College of Education
The preparation of teachers and the provision of knowledge and skills for educators seeking advanced certificates are important functions of Texas Tech University at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The coordination of the educator certification programs is a responsibility of the College of Education.
Passing rates on licensing exams taken by students seeking initial teaching certificates are reported to the U.S. Department of Education. The certification rate for all students taking their exams in 2011-2012 was 95 percent.
The college is implementing a new teacher education program, TechTeach. Students entering the program in spring 2013 or later will participate in a field-based, competency-based curriculum that features a full year of student teaching. The new TechTeach program has been developed by university faculty in partnership with public school personnel. Those who complete the new program will be highly capable teachers able to begin their teaching careers as skilled professionals.
Appropriate coursework will accompany student teaching. Student teachers will follow the school district calendar for new teachers and participate in professional development opportunities with their cooperating teachers.
All students seeking initial teaching certification at Texas Tech must successfully complete a series of competency-based performance assessments.
The College of Education prepares students for a variety of teaching certificates. For a list of available certificates, please see the college website (www.educ.ttu.edu/certification).
Students preparing to teach in secondary schools (grades eight to twelve) will generally complete an academic major within the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, Human Sciences, Media and Communication, or Visual and Performing Arts with additional courses in professional education required for certification. Students interested in teaching composite science (certified to teach all sciences in grades eight to twelve) may complete a multidisciplinary science major through the College of Education or an academic major in one of the science teaching fields. Students preparing to teach grades four to eight will complete a multidisciplinary studies major in the College of Education. Those who wish to become certified as elementary teachers with specializations in math and science education, special education, English as a second language, or bilingual education will major in the College of Education. Students seeking elementary certification with a specialization in early childhood will do so through a degree from the College of Human Sciences. See www.educ.ttu.edu for degree and certification information.
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. See www.educ.ttu.edu for additional information.
Degree and Teacher Certification Programs. Degree and teacher certification programs are two distinct programs. Freshmen or transfer students are admitted by an appropriate college to a degree program 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 includes the state-mandated Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) exams. Students must pass all appropriate TExES exams for teacher certification, but the exam is not a graduation requirement for a bachelor’s degree.
Admission to the Teacher Certification (Education) Program. 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 selected program. When there are more qualified applicants than can be instructed adequately 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 elementary, middle-level education, all-level education, secondary education, and career and technology 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 ensure admission to an upper-division teacher certification program. Students seeking teacher certification may apply to a certification program through an admission process. Application forms are available at www.educ.ttu.edu. The middle-level program and special education program accept applications once a year in the spring for the fall semester. Students seeking all other certificates may apply twice a year. Application deadlines are generally 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:
- Have a minimum of 60 semester hours (including current enrollment) with an acceptable scholastic GPA. Students seeking elementary certification must have a 2.7 or better overall GPA. Students seeking all other certificates (middle-level, secondary, career and technology, and all-level) must have a 2.5 or better overall GPA.
- Possess college-level skills in reading, oral and written communication, critical thinking, and mathematics.
- Possess the personal and social qualities and the physical and mental health to indicate a fitness for the education profession.
- Pass a content exam in the desired teaching field.
- Meet the requirements of all other criteria that may be established for the teacher certification program.
Admission to upper-division teacher education programs will be 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 any of the admission criteria due to extenuating circumstances may also apply for admission to teacher education. The Admission Committee will review each request..
Transferability. Developmental courses (e.g., basic introductory reading and mathematics courses) and vocational courses (e.g., auto mechanics, nursing) will not transfer for degree or certification programs. Courses with D grades may or may not transfer, depending on the guidelines of the Coordinating Board of Higher Education, the university, and/or the college.
Certification Plan. Any undergraduate student working toward a teacher’s certificate should file a certification plan in the College of Education after 60 hours or, for transfer students, during the first semester of attendance at Texas Tech. The student’s advisors will assist in completing the certification plan. The requirement for filing a certification plan applies regardless of the degree sought, the subject that the student expects to teach, or the level (elementary, 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. A full year of student teaching is required for students beginning their programs in spring 2013 or later. The following are prerequisites for admission to student teaching:
- The applicant must have completed all appropriate coursework prior to student teaching. Additional courses will be taken during student teaching.
