Become a Teacher

Become an educator with a competency-based program that helps you prepare for an impactful career leading the next generation. Designed for working professionals, this program offers fully online coursework so you can plan your studies around your busy life. Accelerate your degree completion and get in the classroom sooner.

A female student teacher assisting two female enfant students.


All competency-based programs in the College of Innovation and Design are offered in two seven-week terms per traditional semester with a break between each term.


SemesterTerm 1BreakTerm 2
SpringJan. 17 – March 3March 6 – 17March 20 – May 5
SummerMay 15 – June 30July 3 – 7July 10 – Aug. 25
FallSept. 5 – Oct. 20Oct. 23 – 27Oct. 30 – Dec. 15

What is Competency-Based Education?

What is Competency-Based Education

Competency-Based Education (CBE) posits that learning is best measured by students demonstrating what they know and can do rather than by the number of hours spent in a classroom. CBE is student-driven and self-paced, guided by individualized feedback from an instructor and advisor. CBE is also flexible, and offered fully online, so it works around the busy personal and professional lives of adult learners and working professionals.

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Program Requirements

Required Coursework

Required classes include:

  • EDCB 514: Management and Curriculum Development for Diverse Learners
  • EDCB 517: Reading and Learning in K-12 Content Area
  • EDCB 519: Response To Intervention
  • EDCB 566: Learning Environments and Instructional Design for the K-12 Classroom
  • RDCB 516: Fundamentals of Reading
  • EDCB 515: Evidence-Based Teaching (taken in conjunction with teaching assignment)

Background Check Information

Pursuant to the Texas Education Code (TEC) 22.083, candidates must undergo a criminal history background check prior to employment as an educator; and pursuant to the TEC, 22.0835, candidates must undergo a criminal history background check prior to clinical teaching.

Per TAC Title 19, Section 249.16 Pursuant to the Texas Occupations Code (TOC), Chapter 53, and the Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 21, Subchapter 8, the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) may suspend or revoke an existing valid certificate, deny an applicant a certificate, bar a person from being assessed or examined for a certificate, or take other disciplinary action because of a person's conviction of a felony or misdemeanor or certain other criminal history.

If you have the potential to be ineligible because you have been convicted of an offense, it is in your best interest to request a preliminary criminal history evaluation.

For more information or to request a preliminary criminal history evaluation, please visit the TEA preliminary criminal history evaluation FAQs.

Observation: Early Field Experience (EFE)

The goal of the Early Field Experience (EFE) is to help you gain an understanding of the expectations of teachers in modern society and make an informed decision on whether or not teaching matches your career aspirations. The state requires each teacher candidate to complete a minimum of 30 clock hours of observation prior to beginning their actual teaching experience and to reflect on the observation experience.

Once you have been admitted, you will receive a letter to present to a TEA-approved school outlining your need for classroom observations with the grade and content area in which you are seeking certification. You will be provided with an observation log and reflection questions. Both need to be completed through your TK20 account.

Benefits of Early Field Experience

  1. Early exposure to public school students, teachers, and other school professionals
  2. Highly relevant experiences in a classroom setting
  3. Exposure to the policies, programs, and activities of the school
  4. Extended periods of time in a classroom setting to study classroom organization and management, instructional strategies, curriculum planning, and many other teaching practices and procedures from an experienced public school teacher
  5. Exposure to content curriculum, resources, technology, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) objectives, etc.
  6. Opportunities to study ethnic, racial and cultural diversity
  7. Opportunity to make a firm decision on whether a career in teaching is right for you

Classroom Responsibilities

First and foremost, the EFE teacher candidate is required to observe the teacher and their students in the classroom setting. Particular focus should be placed on interaction from teacher-to-student, student-to-teacher, and student-to-student. You are encouraged to participate in additional activities at the discretion of your assigned teacher(s). The EFE teacher candidate is expected to maintain a professional appearance, social maturity, emotional maturity, effective communication, role modeling, punctuality, receptiveness to coaching and feedback (teachable), initiative and willingness, ethical standards, interest and enthusiasm, cooperation, and motivation. Please note the teacher verifies the Record of Early Field Experiences log sheet with his or her signature. Each EFE teacher candidate is required to submit a completed Early Field Experience Reflective Observation addressing several facets of the Early Field experience.

