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Change Lives. Become a Teacher.

Our online teacher certification at A&M-Commerce is uniquely designed for those of you who have previously earned a bachelor’s degree and now seek to transition into a career in the teaching profession without pursuing a master’s degree. The program requires 18 hours of online coursework along with field-based work and student teaching.

Where It Is Offered Online

1.5-2 years

Foreign Language

Some Independent School Districts Require the ESL Exam

Delivery 100% Online
Total Credit Hours

18 hours

Thesis Requirements

No thesis required

Female teacher with elementary age girl at school desk.

Teacher Certifications :: Non-Degree Seeking (online alternative)


Our standard certifications prepare you to meet the modern students’ academic needs and varied educational settings. You are guided each step of the way by our coordinators and enrollment specialists. With their expertise, you will create a plan that includes coursework, field experiences, tests, and other program requirements.

Alternative Certification Programs

Early Childhood – 6th Grade

  • Core Subjects with Science of Teaching of Reading

4th Grade – 8th Grade

  • Core Subjects with Science of Teaching of Reading
  • English Language Arts & Reading with Science of Teaching of Reading
  • English Language Arts & Reading/Social Studies with Science of Teaching of Reading
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics/Science
  • Science
  • Social Studies

6th Grade – 12th Grade

  • Math/Physical Science/Engineering
  • Physical Science

7th Grade – 12th Grade

  • Chemistry
  • English Language Arts Reading
  • History
  • Journalism
  • Life Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics/Mathematics
  • Science (Composite)
  • Social Studies (Composite)
  • Speech

All Levels (Early Childhood – 12th Grade)

  • Art
  • Health
  • LOTE – French
  • LOTE – Spanish
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Special Education
  • Theatre

Our career and technical certifications build upon your previous work experience and professional credentials. Our coordinators and enrollment specialists help you navigate the path to certification. Together you will create a plan of action that includes coursework, field experiences, tests, and other program requirements.

Career and Technical Education Certifications

6th Grade – 12th Grade

8th Grade – 12th Grade

  • Family & Consumer Science
    • Hospitality, Nutrition and Food Sciences (contact Keith Frost) *
    • Human Development and Family Studies (contact Keith Frost) *

Contact us for more information.

Note: Career and Technical Education Certificates have additional requirements.

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Alternative Certification (Post-Bac) :: Featured Courses

Featured Courses

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Alternative Teacher Certification :: Path to Become a Lion



Applications are accepted throughout the year.

Note: International students (F1) are not eligible for this certificate. H1B or H4 visa holders should contact [email protected]

You must must have a bachelor’s degree with overall GPA of 2.75 or higher OR a conferred master’s degree with overall GPA of 3.0 or higher to be eligible for program.

Your Path to Becoming a Lion

Step 1. Pre-Admission Test

The Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT) is the content test for the certification area in which you choose to become certified.

  • You are required to pass this test prior to submitting your application through ApplyTexas.
  • Concentration area must match your clinical/student teaching or internship assignment.

Step 2. Apply to the Graduate School

Submit Application

Submit your application through ApplyTexas.

  • 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.”

  • Pay the $50 application fee.

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 Documents

Submit the following documents after you receive an application confirmation email.

Official Transcripts

Contact your previous institution(s) and request that they send your official transcripts to [email protected].

  • We recommend that you request transcripts for all of your academic work.

Undergraduate degree in a related discipline from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum grade point average of 2.75 overall.

Postal Alternative

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 [email protected] for more information.

Resume or CV

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

Personal Statement

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

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.

Step 3. Apply to the Alternative Certification

Submit Application

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.

Submit Documents

Email the following documents to [email protected] unless otherwise specified below.

Statement of Qualifications Form

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

Interview and Essay

Complete an admission interview with an Alternative Certification program representative.

At the time of the interview, a one-page essay should be submitted titled “What Inspired Me to Become a Teacher”.

Note: If unable to attend the interview in person, the essay must be e-mailed to the coordinator before the scheduled interview.

Decision Letter

Once the interview is complete and all documents have been reviewed, a decision letter will be sent to the applicant offering acceptance into the program or denying admittance.

If accepted, the candidate will return the signed letter within seven days

Step 4. Apply for Financial Assistance

  • Apply for FAFSA and TAFSA financial aid through the state and federal governments during the admission application process. Use code 003565.
  • Apply for outside scholarships once you are admitted to A&M-Commerce.
  • Check your financial aid and scholarship info through myLeo > Student Resources > Financial Aid Information.

