Chapter 227. Provisions for Educator Preparation Candidates

Subchapter A. Admission to Educator Preparation Programs


Statutory Authority: The provisions of this Subchapter A issued under the Texas Education Code, §§21.031; 21.044; 21.0441; 21.045(a); 21.049; 21.050(a); and 21.051.


§227.1. General Provisions.

(a)  It is the responsibility of the education profession as a whole to attract applicants and to retain educators who demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse student population of this state.

(b)  Educator preparation programs should inform all applicants that:

(1)  pursuant to the Texas Education Code (TEC), §22.083, candidates must undergo a criminal history background check prior to employment as an educator; and

(2)  pursuant to the TEC, §22.0835, candidates must undergo a criminal history background check prior to clinical teaching.

(c)  Educator preparation programs (EPPs) shall inform all applicants, in writing, of the following:

(1)  the admission requirements as specified in this chapter;

(2)  the requirements for program completion as specified in Chapter 228 of this title (relating to Educator Preparation Requirements); and

(3)  in accordance with TEC, §21.044(e)(3):

(A)  the effect of supply and demand forces on the educator workforce in this state; and

(B)  the performance over time of the EPP for the past five years.

Source: The provisions of this §227.1 adopted to be effective July 11, 1999, 24 TexReg 5011; amended to be effective December 14, 2008, 33 TexReg 10011; amended to be effective February 28, 2016, 41 TexReg 1238; amended to be effective October 18, 2016, 41 TexReg 8198.


§227.5. Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1)  Accredited institution of higher education--An institution of higher education that, at the time it conferred the degree, was accredited or otherwise approved by an accrediting organization recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

(2)  Alternative certification program--An approved educator preparation program, delivered by entities described in §228.20(a) of this title (relating to Governance of Educator Preparation Programs), specifically designed as an alternative to a traditional undergraduate certification program, for individuals already holding at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education.

(3)  Applicant--An individual seeking admission to an educator preparation program for any class of certificate.

(4)  Candidate--An individual who has been formally or contingently admitted to an educator preparation program; also referred to as an enrollee or participant.

(5)  Certification category--A certificate type within a certification class; also known as certification field.

(6)  Certification class--A certificate, as described in §230.33 of this title (relating to Classes of Certification), that has defined characteristics; also known as certification field.

(7)  Clinical teaching--An assignment, as described in §228.35 of this title (relating to Preparation Program Coursework and/or Training).

(8)  Content certification examination--A standardized test or assessment required by statute or State Board for Educator Certification rule that governs an individual's admission to an educator preparation program or certification as an educator.

(9)  Contingency admission--Conditional admission to an educator preparation program when an applicant meets all admission requirements specified in §227.10 of this title (relating to Admission Criteria) except graduation and degree conferred from an accredited institution of higher education.

(10)  Educator preparation program--An entity that must be approved by the State Board for Educator Certification to recommend candidates in one or more classes of certificates.

(11)  Formal admission--Admission to an educator preparation program when an applicant meets all admission requirements specified in §227.10 of this title (relating to Admission Criteria).

(12)  Incoming class--Individuals contingently or formally admitted between September 1 and August 31 of each year by an educator preparation program.

(13)  Post-baccalaureate program--An educator preparation program, delivered by an accredited institution of higher education and approved by the State Board for Educator Certification to recommend candidates for certification, that is designed for individuals who already hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education and are seeking an additional degree.

(14)  Semester credit hour--One semester credit hour is equal to 15 clock-hours at an accredited institution of higher education.

Source: The provisions of this §227.5 adopted to be effective December 14, 2008, 33 TexReg 10011; amended to be effective February 28, 2016, 41 TexReg 1238; amended to be effective October 18, 2016, 41 TexReg 8198.


§227.10. Admission Criteria.

(a)  The educator preparation program (EPP) delivering educator preparation shall require the following minimum criteria of all applicants seeking initial certification in any class of certificate, unless specified otherwise, prior to admission to the program.

