Alternative Teacher Certification Program FAQ

Q. How do I apply for the Alternative Teacher Certification program? 

You can find all application and related documents at www.tlu.edu/teacher-certification

Q. How is the Alternative Teacher Certification Program different from the traditional method of preparing teachers? 

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) has authorized Texas Lutheran University to offer Alternative Teacher Certification Program as an accelerated teacher preparation program. Through this program, if you already have a college degree, you have the opportunity, in most cases, to obtain teacher certification within one year. In a typical traditional teacher preparation program, an individual with a degree must take 30 to 60 additional semester hours to receive certification.

Q. Is the Texas Lutheran University Alternative Teacher Certification Program fully accredited? 

Yes, the TLU Alternative Teacher Certification Program is fully accredited by the State Board for Education Certification and meets the U.S. Department of Education rule 34 CFR §200.56(a)(2)(ii) concerning criteria for an acceptable alternative route to teacher certification under No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

Q. What are the requirements for admission to the Texas Lutheran University Alternative Teacher Certification Program? 

  • Hold at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning with an overall grade point average of at least 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) 
  • Submit official transcripts from every college/university attended 
  • Submit a $50 non-refundable application fee with an admissions application for the Alternative Teacher Certification Program 
  • Complete the application package for admission to the Texas Lutheran University Alternative Teacher Certification Program 
  • Successfully participate in a structured interview with Alternative Teacher Certification Program staff (TLU faculty/school district personnel)

Secondary Education, 7-12

  • Have completed 24 or more semester hours in one subject area (12 upper division hours) with a minimum grade point average of 2.75 GPA 
  • Applicants who are close to meeting the 24/12 rule can still be eligible of they take and pass the PACT exam for their certification area.
  • Secondary areas include: Art, English Language Arts and Reading, History, Life Science, Math, Music, Physical Education, Physical Science, Science (Composite), Speech, and Social Studies

EC-6 Core Subjects

  • Have completed 24 semester hours with a minimum grade point average of 2.75 in a combination of Math, English Language Arts, Science and Social Studies (minimum 3 each)
  • If the total hours required are not documented on an official transcript, the PACT exam for the Core Subjects must be taken and passed prior to admission into the program.

4-8 Core Subjects

  • Have completed 24 semester hours with a minimum grade point average of 2.75 in a combination of Math, English, Science and Social Studies (minimum 3 each)
  • If the total hours required are not documented on an official transcript, the PACT exam for the 4-8 Core Subjects must be taken and passed prior to admissions into the program.

English Language Arts and Reading, 4-8

  • Have completed 18 hours of English (6 upper division hours) with a minimum grade point average of 2.75
  • Applicants who are close to meeting the semester hours required can still be eligible if they take and pass the PACT exam for this certification area.

Social Studies, 4-8

  • Have completed 24 semester hours with a minimum grade point average of 2.75 in a combination of Math, English, Science and Social Studies (minimum 3 hours each) 
  • Have completed 18 hours of social studies (6 upper division hours) including at least 12 hours of history and 6 hours in any combination of economics, geography, and political science with a minimum grade point average of 2.75
  • Applicants who are close to meeting the semester hours required can still be eligible if they take and pass the PACT exam for this certification area.

Mathematics/Science 4-8

  • Have completed 18 hours of mathematics (6 upper division hours) including college algebra and geometry with a minimum grade point average of 2.75
  • Have completed 18 hours of life/physical/earth science (6 upper division hours) with a minimum grade point average of 2.75
  • Applicants who are close to meeting the semester hours required can still be eligible if they take and pass the PACT exam for this certification area.

Q. What if I enter the program and cannot locate an employing school district? 

The TLU Alternative Teacher Certification Program will continue to work with the student to accomplish placement. The student may complete a semester of clinical teaching (without pay for services) or may complete a paid internship in the second year after completion of all Post-baccalaureate Teacher Certification Program professional development coursework.

Q. Will TLU place interns with school districts? 

No. After acceptance into the TLU Alternative Teacher Certification Program, each applicant is responsible for securing his/her own employment in a public school district, charter school or private school accredited by the Texas Education Agency. Prospective interns are also encouraged to make direct contact with local school districts. Most districts maintain a personnel information section on their Web site. TLU faculty and staff will certainly provide any information available on local school districts and contacts.

Q. What are the costs for the TLU Alternative Teacher Certification Program? 

  • $55 non-refundable fee for application to the TLU Alternative Teacher Certification Program (Required by TEA)
  • Costs for books and other educational expenses 
  • The cost per semester hour will be $335
  • Some students may require additional courses in the content areas for certification
  • Fees for fingerprinting 
  • Fees for a probationary certificate 
  • Fees for a Standard Texas Teaching Certificate (upon completion of all obligations and courses) 

Q. WilI I receive some type of certification to allow me to be the teacher of record while I am an intern? 

Yes, the Director of the TLU Alternative Certification Program will assist you and the school district in obtaining a probationary intern certificate that will allow you to be the teacher of record and teach a full load.

Q. During the internship, am I paid a salary? 

Yes. Once accepted into the Alternative Teacher Certification Program and hired by a school district, the intern is paid the regular first-year teacher’s salary. As with any employment, it is the employee’s (intern’s) responsibility to inquire with the employing school district as to the salary and benefits of the position. Interns are considered a teacher of record and subject to all rules and responsibilities as an employee of the school district and outlined in the school board policy.

Q. Will I be subject to rules and regulations of the school district where I am employed? 

Yes. A condition of the program requires participants (interns) to conform to rules and regulations of the school district in all matters related to teaching performance and professional conduct.

Q. Who supervises the Alternative Teacher Certification Program intern while in residence at the school district? 

The intern will be under the direct, ongoing, and shared supervision of the building principal (or designate), the mentor teacher, the TLU supervisor, and other personnel from the district and/or the University who may be called upon for assistance.

Q. Is there financial aid available for this program? 

Yes. You may be eligible for a student loan through TLU. To be eligible, you will need to fill out and submit a FAFSA report and then contact the Financial Aid office.

Q. Will the program require much of a time commitment? 

Yes. The Alternative Teacher Certification Program is an intense, high quality program. In addition to the coursework at TLU, interns will be expected to continue their own professional development with the assistance of the mentor teacher and the University supervisor.

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January 13, 2018 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

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