Retention and Due Process

1.  While in the Alternative Certification Program, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 with no grade below a “B”.

2.  Successfully complete courses as outlined on the Alternative Certification plan and or Master’s Degree Plan.

3.  Meet and adhere to all requirements listed in the Alternative Certification Handbook.

4.  Successfully complete a 1-year paid internship or a 16-week unpaid clinical/student teaching assignment according to program guidelines.  

      a. Receive recommendation for certification from the mentor teacher, principal and university field supervisor at the end of your 1-year paid internship or 16-week unpaid clinical/student teaching assignment. This recommendation is required prior to the Alternative Certification Program recommending you for a Texas state standard teaching certificate. The University Field Supervisor is responsible for submitting or verifying that the completed form has been submitted to the Alternative Certification Program. Failure to receive a recommendation will result in dismissal from the program and you will be considered “not in good standing” with our program. 

        Exception: You may be retained in the program, if the mentor teacher, principal, university field supervisor and Educator Preparation Director agree that some or part of the internship or clinical/student teaching assignment must be repeated until standards for a successful internship or clinical/student teaching assignment are met. The teacher candidate will be responsible for additional costs related to added supervision.

      b. Maintain employment at all times during a 1-year paid internship, from the beginning of the public school academic calendar year until the end. If at any time you resign or are dismissed from employment, you will be automatically dismissed from the program and you will be considered “not in good standing” with our program.

      Exception: The only exception is if your resignation is amicable between you and your school district, and you immediately (within seven (7) days) assume an acceptable position and successfully complete the one-year internship. This exception also requires a statement of agreement by your mentor teacher and university supervisor, stating they believe you have been making satisfactory progress in teaching and you should be allowed to continue working in the profession.

      c. Maintain attendance at all times during the 16-week unpaid clinical/student teaching assignment. You are expected to complete 16-weeks (80 days) of clinical/student with no more than 3 excused absences.  If you exceed 3 absences, you will be expected to make those days up before receiving a recommendation.   If at any time you resign or are dismissed from student teaching, you will be automatically dismissed from the program and you will be considered “not in good standing” with our program.

        Exception: If the school district assigned for the clinical/student teaching experience offers employment prior to the completion of clinical/student teaching, the Educator Preparation Director will determine requirements for the completion of the now internship.

5.  Comply with the Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 247 and exhibit professional behavior at all times.  At any time, university or school district personnel may initiate a Fitness to Teach (FTT) that will be considered by the Instructional Leadership Team and/or Educator Preparation Director at Texas A&M University-Commerce. These parties, or party, may decide whether the behavior violates acceptable professional behavior standards, and whether dismissal is warranted.

6.  Enroll, fund and attend all prescribed coursework, training and internship or clinical/student teaching assignment in the designated semesters and at the designated times. This includes being punctual and remaining in attendance for the duration.

      NOTE:  All fees related to the Alternative Certification Program must be paid in full prior to being recommended for certification. 

     Exception with regard to attendance:  Participation in a required/authorized university activity, verified illness, death in the student’s immediate family, or obligation of a student at a legal proceeding may be considered as excused.  All absences must accompany authorization/verification of reason. The above exceptions may be considered when a policy is not apparent.

 7.  Continue to make yearly progress towards certification.  (This may include continuing to successfully complete coursework on the certification plan, passing the required content area or PPR (Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities) TExES tests and completing an approved 1- year paid internship or a 16-week unpaid clinical/student teaching assignment.

8.  Comply with all practices, policies, and requirements written herein. Failure to comply with all practices, policies and requirements will result in dismissal from the Alternative Certification Program. In accordance with due process, students who are dismissed from the Alternative Certification Program will be issued a letter describing the reasons for dismissal from the program, including any supporting documentation (if applicable). Within a time-frame determined by the Director of Educator Preparation, the student may challenge the reason(s) for dismissal from the Alternative Certification Program, if the student believes that practices, policies, and/or requirements written herein were adhered to by the student. The student may write a letter of appeal that will be reviewed by the Alternative Certification Advisory Committee.

The Certification Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet two (2) times during the year to review and consider appeals. Members of the Advisory Committee will have access to the letter of dismissal, the letter of appeal, evaluation materials, and all supporting documents related to the dismissal. The dismissed teacher candidate will have the opportunity to appeal to the Advisory Committee for re-entry into the Teacher Certification program. The Advisory Committee will determine if the policies, practices, or requirements written herein were adhered to by the student.  If the ruling is in favor of the student and it is determined all practices, policies and requirements written herein were adhered to, the Advisory Committee and program staff will determine the conditions for re-admission to the Alternative Certification Program.  Additionally, any remaining program requirements will be determined.  Successful completion of conditions and program requirements may lead to an initial Texas state teaching certificate.

 If the ruling is not in favor of the student, and it is determined that all practices, policies and requirements written herein were not adhered to by the student, re-admission to the Alternative Certification Program will be denied.  If the student is unsuccessful in meeting the conditions and program requirements, they will not be eligible for another appeal.  The student will then be considered “not in good standing” with the program.

 Note:  Direct violation of the Code of Ethics for Texas Educators as defined in the Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 247.2, resulting in revocation of a certificate, or dismissal from the field experience, will not be considered for appeal and/or re-admission in to the Alternative Certification Program.  The student will be considered “not in good standing” with the program.