Office of Educator Preparation

Education Building Room 2016
Telephone: 512-245-7880 Fax: 512-245-8345
www.education.txstate.edu/oep

The Office of Educator Preparation (OEP) collaborates with all university departments and schools involved in educator certification. The OEP assists departments and schools in certification program alignment and compliance with federal, state, and university policies and procedures that lead to educator certification through baccalaureate, graduate, and certification-onloy programs: namely, programs in the colleges of Applied Arts, Education, Fine Arts and Communication, Liberal Arts, and Science and Engineering.

Because of the nature of the teaching profession--and because of the extensive field-based component of educator certification--all interested students must be aware of the following requirement:

Students in teacher certification programs are preservice teacher candidates who are expected to exhibit professional dispositions and behaviors that are appropriate to the school environment and that supports learners' academic success. These dispositions and behaviors include professional attitudes, values, and beliefs demonstrated through both verbal and non-verbal behaviors as candidates interact with students, families, colleagues, and communities.

A candidate who does not meet the expectations for the behaviors and dispositions for the profession will be identified by a professor, supervisor, cooperating teacher, or principal and will meet with a department administrator and/or the Office of Educator Preparation to discuss the case. If further action is necessary, the candidate's case will be reviewed by the chair of the appropriate department with input from faculty, as appropriate, to determine eligibility for the Educator Preparation Program. Appeals regarding the candidate's eligibility should be made to the Dean of the College of Education whose decision is final.

Criminal background checks are required for participation in field-based coursework and for progression through the Educator Preparation Program. Based on information recorded in an individual's criminal history, a candidate may ineligible for issuance of a certification upon completion of the Educator Preparation Program. If a candidate has a criminal history, that student is advised to request a Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation from the Texas Education Agency; schedule an appointment for free legal counseling services through Texas State University's Attorney for Students (http://attorney.dos.txstate.edu/); and disclose this information to the Office of Educator Preparation.

Certification requirements are subject to change regardless of catalog year. Teacher Certification at Texas State University is governed by state/federal statute and rules. Certification coursework, exam approval, and exam scores may expire in response to changes from either the state or federal government.

Major with Teacher Certification

Students seeking certification to teach EC-6 (Early Childhood through Grade Six), 4-8 (Grade Four through Grade Eight), or All-level Special Education (Early Childhood through Grade Twelve) will major in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction within the College of Education. Students seeking all other teacher certifications will major in their chosen teaching field in the department, school and college where that major is housed. Students should note that teacher certification requirements may differ from degree requirements and that completion of both is necessary for awarding a degree and recommending a student for teacher certification.

Sequence of Coursework

Students should refer to their Advising Center’s degree plan check sheets for guidance in following the Educator Preparation course sequence in their degree plan. At a minimum, each Educator Preparation sequence consists of introductory “Education Core” classes, at least one 15 week semester of a Field-Based Block of coursework and a final 15 week semester of Student Teaching that occurs after all other coursework has been completed. Students must apply for Field-block coursework at http://www.education.txstate.edu/oep/Applications/apply-for-fieldblock-experience.html and for Student Teaching coursework at http://www.education.txstate.edu/oep/Applications/apply-for-student-teaching.html.

Teacher Certification

In addition to an earned baccalaureate degree, there are five criteria for earning certification:

  • Admittance to the Educator Preparation Program
  • Completion of Field Based Blocks
  • Passing scores on all required certification exams
  • Satisfactory completion of Student Teaching
  • Applications for graduation as well as state certification

Admittance to the Educator Preparation Program

In order to pursue teacher certification, students must apply and be invited to attend the Educator Preparation Program through the Office of Educator Preparation. If a student accepts this invitation, the student must then pay a required $55 Texas Education Agency technology fee before the student will be officially admitted. Please see http://www.education.txstate.edu/oep for current admittance requirements and procedures.

For more information about Admittance to the Educator Preparation Program, see the Teacher Certification Handbook on the Office of Educator Preparation website: http://www.education.txstate.edu/oep/.

Field-Based Blocks: Elementary, Middle School, High School, and All-Level Certification

Students in any undergraduate teacher certification program must participate in one or more field-block(s) of integrated courses that provide authentic experience in classrooms, prior to Student Teaching. Texas State partners with Central Texas public schools to provide these rich, hands-on experiences. All students in field experiences must complete criminal background checks.

For more information about Blocks, see the Department of Curriculum and Instruction website: http://www.education.txstate.edu/ci/resources/block-information.html

Certification Exams

Students and candidates (students who have completed all elements of a certification program except certification) must apply to OEP for test approval for each attempt of the state-required Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES).

State statute limits candidates to FIVE (5) attempts of each exam. If a candidate does not pass the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibility (PPR) exam within five attempts, the candidate will not be eligible to become a certified teacher in the state of Texas.

For more information about the Certification Exams, see the Teacher Certification Handbook on the Office of Educator Preparation website: http://www.education.txstate.edu/ci/resources/block-information.html

Student Teaching

All other degree-required coursework must be completed prior to Student Teaching, which should occur during a student’s final semester. Contact your advisor regularly for updated degree audit and certification requirements. Criminal background checks are required for all Student Teaching Placements.

Student Teaching is a mandatory, unpaid professional experience that requires the time commitment of a full-time job. Candidates may request a particular district, but the district HR staff will place candidates. While student teaching, students are responsible for transportation and lodging arrangements. Students must be available for mandatory district orientation up to 5 weeks prior to the first day of Student Teaching placement. Because Student Teaching is 6 credit hours, students must determine, with the assistance of the Financial Aid Office, if and how their financial aid or scholarships may be affected by part-time enrollment.

For more information about Admittance to the Educator Preparation Program, see the Teacher Certification Handbook on the Office of Educator Preparation website: http://www.education.txstate.edu/oep/.

Graduation and Certification

Graduation

In addition to the other graduation requirements listed in this catalog, the following graduation requirements must be met by students seeking teacher certification:

  1. An Overall GPA of at least 2.75.
  2. Successful completion of Student Teaching.
  3. A GPA of at least 2.50 in all assigned courses in the professional sequence and in the teaching field(s) or specialization(s) with no grade below a “C” in these courses.
  4. Other requirements as outlined by your department or school

Standard Certification

Eligible students should apply for a Texas Educator Certificate through the State Board for Educator Certification. The Certification Officer in the OEP will recommend the issuance of the appropriate certificate by the State of Texas. The certification process includes the following steps:

  1. Completion of at least a baccalaureate degree and the posting of the degree to the official transcript.
  2. Verification of satisfactory completion of Student Teaching experience.
  3. Passing scores on the appropriate Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES).

For more information about Admittance to the Educator Preparation Program, see the Teacher Certification Handbook on the Office of Educator Preparation website: http://www.education.txstate.edu/oep/.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Requirement

Persons who hold at least a bachelor’s degree who are seeking initial Texas teacher certification or professional certification need to follow information listed in The Graduate Catalog.