UT Tyler

College of Education and Psychology

Initial Certification

When do I apply for my certificate?

 

When you are near the end of your last semester of required coursework, you can apply for the certificate.

 

  • For initial certificates, this will be on the date of the final seminar meeting.

  • Do not apply until you have passed all appropriate certification exams.

  • UT Tyler can only recommend you for certificates for which you have completed the required program of study.

  • If a candidate applies for certification prior to program completion or exam completion, he/she will be removed from the recommendation queue and will reapply when it is appropriate. If the certificate has been paid for, TEA will apply the payment to your new application when it is made at the appropriate time.

 

  1. Go to the TEA website.
  2. Choose TEAL Login in the blue banner at the top of the page.

TEA blue banner

  1. If you do not have a TEA account, you will follow the directions to create one.  If you have a TEA account, follow the directions for certification application.  Be sure to choose the University route, and not the alternative or the master teacher route.  This PowerPoint illustrates the process.
  2. Note:  If the wrong route is chosen, your application will be removed, and you will have to reapply using the correct route.  TEA cannot process an application made using an incorrect route.

    If you have applied using the incorrect route and made a payment, that payment will transfer to the new certificate application.  If this does not happen, contact TEA, and they will make the transfer.

  3. You will need a credit card to complete the payment process.

  4. While applying at TEA, you will be given a Fast Pass with instructions for the required fingerprinting process.

  5. You cannot be recommended by UT Tyler until…

    a.      Your degree is posted,

    b.      Your required certification exams have been passed, and

    c.      You have completed all degree requirements with a “C” or above.

  6. TEA will not grant the certificate until…

    a.       You have paid the required fees for the certificate,

    b.      You have completed the fingerprinting process.

  7. A few facts about the digital fingerprint process:

  • TEA requires that applicants for a Texas certification must be fingerprinted through the DPS vendor, MorphoTrust USA, unless the applicant currently resides outside Texas, and is unable to utilize a Texas location of MorphoTrust. Individuals subject to fingerprinting for compliance with TEC Chapter 22, Subchapter C must utilize the digital fingerprinting method through MorphoTrust.

  • A fee of $39.00 is required for processing of fingerprints though DPS, FBI and TEA. TEA requires all applicants for certification and all certified educators to be fingerprinted under TEC Chapter 22, Subchapter C and to pay this fingerprinting fee online. Non-certified employees pay this fee at the time of their fingerprinting appointment with MorphoTrust

  • An additional fee of $10.00 is paid to MorphoTrust at the time of appointment. This fee is assessed for scanning of prints

  • A FAST Fingerprint Pass is issued to the applicant/educator by TEA once online payment has been made; a fingerprinting appointment cannot be scheduled without this document in hand. This document, along with a valid photo ID must be presented at the time of appointment.

  • Fingerprinting results are received by TEA typically 3-5 days after the appointment.

  • Digital fingerprinting through MorphoTrust is offered at over 80 locations currently. You will find a list of current sites during the fingerprinting application.

 

You cannot be recommended for certification until your degree is posted.

 
  1. Degrees are usually posted within two weeks of graduation—not counting the holidays.

  2. If degree isn’t posted by the third week after graduation, contact the Registrar’s Office. The most common problem is that all transfer credits are not on file. The only way to know is to contact the Registrar’s Office.

  3. Remember—all grades must be “C” or above. If a grade falls below this, the course must be retaken before certification can be recommended.

  4. TEA will send a survey about your supervision during student teaching. TEA will not grant the certificate until the survey has been completed.

  5. You will not receive a paper certificate. Instead it is digital and can be printed if you want to display it in your classroom. Your virtual certificate can be found at the TEA website. Type in your last name, your first name, and middle name, and your certificate will appear.

 

For questions about your degree, contact the Registrar's Office

 

For questions about your certificate, contact Ms. Fender with the Office of Educator Certification.