Take TExES Content Test

  • Once you have started taking your alternative certification classes, you may seek approval for your TExES content exam.
  • A passing score on the TExES content exam is required before you can begin your teaching assignment.
  • NOTE: Per TEA guidelines, teacher candidates seeking certification in EC-6 Core, 4-8 Core, ELAR 4-8 and ELAR/SS 4-8 will be required to pass a “Science of Teaching Reading” exam in addition to their TExES content exam.
  • A passing score on the STR exam is required before you can begin your teaching assignment if you are teaching one of the previously listed areas beginning Jan. 1, 2021.

Take PPR Test

  • Seek approval for the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities exam once you have completed the four (4) minimum required classes.
  • A passing score on the PPR is required before you can obtain a Texas Teaching Certificate.
  • If you pass the PPR before you obtain an internship position, then a Probationary Certificate can be approved.

Internship vs. Clinical/Student Teaching

A teaching assignment is required and must be served in a public school accredited by the TEA or a TEA accredited charter or private school within Texas. The Alternative Certification coordinator must be able to secure a University Field Supervisor for any area further than two (2) hours of Commerce, Texas.

Once your assignment begins, a partnership is formed between the program and your school district. You will benefit from intensive supervision that consists of structured guidance and regular ongoing support from a university field supervisor and school district mentor teacher. There are two choices of assignments:

Option 1: 1-Year Paid Internship

  • Obtain a full-time teaching position on your own in your certification area.
  • Teach a minimum of four hours per day in your certification area.
  • A&M-Commerce will provide a Statement of Eligibility for the HR department of your ISD to complete.
  • Supervised and observed by a university field supervisor and mentor teacher.
  • Pay a $700 teaching fee per semester, totaling $1400 for the year.
  • Pass your PPR exam, if not completed.
  • Upon completion, the university field supervisor and mentor teacher will either recommend or deny you for a Texas State Teaching Certificate.

Option 2: 16-Week Unpaid Clinical/Student Teaching

  • Submit required clinical/student teaching application forms through TK20.
  • Deadline for the fall semester is July 1. Deadline for the spring semester is Dec. 1.
  • Placement is secured by the Alternative Certification advisor.
  • Full-day, five days a week, in your certification area for 16 weeks (80 days).
  • Supervised and observed by a university field supervisor and mentor teacher.
  • Pay a $700 teaching fee.
  • Pass your PPR exam, if not completed.
  • Upon completion, the university field supervisor and mentor teacher will either recommend or deny you for a Texas State Teaching Certificate.

Support Staff

Once placed in an assignment, the program appoints a university field supervisor who provides constructive feedback on a regular basis after conducting classroom observations. A mentor teacher, one who is recognized as a master teacher, is appointed by the district to work with you and provide support. Your mentor serves as a professional model and is the one you turn to for advice and guidance on a daily basis. The principal also plays an active role in supervising your professional development and may conduct evaluations of your teaching performance. The university field supervisor, mentor and principal make up your Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) whose purpose is to provide support during your assignment that will lead to your success in the classroom.

NOTE: During the assignment, concurrent enrollment in EDCI 515 at Texas A&M University-Commerce is required.

Completion of Assignment

In order to successfully complete your assignment, you must remain in an acceptable position during the duration of your assignment. If at any time you are released from your position by your school district, or you resign from your position, you will be dismissed from the Teacher Education Program at Texas A&M University-Commerce. The only exception is if during a paid internship your resignation is amicable between you and your school district, and you immediately ( within seven days) assume an acceptable paid position and successfully complete internship. This exception also requires a statement of agreement by your mentor teacher and university field supervisor, stating they believe that you have been making satisfactory progress in teaching and that you should be allowed to continue working in the profession.

