The usual route to becoming a teacher is to pursue a degree in a subject that is included in the regular school curriculum. Upon completion of the degree, a student then enrolls in a teacher-training program and finally writes a teacher certification exam. However, there are other ways to become a teacher by following alternative teacher certification programs. This is one of the ways Texas has opened the field of teaching to those who do not have teacher training or have a degree in a subject that is not considered a “teachable” subject. This is a unique program that allows individuals to become fully certified as teachers in only one year.
This teacher certification program trains teachers in the classroom. You would have to apply to the program and if you are selected you will be paid for working as a first-year teacher in a classroom. You work under the supervision of a certified teacher, receive support from university personnel and have a mentor teacher working with you. This mentor teacher will be a different one than you are working with in the classroom, which gives you an additional resource to draw upon. Upon selection, you are also required to take three semesters of college work with a specified number of course hours. After completing the year in college and working in the classroom, you are required to pass the TeXes certification exam for the subject and/or grade level. Then, along with recommendations from the university and the school district, you can apply for your teaching certificate.
In order to submit an application for this teacher certification program there are certain conditions you must meet. You do need to hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited US university with at least a 2.5 grade point average on a four point scale. You also have to pass the following THEA/TASP exams with the corresponding scores:
- Writing – 220
- Essay – 5
- Math – 230
- Reading –250
If you don’t have a 2.5 GPA in your degree, you can still apply to the teacher certification program. You won’t get accepted right away because you will have to do additional university courses to bring up your average. You will receive a letter explaining how many credit hours you will have to complete in order to meet the GPA requirement. Once you meet this condition, your application will be reconsidered.
You can also apply to this teacher certification program if you hold a degree from a university outside the United States. You do have to submit your university transcripts and if English is not your first language, you have to take an additional test – the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language. The minimum score accepted on this test is 500.
All participants in this program are responsible for paying for their books and tuition for the course work. There is also a training fee involved, which the school district willed duct from the salary over the span of the school year.