Alternative Teacher Certification Program
Alternative Teacher Certification Program (ATCP)
The Alternative Teacher Certification Program at Houston Community College is a state-approved comprehensive educator preparation program that trains individuals for Texas standard certification in elementary and secondary education.
You must complete the following steps to become a certified classroom teacher in Texas:
- Obtain a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education
- Complete an Educator Preparation Program (EPP)
- Pass required state certification exams for certificate sought
- Apply for state certification upon the EPP’s recommendation (Must be fingerprinted as part of a national criminal background check)
- Become certified by obtaining a Texas Classroom Teacher Standard Certificate
Once certified, Texas Standard Certificates are renewable every five years, provided you have completed continuing professional education (CPE) requirements.
Don’t have a Bachelor’s degree? See Teacher Education for Associate of Arts in Teaching.
Have a Bachelor’s degree? Apply to the Alternative Teacher Certification Program.
Already a Certified Classroom Teacher? See Out-of-State Certified Educators, Out-of-Country Certified Educators, Renewing a Standard Certificate, or Additional Certification by Exam.Apply now
About the Alternative Teacher Certification Program
Houston Community College — Alternative Teacher Certification Program is accredited by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) and Texas Education Agency (TEA).
The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) oversees all aspects of the preparation, certification, and standards of conduct of public school educators. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is the state agency that oversees primary and secondary public education. TEA provides staff support to the SBEC board.
For additional information regarding EPP accreditation ratings, pass rates, and annual performance reports, please visit Consumer Information.
To file a complaint, refer to the Student Handbook for the complaints process. If the student is not satisfied with the complaint process or outcome, the student may file a complaint against the program with the Texas Education Agency. The official Texas Education Agency complaint process can be found at tea.texas.gov at the bottom of the page
The program is considered an alternative certification program. It is designed primarily to prepare students for employment as an educator. The program is offered as a “non-credit” program; therefore, no semester hours are awarded. Completion of the program requires 1-2 years. Students receive a recommendation for their Texas Standard Classroom Certificate upon successful completion of all program requirements.
Training includes (at minimum):
- 319 clock-hours of coursework and/or training,
- 30 clock-hours of field-based experience,
- 6-12 clock-hours of TExES test preparation, and
- One academic year (2 semester) supervised clinical experience completed as an internship as teacher-of-record under a probationary certificate at a public, charter, or any school accredited by Texas Education Agency (TEA).
There are 37,022 Elementary School Teachers, 17,949 Middle School Teachers, and 23,670 High School Teachers employed in the Greater Houston Area . These numbers are expected to increase by 18.9% over the next four years.
- The estimated annual job openings is 2826 Elementary, 1,349 Middle School and 1,845 High School jobs a year.
- Median Wages - $24.98 hourly, $52,000 annually.
- Core Subjects (EC-6)
- Core Subjects (4-8)
- English Language Arts & Reading/Social Studies (4-8)
- Mathematics (4-8)
- Science (4-8)
- Social Studies (4-8)
High School/Secondary Grade Levels
- Life Science (7-12)
- Mathematics (7-12)
- Physical Science (6-12)
- Science (7-12)
- Special Education (EC-12)
Supplemental (Not standalone certificates)
- Bilingual Education Supplemental-Spanish
- English as a Second Language (ESL) Supplemental
What are the prerequisites?
Before you apply, please read through the entrance requirements and identify the subject area and grade levels you would like to seek certification.
All entrance requirements must be met to be formally admitted into the program.
Apply To view the upcoming application deadlines and the step-by-step admissions process, click here.
Educator Preparation Training
The program offers a route to certification that allows you to teach while completing the requirements.
- ACP 1000 Accelerated Teacher Certification Program 54 hrs
- ACP 2000 Teacher Certification II 54 hrs
- ACP 3000 Teacher Certification III 54 hrs
- ACP 4000 Teacher Certification IV 54 hrs
Online Training (Co-requisite to In-Person Training)
- ACP 1001 Human Growth & Development 16 hrs
- ACP 1002 Curriculum & Instruction 17 hrs
- ACP 1003 Assessment 16 hrs
- ACP 1004 Critical Thinking 10 hrs
- ACP 1005 Special Populations and Student Motivation 12 hrs
- ACP 1006 Classroom Management 12 hrs
- ACP 1007 Schools, Parents, and Communities 10 hrs
- ACP 1008 Teaching in Texas 10 hrs
Pre-Internship & Testing Requirements (Co-requisite to In-Person Training)
- Field-Based Experience 30 hrs
- Test Preparation (6 hrs per exam) 6 hrs
Internship (under a Probationary Certificate)
- Internship I One Semester
- Internship II One Semester
Total: 355 hrs
Even though you think you might not qualify, applying for financial aid and/or scholarships may help determine what resources are available to assist you with your educational goals.
Please see the Continuing Education Financial Aid Website for any available scholarships or grants approved for the Accelerated Teacher Certification Program.
Individuals may qualify for the following:
- HCC Foundation Workforce Scholarship
- Troops to Teachers
- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
Applicants must be seeking Mathematics, Science, Special Education, or Bilingual Certification. An Individual Referral/Cost Obligation Form will only be issued to students that have been admitted into program. It is recommended students apply to Workforce Solutions' scholarship at least 30-45 prior to semester start date.
Information session/ dates and times
To learn more about Houston Community College’s Alternative Teacher Certification Program, join us at one of our free information sessions for an overview of how the program prepares teachers for their certification.
Topics to be covered:
- Program overview
- Training schedule
- Scholarship opportunities
- Paid internships
Please RSVP by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the date and time of the session you would like to attend. A confirmation email will be returned with the location of the session. All sessions are held at the HCC Central Campus.
- Texas Education Agency(TEA)/State Board for Educator Certification(SBEC)
- Texas Educator's Code of Ethics (Texas Administrative Code)
- TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills)
- THECB (Rexas Higher Education Coordinating Board)
- TExES (Texas Examinations of Educator Standards)
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
- If a student is not satisfied with the complaint process or outcome, the student may file a complaint against the program with the Texas Education Agency. The official Texas Education Agency complaint process can be found http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Contact_Us/Complaints/