Frequently Asked Questions
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TPC Program Basics
I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. Is there a way?
Yes. The Region 10 Teacher Preparation and Certification (TPC) Program provides a way for selected college graduates to become teachers without graduating from a traditional teacher education program. This route to certification is considered an "alternative" route because it accomplishes certification outside the traditional university program setting. Mid-career candidates and others may have significant teaching and workplace experience and may benefit from a program that presents teaching methodologies.
What are the major components of the program?
After an applicant is accepted into the program, pays acceptance fee, and returns signed program agreement the applicant becomes a candidate. In addition a candidate will complete 30 hours of classroom field-based experience, at least 100 clock hours of pre-service coursework and then applies for teaching positions. During the program, initial pre-service coursework and an additional 200 hours of coursework in such areas as curriculum, teaching strategies, classroom management, beginning teacher responsibilities and technology will be provided. Upon securing an internship the candidate becomes an intern. A second option is to complete a 15 week non-paid clinical teaching experience.
The intern (teacher of record) will be assigned to work closely with a mentor teacher, school administrator, and TPC staff who will provide support throughout the program. An intern's teaching performance will be evaluated using the local or statewide teacher appraisal system and the intern must complete all requirements for Texas certification and pass state examinations. After satisfactory completion of the internship and meeting all program requirements, the TPC Advisory Board approves certification and the intern is recommended for certification to the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
How does the Region 10 Program differ from other alternative certification programs?
All state approved certification programs must address prescribed components. The specifics of delivery vary from program to program. The Region 10 TPC Program offers a combination of face-to-face and online coursework modules. In addition, thorough preparation and review for the required TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam is included. Strong support for interns and clinical teachers as they complete a teaching practicum is also a high priority.
What is the time commitment for the program?
The Region 10 TPC Program is an intense accelerated route to teacher certification, and the time commitment is extensive. Full attendance is required for all coursework sessions, which are offered in three-hour and six-hour segments. In addition, the program participants must fulfill all teaching responsibilities, complete observations of master teachers, prepare for and take state required examinations and complete necessary documentation.
Where will the TPC coursework take place?
About 40% of the TPC coursework is conducted at Region 10, 400 East Spring Valley Road, Richardson, Texas, while about 60% of coursework modules are offered online.
When does TPC coursework take place?
Course schedules are posted on the TPC web page under TPC Participants. In addition, you will find links to the TPC Fall and Spring Cohort Calendars. Coursework is offered evenings (three hour sessions) and Saturdays (six hour sessions). You may review the cohort calendars to see how they are structured. Punctual and consistent attendance is a professional expectation.
Can previously completed certification program coursework be substituted?
Some of the coursework you completed may be accepted in place of some requirements if it was completed less than 3 years ago. When inquiring about substitutions you must provide a course description.
Do I need to complete the entire program if I have a degree in education but did not complete student teaching?
Yes, however, some of the coursework you completed may be substituted. Please inquire prior to applying.
When should I submit my application?
The TPC Program accepts applications year round allowing those accepted into the program to begin field-based experiences and the initial online courses at any time. However, before applying, spend time considering what content area you want to teach and what grade levels. Obtaining transcripts from ALL institutions from which you earned course credit before aplying also expedites the process. Individuals completing a bachelor's degree can apply for admission during the last semester. You will need to submit a letter from the registrar indicating graduation date.
What information do I provide if I have a degree from a university outside of the United States?
You will need to submit the following:
*An original course by course evaluation prepared by a foreign crendential evaluation service, indicating an equivalent bachelor's
degree granted by an accredited institution of higher education in the U. S.
*Official or certified copy of foreign transcript
*Copy of Right to Work documentation (if applicable)
*Take and submit score of the TOFEL iBT (speaking portion score must be 26)
*Take and submit scores of the THEA (Reading, Writing, Math)
Do I need to have a job before I am accepted into the program?
No. In fact, NCLB (see FAQ below for No Child Left Behind) requires a teacher to be classified "highly qualified" before being hired for a teaching position. In addition, a passing score on the TExES content test is required before program acceptance.