The successful completion of your assignment will be graded on a successful (S)/unsuccessful (U) basis. Members of your Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) will determine their recommendation based on your performance at the conclusion of your assignment. Your ILT will be comprised of a university field supervisor, mentor and principal. Your internship or clinical/student teaching handbook will serve as a guide for all members of the ILT. If the decision is made that you have failed to successfully complete your assignment, you will be dismissed from the program. The only exception is if your ILT recommends that you continue with additional training. If this occurs, you will be required to obtain an extension of your probationary certificate (if available) for another year and pay all fees associated with an additional assignment. In addition, a growth plan will be initiated and you may be required to complete additional professional development or content-related training/coursework.

Filing for Certification

During the final semester of your one-year paid internship or 16-week unpaid clinical/student teaching, you must contact the Educator Certification Office to verify that all requirements were met and to receive information about applying for certification via the Texas Education Agency.

Procedures for filing for your teacher certification.

Fitness to Teach (FTT) Policy

Successful teaching requires a combination of both academic and interpersonal skills. Although interpersonal skills do not ensure the success of a teacher, the lack of them will ensure failure, regardless of how academically capable the teacher is.
The Texas Educator Agency (TEA) specifies that institutions preparing educators have the responsibility to certify the knowledge and skills of its teacher candidates. To that end, a committee composed of representatives from departments across the College of Education & Human Development developed the Fitness to Teach Policy.

Fitness to Teach Policy:

In addition to curriculum and testing requirements addressed in the Educator Preparation Handbook, all Alternative Certification teacher candidates will be screened throughout their program according to the criteria addressed in this policy, including dispositions for teaching. Dispositions for teaching are defined as those professional attitudes, values, and beliefs expected of a professional educator. As a professional program, the Alternative Certification Program reserves the right to recommend or not recommend teacher candidates for certification. If all criteria are not met satisfactorily, teacher candidates may be denied full acceptance into the Teacher Certification Program and/or denied the opportunity to student teach. Without full acceptance into the Alternative Certification Program and successful completion of all course work, field work, and student teaching or internship, the university will not recommend teacher candidates for Texas Teacher Certification. All teacher candidates referred for review are expected to participate in the process. Refusal to participate will not terminate or invalidate the process. Fitness to Teach reviews are internal institutional reviews and are not open to the public, including family members, friends, and other professionals unless specifically requested by the Assistant Dean for Teacher Education.

1. Completed Criminal History Review

In accordance with Texas Education Code 22.083, an examination of each teacher candidate's criminal history will be conducted by the independent school district (ISD) prior to participation in any on-campus activities, including observations or student teaching. Criminal history record information, which includes both conviction and arrest records is obtained. An ISD or other school entity may deny placement of students with a criminal background. The student's clearance for fieldwork is the prerogative of the ISD or participating entity and not Texas A&M University-Commerce. If a student cannot complete course-required field work because of their criminal history, the student will be required to withdraw from the course. The student may retake the course if and when the criminal history changes, allowing them to be cleared by the school district. If the offense is one that will preclude any further field work, the student will be dismissed from the Alternative Certification program.

2. Academic Requirements

a. Teacher candidates attend all classes as required. Preparedness for class and punctuality are expected at all times.

b. Teacher candidates complete course assignments in a professional manner according to the timelines designated by the course instructor.

c. Teacher candidates complete all field experiences in a professional and timely manner as required.

d. The teacher candidate demonstrates honesty and integrity by being truthful about background, experiences, and qualifications; doing one’s own work; giving credit for the ideas of others; and providing proper citation of source materials.

3. Communication Skills

The teacher candidate demonstrates written and oral skills expected of an education professional that shows the ability to comprehend information and communicate ideas and feelings.

(1) Written: Writes clearly, using correct grammar and spelling. Demonstrates professional level skills in written English to understand content presented in the program and to adequately complete all written assignments, as specified by faculty.

(2) Oral: Communicates effectively with other students, faculty, staff, and professionals. Expresses ideas and feelings clearly and demonstrates the ability and willingness to listen to others. Demonstrates professional level skills in spoken English to understand content presented in the program, to adequately complete all oral assignments, and to meet the objectives of field placement experiences.

(3) Electronic Communication: the teacher candidate refrains from inappropriate communication with a student including electronic communications by cell phone, text message, email, instant message, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat and any other social network communication.

