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, 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 .
Alternative Certification Programs
Alternative certification is available for individuals who have previously earned a bachelor’s degree and want to make a career transition into the teaching profession. WTAMU offers two graduate, online certification options for degreed individuals to obtain Texas teacher certification while earning graduate credit toward a Master of Arts in Teaching degree—the Panhandle Alternative Certification for Educators or PACE program and the Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification program. Degreed individuals interested in alternative certification should follow these steps to begin the process:
- View the side-by-side comparison of the programs to determine which best fits your needs.
- Interested applicants may request an appointment if they have questions about the programs or for a preliminary evaluation of transcripts if they need advice in determining the content area and grade levels of the target certificate.
- Follow application instructions and submit sealed, certified transcripts and other items as listed in the program application packet.
- Taking and passing the content exam for the target certificate Pre-Admission Content Testing System as early in the process as possible will highly increase opportunities for employment.
- Upon program pre-admission, candidates apply for admission to the graduate school using the Texas Common Application, Grad U.S. application.