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Steps to Educator Certification - Classroom Teacher, Student Services, and Administrator Certificates
In order to obtain an Initial Standard Classroom Certificate in Texas, one must go through an approved educator preparation program.
Individuals seeking a Student Services Certificate (Educational Diagnostician, School Counselor, or School Librarian) or Administrator Certificate (Principal or Superintendent) cannot obtain these certificates through the Certification-by-Examination route offered by the state of Texas; therefore, must also complete an approved educator preparation program leading to the desired certificate.
State requirements can and do change. It is the student's responsibility to check with their program advisor for any changes in program and state certification requirements.
All individuals seeking educator certification must submit an application online to the Texas Education Agency (TEA). See the How to Apply section below for step-by-step instructions.
The general steps to becoming certified in any area are:
1) Apply and be admitted to a UNT Educator Preparation Program
2) Complete all certification program requirements, including clinical practice (Student Teaching/Internship/Practicum)
3) Pass all required state certification exams (coming soon - exam sequences for each certification area).
4) Appropriate grades and degree posted to official UNT transcripts
5) Apply for a Standard Certificate through the Texas Education Agency website
a. Pay all applicable fees
b. Complete fingerprinting
6) Recommended to the state by UNT
Requirements for Educator Certification (Classroom Teacher, Student Services, and Administrator Certificates) Based on UNT program
When to Apply for Your Standard Certificate(s)
Students should apply for their Standard Certificate at the end of their last semester after they have completed Student Teaching/Practicum/Internship and passed all state certification exams. Students should not apply if they have not completed all program requirements or have not passed all required certification exams. If you have not taken your TExES exams, please visit the UNT TExES Advising Office website for more information.
How to Apply for Your Standard Certificate(s)
Do not apply early - your application will be removed. (i.e. If you are finishing your certification program in December 2016, do not apply before Friday, December 9th.)
1. Review the Applying for Certification and Fingerprinting guide. This guide will walk you through the application process step-by-step.
2. Go to www.tea.texas.gov
3. Log into your educator (TEAL) account. If you have not set up your account, the system will prompt you to create one. For more information, please review the TEAL/ETS Registration Guide. This guide will help you set up your TEAL account, obtain your TEA ID#, create your ETS account, and register for your certification exams.
4. You will be asked to select your recommending entity from a drop-down menu when completing the application on the TEA website. You will find your appropriate recommending entity on page 6 of the Applying for Certification and Fingerprinting guide provided above.
5. Pay all applicable fees and complete the fingerprinting process.
The Typical Process for Certification is as Follows:
- Student applies to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), pays online, and completes fingerprinting process
- Student receives TEA system-generated email acknowledging application
- Entity reviews application and submits recommendation for student after verifying all state certification requirements have been met
- Student receives TEA system-generated email stating they have been recommended by entity
- TEA runs criminal background check on applicant
- Applicant is certified if background check is clear