- Each student—unless enrolled in agricultural science, family and consumer science, art or music—must attend a student teaching information meeting and apply for student teaching through the Clinical Experience office during the semester preceding student teaching. Applications are due by April 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester. Students in agricultural education, family and consumer sciences education, art or music must consult their department chairperson regarding the proper time to file this application.
- Students must pass the content TExES exam in their teaching field.
- The student must have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher in professional education courses and in the teaching field(s) for middle-level and secondary teaching. Students seeking elementary certification must have a 2.7 or higher overall GPA. Students seeking middle-level, secondary, and all-level certificates must have a 2.5 or higher overall GPA.
- The student must be able to speak and understand the English language sufficiently to use it easily and readily in conversation and teaching.
- The student must possess and demonstrate such personal and social qualities and physical and mental health to indicate a fitness for the education profession.
- The student must have met all other criteria that may be established for admission to student teaching.
Under some circumstances a student may be requested to leave a student teaching placement. Such a request can be initiated by the college, the student, or the school district. Due process will be observed in considering whether an alternate placement will be made or the student teaching experience will be terminated.
TExES Exams. All persons who have completed teacher training programs and are candidates for initial Texas certification (i.e., those who do not hold a current valid Texas teaching certificate) must pass proficiency tests—Texas Examinations of Educators Standards (TExES)—in their fields of certification. All candidates for initial teacher certification must pass a test on pedagogy and professional responsibilities and a content specialization test in each area for which certification is sought. A fee is associated with all such examinations. To be eligible to take the exams, a student must complete a registration process online. Students will find exam information and access to the registration process at www.educ.ttu.edu/certification. Students should also consult the website for exam testing dates and test preparation opportunities.
Recommendation for Teacher Certification. An individual who has maintained the levels of performance stated as prerequisites for admission to student teaching; who has demonstrated the knowledge, dispositions, and skills to teach; and who has completed student teaching or an internship successfully is eligible to apply for the appropriate teaching certificate. Teacher candidates must demonstrate their competency through a series of performance assessments to be eligible for an initial teaching certificate recommendation. The student must apply online to the State Board for Educator Certification at www.sbec.state.tx.us. The state requires that applicants complete a fingerprint criminal background check before they may be certified. The state charges a fee for the certification process. Upon completion of all requirements, including the appropriate TExES examinations, the College of Education will recommend the student for certification.
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 elementary; 2.5 for middle-level, secondary, all-level, and career and technology).
Supplemental Certificates. Supplemental certificates are available for teachers holding an initial teaching certificate. Students may seek advanced certification in bilingual education, English as a second language, gifted and talented, generic special education, and visual impairment. Details are available on the college website under the appropriate program area. The bilingual and English-as- a-second-language certificates are available through the bilingual program (www.educ.ttu.edu/edbl). Supplemental certificates in generic special education, visual impairment, and gifted and talented are available through the special education program area (www.educ.ttu.edu/edsp).
Professional Certification Programs. The college offers professional certification programs in the following areas: principal, superintendent, counselor, educational diagnostician, master reading teacher, and professional reading specialist. Some certificates may be combined with graduate programs leading to master’s degrees or doctoral degrees in the related program areas. Admission criteria for these certification programs are set by the program area faculty in which the programs are housed. For admission information and details about the programs, see the college website for the appropriate program area. The educational leadership program offers the principal and superintendent certificates, the counselor education program oversees counselor certification, the special education program offers the educational diagnostician certificate, and the language literacy program supervises the master reading teacher certificate and the professional reading specialist certificate.
Recommendation for Supplemental and Professional Certificates. Students seeking supplemental and professional certificates must pass the appropriate TExES exam. The registration process is explained online at www.educ.ttu.edu. After completing all requirements, students may apply for their certificate online from the State Board for Educator Certification on the website www.sbec.state.tx.us.
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