Routes to Certification

Troops to Teachers can help you find the right pathway to certification based on your current educational level.

Bachelor's Degree or Higher

If you have completed a bachelor’s degree but have never held a standard teaching certificate you are required to complete a state approved Texas certification program (Alternative Teaching Certification, Post Baccalaureate Programs or Master’s and Certification (MAC) Programs.)

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Certification

Many service members leave the military with advanced technical skills in areas where public schools offer career and technical education to their students. In some cases, CTE certification can be accomplished without a bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor’s Degree or Higher

Alternative Teacher Certification Program (ACP)

There are many ACP programs statewide which offers certification. Each program is unique and has its own requirements, deadlines, and training schedules. 

  • If required by the program, take the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) to verify competency in reading, math and English.  Programs may have other provisions to assess these skills, but this determination is totally controlled by the certification program.
  • Order official copies of your transcripts from every university at which you have taken classes. Cumulative transcripts are not acceptable. Submit with your application packet to the program.
  • Request and complete the application packet and submit it to the ACP by the program deadline.
  • If the transcripts and test scores are acceptable, the ACP will contact you for a structured interview. Acceptance in the programs will be based on a cumulative merit of application factors. Program directors limit the number of applicants accepted, based on their experience of the numbers and types of vacancies which need to be filled in the schools.
  • Training for most programs begins with the pre-employment phase. This may involve college courses, classes taught by consultants, or modules on the internet.
  • During pre-employment phase, you will be contacting school districts to secure employment. When you are hired, a probationary certificate will be issued by SBEC. You will be paid the same salary that any first year teacher would receive.
Notes: Costs vary by program, usually ranging from $4,500 to $7,000. Part of the cost is paid during the pre-employment phase, with the remainder often deducted proportionally from the teacher’s salary over the course of the teaching year.
Many of the programs have been approved for the use of G.I. Bill Educational Benefits. Ask the program director for more information.

Post Baccalaureate Program

Postbaccalaureate programs (postbac) are for students who are working toward a second bachelor’s degree or a second entry degree. These programs are offered for those who already have a first undergraduate degree. Post Baccalaureate programs are not considered traditional graduate education, but it is more advanced than a bachelor’s degree. These programs are offered under the umbrella of continuing education and leads to a second graduate degree. The usual length of the programs is 8 months to 1 year and the advanced grad-entry program is for 2 years.

Get Started:
  1. Contact a Texas university that has a College of Education and has been approved to train and certify teachers.
  2. If required, take the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) to assess competency in reading, math, and English skills. Other admission tests may be required as well, if applying for graduate credit.
  3. Submit all transcripts of college work and request a certification plan from the institution in the area for which you are seeking certification.
  4. Complete courses on the certification plan and do student teaching or field internship.
  5. Pass the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) required for your specific teaching fields.
  6. Upon completion of your certification plan, the university recommends you to SBEC for a Standard Professional Teacher Certificate.
  7. Some university plans can be completed using on-line courses and special arrangements for student teaching and field internships.

Master’s and Certification (MAC) Program

MACs are designed to accomplish both a master’s degree and full certification at the same time. These programs are university based and are typically 36 – 40 semester hours and require student teaching or an internship, as well.  They are designed to deliver a Master’s Degree and a state teaching certificate by mixing graduate-level courses with a student teaching component. Not all universities offer the MAC program.

What if I Do Not Have a Bachelor's Degree?

You will need to complete a Bachelor’s degree in order to become a teacher.  You may wish to complete the degree and teacher certification together in a college of education at a Texas university or college.  Or you may choose to complete a degree and then achieve the certification later through a university post-baccalaureate or masters program or through an alternative certification program.

What if I Hold or Previously Held a Standard Out-of-state or Out-of-Country Teacher Certificate?

Reciprocity is the process through which a person with an out-of-state or out-of-country teaching certificate receives certification to teach in another State. The process to obtain a Texas certificate is under the control of the Texas Education Agency. Individuals with a standard (unconditional) certificate initiate the process by going online to the TEA website.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Certification

Obtaining Your CTE

  1. Contact the university closest to you that is authorized to evaluate experience for CTE education programs. Ask your school district which institution normally does the experience evaluations for the specific CTE program that interests you.
  2. Request that they send you a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) form, and give you exact instructions on other documents that they may need to do the evaluation.
  3. Submit completed SOQ, required documents and evaluation fee to the university point of contact.
  4. After the university evaluates your documentation, they will issue you a deficiency plan, which will detail the courses that you must ultimately take to complete certification. This often involves up to 18 Semester Hours of CTE courses, plus a course in the US/Texas Constitution or government. Depending on how many credits are required, you will be given between 1 and 3 years to complete course work.
  5. Once the deficiency plan is created, you may apply to school districts to teach on a probationary certificate for up to 3 years.  You will teach at full pay and benefits for the school district.
  6. Before certification is authorized, you must take and pass the applicable Texas Examination of Education Standards (TExES).

Specific guidance will be obtained from the university which evaluates your experience. You might want to call school districts in the area where you hope to teach, and ask them if they offer or plan to offer CTE classes in your experience field.

Authorized CTE Institutions
  • Prairie View A & M University
  • Sam Houston State University (Huntsville)
  • Texas A & M University at Commerce
  • Texas A & M University at Corpus Christi
  • University of North Texas (Denton)
  • University of Texas at Tyler
  • Texas State University (San Marcos)
  • University of Houston (main campus)
  • Wayland Baptist University (Plainview)
  • West Texas A & M (Canyon)

This program operates under a grant from the DoD. Use of this logo does not imply or constitute an endorsement of DANTES, the DoD, or any Military Department.