Teach the Trades

You have extensive training in the world of trade and industry that you can use to teach local high school students. Build on your work experience and qualifications through our trades and industry educator program from A&M-Commerce. In under two years, you can be prepared to educate high school students from grades 6 through 12 in subjects such as carpentry, automotive technology, cosmetology and masonry. Begin your new teaching career today!

Instructor showing how to use a cutting wood machine to students.


  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Two years of full-time wage-earning experience within the past ten years in an approved occupation for the classes you’ll be teaching

Submit Application

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

  • Select “Educator Certification” as your “Major.”

Domestic Application Fee 395064

  • Pay the $50 application fee.
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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 the following documents to your graduate coordinator after you receive an application confirmation email.

Graduate Coordinator DeRene Sutton 395159

Your Graduate Coordinator

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Contact your previous institution(s) and request that they send your official transcripts to your graduate coordinator.

  • 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 accept 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.

Option I

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Two years of full-time wage-earning experience within the past ten years in an approved occupation for the classes you’ll be teaching

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

We will need official/original documents. If those documents are the only copies you have, the Graduate School can mail them back to you upon request. Contact your graduate coordinator or more information.

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

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

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.

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].

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 or on the most recent 60 credit hours 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.

  • Go to tamuc.tk20.com
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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.

Once both the Graduate School and Certification Program Applications are complete, the Alternative Certification Program Coordinator will reach out to schedule an interview.

Once accepted, please sign and return the “letter of invitation” that will be sent to you via email from Tracey Stedman.

Submit your application through Alternative Certification Application

  • Pay the $50 application fee.

Note: When the application is sent, also submit your test scores and a resume.

Email the following documents to the Alternative Certificates Coordinator unless otherwise specified below.

Alternative Certification Coordinator

Your Alternative Certification Coordinator

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Complete the Statement of Qualifications and return to [email protected].

Submit current resume to [email protected]

  • 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: If you are pursuing teacher certification only, apply as a 5th-year undergraduate student on the FAFSA, and select “yes” you have a bachelor’s degree. You may qualify for unsubsidized loans if you did not reach your loan limit as an undergraduate. Pursuing a master’s degree with teacher certification is degree-seeking and eligible for financial aid.

Once registration opens and you are eligible to enroll, your certification coordinator is here to help you complete registration.

Contact your certification coordinator if you have any questions regarding your degree plan and registration.

Your Path to Complete the Certification

  • Complete 30-hours of required field experience in the content area or grade level you are pursuing.
    • Submit the completed log sheet and reflection questions to the Teacher Certification Office.
    • You cannot begin your teaching assignment until this is complete.

  • Complete 4 of the 6 alternative certification courses prior to a paid internship or clinical teaching.
    • You must have a minimum of 3.0 on all coursework.

  • The Trades and Industry test is combined with the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities Test, #370, which you’ll need to pass.

Choose one of the following two options:

  • Complete a one-year paid internship as a teacher of record.
    • Candidates will apply for positions through the district or region service center.
  • Complete a one-semester unpaid clinical student teaching assignment.
    • The alternative certificate program representative will assist with your application and placement.

During the first semester of your teaching assignment, you must enroll in EDCI 515.

Supervision and Fees

All paid interns and clinical student teachers will be supervised by a University Supervisor and Campus Mentor.

  • An internship fee of $1000 per semester is assessed during paid internship/clinical student teaching.

  • Complete any remaining courses.
  • All tuition and fees for the university, certification agency and program must be paid prior to obtaining certification.
  • Contact the Educator Certification Office during your final semester.
    • They will verify that all requirements are completed.
    • After the verification, you will receive information about how to apply for certification via the Texas Education Agency.


Required courses if you hold a bachelor's degree (18 hours)

  • EDCI 514 Management and Curriculum Development for Diverse Learners (to be taken first)
  • EDCI 517 Reading and Learning K-12
  • EDCI 519 Response to Intervention Applied to Exceptional Learners
  • RDG 516 Foundations of Reading
  • ETEC 524 Introduction to Educational Computing
  • EDCI 515 Evidence-Based Learning (to be taken during internship)

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