(1)  For an undergraduate university program, an applicant shall be enrolled in an accredited institution of higher education (IHE).

(2)  For an alternative certification program or post-baccalaureate program, an applicant shall have, at a minimum, a bachelor's degree earned from and conferred by an accredited IHE.

(3)  For an undergraduate university program, alternative certification program, or post-baccalaureate program, to be eligible for admission into an EPP, an applicant shall have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 before admission.

(A)  The GPA shall be calculated from an official transcript as follows:

(i)  2.5 on all coursework previously attempted by the person at an accredited IHE:

(I)  at which the applicant is currently enrolled (undergraduate university program formal admission, alternative certification program contingency admission, or post-baccalaureate program contingency admission); or

(II)  from which the most recent bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited IHE was conferred (alternative certification program formal admission or post-baccalaureate program formal admission); or

(ii)  2.5 in the last 60 semester credit hours on all coursework previously attempted by the person at an accredited IHE:

(I)  at which the applicant is currently enrolled (undergraduate university program formal admission, alternative certification program contingency admission, or post-baccalaureate program contingency admission). If an applicant has less than 60 semester credit hours on the official transcript from the accredited IHE at which the applicant is currently enrolled, the EPP shall use grades from all coursework previously attempted by a person at the most recent accredited institution(s) of higher education, starting with the most recent coursework from the official transcript(s), to calculate a GPA for the last 60 semester credit hours; or

(II)  from which the most recent bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited IHE was conferred. If an applicant has hours beyond the most recent degree, an EPP may use grades from the most recent 60 hours of coursework from an accredited IHE (alternative certification program formal admission or post-baccalaureate program formal admission).

(B)  An exception to the minimum GPA requirement may be granted by the program director only in extraordinary circumstances and may not be used by a program to admit more than 10% of any incoming class of candidates. An applicant is eligible for this exception if:

(i)  documentation and certification from the program director that an applicant's work, business, or career experience demonstrates achievement equivalent to the academic achievement represented by the GPA requirement; and

(ii)  in accordance with the Texas Education Code, §21.0441(b), an applicant must pass an appropriate content certification examination as specified in paragraph (4)(C) and (D) of this subsection for each subject in which the applicant seeks certification prior to admission. Applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement and have previously been admitted into an EPP may request permission to register for an appropriate content certification examination if the applicant is not seeking admission to the same EPP that previously granted test approval.

(C)  An applicant who is seeking a career and technical education (CTE) certificate that does not require a degree from an accredited IHE is exempt from the minimum GPA requirement.

(D)  An applicant who does not meet the minimum GPA requirement and is seeking certification in a class other than classroom teacher must perform at or above a score equivalent to a 2.5 GPA on the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytic Writing sections of the GREŽ (Graduate Record Examinations) revised General Test. The State Board for Educator Certification will use equivalency scores established by the Educational Testing Service, and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will publish those equivalency scores annually on the TEA website.

(4)  For an applicant who will be seeking an initial certificate in the classroom teacher class of certificate, the applicant shall have successfully completed, prior to admission, at least:

(A)  a minimum of 12 semester credit hours in the subject-specific content area for the certification sought, unless certification sought is for mathematics or science at or above Grade 7; or

(B)  15 semester credit hours in the subject-specific content area for the certification sought if the certification sought is for mathematics or science at or above Grade 7; or

(C)  a passing score on a comparable content certification examination administered by a vendor on the TEA-approved vendor list published by the commissioner of education on the TEA website for the calendar year during which the applicant seeks admission; or

(D)  for an applicant who has not previously been admitted into an EPP, a passing score on a content certification examination administered by a TEA-approved vendor. An applicant who has previously been admitted into an EPP may request permission to register for a content certification examination if an applicant is not seeking admission to the same EPP that previously granted test approval.

(5)  An applicant must demonstrate basic skills in reading, written communication, and mathematics by meeting the requirements of the Texas Success Initiative under the rules established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) in Part 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter C, of this title (relating to Texas Success Initiative), including one of the requirements established by §4.54 of this title (relating to Exemptions, Exceptions, and Waivers).

