In order to become a certified teacher, preservice teachers must pass the TExES Content Exam for the level and major in which they wish to teach, as well as the TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam for the grade level they wish to teach. You also must be approved by the University of Houston to sign up for TExES exams. For this reason, all teachHOUSTON students must complete qualifying exams to gain approval for TExES exams.
During Classroom Interactions and Multiple Teaching Strategies are the ideal times to begin taking qualifying exams for the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) and your content area exam. As there is a 45-day limit on applying qualifier scores towards taking TExES exams, please plan accordingly. It is strongly suggested that you purchase a study guide and access these additional resources below:
- Content exams [7-12 Chemistry (240), 7-12 Life Science, 7-12 Mathematics (235), 6-12 Physical Science (237), 7-12 Physics/Mathematics (243) and 7-12 Science (236).]
- EC-12 Pedagogical and Professional Responsibilities (160)
Qualifying exams should be completed and passed prior to the start of Student Teaching coursework (EDUC 4314 and EDUC 4315). To assist students in planning a certification exam timeline, please be aware of the following deadlines for submitting a score report (with a score of 260 or higher) for qualifying exams:
- Fall 2023 - August 24 and December 7
- Spring 2024 - January 18 and May 9
- Summer 2024 - June 13
- Fall 2024 - August 22 and December 5
Based on your Student Teaching designation, aim to complete TExES exams by the first Friday in September (fall semester Student Teaching) or the first Friday in February (spring semester Student Teaching). If you miss this deadline, you must contact Dr. Ekeoba for assistance at email@example.com. You may schedule a certification chat with Dr. Ekeoba to determine a plan for completing your certification exams using the link provided:
Below are the instructions for teachHOUSTON students to complete certification through the University of Houston:
Getting Certified to Teach: A Checklist for teachHOUSTON Students
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Go to www.certifyteacher.com. (Click on link or copy and paste in web browser) Be sure to use promo code COUGARS4728 to pay 35$ for each course. You must create an account prior to taking qualifying exams. It is advised that you familiarize yourself with the program and its capabilities. You can begin doing this by visiting the website provided: www.certifyteacher.com/page/study-and-exam-modes. Your Certify Teacher account through the University of Houston is valid for 1 calendar year.
Please sign up for the following courses:
- Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (160) course for the PPR
- The content course that aligns with your degree: 7-12 Chemistry (240), 7-12 Life Science, 7-12 Mathematics (235), 6-12 Physical Science (237), 7-12 Physics/Mathematics (243) and 7-12 Science (236). NOTE: please make sure you signed up for the correct content exam as was listed on your student teaching verification survey from Dr. Shields.
After signing up for a course, you will be prompted to take the diagnostic exam for that course as it will be the only selection option. This exam will assess your readiness of the exam material to date. Once you complete the diagnostic exam, Certify Teacher will provide you with a study plan. The study plan MUST be completed before you can schedule and take a qualifying exam through Certify Teacher.
NOTE: Only after your degree is conferred and you completed certification for the initial content area through teachHOUSTON, you may consider additional content certifications. Visit the Texas Education Agency website for more information on additional certifications.
Before you take a qualifying exam, you MUST complete a diagnostic exam and the study plan created by Certify Teacher. If you have not been prompted to take an exam upon entry to a registered course, please contact the Certification Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Qualifying exams will be completed remotely (i.e., from home) using Certify Teacher in Exam Mode. Please use the honor system during this time. No unauthorized materials and resources should be used during your qualifying exam! Failure to do so will only hurt your ability to pass the actual TExES exams.
NOTE: The qualifier exam score is valid for 45 days. If you wait too long to sign up for the TExES exams after you receive approval, you will need to take a new qualifier exam PRIOR to taking the TExES exam. Failure to follow instructions can prolong your ability to be properly certified.
Approved MaterialsThe PPR does not have approve testing materials. For content exams, upon signing up for remote qualifier, you should receive the appropriate testing materials via email. If you do not receive these items, contact Jacqueline Ekeoba at email@example.com or 713-743-0222.
- Sign up at least 72 hours in advance of the desired date and time for the qualifier exam using this link.
- If issues arise in scheduling a qualifying exam, please contact Jacqueline Ekeoba at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You must pass both PPR and Content Diagnostic exam prior to the conclusion of your MTS course, so plan accordingly.
- If you score below a 260 on your qualifying exam:
- If you scored a 260 or above on your qualifying exam:
- You must still complete the competency (quizzes) for each section under an 85%.
- Email proof of completing this to Jacqueline Ekeoba at email@example.com.
- Go to pryor.tea.state.tx.us and create a username and password.
- You are an "Educator" from a "University-based" program.
- Please remember to enter your official information, and be sure to record down your TEA ID!
- Be sure to share your TEA ID with the Certification Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will need this to grant you approval for TExES exams.
NOTE: If you fail to meet the minimum passing score on a TExES exam, TEA has temporarily reduced the waiting period for another attempt to 30 days. You must contact Jacqueline Ekeoba for the next steps to be approved for another attempt.
After passing both exams, you may apply for your official state certification at pryor.tea.state.tx.us.
- Go to the Main Menu and look for the tabs on the left side of the screen.
- Under the Applications tab, select Standard Texas Certificate Program.
- Click on Apply for Certification.
- Undergraduates: Select the University of Houston (University-based) and click on ‘Apply’ after entering your information. Be sure you chose the correct campus. Otherwise, your application will be delayed.
- Post-baccalaureate/ACP: Select the Alternative Certification option and click on ‘Apply’ after entering your information. Be sure you chose the correct campus. Otherwise, your application will be delayed.
- Payment: There is a $77 application fee and a $42.25 fingerprinting fee. Payment is required in order for your certification to be processed.
For questions about the certification process listed above, please contact Jacqueline Ekeoba at email@example.com.
teachHOUSTON Exit Policy
Once students are formally admitted to the teachHOUSTON program, they may choose to exit the program without completing certification. Students may also be removed from the teachHOUSTON program by a candidate selection committee composed of teachHOUSTON faculty.
To formally exit the program and complete your degree without certification, you must contact our program advisor, Dr. Leah McAlister-Shields for instructions on the steps to take to complete the process. Please review the teachHOUSTON Exit Policy below.
19 TAC §228.20(h) requires all Educator Preparation Programs to have an exit policy for the dismissal of candidates published, reviewed, and signed by candidates when they are admitted to the program.
Dismissal from the Educator Preparation Program
A candidate may be removed from the Educator Preparation Program in the event he/she demonstrates behavior not consistent with the professional and ethical expectations of an educator in Texas. Dismissal from the program may be based on grounds including but not limited to:
- Failure to meet coursework requirements.
- Failure to abide by policies and/or procedures established by the University of Houston Educator Preparation Program and/or program requirements established by the State Board for Educator Certification as published in the Texas Administrative Code.
- Any action deemed a violation of the Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators, and/or;
- Any action deemed a violation of the University of Houston Student Code of Conduct; and/or;
- Any action deemed a violation of school district and/or campus policy during field-based experiences or clinical teaching or internship.
Dismissal from the program is determined by a committee comprised of the program faculty. This may occur at any time. If a candidate is dismissed from the College of Education, he or she will also be automatically dismissed from the Educator Preparation Program. All decisions of dismissal can be appealed through college policies.
Withdrawal from the Educator Preparation Program
A candidate who decides to voluntarily withdraw from the Educator Preparation Program needs to send a written notice of that intent from a University of Houston email account. The candidate also needs to submit a signed Graduation without Certification Contract. Withdrawal from the College of Education translates to withdrawal from the Educator Preparation Program.