordia University Texas (Austin, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Curriculum/Instruction, Reading/Literacy
    Dallas Baptist University (Dallas, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Adult/Higher Ed, Business, Curriculum/Instruction, English/Language Arts, ESL/TESOL, History/Social Studies, Math, Music, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Science, Special Ed
    East Texas Baptist University (Marshall, TX)
    Education Service Center - Region 12 (Waco, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Speech/Communications
    Education Service Center - Region 14 (Abilene, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, English/Language Arts, School Counseling/Psychology
    Hardin-Simmons University (Abilene, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Curriculum/Instruction, Gifted & Talented, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology
    Houston Baptist University (Houston, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Art, Curriculum/Instruction, English/Language Arts, ESL/TESOL, Foreign Languages, History/Social Studies, Math, Music, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Science, Special Ed, Speech/Communications
    Howard Payne University (Brownwood, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Curriculum/Instruction
    Lamar State College-Orange (Orange, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Reading/Literacy
    Lamar University - Online (Beaumont, TX)
    NCATE accredited
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Career/Vocational, Special Ed
    LeTourneau University (Longview, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Curriculum/Instruction
    Lone Star College System - North Harris (Houston, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Career/Vocational, ESL/TESOL, Instructional Technology, Special Ed
    Lone Star College System - Tomball (Tomball, TX)
    Subject(s):
    English/Language Arts
    Lubbock Christian University (Lubbock, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Business, Curriculum/Instruction, English/Language Arts, History/Social Studies, Math, School Counseling/Psychology, Science, Special Ed, Speech/Communications
    Midwestern State University (Wichita Falls, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Reading/Literacy, Special Ed
    Our Lady of the Lake University (San Antonio, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Career/Vocational, Curriculum/Instruction, ESL/TESOL, Math, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Science, Special Ed
    Prairie View A&M University (Praire View, TX)
    NCATE accredited
    Subject(s):
    School Counseling/Psychology
    Rice University (Houston, TX)
    TEAC accredited
    Subject(s):
    Art, Career/Vocational, English/Language Arts, Foreign Languages, History/Social Studies, Math, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, Science
    Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, TX)
    NCATE accredited
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Adult/Higher Ed, Curriculum/Instruction, ESL/TESOL, Gifted & Talented, History/Social Studies, Instructional Technology, Math, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Science, Special Ed
    Schreiner University (Kerrville, TX)
    Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX)
    Subject(s):
    English/Language Arts, ESL/TESOL, Gifted & Talented, Math, Reading/Literacy, Science
    Southwestern Adventist University (Keene, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Curriculum/Instruction, Reading/Literacy
    Southwestern Assemblies of God University (Waxahachie, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Curriculum/Instruction, History/Social Studies, School Counseling/Psychology
    St Edward's University (Austin, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Curriculum/Instruction, School Counseling/Psychology
    St. Mary's University (San Antonio, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, English/Language Arts, History/Social Studies, Reading/Literacy, Science
    Stephen F. Austin State University (Nacogdoches, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Curriculum/Instruction, ESL/TESOL, Music, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Special Ed
    Sul Ross State University (Alpine, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Adult/Higher Ed, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology
    Tarleton State University (Stephenville, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Curriculum/Instruction, ESL/TESOL, Gifted & Talented, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, Special Ed
    Texas A & M International University (Laredo, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Curriculum/Instruction, ESL/TESOL, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Special Ed
    Texas A & M University (College Station, TX)
    NCATE accredited
    Subject(s):
    Adult/Higher Ed, Curriculum/Instruction, English/Language Arts, ESL/TESOL, Foreign Languages, Instructional Technology, Math, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Science, Special Ed
    Texas A & M University-Kingsville (Kingsville, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Adult/Higher Ed, ESL/TESOL, Instructional Technology, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Special Ed
    Texas A & M University-Texarkana (Texarkana, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Curriculum/Instruction, English/Language Arts, Instructional Technology, Science, Special Ed
    Texas A&M University Commerce (Commerce, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Reading/Literacy
    Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (Corpus Christi, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Art, Career/Vocational, Curriculum/Instruction, English/Language Arts, ESL/TESOL, Foreign Languages, History/Social Studies, Instructional Technology, Math, Music, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Science, Special Ed, Speech/Communications
    Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Curriculum/Instruction, ESL/TESOL, School Counseling/Psychology, Science, Special Ed
    Texas Southern University (Houston, TX)
