Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Teacher Alternative Certification

Teacher alternative certification programs are designed for people who do not possess teacher certification or formal training to enter the classroom. If you are considering a career in teaching but aren't certified, the following information will help you understand the process and research your options.

Certification Process

Explore the Texas Education Agency’s nine step process to receive certification to teach in Texas: Becoming a Certified Texas Educator Through an Alternative Certification Program

Certification Programs

The University of Texas at Austin College of Education offers programs in many fields of study in varying levels of certification, inside and outside the College of Education, in order to provide students with the opportunity to become successful educators. Programs are available for a variety of applicant types, including those who are:

  • Current undergraduate students;
  • Bachelor’s degree holders;
  • Seeking a graduate degree with certification; and
  • Seeking a Professional Certificate.

 For more information, visit the College of Education Certification programs site or call 512-471-3485.

The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts offers a certification program for students enrolled in the UTeach program. Students begin the certification process during the UTL 640 semester and complete it during their Student Teaching semester (UTL 360 & UTL 670). For more information, explore UTeach or call 512-232-2789.

UTeach Urban Teachers is a University of Texas at Austin program leading to teacher certification in English or Social Studies. Students can enroll either as they approach their last year at UT, or after graduation for a Master’s Degree plus certification. Who can apply? People with degrees or undergraduates with nearly completed majors in the humanities or social sciences, communications and media studies, art history or theatre. Contact UTeach

Other Certification Programs in Texas: The Texas Board of Education has assessed and approved a large number of programs across the state. You can explore the full list of approved programs online.

Researching Certification Programs

Before you register for a program, you should strongly consider what is most important to you in a program and for a future teaching career. Consider what areas of study and grade levels you would like to teach - what do you feel passionate about sharing with others? Decide where you want to start your teaching career - in Texas or another state? If you decide to teach in another state, please keep in mind that each state has its own requirements and you should complete a certification program in that particular state. Visit the state board of education's website of the state you're interested in to explore approved certification programs.

Once you have a good idea about what it is you want to teach, and where - you should next consider what you're looking for in a program. Are you interested in a UT, other university, nonprofit or privately run program? How much do you plan to spend on the program and how long do you have to dedicate to your certification? Here are a few questions to consider when reviewing the best program for you.

  • What is the full cost of the program - what is included in the fee; will you need to pay for exams separately or are these fees included in the tuition; does the program offer paid teaching practica, scholarships, fellowships and/or financial aid?
  • How long is the program - is it full-time; can you work while studying; how many months should you expect to dedicate to the program from start to fully certified?
  • What is the success rate - what is the percent of students who start the program and successfully complete the program, and are certified?
  • What is the placement rate - what is the percent of students who complete the program and are successfully hired in a teaching position; where are they teaching now; are they teaching in the grade/subject for which they studied?
  • What are the grade levels and subjects offered by the program - will this program help you get certified for your ideal teaching job?

Teaching Certification Exams

Some programs require candidates to have strong background knowledge in the targeted teaching subject area, generally in the form of pre-existing academic studies. However, all programs require candidates to pass the appropriate Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) test to evaluate content knowledge.

The state also administers other teaching related exams related to particular types of teaching careers - ask your program advisor if any of these are required for your teaching goal. These tests include the Examination for the Certification of Educators in Texas (ExCET), Texas Examinations for Master Teachers (TExMaT), Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES), Texas Oral Proficiency Test (TOPT), and Texas Assessment of Sign Communication [(TASC) and (TASC-ASL). These tests assess the prospective educator's knowledge of academic content and teaching, including understanding of learners.

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    University of Texas at Austin
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    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508