Initial Certification Program
Teacher Certification Information
Candidates seeking Initial Certification in any field in the Educator Preparation Program (EPP) in the Don A. Williams School of Education must follow the Texas Education Agency (TEA) requirements and the requirements put in place by the School of Education. These requirements include:
- Submit an application for admission to the EPP, along with a one-page typed autobiography.
- Successfully pass through a formal interview process conducted by an interview committee named by the School of Education.
- Recommended for entrance into the EPP by the Teacher Education Committee (TEC).
- Receives an acceptance letter (via hard copy and/or email) into the EPP.
- Replies with a “yes” to the acceptance letter within the given timeframe.
- Purchases Certify Teacher, by contacting the Business Office at 806-291-3456, within two weeks of acceptance into the EPP.
- Before recommended for certification, the completion of all coursework, passing all content exams, and all certification requirements must be fulfilled which includes the following mandatory policy:
- Whether you are a teacher or non-teacher candidate (i.e. School Counselor, Ed Diag, Principal, Superintendent), the following steps outline an updated, standardized process for taking practice certification tests, studying with Certify Teacher online software, and for being approved to take an official TExES exam.
- Students will then study 10 hours on Certify Teacher.
- All Certify Teacher study time must be individualized, self-directed, and outside of any class time. This online software program will provide a digital log.
- Candidates will schedule a practice exam with the Associate Dean/Director of Clinical Experiences or an external campus’ designed counterpart.
- A log of 10 hours on Certify Teacher will be required.
- A passing score of 80% is required before gaining approval to take the official TExES exam.
- If a candidate fails the practice exam, he/she must study 50 hours on Certify Teacher, re-take the practice exam, and repeat step #2.
- Once a digital log of 50 hours on Certify Teacher is submitted, the Associate Dean/Director of Clinical Experiences or external campus’ designated counterpart will approve the candidate to take the content exam.
- Recommended for certification by the Teacher Education Committee (TEC).
- Degree is posted by the Registrar’s Office.
- Associate Dean/Director of Clinical Experiences, or designated counterpart, applies for Candidate’s certification through TEA on/after the date the degree is conferred.
In addition to meeting the requirements for admission to WBU Graduate Programs, students seeking their initial certification must meet Teacher Education Program requirements and certification requirements. The student expecting to enter a program leading to teacher certification should indicate his/her certification interest on the graduate application and apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program as part of the course responsibilities. This application should be filed with the education coordinator at the respective campus. An additional fee of $55 is assessed for students who are admitted to the Educator Preparation Program.
Students may satisfy, in certain instances, the requirements for both the master’s degree and state certification. Two post baccalaureate certification plans are available - elementary (grades EC-6) and secondary (high school [grades 7-12]). Each plan can result in completion of a master of education degree and eligibility for teacher certification. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree program with initial certification is a 36 to 39 credit hour program.
In addition to graduate programs leading to a Master of Education degree, a post baccalaureate non-degree program is available. This program is designed for secondary teacher candidates. Students must have a major in one of the areas for which Wayland Baptist University is approved for licensing and must have at least 24 credit hours in the subject area to include 12 credit hours in upper-level courses. The post baccalaureate program is individually designed for the students, and courses focus on the areas in which the student is expected to demonstrate proficiency on the state examination. Additionally, the student is expected to take courses in preparation for the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) portion of the state examination.
In lieu of clinical teaching, students in the graduate level initial certification program may take six hours of supervised internship (EDUC 5350 and EDUC 5351 ). The student seeking probationary certification must demonstrate content proficiency through either obtaining a passing score on a state approved and administered content certification examination or a passing score on a state approved and administered Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT) prior to receiving the probationary certification. All teacher education standards are established by Teacher Education Advisory Committees in compliance with the state department of education. Certification is a function of the state and not the university. Students on probationary certification must be continually enrolled in the internship until a standard certification is issued.
General Certification Requirements
Individuals seeking to teach in the elementary, middle school, and high schools of the State must meet specific certification requirements. Individuals seeking an elementary certification must prove content proficiency by passing the core subjects benchmark examination prior to admission to the teacher education certification program. If the applicant does not pass the benchmark test, additional work or courses will be prescribed to improve content competency and mastery. A secondary teaching field is 24 credit hours in an approved teaching specialization with twelve hours at or above the junior level (3000). A teaching field may be established by making a satisfactory score on the Pre-Admission Certification Test (PACT) prior to formal admission into the teacher education program. Certification requirements include formal admission to a teacher education program, the satisfactory completion of structured field experiences, satisfactory performance on required subject area and professional practices competency approved State examinations, compliance with an investigation to determine absence of a criminal history, and completion of a certification application accompanied by the required fee. Information related to these requirements follows:
Admission to Teacher Education Program
Additional requirements for admission to and retention in the Teacher Education program include the following:
- Admission to the graduate school.
- Take and pass the TxPACT (Texas Preadmission Content Test) exam in chosen content area before admission to the Teacher Education program.
