Program Timeline | Coursework & Advising | Admission to ATP | Classroom Experience | Certification Preparation & Exams | EPP Performance Data | Employment Prospects | Complaints | Exit & Retention Policy
During undergraduate coursework, ATP candidates receive content and pedagogical information and training essential to passing their certification exams. With their first graduate course, a candidate uses this knowledge to directly prepare for these certification exams through a variety of measures, including: online programs, classroom assignments, in-person practice tests, and preparation seminars. Once contingently admitted to the ATP, a candidate can receive approval and then register for the approved test. Candidates must pass all content area exams before they can be placed in an internship or clinical teaching position. Additionally, given the demographics of Texas students and the requirements of many districts, most candidates will take and pass the ESL Supplemental exam before beginning their placement. During the seminar course accompanying their placement, candidates will prepare for and take their Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam.
The required tests for each certification area are as follows:
|CERT. FIELD||REQUIRED EXAMS||CERT. FIELD||REQUIRED EXAMS|
|EC-6||STR*, EC-6 Core Content, PPR||AL Theatre||Theatre EC-12, PPR|
|ELAR 4-8||STR*, ELAR 4-8, PPR||AL P.E.||Physical Education EC-12, PPR|
|ELAR/SS 4-8||STR*, ELAR/SS 4-8, PPR||AL Spanish||LOTE Spanish, PPR|
|Science 4-8||Science 4-8, PPR||Physical Sci (6-12)||Physical Science 6-12, PPR|
|Soc. Studies 4-8||Social Studies 4-8, PPR||Phys/Math (6-12)||Physics/Mathematics 6-12, PPR|
|Math 4-8||Mathematics 4-8, PPR||ELAR (7-12)||ELAR 7-12, PPR|
|AL Art||Art EC-12, PPR||History (7-12)||History 7-12, PPR|
|AL Music||Music EC-12, PPR||Life Sci (7-12)||Life Science 7-12, PPR|
|*Science of Teaching Reading||Math (7-12)||Mathematics 7-12, PPR|
|ESL Supplemental Certification recommended for all levels and certification fields.|
Per TEA, all potential educators must be enrolled in an approved EPP, and meet the necessary requirements to be approved for any certification exam. As an approved educator preparation program, the ATP has an expectation of demonstrated student readiness before any exam approval is granted.
In order to register for a state test, the candidate must be officially admitted to the Austin Teacher Program with a TEA ID number and have testing approval. Once approved, the student must create an account with the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program (TECEP). Please visit our ATP Forms & Documents page, scroll to Helpful Links & Information, and select the Texas Educator Certification Exam Program Registration link for a pdf that will guide you through the registration process.
Alternative Testing Arrangements
In certain cases, a candidate may need an alternative testing arrangement. TECEP can accommodate candidates with disabilities, health-related need, and nursing mothers. These alternative testing arrangements require pre-approval that typically takes about three weeks. Anyone seeking alternative testing arrangements must follow the procedures on the TECEP site and be prepared to apply for approval well in advance of anticipated testing. It is recommended that candidates wait to receive confirmation from TECEP before scheduling their exam appointment at a test center. The ATP encourages any candidate who may need accommodations to research the necessary steps and gather the needed paperwork as part of their test preparation.
Once a candidate has successfully passed their necessary content exams, and if they are approved for an internship, the candidate will need to apply for an Intern Certificate. The process for applying is below, as well as a reminder regarding background checks.
How to Apply for the Intern Certificate
- In TEAL, click blue text “Educator” (right above your TEA ID#)
- The next screen is a blue screen “Educator Certification Online System” (ECOS)
- Click Applications button on the left
- Click 4th title down which is “Intern Certificate Texas Program” The cost of the certification fee is $78 per the ECOS window, and $50.25 for fingerprinting fee. The fee must be paid with 48 hours or the certificate application will be deleted.
- Click “Apply” button and answer questions.
- At the section where it says “I request to be recommended by this Entity” Be sure to select the ENTITY: Austin College (Austin Teacher Program) # 091502.
- Be sure to check the boxes for all the questions and click “apply”.
- The TEA system will take you into payment and fingerprint payment web pages.
- Be sure to pay the fees as appropriate. Your certificate will not post if the fee is not paid.
Fingerprint Process: When you pay the fingerprint fee at TEA, you will receive the FAST PASS by email with additional information for the fingerprint process. If you do not pay the fee, you will NOT receive the email. Be sure your email in your profile is current and be sure to check your SPAM or JUNK mail just in case the TEA email is filtered by your browser.
If you already have completed fingerprint information in the TEA system which was uploaded by a district or entity, you will NOT be prompted to complete the fingerprint process again. Any questions regarding fingerprinting should be referred to the Fingerprinting Help Desk. Fingerprint phone is 512.936.840.
*Please note that the TEA HELP DESK has a much quicker response time.
Background Check Requirement/Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation
Pursuant to 19 TAC §227.1(b)(1), candidates must undergo a criminal history background check prior to employment as an educator. If you were convicted of an offense that is not considered appropriate for an educator, you could be ineligible to earn certification in Texas (19 TAC §227.1(d)(1)). For more information, visit TEA National Criminal History Checks–FAQs. Even when a certificate is granted, a district may choose not to hire an individual with a criminal history.
Additionally, pursuant to 19 TAC §227.1(b)(2), candidates must undergo a criminal history background check prior to an internship or clinical teaching. If you were convicted of an offense that is not considered appropriate for an educator, you could be ineligible to earn certification in Texas.
Prior to admittance into the ATP and the completion of an internship or clinical teaching, our education students typically spend 100+ hours gaining classroom experience. Each district requires any individual working with students to pass a background check for their district. Any teacher candidate who fails to pass these checks will be unable to complete their placement hours, and thus will not meet programmatic requirements. Therefore, candidates who have a criminal history and continue in the ATP do so at their own risk. Austin College and the Austin Teacher Program are not at fault if a candidate is unable to meet program requirements, denied a teaching certificate, or is unable to find a teaching job because they have a criminal record.
The Texas Education Agency provides candidates with an opportunity to conduct a preliminary Criminal History Evaluation. This evaluation is a non-mandatory, non-binding evaluation of an individual’s self-reported criminal history. In addition, the agency obtains your name-based Texas criminal history information. The service is provided to the requestor for a non-refundable fee. The requestor will receive an evaluation letter by email from agency staff advising of potential ineligibility for educator certification. Learn more about the Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation. (19 TAC §227.1(d)(3)).