Alternative Teacher Certification Programs in Texas
Alternative teacher certification programs are those offered in accelerated or nontraditional formats. They are intended for individuals who have already earned bachelor's degree. In Texas, it is possible to find alternative teacher certification programs at colleges, universities, technical schools, education centers and school districts. Depending on the school, certification programs are offered for different grade levels and subjects. See some basic information about two postsecondary schools in Texas that offer alternative teacher certification programs and view a table with more details about each school.
- South Texas College, which is located in the city of McAllen in Hidalgo County, offers three certification options: core certification to teach students from early childhood to grade 6, core certification for grades 4 through 8, and certification for bilingual education supplemental teaching.
- Texas A&M University offers certifications in agriculture, food and natural resources (grades 6-12), chemistry (grades 7-12), Chinese (early childhood through grade 12), English language arts and reading (grades 7-12), history (grades 7-12), life science (grades 7-12), math (grades 7-12), physical science (grades 6-12), physics/mathematics (grades 7-12), science (grades 7-12) and social studies (grades 7-12). Although Texas A&M is located in College Station, the program is offered online, so it can be completed anywhere in the state.
Comparison of Schools
When choosing between the two schools discussed above, it is important to consider
|South Texas College||Texas A&M University|
|School Type||4-year, public||4-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)*||31,321||67,929|
|Educational Setting||Midsize city||Midsize city|
|Tuition||$3,720 in-district//$4,020 in-state//$7,620 out-of-state||$11,234 in-state//$36,606 out-of-state|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics
South Texas College
South Texas College is the largest postsecondary institution south of San Antonio, with over 31,000 students. It is located in McAllen, a midsize city in Hidalgo County, only five miles from the Mexican border. The school's teacher certification programs have been accredited by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).
Alternative Teacher Certification Program
The school's Alternative Teacher Certification Program (ATCP) was designed to create a workforce of excellent teachers for Hidalgo and Starr Counties. Regardless of their specialization area, aspiring teachers in this program complete a core preparation program, which covers topics such as classroom management, pedagogy and professional responsibilities. After that, they complete an internship in a real school as well as a research project.
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University is the oldest public university in the state of Texas, serving over sixty thousand students. The school's College of Education & Human Development offers the Accelerate Online Teacher Certification Program. Students can enroll in this program after they have earned a bachelor's degree or during their final semester at Texas A&M.
Accelerate Online Teacher Certification Program
The accelerated teacher certification program offered by Texas A&M University includes online instruction, a field experience and an internship in the aspiring teacher's area of residence. In total, the program usually takes about 12-18 months to complete. For the internship portion of the program, student teachers complete a year-long paid internship at a secondary school. It is important to note that enrollment at Texas A&M is not required for teachers in this program.