Step 5. Register for Classes

Once registration opens and you are eligible to enroll, your certification coordinator will contact you to complete registration.

  • View your degree plan in DegreeWorks.
  • To register for classes, go to myLeo > Student Resources > Registration Menu.

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

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Alternative Certification (Post-Bac) :: Staff


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Female teacher working with high school students sitting in desk facing one another.

Alternative Teacher Certifications: Program Requirements

Program Requirements

Required Coursework

  • Complete a minimum of four (4) classes and pass your content exam prior to beginning your 1-year paid internship or 16-week unpaid clinical/student teaching.
  • Participate in one online Mental Health training (mental health / substance abuse & youth suicide).
  • Take EDCI 515 and any remaining classes during your internship or clinical/student teaching assignment.
  • Certification classes require a grade of “B” or better.

Required Classes include:

  • EDCI 514-Management & Curriculum Development for Diverse Learners
  • EDCI 517-Reading and Learning in K-12 Content Area
  • EDCI 519-Response to Intervention Applied to Exceptional Learners
  • ECE 566-Learning Environments (EC-6 candidates) OR
  • ETEC 524-Intro to Educational Technology (4-8, 7-12 candidates)
  • RDG 516-Foundations of Reading
  • EDCI 515-Evidence-Based Teaching

Note: Some school districts are requiring students in the following content areas to take the ESL exam: EC-6 Core, 4-8 Core, 4-8 ELAR, 7-12 ELAR. If you request to take the ESL exam before you obtain a standard Texas Teaching Certificate, then 2-3 additional classes may be required to prep for this test. (BLED 501, 502, 503)

Complete Observation Hours

  • Once you have returned your decision letter accepting your invitation into the program, you will be required to have 30-hours of field-based experience completed in a TEA accredited classroom setting.
  • Students are required to submit the required documentation to the Educator Certification Office upon completion of requirements before beginning a teaching assignment.

Take TExES Content Test

  • Once you have started taking your alternative certification classes, you may seek approval for your TExES content exam.
  • A passing score on the TExES content exam is required before you can begin your teaching assignment.
  • NOTE: Beginning Jan. 1, 2021 teacher candidates seeking certification in EC-6 Core, 4-8 Core, ELAR 4-8 and ELAR/SS 4-8 will be required to pass a “Science of Teaching Reading” exam in addition to their TExES content exam.
  • A passing score on the STR exam is required before you can begin your teaching assignment if you are teaching one of the previously listed areas beginning Jan. 1, 2021.

Take PPR Test

  • Seek approval for the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities exam once you have completed the four (4) minimum required classes.
  • A passing score on the PPR is required before you can obtain a Texas Teaching Certificate.
    • If you secure an internship position, you must be registered for the PPR before an Intern Certificate can be approved.
  • If you pass the PPR before you obtain an internship position, then a Probationary Certificate can be approved.

Complete Internship/Student Teaching

  • Option 1: 1-Year Paid Internship
    • You will obtain a full-time teaching position on your own.
    • You will need to apply for an intern or probationary certificate.
    • Cost is $78 + fingerprinting which is $50.
    • Supervised by a University Field Supervisor and Mentor Teacher.
    • Pay a $1,000.00 fee per semester, totaling $2,000.00 for the year.
    • If additional supervision is required, each added semester will be assessed an additional $1,000.00 per semester.
    • Upon completion, the University Field Supervisor, Mentor Teacher, and Principal will either recommend or deny you for a Texas State Teaching Certificate.
  • Option 2: 16-Week Unpaid Clinical or Student Teaching
    • Supervised by a University Field Supervisor and Mentor Teacher.
    • Pay a $1,000.00 fee per semester.
    • If additional supervision is required, each added semester will be assessed an additional $1,000.00 per semester.
    • Upon completion, the University Field Supervisor, Mentor Teacher, and Principal will either recommend or deny you for a Texas State Teaching Certificate.

Pay Required Fees

All fees for the Alternative Certification Program and to TEA must be paid in full before a recommendation for a Texas Teacher Certification will be granted.

Apply for Teacher Certification

During the final semester of your 1-year paid internship or 16-week unpaid clinical/student teaching, you must contact the Educator Certification Office to verify that all requirements were met and to receive information about applying for certification via the Texas Education Agency.

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