All individuals who wish to earn a Texas teacher license and become a classroom teacher must earn a bachelor’s degree, complete an approved educator preparation program, pass a certification exam for the area they will be teaching, submit a state application, and submit to fingerprinting, according to the Texas Education Agency. The first step in this process is enrolling in a bachelor’s program from a state-approved university that prepares students to earn a Texas teaching license. Many of the Lone Star State’s finest higher education institutions provide Texas teacher education.
The four largest universities in Texas by enrollment are Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Houston, and the University of North Texas. All of these teaching schools in Texas have state-approved teaching certification programs. Here, we’ll explore the Texas teacher certification programs at these institutions in greater depth.
Texas A&M University’s Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture (TLAC) offers teacher certifications in early childhood-6th grade generalist, middle grades (4-8), and secondary (8-12), according to the department website. A&M’s TLAC department enrolls approximately 1,600 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students, and employs 48 faculty members. To meet the teacher education requirements at Texas A&M, students must maintain a Grade Point Ratio (GPR) of 2.75, receive mandatory advising once a semester, and fill out a criminal background check consent form for any semester where field experiences are required, the website explains. One of the perks of Texas A&M’s TLAC department is that students can take advantage of the Undergraduate Peer Mentor Program, where accomplished students assist other students with the writing process.
UT-Austin’s College of Education offers two paths to teacher certification – the traditional path (or undergraduate certificate) and the post-baccalaureate path for students who already have a bachelor’s degree, but would like to earn teacher certification, according to the university website. Levels of certification available include early childhood-6th grade generalist, middle grades, secondary certification, and all-level certification. Students who complete UT-Austin’s teacher education program have the highest pass rate in the state on the state certification test among public colleges and universities, with an average of 98%, the website notes.
The University of Houston’s College of Education enrolls about 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students, employs more than 100 nationally and internationally known faculty, and offers more than 30 programs, according to its website. The College of Education is best known for its award-winning teacher education program called QUEST, which stands for Quality Urban Education for Students and Teachers. QUEST was honored as the Distinguished Program in Teacher Education by the Association of Teacher Educators, according to the college’s points of pride. QUEST degree plans include early childhood-6th grade, middle grades, and secondary certification.
The University of North Texas’ Department of Teacher Education and Administration enrolls approximately 2,100 undergraduate students and 700 graduate students, making it the largest department at UNT, according to the university website. This reflects the university’s roots as a teacher education institution. The department’s key undergraduate program is its bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, which is set up to lead to teacher certification in Texas. Students can become certified in early childhood-6th grade and middle grades. Early childhood-6th grade focuses include generalist, bilingual generalist, ESL generalist, and special education, while middle grades content areas include English language arts with ESL, mathematics with ESL, science with ESL, and social studies with ESL.