How long does it take to process an application?
This depends on how quickly all the required documents are submitted. Applicants can expedite the process by obtaining transcripts from all colleges attended and reports of required test scores and submitting them along with the other required documents as soon as possible. After receiving these items, the process usually takes from 2 to 3 weeks.
Once I apply and meet basic eligibility requirements, am I enrolled in the Region 10 TPC program?
Submitting an application begins the process of possible admission to the Region 10 TPC Program. Once received, applications and documentation are reviewed and a multifaceted screening process is completed. Meeting eligibiity requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program. You may be scheduled for a formal interview with Region 10 personnel. All available information is considered to select those applicants most likely to succeed in this intensive accelerated teacher preparation program.
If I do not have all the necessary coursework at this time, may I still submit an application to be considered for the program?
You may submit an application; however, you will need to submit proof of registration for the coursework you are lacking. Consideration for program acceptance will not occur until you have completed all applicant requirements and submitted the required documents.
What is Field-Based Experience?
State rule requires candidates to complete 30 hours of field-based experience. These are introductory experiences for a candidate involving interactive and reflective observation of students and teachers engaging in educational activities and instruction. The recommendation of the TPC Program is for participants to complete all 30 hours through actual classroom observations.
Observing classrooms in a variety of grades and settings can help candidates determine the suitability of teaching as a career choice. It also provides an opportunity to observe teachers as they interact with their students.
What if I cannot complete all 30 hours observing classrooms?
For candidates who cannot complete all 30 hours of field-based experience through classroom observations, the following provides options to fulfill this requirement:
Paraprofessional, substitute teaching, tutoring experiences. Verification documents must be submitted to Region 10 TPC for consideration. The state allows a miximum of 15 hours credit for such experience(s).
Pre-Selected Videos (classroom settings). The videos are available online in the Field-Based Experience course. You will be enrolled in this course when the acceptance process and Orientation, Part 1, have been completed. The state allows a maximum of 15 hours credit for video viewing.
How do I arrange classroom observations with a school/district?
To arrange classroom observations for field-based experience, go online to the district's website for instructions regarding "Student Observation," or contact the school district human resource department when online instructions are not available. The districts may require a Criminal History background check for you to be granted access to their schools. You should also be prepared to present a copy of your program acceptance letter, if requested.
Will my certificate differ from that received by a graduate from a Texas college or university teacher education program?
No. Certificates received through the TPC Program are identical to certificates received through a traditional university teacher preparation program. The certificate enables recipients to teach in the certificate area anywhere in Texas, and reciprocity is available in some other states.
Once I complete my internship year, do I automatically receive teaching certification?
No. Completing the internship year does not automatically entitle you to certification. You must have met all state, district and Region 10 ESC requirements, as well as have been recommended for certification by your district and Region 10 ESC. You must have passed all exams required for your certification area and achieved at least a "proficient" rating on your district teacher appraisal. Please refer to Intern tab on website for a more complete description of certification requirements.
Does Region 10 TPC offer librarian, reading specialist, diagnostician, or counselor certification?
Librarian, Master Reading Teacher and Reading Specialist are not offered. Please contact Texas Education Agency (TEA) for information regarding these areas.
Does Region 10 TPC offer grants or loans for the program fees?
Region 10 TPC itself does not offer grants and loans, but its finance department will work with various entities that provide financial assistance to participants. Financial assistance opportunities include the College Access Loan (CAL), the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), deferment of existing school loans, Troops to Teachers (TTT), and Veteran benefits. Click here for additional information about these opportunities.
What salary can I expect to earn?
It is the applicant’s responsibility to check with individual districts about respective salary scales and benefit packages. Most districts post salary scales on their websites. Click here to access Region 10 district websites.
When will I begin receiving my salary?
In most districts, teachers are paid on a monthly basis on the last working day of the month over a 12 month period beginning in September and extending through August. Some districts will pay new teachers over 13 months so they can receive a check in August. It is the applicant’s responsibility to solicit this information from districts prior to accepting a position.
