Become a Licensed Teacher in Texas
How you can become a licensed teacher in the state of Texas through WGU Texas
WGU Texas offers bachelor’s, master’s, or post-baccalaureate teacher preparation programs that lead to licensure in the state of Texas.
The Path to Teacher Licensure in Texas
Below is the standard process for earning your initial teaching license in the state of Texas through WGU Texas. For answers to specific questions, speak to an Enrollment Counselor.
1a. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree.
WGU Texas’ online bachelor’s teaching degrees include coursework and assessments, a pre-clinical experience that includes observation hours and teaching lessons, and Demonstration Teaching (student teaching, explained in step #3).
1b. Complete a Teacher Prep Program or Master’s Degree (if you already have a bachelor’s degree)
If you already possess a bachelor’s degree, one of WGU Texas' Post-Baccalaureate or Master’s in Teaching programs is the right choice for you. These programs will train you to become a highly qualified, licensed teacher in one of five disciplines: Elementary Education, Secondary Mathematics, Secondary Science, Secondary Social Science or Special Education. These programs also includes supervised practice teaching (see step #3: Demonstration Teaching) in an actual classroom setting.
2. Pass a Background Check.
The state of Texas requires all teacher certification program candidates to provide the university with verification of a cleared background check upon application for teacher certification. This is a necessary precaution designed to protect students in the classroom from those who may pose a danger. Speak to an Enrollment Counselor about the specifics for completing this step.
3. Complete a Term of In-Classroom Student Teaching (Demonstration Teaching).
Demonstration Teaching (or student teaching) is a critical component of any teaching degree program. This in-classroom experience is valuable in helping to integrate the academic knowledge and teaching skills you’ve developed to this point into a practical application that will prepare you to tackle the challenges of your own classroom effectively and with confidence.
The Demonstration Teaching (DT) domain at WGU Texas covers the competencies required for in-classroom proficiency. DT is a full-time, supervised, in-classroom experience of 12-20 weeks depending on your program of study. During Demonstration Teaching, you will be hosted by an experienced teacher. You will undergo a series of at least six observations by a Clinical Supervisor to evaluate your performance based on accepted professional standards.
4. Pass the Content and Pedagogy Exams
Achieve passing scores on the required content and pedagogy exams.
Frequently Asked Questions
Upon completion of your WGU Texas program, you can apply for your initial teaching license through reciprocity if you completed a bachelor’s degree program or directly to the state if you completed a post-baccalaureate or master’s program. The steps described above give you a general idea of what’s required, but we recommend that you speak to an Enrollment Counselor to learn more. You can also learn more by visiting:
Texas State Board for Educator Certification
What grades will I be able to teach?
This depends on what program you choose to pursue. Your Enrollment Counselor may be able to help you determine what grades you will be able to teach in Texas specifically.
Does WGU Texas have NCATE accreditation?
Yes, as part of Western Governors University, WGU Texas’ online teaching programs are NCATE approved.
What is NCATE accreditation and what does it mean to me?
NCATE is the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Five groups were instrumental in the creation of NCATE: The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC), the National Education Association (NEA), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and the National School Boards Association (NSBA). NCATE is the agency responsible for accreditation in teacher education, representing a strong, independent, quality assurance mechanism composed of all key stakeholders in education.
Having NCATE accreditation is a mark of distinction and provides recognition that the college of education has met national professional standards for the preparation of teachers and other educators.
How long will the licensing program take?
It depends on the individual student. There are three sections of study in our teacher preparation programs—Foundations of Teaching, Effective Teaching Practices, and Demonstration Teaching. Foundations of Teaching typically takes students approximately 6-9 months to complete. Effective Teaching Practices also takes approximately 6-9 months to complete. Demonstration Teaching is 12-20 weeks within a six-month term. The teacher preparation component of the program in its entirety takes about 18-24 months to complete.