UT Tyler School of Education
STEP: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is required for teacher certification?
A: In Texas, to be certified, one must
- have the minimum of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college;
- complete an accredited certification program;
- complete the required certification exams.
A: UT Tyler offers certificate programs at 3 levels:
- Grade 4 through grade 8
- At the 4-8 level, there are several specializations from which to choose:
- English language arts and reading
- social studies
- Grade 7 through grade 12
- At the 7–12 level, the specializations can be any of the “traditional” subjects taught
in secondary school, e.g., biology, chemistry, English, math, etc.
- All-level (EC-12) is available in art, health education, Languages other than English (LOTE-Spanish), music, physical education, special education (available as a supplement only in STEP program), and theater.
Q: What is a deficiency plan?
A: This plan—much like a degree plan—tells what courses you need, or in what areas you are “deficient” for certification.
Q: If I do not have a 2.50 GPA, can I get a deficiency plan?
A: If your GPA is not at least a 2.50 on a 4.0 scale, you cannot have a deficiency plan. However, the Certification Office will work with you to determine how to raise the GPA while moving toward your goal of teacher certification.
Q: How long will it take to complete the courses on my deficiency plan?
A: Most deficiency plans may be completed in just over one year. Plans may vary in length depending on an individual’s “deficiencies”.
Q: Can I work while I complete my certification?
A: Yes, you may work in your current employment, or you may be hired as a teacher by a school district if you are highly qualified as defined by No Child Left Behind. The required pedagogy classes are offered online.
Q: If I am teaching, what do I do?
A: Students who are teaching with a probationary certificate must progress successfully in the program in order for a school district to extend your teaching position. In most instances, UT Tyler’s educator preparation is offered in a way that allows you to complete the program in one year.
Q: Will the university help me find a teaching position?
A: The University of Texas at Tyler’s Career Services office maintains a list of job openings that our students can use as a resource of available positions. The University also sponsors an Education Career Fair once a year.
Q: If I get a teaching position, will I be paid the same?
A: An individual who is hired to teach has all the rights and responsibilities of any first year teacher. As a newly hired teacher in a school district, you will apply for a probationary certificate through the Certification Office after you have attained a deficiency plan. This probationary certificate enables you to meet the federally legislated standards of No Child Left Behind while you work on completing your certification.
Q: What does a Probationary Certificate cost?
A: Cost: Probationary Certificate $52; Fingerprinting fee $47
Q: When do I take my TExES exams?
A: You will be directed to take the content exam early in your program. (See PACTinformation) Some exams are offered as paper-based tests (PBT) and some are offered as computer-administered tests (CAT). Check the TExES registration bulletin for information about CAT tests; some are offered year-round, but some are offered during special "administration windows". Registration bulletins and preparation manuals are available on the Educational Testing Service website: www.texes.ets.org. You will take the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam when you are completing the last of your required coursework. (See your advisor, Ms. Fender, for details)
Q: How much do the TExES certification exams cost?
A: At this time, each state exam is $120.
Q: What about financial aid?
A: The Enrollment office (903.566.7180) located in the Administration Building will be happy to discuss opportunities that are available for certification students. Additional information about Loan Forgiveness Programs for teacher candidates.
The TEACH Grant is available for post-baccalaureate students who have an overall GPA of at least 3.25 and who plan to teach in high need areas: math, science, special education, etc. The TEACH Grant provides up to $4000 per year toward initial certification. Your advisor will give you specific information on the requirements for this grant.
Q: What happens when I finish my coursework?
A: When all required State exams and all coursework, including student teaching or internship, have been successfully completed, you will apply for your standard classroom teaching certificate. This certificate is renewable every five years.
Cost: Standard Certificate $77.00; Fingerprinting (if not completed for a probationary certificate) $47.00. There may be a fee for fingerprinting process.