Am I paid a salary during my internship year?
Yes. Candidates hired by a participating school district receive the same salary as other first-year teachers, minus the program fee. As with any employment, it is the employee’s responsibility to inquire as to salary and benefits. An intern is hired as teacher of record and is an employee of the school district. As such, interns are subject to all rules and responsibilities outlined in local school board policies. Once certification is earned, the internship is credited as the first year of teaching service.
If an emergency prevents my completion of internship, am I responsible for the entire TPC internship fee?
No, if an intern resigns, the monthly deduction ceases at the end of the month the resignation becomes effective. Those who satisfactorily complete requirements for certification are responsible for payment of the entire program fee even if they resign their district positions at the end of the internship year.
Internship/Clinical Teaching Experience (CTE)
When do districts hire teachers?
Some districts hire certified teachers as early as January and February for the next school year. Generally, districts begin considering non-certified candidates who are already enrolled in a certification program throughout the spring and summer. Complete applications in several districts before attending their job fairs. You may also contact campus administrators by email to inquire about teaching on their campuses. Remember to make the email short and to the point.
Does Region 10 TPC place interns in teaching positions with school districts?
No. Each candidate is responsible for securing his/her own employment with a participating school district. Districts give priority to candidates who have passed appropriate exams in accordance with No Child Left Behind (NCLB). See FAQ below for more information on NCLB.
What school districts are in Region 10?
There are 80 public school districts, 35 charter schools, and numerous private schools in 8 counties across Region 10. Click here for a regional map. Not all school settings are approved for TPC internships. Review the list of charter schools approved for internships. Private schools must be on the TEA approved statewide list.
How long does the internship last?
Internships require two consecutive semesters as the "teacher-of-record" in a school district, approved charter school or TEA approved private school. An intern is expected to complete all program requirements including coursework, state exams before the internship ends.
Clinical Teaching Experience (CTE) - How is this different from an internship?
This option is an accelerated opportunity for qualified candidates to become certified. The Clinical Teaching Experience (CTE) consists of an unpaid fifteen-week practicum in the specific certification area sought. You are assigned to work with a cooperating/mentor teacher in his/her classroom. Your cooperating/mentor teacher, campus administrator, and Region 10 TPC staff member provide assistance and support.
Can I test without being in a program?
Yes, before being accepted into the Region 10 program, you must pass the TExES test for the certification area being sought. (New rule effective January 1, 2009)
How do I obtain test approval if I am not in a program?
You do not need testing approval. You can go directly to the ETS website and find information about the Pre-Admission Content Tests (PACT). These tests are the same as the TExES tests and are required to be completed before program acceptance.
How does Region 10 obtain my basic skills test scores?
Individuals provide copies of test scores received when submitting an application. Individuals presenting a foreign transcript evaluation indicating the equivalent of a bachelor's degree must also demonstrate college level skills. The THEA and TOFEL iBT are required.
Individuals holding at least a bachelor's degree from a U. S. regionally accredited institution of higher learning are not required to submit basic skills scores.
No Child Left Behind
What is No Child Left Behind?
Federal “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) legislation requires districts to employ teachers who are considered “highly qualified.” Content teachers 4-8, 6-12, 8-12, and EC-12 must have 12- 24 semester hours of university coursework in their content area. Individuals must have passed the appropriate generalist test (TExES Generalist EC-6 and 4-8, Bilingual Generalist EC-6), according to current interpretation from TEA. Special education teachers can be considered "highly qualified" when they have passed the Generalist EC-6 or a content TExES AND the Generic Special Education exam. ESL teachers, according to TEA, must pass their ESL Supplemental test AND a Generalist EC-6 or 4-8 content test.
Still Have Questions?
How can I get answers to other questions?
We understand you are making very important decisions and need to be fully informed to proceed with confidence. If you are interested in finding out more about the program before beginning the application process, please contact a consultant for additional information.