Alternative Certification

UHCL’s Alternative Certification Program Information

  • A teacher training program for initial teacher certification candidates who have previously earned a bachelor’s degree.
  • Candidates can be employed as full-time teachers while completing required coursework.
  • Program length may be from one to three years.
  • UCHL ACP meets the requirements of the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) definition of “highly qualified” under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
  • • An uncertified educator is able to meet this “highly qualified” definition by:
      • Having earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved institution;
      • Having been admitted to a State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) approved ACP; and
      • Having passed the content state assessments required for the certification area being sought.
  • Some certification plans can be combined with a master’s degree plan.

Qualifications for UHCL ACP

State Assessment

Candidates must pass all of the required TExES content state assessments in the designated certification areas prior to seeking a position within a school district. Bilingual candidates must pass all of the required TExES content area state assessments along with the BTLPT prior to seeking a position within a school district.


Candidates must be admitted to UHCL by the Office of Enrollment Services. Enroll as a “College of Education Graduate” and in the section labeled “Graduate Teaching Cert (ND)” check the certificate she/he is pursuing. Candidates must be:

  • Accepted as a “post-baccalaureate teacher certification” student; or
  • Accepted as a “graduate teacher certification” student.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Candidates must have at least a 3.0 overall GPA. This overall GPA includes all coursework from all collegiate institutions attended – not just UHCL. If a candidate does not have a 3.0 overall GPA, then a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of coursework may be accepted (includes all coursework taken during the 60th credit hour semester).


Candidates must complete the ACP Application available in the CPDT office (B-1231.04). Transcripts from all universities attended must accompany the application or be on file with the university. Candidates must meet eligibility requirements for each year that they are in the program.


  • $60 non-refundable application fee, payable to “UHCL”;
  • $131 per TExES exam required for certification by ETS; and
  • $45 non-refundable fee to change the certification area listed on the application, once the application has been processed.

Teaching Position

Candidates must have completed 30 documented clock hours of K-12 experience or observation prior to securing a teaching position within a school district. Thirty documented clock hours criteria (Substitute teaching and instructional aide experience does not meet all of the criteria for 30 clock hours (TAC §228.35):

  • Authentic school settings in a public school accredited by the TEA or other school approved by the TEA for this purpose;
  • Instruction by content certified teachers;
  • Actual students in classrooms/instructional settings with identity-proof provisions;
  • Content or grade-level specific classrooms/instructional settings; and
  • Reflection of the observation.
  • Candidates must be admitted to the Teacher Education Program (TEP) prior to securing a teaching position within a school district.

Candidates must obtain, and submit to the CPDT, a contract or “Letter of Intent to Hire”, from one of the participating independent school districts listed below, prior to January 1st (spring semester) or August 1st (fall semester), then –

  • Apply for Intern Certificate (if passed content tests; valid for one year) or the Probationary Certificate (if passed all tests; valid for one year and can be renewed one more year) with fees at
  • Register for TCED 4678 Post-degree Internship I prior to semester late registration date.
  • Candidates may only be hired to teach in their area of certification.
  • Candidates may not participate in coaching/extracurricular duties.
  • Candidates must submit all required documentation to the CPDT office prior to the start of the teaching position.

A program acceptance letter will be mailed to candidates when all requirements have been met.

Independent School District (ISD) of Hire

  • Alvin 
  • Angleton 
  • Brazosport 
  • Channelview 
  • Clear Creek 
  • Columbia-Brazoria 
  • Danbury 
  • Deer Park 
  • Dickinson 

  • Friendswood
  • Galena Park
  • Galveston
  • Goose Creek
  • Hitchcock
  • La Porte
  • Pasadena
  • Santa Fe
  • Sheldon
  • Texas City

Additional ACP Program Fees

  • Pay UHCL tuition and fees required for coursework;
  • $3,000 is deducted from candidate’s salary for the first year of employment while in the ACP to cover program costs;
  • $900 is deducted each semester ($1,800 yearly) from candidate’s salary for the 2nd and 3rd year of employment if the candidate is still completing the coursework requirements of the ACP to cover program costs;
  • $75 paid to the State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) for probationary certificate ( Re-apply yearly for a maximum of three years;
  • $39.50 paid to TEA for a FAST PASS; and
  • $9.95 for fingerprint scans to be sent to TEA for a background check (

Additional Requirements

  • The Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires that all candidates remain under university supervision while in the program and serving as the Teacher of Record in a public school;
  • Candidates on an intern certificate for one year.  Candidates may remain on a probationary certificate for one year and be renewed for a second year while completing coursework and serving as the Teacher of Record in a public school;
  • Enrollment in TCED 4678 Post Degree Internship I (1st semester);
  • Enrollment in TCED 4679 Post Degree Internship II (2nd semester);
  • Enrollment in TCED 4079 in subsequent semesters while finishing program requirements; and
  • Yearly eligibility audits.

Once the candidate has completed all course requirements, candidate will be given information on how to apply for a standard teaching certification. There is a $77 TEA fee for the standard teaching certificate.

For more information about the program, contact UHCL College of Education, 281-283-3600.

  • Office of Admissions

    Phone: 281-283-2500
    Fax: 281-283-2522

    SSCB 1.101
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 13
    Houston, TX 77058-1002

    Office Hours:
    Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    Holiday Hours:
    Nov. 25-27, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Nov. 28-29, CLOSED

    Extended Hours:
    Jan. 8-9, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.
    Jan. 14-15, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.

    UHCL Admissions Facebook UHCL Admissions Instagram