    NCATE candidate
    Subject(s):
    Curriculum/Instruction, ESL/TESOL, School Counseling/Psychology
    Texas State University-San Marcos (San Marcos, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Adult/Higher Ed, ESL/TESOL, Gifted & Talented, Instructional Technology, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Special Ed
    Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX)
    NCATE accredited
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Adult/Higher Ed, Curriculum/Instruction, ESL/TESOL, Instructional Technology, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Special Ed
    Texas Wesleyan University (Fort Worth, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, ESL/TESOL, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Science
    Texas Woman's University (Dallas, TX / Denton, TX / Houston, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Art, Career/Vocational, Curriculum/Instruction, English/Language Arts, ESL/TESOL, History/Social Studies, Math, Music, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, Special Ed
    The University of Texas at Arlington - Online (Arlington, TX)
    NCATE accredited
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Curriculum/Instruction, Math, Reading/Literacy, Science
    The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Adult/Higher Ed, Curriculum/Instruction, ESL/TESOL, Foreign Languages, History/Social Studies, Instructional Technology, Math, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Science, Special Ed, Speech/Communications
    The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College (Brownsville, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Curriculum/Instruction, ESL/TESOL, Instructional Technology, Math, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, Science, Special Ed
    The University of Texas at Dallas (Richardson, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Curriculum/Instruction, Math, Science
    The University of Texas at El Paso (El Paso, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Adult/Higher Ed, Career/Vocational, Curriculum/Instruction, ESL/TESOL, Instructional Technology, Math, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Science, Special Ed
    The University of Texas at San Antonio (San Antonio, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Adult/Higher Ed, Curriculum/Instruction, ESL/TESOL, Foreign Languages, Instructional Technology, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Special Ed
    The University of Texas at Tyler (Tyler, TX)
    TEAC accredited
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Curriculum/Instruction, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Special Ed
    The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (San Antonio, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Science, Special Ed
    The University of Texas of the Permian Basin - Online (Odessa, TX)
    NCATE accredited
    Subject(s):
    Administration, ESL/TESOL, Math, Reading/Literacy, Special Ed
    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Online (Online, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Curriculum/Instruction, Math, Science, Special Ed
    The University of Texas-Pan American (Edinburg, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Art, English/Language Arts, ESL/TESOL, Foreign Languages, Gifted & Talented, History/Social Studies, Instructional Technology, Math, Music, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Science, Special Ed, Speech/Communications
    Trinity University (San Antonio, TX)
    NCATE accredited
    Subject(s):
    Art, ESL/TESOL, Music, Special Ed
    University of Houston (Houston, TX)
    NCATE accredited
    Subject(s):
    Art, Curriculum/Instruction, English/Language Arts, Gifted & Talented, History/Social Studies, Instructional Technology, Math, Reading/Literacy, Science
    University of Houston-Clear Lake (Houston, TX)
    NCATE accredited
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Curriculum/Instruction, English/Language Arts, History/Social Studies, Instructional Technology, Reading/Literacy, Science
    University of Houston-Downtown (Houston, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Curriculum/Instruction, English/Language Arts, ESL/TESOL, History/Social Studies, Math, Reading/Literacy, Science
    University of Houston-Victoria (Victoria, TX)
    TEAC accredited
    Subject(s):
    Curriculum/Instruction, Math, Reading/Literacy, Special Ed
    University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Belton, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Business, English/Language Arts, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, Science, Special Ed
    University of North Texas (Denton, TX)
    NCATE accredited
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Adult/Higher Ed, Curriculum/Instruction, Gifted & Talented, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Special Ed
    University of Phoenix (Arlington, TX / Austin, TX / Dallas, TX / El Paso, TX / Houston, TX / Hurst, TX / Irving, TX / Killeen, TX / Plano, TX / San Antonio, TX / Spring, TX / Sugar Land, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Adult/Higher Ed, Art, Curriculum/Instruction, English/Language Arts, Math, Reading/Literacy, Special Ed
    University of St. Thomas-Houston, TX (Houston, TX)
    NCATE accredited, TEAC accredited
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Curriculum/Instruction, ESL/TESOL, Foreign Languages, Gifted & Talented, History/Social Studies, Math, Music, Phys Ed/Health, Reading/Literacy, Science, Special Ed, Speech/Communications
    University of the Incarnate Word (San Antonio, TX)
    TEAC accredited
    Subject(s):
    Adult/Higher Ed, Reading/Literacy
    University of Wisconsin-Superior (Online) (Dallas, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Special Ed
    Wayland Baptist University (Plainview, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Administration, Adult/Higher Ed, Art, Business, Career/Vocational, Curriculum/Instruction, English/Language Arts, History/Social Studies, Math, Reading/Literacy, School Counseling/Psychology, Science, Special Ed
    West Texas A & M University (Canyon, TX)
    Subject(s):
    Reading/Literacy, Special Ed