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How to Become a Teacher in Texas via Alternative Certification

how to become a teacher in texas via alternative certification

What is Alternative Certification?

Alternative certification programs, or ACPs, are state-approved training programs that can help you become a teacher if you have a bachelor’s degree but didn’t go through a traditional university program. These programs are similar to traditional teacher preparation programs and can be taken via universities, community colleges, or private companies.

One of the most incredible things about ACP programs is that you can teach as a PAID intern while completing the course. As an intern, you’ll be the head teacher in the classroom, and you’ll enjoy all the benefits of being a full-time teacher. You can complete most of these programs within a year. Why not get paid while you work towards your certification?

Steps to Become a Teacher in Texas Using Alternative Certification

Want to teach in Texas? Awesome! Here’s what you need to do to make it happen: complete these steps, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a certified teacher in Texas.

1. Decide what you want to teach 

Have you decided what you want to teach? Before becoming certified, you must decide what grade levels and subject areas you want to teach. This will help you determine the program you must enroll in and what certification tests you must take and pass.

2. Pick an approved ACP 

If you are looking for a list of Texas Education Agency (TEA)-approved Alternative Certification Programs (ACPs), you can find it on the official TEA website. To access the list, simply visit the TEA website and navigate to the ACP page. Once there, you can filter out other alternative certification programs by selecting the “Alternative” option. This will give you a full list of TEA-approved ACPs in Texas that meet the necessary standards and requirements.

list of TEA approved educator programs on the TEA website

3. Apply for ACP 

To apply for an alternative certification program, you must have a bachelor’s degree or be in the final semester of receiving your bachelor’s degree. Another entry requirement is having a 2.5 GPA. If your overall GPA is less than 2.5, your last 60 hours will be calculated to see if it reaches 2.5. You may be required to take the Pre-Admission Content Test or PACT if your GPA is lower than 2.5 or you need more coursework hours to support the certification area of your choice. Some of these requirements are state-mandated, but individual ACPs may have additional requirements for acceptance.

*Calculate your last 60 hours here: GPA Calculator

**Many programs will accept a passed Pre-Admission Content Test or PACT instead of a 2.5 GPA. You can find other ACPs here that may be able to assist you if you have a GPA lower than 2.5: EPPs in Texas 

4. Start Working on your Program Requirements  

Once you’ve been accepted into your program, you will start working to complete the program’s requirements. These requirements include passing your content tests, meeting your 30-hour observation requirement, and completing 150 hours of coursework. 

*Note: the observation hour requirement will increase to 50 hours starting September 1st, 2024. 

Use the TEA Chapter 228 Adoption FAQ document to learn more about the changes coming on 9/1/24

One of the unique benefits of enrolling in 240 Certification is that you get a Personal Program Advisor.  

They will be with you throughout your whole journey to becoming a teacher! You will meet with them after you enroll and you will talk about your personal path to certification. They will also be with you every step of the way guiding you through your coursework, obtaining your observation hours, scheduling and taking your certification tests, beginning your teaching internship, and any other other questions you may have.

5. Obtain a Teaching Position – SOE 

Once you are eligible for a teaching internship or position (which is after you have completed the requirements listed in step 4) you will be provided with an eligibility statement, more commonly known as a Statement of Eligibility (SOE) for employment purposes. This statement will allow you to be a completely hirable teacher!

Note: if you are going the intern route, you must obtain a teaching position that is the grade level and subject area of your target certification. Your Personal Program Advisor will be able to verify if the teaching position you are applying for will qualify for your certification.

steps to receive your statement of eligibility (soe)

6. Apply for an Intern or Probationary Teaching Certificate 

Once you have secured an internship, you must apply for an intern or probationary teaching certificate. The only way to be able to apply for an intern or probationary certificate is by being enrolled in an approved educator preparation program and completing a supervised internship at a TEA-accredited school.

You must have passed one or more content exams tied to your certification area to obtain your intern certificate. You must have passed all of your content and PPR exams to obtain a probationary certificate. Both of these certifications are valid for one year and will require you to get a criminal background check. These exams are difficult; we highly recommend you use 240 Tutoring for all your studying needs. Good thing that when you are enrolled in 240 Certification, you will have access to all of 240 Tutoring for FREE!

7. Complete all requirements for a Texas teaching certificate. 

To obtain a standard certification, candidates must complete program requirements, including observations, coursework, and a successful clinical experience (clinical teaching or a full-year internship, serving as a paid teacher of record) and pass all content and pedagogy exams.

8. Apply for a standard Texas teaching certificate. 

Once you have completed all your requirements, you will apply for a standard teaching certificate in Texas. You will be required to complete the appropriate paperwork, forms, and fees.

When your certificate is approved, it will be posted to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website, and you will receive an email notification. Then, you will be legally certified to teach in Texas! Yay!


On average, this journey can take 12-18 months, including all your coursework, exams, and internship or clinical teaching.

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right ACP for you.

Here at 240 Certification, we ensure you get help every step of the way! We have customer care agents ready to answer any questions before you apply. You will have an Admissions Advisor to help you through the admissions process. Once enrolled, you will be given your own personal Program Advisor to help you through to becoming a certified teacher here in Texas!

**Some timelines can look different if you are considered a Late Hire. The late hire route allows you to obtain your SOE sooner rather than later. Want to know if you can be considered a Late Hire? Please call our main line at (903) 471-0957 or contact us through this online form: Contact Us Form.

Ready to start your teacher certification journey? Apply to 240 Certification for free!

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