4. Personal and Professional Requirements

a. A teacher candidate does not reveal confidential information concerning students unless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law.

b. Teacher candidates demonstrate interpersonal skills that are required for successful professional teaching. These skills include:

(1) An openness to accept and test the results of unfamiliar ways of teaching

(2) The ability to accept and act upon reasonable criticism

(3) The ability to understand others’ perspectives about teaching

(4) The ability to separate personal and professional issues when in the classroom or completing course work

(5) The ability to work cooperatively with parents, teachers, staff, and administrators in school settings and elsewhere

(6) The ability to work productively with classmates in course assigned group projects

(7) The disposition to act always for the benefit of all students

c. The teacher candidate does not sexually harass others; make verbal or physical threats; become involved in sexual relationships with their students, supervisors, or faculty; abuse others in physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual ways.

d. Teacher candidates demonstrate positive personal hygiene habits.

e. Teacher candidates dress appropriately for their professional contexts.

f. Teacher candidates adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators.

g. Teacher candidates demonstrate professional behavior both in and out of the classroom or school setting.

h. The candidate shall be of good moral character and demonstrate that he or she is worthy to instruct or supervise the youth of this state.

5. Cultural and Social Attitudes and Behavior

a. Teacher candidates exhibit respect for superiors, peers, and children and youth in all settings.

b. Teacher candidates understand and appreciate the value of diversity and look beyond self in interactions with others; respect differences of race, ethnicity, religion, and social class, national allegiance, and cultural heritage. Teacher candidates do not impose personal, religious, sexual, and/or cultural values on others.

c. Teacher candidates exhibit acceptance of and provide accommodations for exceptional learners.

d. Teacher candidates are able to work productively with their peers.

e. Teacher candidates are able to speak in a manner appropriate to the context of the classroom.

f. Teacher candidates must display positive attitudes toward faculty, colleagues, and students.

g. Teacher candidates demonstrate positive social skills in professional and social interactions with faculty, colleagues, parents, and students.

6. Physical Skills

The teacher candidate exhibits motor and sensory abilities to attend and participate in class and practicum placements, with or without accommodations, as recommended by the Office of Disability Services.


No otherwise qualified teacher candidate shall, on the basis of disability, be subjected to discrimination or excluded from participation in the Alternative Certification Program. A teacher candidate with a disability may be protected by Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act and be eligible for a reasonable accommodation that will provide an equal opportunity to meet the academic criteria related to professional behavior and scholastic performance.

Any otherwise qualified teacher candidate with a qualified disability who requests a reasonable accommodation must notify the Office of Disability Services and provide documentation as needed. The Office of Disability Services makes recommendations for accommodations.

7. Emotional Dispositions

a. Stress Management

The teacher candidate demonstrates the ability to deal with current life stressors through the use of appropriate coping mechanisms. He or she handles stress effectively by using appropriate self-care and developing supportive relationships with colleagues, peers, and others.

b. Emotional and Mental Capabilities

The teacher candidate uses sound judgment. The teacher candidate demonstrates the emotional and mental health required to function effectively as a teacher.

c. Cognitive Dispositions

(1) Teacher candidates think analytically about educational issues.

(2) Teacher candidates are thoughtfully reflective about their practice.

(3) Teacher candidates are flexible, open to new ideas, and willing and able to modify their beliefs and practices.

(4) Teacher candidates question and test their assumptions about teaching and schooling.

Conditions for Completion of Clinical/Student Teaching or Internship

Successful completion of clinical/student teaching or internship is a condition for meeting teacher certification requirements. If a student fails to receive a recommendation they may appeal to the Alternative Certification Advisory Board. After the appeal, if the student fails to complete the assigned requirements, they will be dismissed from the Alternative Certification Program without the opportunity for a second appeal.

Review of Teacher Candidates

All teacher candidates referred for review are expected to participate in the process. Refusal to participate will not terminate the process. The level of review will depend on factors such as the nature, severity, frequency of the incident or concern. For example, repeated violations may result in immediate Formal Level 2 review. Violations of the TAMUC or host school district's student code of conduct will result in immediate Level 2 Formal Review.

