How Do I Become a Teacher?
West Texas A&M University offers a traditional undergraduate program as well as graduate, online alternative certification programs. All programs are accredited by the Texas Education Agency and include course work and training, field-based experiences, certification testing, and a supervised teaching experience. WT’s traditional undergraduate program is available for those seeking a bachelor’s degree along with certification. WT also offers alternative certification for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree and wish to obtain teacher certification. Certification areas are available based upon state standards and the content area and grade levels you wish to teach.
Traditional Undergraduate Program
Those seeking a bachelor’s degree with certification take the university core curriculum plus content hours in their teaching field as well as professional education course work. Follow these steps to begin the undergraduate certification route:
- Apply to the university using the Texas Common Application.
- Once accepted, you will need an adviser. Students with fewer than 30 hours credit will need to contact the advising center. Transfer students or those with more than 30 hours of credit are advised by the Office of Teacher Preparation and Advising in the Department of Education.
- Select the target certificate you wish to seek so that your adviser will know which course work you will need. Certificates are available in content areas and grade levels, EC-6, 4-8, 6-12, 7-12 or 8-12, and EC-12.
- Your adviser will help you to plan your schedule for the upcoming semester as well as future semesters. Some courses require pre-requisites and others may be offered only at certain semesters each year, so it is important that you meet with your adviser each semester.
- When you have completed 60 semester credit hours, you will need to file a degree plan. Your adviser will explain this process to you.
- Once you have completed your core curriculum and other course work, you will be eligible to apply for admission to the teacher education program. Please be mindful of the requirements for this process.
- Teacher certification is regulated by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and it is important that you complete all requirements within your educator preparation program to be in compliance and eligible for certification upon completion. The department has degree checklists to guide you as you choose the content area and certification level .
Panhandle Alternative Certification for Educators
The Master of Arts in Teaching / Panhandle Alternative Certification for Educators (MAT/PACE) program is an online, university-based teacher certification program for degreed individuals who want to make a career transition into the teaching profession. The program, which ultimately culminates in Texas educator certification and an advanced degree, begins with testing, early field-based experiences, and online graduate course work. An eligible candidate may be employed as a Texas teacher or may complete clinical teaching under the supervision of an experienced teacher. Upon attaining initial teacher certification, individuals may continue with completion of the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Program information, including steps for application and related documents, is included in the PACE information/application packet.
Visit the PACE website, www.wtamu.edu/pace, for additional information.