- Filing a completed application for admission to the Teacher Education Program and a copy of the certificate or degree plan in the School of Education office.
- A minimum overall GPA of 2.7 for the last sixty hours (60) hours of graded academic work attempted.
- A minimum overall GPA of 2.7 in the subject area (teaching field) with no grade below a C or a passing score on a state approved and administered content area exam.
- English (9 credit hours) and mathematics (3 credit hours of college algebra or higher or equivalent level mathematics course) with a grade of C or better in each course.
- Completion of at least 24 credit hours in the subject-specific content area for certification being sought of which 12 must be upper level work or a passing score on the state content certification exam, or a passing score on the PACT (Pre-Admission Content Test) exam. Twelve hours may be met through the following:
- Elementary core subjects and all level generic special education: completion of 12 hours from 3 of the following 4 content areas: English, math, history, science
- Secondary education: 12 hours in content area teaching field.
*Students seeking post baccalaureate secondary certification who do not plan on pursuing a master’s degree MUST have at least 24 credit hours in the subject specific content area for the certification being sought including 12 credit hours in upper-level courses or satisfactory scores on the PACT Test.
- Evidence of freedom from any incapacitating physical or emotional defects (It is University policy that no otherwise qualified disabled person be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any education program or activity in the University).
- Evidence of oral communication proficiency.
- Conduct in harmony with that established by University standards from the University Student Handbook and the Educator’s Code of Ethics.
- Recommendation by the Teacher Education Advisory Committee.
- Demonstrate proficiency in reading and writing on state approved test of academic skills.
NOTE: If Candidates admitted to the Educator Preparation Program (EPP) in the Don A. Williams School of Education discontinue enrollment for two consecutive semesters (or the equivalent), they will be un-enrolled from the EPP at the end of the second semester they are not enrolled. This is per policy. If candidates are un-enrolled, they will have to reapply to the EPP and follow the same procedures as they initially did to be admitted to EPP, including completing the application, autobiography, interview, paying the $55 admission, completing the TEA trainings, etc.
Any conduct not in harmony with that encouraged by University standards and/or a student’s failure to maintain all above stated criteria may constitute grounds for dismissal from the teacher education program. State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) is responsible for disciplining educator applicants for certification for conduct indicating unsuitability to teach as well as unethical conduct. WBU and SBEC will enforce the Educators Code of Ethics. This code may be reviewed at www.tea.state.us. The Teacher Education Advisory Committee assumes the role of determining whether the behavior is detrimental to performance as a teacher and delineating pertinent details of the alleged misconduct or the incident. The Teacher Education Advisory Committee shall review the documentation and other pertinent information regarding the alleged misconduct or violation of university policy or Code of Ethics and determine appropriate action pertaining to retention, conditional retention, or dismissal from the teacher education program.
Structured Field Experiences
The teacher education field experiences begin with the initial education course. Field experiences are designed to offer interactive, continuous, sustained exposure to the complexities exhibited within the classroom environment. The field experience progressively intensifies and increases the student’s involvement to a full-day clinical teaching or internship experience as the culminating event of the teacher preparation program. For all courses with documented minimum field experience hours, successful completion and documentation of those hours is required for course credit.
Advancement to Clinical Teaching/Internship
All initial teacher certification programs require an apprenticeship component through either clinical teaching or internship. Individuals holding a baccalaureate degree may be eligible for an internship in lieu of clinical teaching. Advancement to clinical teaching requires the student to have demonstrated proficiency on the state content test in his/her teaching field. Advancement to Clinical Teaching/Internship is restricted to those students who meet the prerequisite criteria, have been admitted to the Teacher Education Program, and, after additional review by Teacher Education Committee (TEC), have been approved for clinical teaching or internship. It is the function of the TEC at each campus within the School to review the student’s application and determine whether the student is advanced to the clinical teaching/internship phase.
The clinical teaching experience is considered the beginning of a student’s professional career, and the student’s energies should be directed in making the most of the professional assignment. During this period of time, the students’ first responsibilities are to the classroom of students they teach in the clinical teaching assignment. As clinical teaching is an all-day, 14 week assignment, it is strongly recommended that students limit outside activities during this time. Outside activities include employment, sports, sororities, fraternities, and cheerleading. Outside responsibilities should not interfere with the apprentice teaching responsibilities. Therefore, outside employment or taking coursework in addition to clinical teaching block are not recommended actions. If students believe employment is a necessity, it should be restricted to weekends if at all possible. A conference with the student’s University Clinical Teaching Supervisor, the Field Experience Coordinator, the education advisor at an external campus, or the Dean of the School of Education will determine the best options for the student who must maintain employment. In the event that additional coursework is required to finish a degree, anything beyond one additional course plus the clinical teaching block will require review by the Teacher Education Advisory Committee to determine if the student should consider clinical teaching during another term.