1. Informal Review

An informal review summary involves a faculty member and a teacher candidate. When a faculty member has concerns about a teacher candidate meeting any of the fitness to teach criteria, the faculty member will: A. discuss the concerns directly with the teacher candidate and seek to work with the candidate to resolve the difficulties

B. inform the appropriate department head and the dean or their designee of the concern(s) in order to identify potential patterns and issues related to the teacher candidate

C. document dates and content of meetings with teacher candidates

If a problem arises in the field, the mentor teacher of the host school district may discuss concerns directly with the TAMUC University Field Supervisor or Alternative Certification Coordinator. The teacher candidate may also be included in this meeting.

2. Formal Review: Level 1

Formal Review Form

Remediation Plan Document

When a faculty member or university field supervisor is sufficiently concerned about a teacher candidate’s fitness to teach, he or she will fill out the Fitness to Teach Formal Review Level 1 form. These forms are to be turned in to the Director of Teacher Certification or their designee.

A three-way conference will then be scheduled with the instructor or university field supervisor, the teacher candidate, and the Director or their designee. During this conference, a plan for remediation will be developed. The nature and content of the plan will depend on the specific situation. However, all remediation plans will be stated in measurable, objective terms, include a reasonable timeline, and be signed by all parties involved. If the candidate fails the remediation plan(s) he/she will be placed on Level 2 Formal Review. If the candidate successfully completes the remediation plan, probationary status will be removed. The remediation plan may continue for more than one semester, depending on the individual circumstances.

3. Formal Review: Level 2

Formal Review Level 2 Summary

If a second incident or concern is reported on the same teacher candidate, the candidate has failed a remediation plan during the Level 1 Review, or the seriousness of the incident or concern warrant it, the Advisory Board will meet to:

A. review the paperwork

B. interview the faculty members or university field supervisor who have instructed the teacher candidate

C. review the teacher candidate's documentation

D. makes a determination regarding the teacher candidate’s suitability to continue in the program

The teacher candidate is afforded due process throughout these proceedings. Following a Level 2 review, a letter of appeal may be submitted to the Director of Teacher Certification for consideration. The Advisory Board's decision is final.

Content Testing Policy


All teacher candidates must pass the appropriate teacher admission exam called TX PACT for the content area and grade level they wish to teach. For students with a foreign transcript, they may have to prove English proficiency.


After a student is accepted and begins to take classes they will be approved to take a content area exam. You may access more information and prep material for the TExES test at This test must be passed before a student begins their teaching assignment.


Beginning on January 1st, 2021 all students pursuing a certification in EC-6 Core, 4-8 Core, 4-8 ELAR or 4-8 ELAR/SS are required to pass the STR exam before beginning their teaching assignment.


Once you have completed 4 alternative certification classes you will be given approval to take the PPR TExES exam. This test must be passed before a student will be considered for a Texas teaching certificate.


English language proficiency requirements have been amended, including new score requirements for the Test of English as a Foreign Language. If TOEFL is required, a prospective student needs to score the following per TEA guidelines: Speaking-24, Listening-22, Reading-22 and Writing-21.

Educators who apply for certification are required to demonstrate English language proficiency by fulfilling one of the following requirements:

  • Completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States, not including US Territories.

Retention and Due Process

1. While in the Alternative Certification Program, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 with no grade below a “B”. If your GPA falls below a 3.0 or you receive a grade below a “B”, you must retake that class in the next available semester and receive a “B” or above in order to maintain good standing in our program. If you fail to meet GPA or make a “B” or better in your second attempt, you will be removed from the program and be considered “not in good standing” with the program.

