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How to Choose a Teaching Program

Know your certification options in Houston, and learn what to consider in a teacher preparation program.

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To get your Texas teaching certification, you’ll need to complete a teaching program. Teacher preparation programs equip you with the skills and knowledge to teach in your chosen grade and subject. 

Here, we’ll go over the types of teaching programs available in Texas, and what criteria you might use to choose the right program for you. 

Attending a teaching program is one of several steps to get certified in Texas. Get a full explanation of certification, plus a downloadable guide, at the TEACH for Houston teaching certification page.

On this page:

4 Ways to Complete Your Teacher Training

Whether you’re in school, out of school or considering a career change, there’s a pathway for you to become a teacher. Click through the tabs below for more information about your teaching pathway options.

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Sign up for access to everything we offer, right from your dashboard.

  1. Learn about your certification options.
  2. Explore teacher training programs.
  3. Get support for teaching tests.
  4. Apply for financial aid.
  5. Chat with certification experts via live chat, small group sessions or 1-on-1 meetings.

It’s all FREE and brought to you by the Texas Education Agency and our statewide partners.

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Make sure your program works for you

Once you have an idea of which pathway is right for you, you’ll want to make sure that your must-haves are covered. 

Your teaching program should:

  • Offer a credential in the grade and subject you want to teach.
  • Be approved for certification in Texas.
  • Work for you financially.
  • Work with your schedule. Program coursework can be mostly online, in-person or a mix of both, and all programs require fieldwork in schools. 
  • Be accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This is an optional part of program criteria, but can be valuable. Accreditation essentially means quality assurance: the CAEP reviews a college or university’s teaching program (but not the university as a whole) to ensure its teacher prep practices are effective and up-to-date.

Once you have these logistics covered, you can look more closely at the values and focus of the programs you’re considering, to find the best fit. 

With TEACH for Houston’s Program Explorer, you can find and compare teaching programs across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Each program profile includes tuition costs, insider info from current students and more.

What to look for in a teaching program

Teaching programs vary in many ways, including size, duration, student demographics, admissions requirements and more. As you compare programs, consider how you learn best and what skills are important to you.

Current teachers, teacher preparation program officials and school district HR chiefs (you know, the experts) say that a strong teaching program should offer these hallmarks:

  • Lots of hands-on experience
  • Preparation to teach diverse populations
  • Mentoring and coaching
  • Commitment to continuous improvement

How do you know what teaching programs have to offer in each of these categories? We can help with that! 

How to use this section

When you visit a teaching program’s profile through the program explorer, you’ll see that most profiles include a “Program Hallmarks” section (toward the bottom of the profile). Program hallmarks explain how individual programs incorporate each of the categories we listed above. 

Below, we’ll go over what each category includes, why it matters and how to find out what it looks like at your prospective programs. Basically, this is a guide to help you understand the information on the TEACH for Houston program profiles—and dig deeper into why each program hallmark is meaningful. 

Have more questions? Don’t worry! You can talk through your program options with free 1-on-1 coaching. Get advice from an experienced teaching professional, over phone, video chat or email (text coming soon!). 

Teaching Program Hallmarks