Texas Alternative Teacher Certification

There are over 200 approved teacher certification programs in Texas. Many of these teacher certification programs provide alternative pathways to certification for both classroom and administrative positions. These alternatives, which are for teacher candidates who have a bachelor’s degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program, can streamline a career change to classroom teaching. Continue reading to learn more about these pathways in Texas.

Requirements for Alternative Certification

In order to qualify for non-traditional teacher certification in Texas, candidates need to possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education. The college or university from which a candidate earned the bachelor’s degree must hold accreditation recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. For more information, refer to the agency’s List of Recognized Accreditors. Alternative certification programs can commonly be completed in one year as a post-graduate certificate. Teaching candidates also have the option of pursuing a master’s degree in education or in a specific subject as part of an approved certification program.

Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in Texas

Texas alternative certification programs, or ACP’s, are developed by colleges and universities in accordance with guidelines set by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than education. As a result, these teacher training programs follow the same general standards as traditional teacher preparation programs. This also means that alternative programs require pre-service training – in other words, you must complete a certain amount of coursework prior to teaching in a classroom. According to the Texas Education Agency, many approved alternative teacher certification programs in Texas can be completed in one year, including internship or experience hours. The teaching assignment completed must be at the grade level and in the content area of the teaching certificate for which the candidate intends to apply. Further information on these alternative routes is provided below, and you can access more detailed guidelines through the Texas Education Agency.

Probationary Certificate for Texas Alternative Certification Programs (ACPs)

A Probationary Certificate must be granted in order for an individual pursuing Texas alternative certification to complete the required teaching assignment for Texas teacher certification under an ACP program. A Probationary Certificate is valid for one year. Candidates must apply online to receive a Probationary Certificate, and must have an electronically submitted recommendation for the appropriate certificate on file from the program which the candidate is completing.

Career and Technical Education Teacher Certification

Prospective career and technical education teachers must follow the same guidelines as other teachers pursuing alternative certification programs (ACPs) in the state. Candidates may obtain a probationary certificate and teach for one year while completing the required Texas educator preparation program for full licensure.

Testing Requirements for Texas Alternative Certification

To receive alternative Texas teacher certification, candidates must pass the same battery of exams as those who follow the traditional teacher preparation track. This includes content area exam(s), the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) and if applicable, the Texas Examinations for Master Teachers (TExMaT). For more information on the exams that may be required for your intended subject area(s) and grade level, refer to the Texas Education Agency Department of Educator Testing.

Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State

Those who have already earned a teaching certificate in another state may qualify for reciprocity. Texas recognizes some (but not all) certificates from other states; however, teachers are required to take the same assessments and meet the same general requirements as other Texas certified educators. The Texas Education Agency determines whether or not out-of-state teachers are eligible for a reciprocal license. Out-of-state teachers can request that their individual cases be reviewed to see if they qualify for reciprocity. Review our teaching certificate reciprocity resource for further information.

Texas School District Requirements

Schools with Alternative Certification Programs in Texas

The school-based alternative certification programs below have been approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for the preparation of teachers. Be sure to verify that the program you choose is approved by the TEA; unapproved programs likely will not qualify applicants for licensure.

  • Abilene Christian University
  • Alamo Colleges
  • Amberton University
  • Angelo State University
  • Arlington Baptist University
  • Austin College
  • Austin Community College
  • Baylor University
  • Concordia University
  • Criswell College
  • Dallas Baptist University
  • Dallas Christian College
  • East Texas Baptist University
  • Hardin-Simmons University
  • Houston Baptist University
  • Houston Community Colleges
  • Howard Payne University
  • Huston-Tillotson University
  • Jarvis Christian College
  • Lamar University
  • LeTourneau University
  • Lone Star Colleges
  • Lubbock Christian University
  • McLennan Community College
  • McMurry University
  • Midwestern State University
  • Mountain View College
  • Our Lady of the Lake University
  • Paul Quinn College
  • Prairie View A&M University
  • Relay Graduate School of Education
  • Rice University
  • Sam Houston State University
  • Schreiner University
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Southwestern Adventist University
  • Southwestern Assemblies of God University
  • Southwestern University
  • St. Edward’s University
  • St. Mary’s University
  • Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Sul Ross State University-Alpine, Rio Grande
  • Tarleton State University
  • Texas A&M International University
  • Texas A&M University-Central Texas, College Station, Commerce, Corpus Christi, Kingsville, San Antonio, Texarkana
  • Texas Christian University
  • Texas College
  • Texas Lutheran University
  • Texas Southern University
  • Texas State University
  • Texas Tech University
  • Texas Wesleyan University
  • Texas Woman’s University
  • Trinity University
  • University of Dallas
  • University of Houston-Clear Lake, Downtown, Victoria
  • University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
  • University of North Texas-Dallas, Denton
  • University of St. Thomas
  • University of Texas-Arlington, Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Permian Basin, Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, Tyler
  • University of the Incarnate Word
  • Wayland Baptist University
  • West Texas A&M University
  • Wiley College

Additional Resources

1. Texas State Education Agency: https://tea.texas.gov/