2. Successfully complete all seven courses of the CBE Alternative Certification program.

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

4. Successfully complete a one-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 and university field supervisor at the end of your one-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. 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 one-year paid internship, from the beginning of the public school academic calendar year until the end. If at any time you resign, are dismissed, your contract is not renewed, you are discharged or released from the EPP, you withdraw from the EPP or your internship assignment is not in the grade/subject you are pursuing, you will be automatically dismissed from the program and you will be considered “not in good standing.” If you leave the internship due to any of the above reasons, the EPP, the campus or district personnel, and the candidate teacher must inform each other within one calendar week of the candidate teacher's last day in the assignment and TEA must receive the certificate deactivation request with all related documentation from the EPP within two calendar weeks of the candidate teacher's last day of the assignment in a format determined by TEA.

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 three excused absences. If you exceed three 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 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 complete 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 toward 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 one-year paid internship or a 16-week unpaid clinical/student teaching assignment. if you do not register for classes for four consecutive terms and do not respond to email requests, you will be removed from the program and an email will be sent to you. To be reinstated, an email should be sent to the EPP advisor requesting reinstatement and the reasons you should be allowed to reapply.

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.



Applications are accepted throughout the year.

You must have a bachelor's degree with an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher OR a conferred master's degree with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher to be eligible for the program.

Your Path to Becoming a Lion

Step 1. Pre-Admission Test

The Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT) is the content test for the certification area in which you choose to become certified.

  • You are required to pass this test prior to submitting your application through ApplyTexas.
  • The concentration area must match your clinical/student teaching or internship assignment.
  • View the Content Testing Policy (above) for additional information.

Step 2. Apply to the Graduate School

Submit Application

Submit Application

  • Select “Create a new graduate school admissions application.”
  • Select “Texas A&M University-Commerce (Commerce)” as your “Target University.”

  • Select “Alternative Certification” as your “Major” and choose the box for Competency-Based (CBE).

  • Pay the $50 application fee.

Wait to receive an application confirmation email before proceeding to the next step.

  • After you submit your application, the Graduate School will send a confirmation email within two business days to the personal email account you used for ApplyTexas.

Note: Acceptance into the Graduate School does not give automatic admission into the Alternative Certification Program.

Submit Documents

Submit the following documents after you receive an application confirmation email.

Official Transcripts

Contact your previous institution(s) and request that they send your official transcripts to [email protected].

  • We recommend that you request transcripts for all of your academic work.

All international transcripts must be evaluated and the evaluation submitted to the Graduate School.

We accepts evaluations sent directly from the following Agencies.

  • If a normal evaluation is submitted, official original transcripts with all marksheets will still need to be submitted.
  • If a WES ICAP or equivalent is submitted, we will not need the official transcripts to be submitted separately.

A conferred bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum overall grade point average of 2.75.

Postal Alternative

If your institution is unable to submit a digital copy, hard copies may be mailed to:

Texas A&M University-Commerce
Attn: Graduate School
PO Box 3011
Commerce, Texas 75429-3011

Resume or CV

Submit a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) which includes your academic and professional history and achievements.

Personal Statement

Describe your preparation for graduate work and your academic interests and goals in no more than 500 words.

Look for application updates in myLeo > Apps > Check Application Status

  • Once an admission decision has been made, you will receive an email to your student email account at myLeo > Apps > Leomail.

Step 3. Apply to the Alternative Certification Office

Once your application to the Graduate School is complete, you can submit your Alternative Certification Program Application right away using TK20. If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

Pay the certification and assessment fees

Gather Required Documents

You will need to have the following documents ready for upload in order to submit the application:

