Do You Want to Give Back to Your Community?
If you want a rewarding yet challenging career, please consider teaching. Currently Texas is facing a serious shortage of good teachers in the public schools. Here’s a quick guide to the process of Educator Certification.
Grades 1-8: Students without a Bachelor’s degree who wish to teach grades 1-8 will enter the College of Education and complete their certification there.
Grades 8-12: Students interested in teaching these grade levels will earn a major in a department of the Colleges of Liberal Arts or Science that will include the secondary school Educator Certification sequence from the college of Education as part of their degree plan. For Liberal Arts majors the choices are Art, English, History, Journalism, Music and Social Studies. There is a Theatre certification but our Theatre Arts department recommends that students do not choose this option. Art and Music are known as All-Level Certification, because our program will prepare you to teach at all grade levels.
You must complete a sequence of courses that will prepare you to be an excellent teacher. This is difficult to measure so the state has instituted objective exams designed to determine if you KNOW what you will be teaching (the content) and HOW to effectively teach it (Pedagogy). These exams are called the TExES, the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards. You will take 2 for your initial certification, one that covers your content area (usually your major) and one that covers your teaching skills; this one is called the PPR, Pedagogy and Professional Responsibility.
When you have advanced well into your content coursework you will have to apply to the UTA College of Education. To be accepted you must have a 2.75 GPA overall and in your content area and you must have scored a 275 on the Reading section of the THEA. Once you are accepted into the Educator Certification program you may begin taking your Education courses. Generally speaking you should devote your senior year to your College of Education courses, during your final semester you will complete your Student Teaching.
We would like you to pass your TExES exam in your content area no later than the first semester of your senior year. You will take your PPR exam during your last semester. Before you can take either you must take a practice exam that will determine which areas need further preparation. If you are serious about teaching you will use the following resources to guide your learning experience from the time you decide to follow the certification option.
The Texas Education Agency is the state agency responsible for all aspects of Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 education. It now also includes SBEC, the State Board of Educator Certification. If you go to http://www.tea.state.tx.us you will find lots of information. You will see a menu on the left side of the TEA home page. If you are interested in these areas please explore them.
There are a couple of sites that you should definitely look at closely. They’re accessible from the TEA site but the links are also on this page. The first is the link to the TEKS, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. This is what you will be teaching, therefore what you need to learn while you are here. To find this you should go to http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=6148, scroll down until you find your area of interest. English is under English Language Arts and Reading, History is under Social Studies, (don’t forget to look at grade 8). Art and Music are both under Fine Arts.
You should also look at the “Test Frameworks” of the tests you will have to pass. Go to the ETS (Educational Testing Service) site, they administer the exams you must pass: www.texes.ets.org/texes. In the left hand menu you will find a link to “Test Framworks”, scroll down until you find the exam you will be taking.
You should look at the TEKS and the TExES test frameworks regularly! If you do this you will know what you need to as you are taking classes at UTA. Don’t wait until you are preparing to take the tests. You are on the path to being a professional, and an example to the youth of America. So start focusing on the material you will have to teach. It may be that you will not be exposed to all of it in your classes, so you will have to do some learning on your own, looking at the TEKS and frameworks will help you see if that is the case. The UTA Educator Certification program is very good. The percentage of students who are certified after completing our program is always above 95 percent. If you truly want to teach grades 8-12, then focus now, learn the material, follow the steps and you will succeed.
How To Proceed
Step 1: Tell your advisor that you are interested in Educator Certification. He/she will then change your major to the education option in your major.
Step 2: Begin to take the courses in your content area (your major) that will help you learn the content area.
Step 3: When you are about 75% finished with your content area courses apply to the College of Education. If accepted begin your Education courses.
Step 4: Take the practice exam in your content area. If you don’t pass you will be directed to seek advice from a content area person.
Step 5: Pass the content area TExES.
Step 6: Complete the Education course sequence, take the PPR TExES during your student teaching semester.
Step 7: Apply to the state for certification.
Step 8: Help the children wherever you teach learn to be good learners!
College of Liberal Arts
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