Enrollment for clinical teaching term will occur at the campus from which you were admitted to teacher education. Placement recommendation for clinical teaching is a function of the local campus teacher education committee, and no assignment greater than eighty miles from your home campus will be granted. Clinical teaching must be completed under the supervision of a Wayland Baptist University Supervisor at a Wayland Baptist University campus.
Clinical teachers are guests in the schools in which they teach and serve. Clinical teachers must meet all regulations established by the principal, school administration, and school district. The clinical teaching assignment is made with much care and attention to many factors. Adjustments in assignments are not made after the clinical teaching experience begins except for unusual circumstances.
Occasionally, some incompatibility may arise, thus interfering with the success of the clinical teaching experience. If this should occur, you are to notify your University Supervisor at once. Requirements for advancement to clinical teaching are to be submitted no later than 2 terms prior to clinical teaching, and only in extreme circumstances will students be concurrently admitted to teacher education and clinical teaching. Clinical teaching requirements include:
- Filing a completed application for admission to clinical teaching. Applications for admission are available from the School of Education or the Education advisor on each campus. (If denied admission to clinical teaching, the student may reapply when the deficiency is corrected, and the student is required to submit documentation of deficiency removal and initiate a new application for clinical teaching.)
- Updated certification (degree) plan on file in the School of Education office
- Minimum overall GPA of 2.7 for last 60 hours of academic work attempted
- 3.0 minimum GPA on professional education courses with no grade below C
- Completion at WBU of a minimum of nine credit hours of required professional education courses at the student’s level of certification.
- 2.7 GPA in student’s teaching field(s) with no grade below C (completion of all prerequisites for clinical teaching) or a passing score on a state approved and administered content area exam.
- Students must have passed state approved content test prior to enrolling for the clinical teaching experience.
- Completion of a criminal background check.
- Passing the state’s content examination.
- Recommendation by the Teacher Education Advisory Committee (TEAC).
An internship program is available to some students in lieu of the clinical teaching experience. The specifications and requirements outlined above for clinical teachers also hold true for post baccalaureate interns. Additional requirements for those seeking admittance to the internship program include:
- Filing a completed application for admission to the Intern Program. Applications for admission are available from the School of Education or the Education advisor on each campus. (If denied admission, the student must reapply in order to be considered for admission.)
- Completion of all requirements and admission to Teacher Education (as outlined above).
- Completion of all requirements for admission to clinical teaching (as outlined above).
- At least 24 hours including 12 hours of upper level courses in internship subject area or a passing score on a state approved and administered content area exam.
- Student must have passed the state approved content test prior to being recommended for an internship and probationary certification.
- Employment as the teacher of record by an accredited public school district or a recognized private school.
*Students seeking a probationary certificate must pass a state test in the internship subject area prior to receiving the certificate.
Prior to Recommendation for Certification:
Clinical Teachers/Interns must complete the following requirements:
- maintain all GPA requirements
- complete a satisfactory clinical teaching/internship experience
- satisfactory performance on content area and professional state competency examinations
- comply with an investigation to determine absence of criminal history and submission of fingerprints as required by law
- complete an application for certification along with all required fees.
Recommendation for Teacher Certification/Licensure:
Certification or licensure is a function of the State, not a function of the university. Therefore, certification is NOT automatic with the completion of an approved program of study. Upon completion of the required program of study and passing the appropriate state licensure tests, a student may apply for certification through the state certification entity (Texas certification entity is the State Board for Educator Certification - https://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Educators/Certification/). Students should make application for the appropriate certification(s) or endorsement(s) during the last semester in which they complete all requirements for a certificate or endorsement.
The application and required fee is to be sent to the state certification entity which has the authority for the issuance of certificates/licenses. Any questions regarding certification should be addressed to Certification Officer, at (806) 291-1056. Every applicant must be investigated for a record of a felony or misdemeanor conviction. As well, the student must submit fingerprints as a part of the background investigation. In the event a criminal record exists, certification may be denied.
Failure to Complete Licensure After One Year:
Students who have completed the teacher education program and have not passed the state licensure test one year following the completion of the program may be required to do additional work or review to obtain permission to take the state licensure test.
All students seeking the M.Ed. with teacher certification must complete a capstone experience. The capstone experience includes a written component and/or an oral examination.
- Completion of EDUC 5319 - Becoming an Effective Educator . The written portion consists of passing the practice certification exam with a score of 80 or better. The oral component consists of a presentation of the certification standards to an audience which includes faculty who will evaluate the oral presentation as the completion of capstone requirements for the M.Ed. The professor supervising the research may invite other faculty to assist in evaluating the oral presentation.
- Passing the required state certification examinations constitutes the written examination requirements.
Master of Education with Secondary Certification
The program is designed to provide teacher certification in a designated teaching field and a Master of Education English/language arts, history, social studies, mathematics, or science. A capstone experience including comprehensive written examination and passing the state certification examination are required for the secondary education M.Ed. and will be satisfied through successful completion of EDUC 5319 .