 

Yes…you may work as a substitute. You may also work as a full-time, fully-employed teacher; however, it is up to the school district as to how this is done.

  • Sometimes the district will hire you as a long-term substitute until your certificate has been granted.
  • Sometimes, they will hire you for the position with the understanding that your certificate will be granted within a designated time period.
 

Yes, you must be fingerprinted. There is a lot more information at the following TEA website.  When you apply for certification, TEA will send a Fast Pass for fingerprinting

  • TEA requires that applicants for a Texas certificate must be fingerprinted through the DPS vendor, MorphoTrust USA. Individuals subject to fingerprinting for compliance with TEC Chapter 22, Subchapter C must utilize the digital fingerprinting method through MorphoTrust.
  • A fee of $39.00 is required for processing of fingerprints through DPS, FBI, and TEA. TEA requires all applicants for certification and all certified educators to be fingerprinted under TEC Chapter 22, Subchapter C and to pay this fingerprinting fee online. Non-certified employees pay this fee at the time of their fingerprinting appointment with MorphoTrust.
  • An additional fee of $10.00 is paid to MorphoTrust at the time of appointment. This fee is assessed for scanning of prints.
  • A FAST Fingerprint Pass is issued to the applicant/educator for download, by TEA once online payment has been made; a fingerprinting appointment cannot be scheduled without this document in hand. This document, along with a valid photo ID must be presented at the time of appointment.
  • Fingerprinting results are received by TEA typically 3-5 days after the appointment.
  • Digital fingerprinting through MorphoTrust is offered at over 80 locations currently.
  • There are no exemptions for those who fingerprinted in another state.

Rules that legislate fingerprinting:

The 2007 Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 9 requiring fingerprint-based criminal background reviews for certain school employees in Texas Public schools. Senate Bill 9 is codified in Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 22, Subchapter C.

 

While you are waiting, check this list and make sure you have completed everything:

  • Degree (all grades of “C” or better)
  • All certification courses (with grades of “C” or better)
  • Received credit for seminar.
  • Completed all required exams: PPR & content.

During this time:

  • Graduation must be posted.
  • Fingerprinting must be completed. It goes to the Texas DPS and the U.S. FBI.
  • With digital fingerprints, the average turn-around time is about 48 hours.
 

When you have received your certificate, you are able to take additional content exams for classroom certification “by exam only”. You will not need to get permission to take an additional content exam. When you have passed an additional content exam, you will apply directly to TEA for your new certificate.

Important:

  • Permission to test is not required for these exams.
  • Application for the new certificate is made directly to TEA. You will not go through UT Tyler or any other educator preparation program for this application.
 

You are receiving a standard, five-year certificate. During the next five years, the state expects you to complete at least 150 clock hours of professional development that is geared to increasing your knowledge and skills as a teacher. One part of the TEA website is dedicated to renewal information.

At this website, you will find very important information, including:

  • CPE Providers offering free online CPE;
  • Approved CPE Providers;
  • A form to keep track of your CPE clock hours;
  • Updates about new CPE requirements;
  • How to renew your Standard Certificate.
 

When you have been recommended, you will receive an email from TEA.

Example:

Donald Duck has been recommended for the following certifications by University of Texas - Tyler (EPP):

English Language Arts and Reading (Standard) 4-8 2000 Standards. Date: 6/23/2017 12:09:00 PM

Once the certificate is issued, it will be viewable online. You will need to log into your TEA online account and click on the 'View Certificates' link for print options.

Thank you for using Educator Certification Online!

*This is a system generated information email - please do not respond.

You and any school district that is interested may view the progress of your certificate online, as it moves from application to recommendation to completion/granting of certificate.

 

Several years ago, TEA stopped sending hard copies of the certificate. Instead, they now issue virtual certificates. Your certificate may be viewed online by accessing your TEA account. Additionally, school districts can view your certificate online. For display purposes, you can print the certificate and frame it for your classroom or office.

UT Tyler