Teacher Education

The preparation of teachers and the provision of knowledge and skills for teachers are important functions of the university at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels. The coordination of the teacher education program is a responsibility of the Dean of the College of Education.

General advice on specific degree requirements is available in the office of the academic dean of the college in which the student is enrolled. The student will be advised on certification requirements by an appropriate advisor in the College of Education. Selection of courses in the student's teaching field or area of specialization is determined by an advisor in the academic department involved.

Due to changes in state laws, teacher education at Texas Tech has undergone many revisions. Majors using the term "education" (e.g. elementary education, art education, home economics education) are no longer offered at Texas Tech University. Individuals will still be certified to teach in elementary and secondary schools, but they must complete an academic major.

Students preparing to teach in secondary schools will generally complete an academic major in Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Arts and Sciences, or Human Sciences, with additional courses in professional education required for certification. Students interested in teaching composite science (certified to teach all sciences in grades 8-12) may complete a Multidisciplinary Science major through the College of Education or an academic major in one of the teaching fields. Students preparing to teach grades 4-8 will complete a Multidisciplinary Studies major in the College of Education. Students seeking early childhood certification do so through a degree in the College of Human Sciences. Students wishing to teach young children, pre-kindergarten through grade 4, should enroll in the early childhood program.

Degree and Teacher Certification Programs. Degree and teacher certification programs are two distinct programs. Freshmen or transfer students are admitted to a degree program in an appropriate college, leading to a bachelor's degree. Eligible students at the junior level are admitted to a teacher certification program that leads to a Texas teaching certificate. The certification program culminates with the state-mandated ExCET exams. Students must pass all appropriate ExCET exams for certification, but not for the bachelor's degree. Language related certification also requires passage of the Texas Oral Proficiency Test (TOPT).

Admission to the Teacher Certification (Education) Program. The College of Education seeks to maintain rigorous academic programs to prepare outstanding educators for Texas and the nation. Admission to College of Education certification programs is open to all individuals on the basis of academic preparation, achievement, and availability of space in the program selected. When there are more qualified applicants than can be adequately instructed by the available faculty or accommodated in available facilities, the college will control enrollment in specific programs by limiting the admission of new students. The number of students accepted into the undergraduate Early Childhood, Middle-Level Education, and All-Level, Secondary, Vocational Education programs is limited. Therefore, admission into a teacher education program is competitive and based on GPA and other criteria. A complete description of eligibility requirements is available in the Educator Certification Office in the College of Education. (Entrance criteria may be subject to change.)

Admission to a college degree program does not insure admission to an upper-division teacher certification program. Students seeking teacher certification may apply through a twice-per-year admission process. Application forms from the College of Education should be completed during the second semester of the sophomore year. Application deadlines are generally early February (for the fall semester) and mid-September (for the spring semester). For specific details, consult a College of Education advisor. To be considered for admission to teacher certification programs, students must meet the following minimum prerequisites:

1. Individuals must have a minimum acceptable scholastic grade point average. Students seeking middle level or early childhood certification (through a degree in the College of Human Sciences) must have a 2.7 or higher overall GPA. Students seeking other certificates (secondary, vocational agricultural sciences, home economics, and all-level), must have a 2.5 or higher overall GPA. NOTE: The minimum GPA requirement may increase due to limited space availability.

2. A satisfactory level of performance on the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP).

3. Good character and high ethical standards. All applicants for Texas certification are screened for a record of felony or misdemeanor convictions through the Texas Department of Public Safety. All potential certificate applicants with criminal felony or misdemeanor convictions should immediately contact the Texas Tech Certification Office to seek clarification of their certification status.

4. Possess the ability to speak and understand the English language sufficiently to use it easily and readily in conversation and teaching.

5. Possess college level skills in critical thinking.

6. Possess such personal and social qualities and physical and mental health to indicate a fitness for the education profession.

Admission to upper division teacher education programs is subject to additional entrance criteria, depending on availability of space in the program selected.

No otherwise qualified student will be denied admission to a degree program, certification program, or student teaching because of race, religion, national origin, age, gender, or disabling condition.

Under some circumstances a student may be requested to leave a certification program. Such a request can be initiated by the college or by the student. Due process will be observed during this time.

Individuals who lack the minimum GPA or have not passed the TASP examination due to extenuating circumstances may also apply for admission to teacher education. The Admission Committee will review each such request.

Transferability. Developmental courses (e.g., basic-introductory reading and mathematics courses) and vocational courses (auto mechanics, nursing) will not transfer for degree or certification programs. Courses with D grades may or may not transfer, depending on Coordinating Board, university, and college guidelines.

Certification Plan. Any undergraduate student working toward a teacher's certificate should file a certification plan in the College of Education during the freshman year or, for transfer students, during the first semester of attendance at Texas Tech. Students seeking certification in agricultural education, art, home economics education, or music must consult their department advisor regarding the proper time to file this certification plan. The student's advisors will assist in completing the certification plan. Any graduate student (either a degree or nondegree student) working toward a certificate should file a certification plan in the College of Education following admission to the Graduate School. The requirement for filing a certification plan applies regardless of the degree sought, the subject that the student expects to teach, or the level (early childhood, middle level, secondary, or all-level) at which he or she expects to be certified. Degree plans and certification plans are not to be confused because they may be two separate documents. The degree plan is to be filed in the office of the student's academic dean, whereas the certification plan must be filed in the College of Education.