  • Alternative Certification Application fee receipt
  • TEA Assessment fee receipt
  • TX PACT Scores
    • You will upload a copy of your passing score report in TK20 as part of your admissions application
  • Resume
  • Statement of Qualification form
    • Only submitted if applying for a Career and Technical Education Certification (Trades and Industry, Marketing or Health Science)
  • Official transcripts from the Graduate Office will be reviewed by the certification office.
    • Official transcripts from all institutions must be submitted to the Graduate School in order to satisfy TEA certification admission requirements.
    • A minimum GPA of 2.75 on a conferred bachelor's degree is required for certification admission. Please note that certification admission requirements may differ from those of the Graduate School and are separate requirements.
If applicable:
  • TEA Transfers
  • Transcripts from outside the United States
    • Contact the certification office for any questions about TEA requirements for transcripts from outside the United States.
    • If you received a bachelor's degree from outside of the United States, then a Foreign Credential Evaluation with a course-by-course summary will be required. This is to remain in compliance with TEA to verify a bachelor's degree and to compute a core GPA.
    • A course-by-course evaluation must be from a TEA-approved Foreign Credential Evaluation Service.
  • English Proficiency
    • Educators who apply for certification are required to demonstrate English language proficiency by fulfilling one of the following requirements:
      • Completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States, not including US territories.
      • Completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree earned at an institution of higher education in a country outside of the United States approved by the State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC).
      • If these requirements are not met, then a passing score on the TOEFL exam must be submitted. Minimum scores needed per TEA: Speaking 24, Listening 22, Reading 22, Writing 21. The score report must be within the past two years to be valid for TEA.
  • Military Personnel
    • Military service members or military veteran candidates that have verified military service, training or education directly related to the certificate being sought may have that military service, training or education reviewed by an EPP to see if it satisfies any of the educator certification requirements.

Create a TK20 Account

  • Go to
  • Scroll down and click “Admissions”
  • Select “Click here to create your account.”
  • Complete the “Create Applicant Account” form.
  • Note: You will be creating a password for this account.
  • Store the password you create in a secure location so you can refer to it later.
  • After completing the “Create Applicant Account” form, TK20 will provide your username.
  • Store your TK20 username and password in a secure location so you can refer to them later.
    • You will use the username to log in to review your admission application once submitted.

Fill out the Alternative Certification Program Admission Application

  • Log into your TK20 account
    • Click on the “back to login” link.
    • Enter your username and password.
    • Click the green “Log Into Your Account” button.
  • Click on the “Create New Application” button.
  • Select “Alternative Certification” application
  • Click the “Next” button.
  • Complete the application.
  • When completing the field Alternative Certification Program Seeking, select the option Pride Pathway Alternative Certification.

Upload Documents

  • Upload documents by clicking on the “+ Select File(s)” button for the item you are uploading.
  • Once you have completed all fields in the application, click the “Submit” button.
  • Look for an email from TK20 confirming your submission.

Check Your Application Status

To check your application status:

  1. Log in to your TK20 Student Admissions account
  2. On the “Home” tab, locate your application under “Recent Messages”
  3. Click on the application.
  4. If you are admitted, the message will indicate your application was “Admitted”
  5. If you lack admission requirements, the message will indicate “Denied.”
    • Click on “Review Document” to view your deficiencies and reason(s) for denial.

Sign the Letter of Invitation

Once accepted, please sign the letter via your TK20 account.

Step 4. Apply for Financial Assistance

  • Apply for scholarships and graduate assistantships once you are admitted.
  • Apply for financial aid by submitting a FAFSA and sending it to school code 003565.
  • Contact your financial aid advisor with any questions.

Note: When applying for financial aid for the CBE Alternative Certification Program, apply as a 5th year undergraduate and respond “yes” when asked if you already have a bachelor's degree. If you have not reached your loan limits as an undergraduate, you may qualify for an unsubsidized loan.

Step 5. Register for Classes

Your Pride Pathway Advisor will be registering you for classes.

Program Costs

Tuition Rate by Residency Status

Residency StatusTuition Per Semester

In-state (Texas resident)


Bordering States
This includes: Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico and Arkansas


Border County within Bordering State

in-state + $30/hour

Out of state (e.g., Florida)

  • Active-duty Law Enforcement + Firefighter Tuition Exemption: $300
    • First responders who are neither law enforcement nor firefighters and/or those working for private companies are NOT covered by the tuition exemption.
  • Tuition exemption limited to state residents
  • Foster care, Hazelwood, blind and deaf receive full tuition exemption.
  • Senior citizens receive a tuition exemption of $300 with proof of age (driver's license).
  • Students can only receive ONE exemption (example: you cannot stack senior citizen and active-duty law enforcement exemptions).
  • A&M-Commerce Employee Scholarship: $300

Meet our Faculty and Staff

Contact Us

  • P.O. Box 3011
  • Commerce, TX 75429-3011
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