Certification plan forms must be obtained from the College of Education. Once the form is secured, the student is responsible for consulting with the appropriate advisors to complete the plan.

Admission to Student Teaching. The completion of 12 semester hours in the student teaching semester, including all-day student teaching for one full semester, is required for certification. Normally a student will take the student teaching course in a single semester during fall or spring of the senior year. With extremely few exceptions, student teaching is completed in the Lubbock area schools. Because student teaching requires a major portion of the student's time during the semester, the student should plan to register only for student teaching and any corequisite education course required. Any request for an additional course with student teaching must be approved by the Certification Officer. The following are prerequisites for admission to student teaching:

1. The applicant must have completed a minimum of 90 semester hours of college work. A student seeking admission to student teaching in secondary schools must have completed at least 60 percent of the semester hours required in each of the teaching fields and the prerequisite professional education courses. For those seeking admission to student teaching in the middle grades, the 90 hours must include the completion of the three prerequisite semesters of professional education courses. For those seeking to student teach to fulfill requirements for the early childhood certificate, all course work except student teaching should be completed. The prospective all-level student teacher must have completed 60 percent of the course work in the specialization area plus the prerequisite hours of professional education courses.

2. Each student, unless enrolled in agricultural education, home economics education, or music, must file an application for student teaching in the Certification Office. To apply for fall student teaching, applications must be received between October 15 and December 15 in the year before. To apply for spring student teaching, applications must be received between April 15 and July 15 in the year before. Students in agricultural education, home economics education, or music must consult their department chairperson regarding the proper time to file this application.

3. The student must have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher in professional education courses, in the teaching field(s) for secondary teaching. Students seeking middle level or early childhood certification must have a 2.7 or higher overall GPA. Students seeking secondary and all-level certificates must have a 2.5 or higher overall GPA.

4. The student must be able to speak and understand the English language sufficiently to use it easily and readily in conversation and teaching.

5. The student must possess such personal and social qualities and physical and mental health to indicate a fitness for the education profession.

6. The student must have met all other admission criteria that may be established for the teacher certification program.

Under some circumstances a student may be requested to leave a student teaching placement. Such a request can be initiated by the college, by the student, or by the school district. Due process will be observed in considering whether an alternate placement will be made or the student teaching experience terminated.

Recommendation for Teacher Certification. An individual who has maintained the levels of performance stated as prerequisites for admission to student teaching, and who has demonstrated knowledge and understanding related to the nature of our multicultural society and the education of pupils with exceptionalities, is eligible to apply during the last semester of certification work to the College of Education for a recommendation to the State Board for Educator Certification for the appropriate teaching certificate. A $75 fee is required by the state. Upon completing all requirements, including the appropriate ExCET examinations, the student is recommended for certification. The Texas Oral Proficiency Test (TOPT) is also required of individuals seeking language related certificates.

While completing the requirements, a student must maintain a 2.5 GPA in the professional education courses and a 2.5 GPA in the teaching field(s). Grades of D are not acceptable in the professional education courses or in the teaching field(s). An acceptable overall GPA is required (2.7 for middle level and early childhood; 2.5 for secondary, all-level, and vocational).

All persons completing teacher training programs who are candidates for initial Texas certification (i.e., those who do not hold a current valid Texas teaching certificate) must pass proficiency tests, Examination for the Certification of Educators in Texas (ExCET), in their fields of certification and endorsement. All candidates for initial teacher certification must pass a professional development test at the appropriate level) and a content specialization test in each area for which certification is sought. Additional examinations are required in such areas as bilingual, early childhood, and special education. The Texas Oral Proficiency Test (TOPT) is also required of individuals seeking language related certificates. A fee is associated with all such examinations ($72 per test).

Contact the College of Education for information about the proficiency tests.

Certificate Programs. Certificate programs have been approved for Texas Tech University at the early childhood, middle, and secondary levels. In addition, all-level programs have been approved in certain fields (art, music, and physical education) which qualify the individual for certification at both the elementary and secondary levels.

The certificate programs for early childhood, middle, secondary, vocational, and all-level education have similar Core Curriculum requirements consistent with those of the university. However, Core Curriculum requirements may vary slightly. Consult an advisor.

The State Board for Educator Certification has recently approved a set of new teaching certificates. These certificates will go into effect after September 1, 2002.

Early Childhood Certificates: Early ChildhoodGrade Four Generalist; Grade Four Bilingual Generalist

Middle Level Certificates: Grades 4-8 Generalist; Bilingual Generalist; English Language Arts; Social Studies; Math; Science; English Language Arts-Social Studies; Math-Science

Secondary Certificates: Grades 8-12 English Language Arts; Speech; Journalism; Social Studies; History; Science; Life Science; Physical Science; Mathematics; Physical Science-Mathematics; Technology Applications; Computer Science

All Level Certificates: All Level Physical Education; Art; Music

Please consult an advisor in the College of Education to match your academic background and career goals with certificates available at Texas Tech University.


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LAST UPDATE: 6-1-01