(6)  An applicant must demonstrate the English language proficiency skills as specified in §230.11 of this title (relating to General Requirements).

(A)  An applicant for CTE certification that does not require a bachelor's degree from an accredited IHE may satisfy the English language proficiency requirement with an associate's degree or high school diploma or the equivalent that was earned at an accredited IHE or an accredited high school in the United States.

(B)  An applicant to a university undergraduate program that leads to a bachelor's degree may satisfy the English language proficiency requirement by meeting the English language proficiency requirement of the accredited IHE at which the applicant is enrolled.

(7)  An applicant must submit an application and participate in either an interview or other screening instrument to determine if the EPP applicant's knowledge, experience, skills, and aptitude are appropriate for the certification sought.

(8)  An applicant must fulfill any other academic criteria for admission that are published and applied consistently to all EPP applicants.

(b)  An EPP may adopt requirements in addition to and not in conflict with those required in this section.

(c)  An EPP may not admit an applicant who:

(1)  has been reported as completing all EPP requirements by another EPP in the same certification category or class, unless the applicant only needs certification examination approval; or

(2)  has been employed for three years in a public school under a permit or probationary certificate as specified in Chapter 230, Subchapter D, of this title (relating to Types and Classes of Certificates Issued), unless the applicant is seeking clinical teaching that may lead to the issuance of an initial standard certificate.

(d)  An EPP may admit an applicant for CTE certification who has met the experience and preparation requirements specified in Chapter 230 of this title (relating to Professional Educator Preparation and Certification) and Chapter 233 of this title (relating to Categories of Classroom Teaching Certificates).

(e)  An EPP may admit an applicant who has met the minimum academic criteria through credentials from outside the United States that are determined to be equivalent to those required by this section using the procedures and standards specified in Chapter 245 of this title (relating to Certification of Educators from Other Countries). An EPP at an entity that is accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the THECB may use its own foreign credential evaluation service to meet the requirement described in §245.10(a)(2) of this title (relating to Application Procedures), if the entity is in good standing with its accrediting organization.

Source: The provisions of this §227.10 adopted to be effective July 11, 1999, 24 TexReg 5011; amended to be effective December 14, 2008, 33 TexReg 10011; amended to be effective February 28, 2016, 41 TexReg 1238; amended to be effective October 18, 2016, 41 TexReg 8198.


§227.15. Contingency Admission.

(a)  An applicant may be accepted into an alternative certification program or post-baccalaureate program on a contingency basis pending receipt of an official transcript showing degree conferred, as specified in §227.10(a)(2) of this title (relating to Admission Criteria), provided that:

(1)  the applicant is currently enrolled in and expects to complete the courses and other requirements for obtaining, at a minimum, a bachelor's degree at the end of the semester in which admission to the program is sought;

(2)  all other admission requirements specified in §227.10 of this title have been met;

(3)  the EPP must notify the applicant of the offer of contingency admission in writing by mail, personal delivery, facsimile, email, or an electronic notification; and

(4)  the applicant must accept the offer of contingency admission in writing by mail, personal delivery, facsimile, email, or an electronic notification.

(b)  The effective date of contingency admission shall be included in the offer of contingency admission.

(c)  An EPP must notify the Texas Education Agency within seven calendar days of a candidate's contingency admission.

(d)  An applicant admitted on a contingency basis may begin program training and may be approved to take a certification examination, but shall not be recommended for a probationary certificate until the bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited institution of higher education (IHE) has been conferred.

(e)  Except as provided by this section, an alternative certification program or post-baccalaureate program, prior to admission on a contingency basis, shall not provide coursework, training, and/or examination approval to an applicant that leads to initial certification in any class of certificate. A post-baccalaureate or alternative certification program at an IHE may admit an applicant if coursework and training was provided by the same IHE as part of the degree to be conferred.

(f)  The contingency admission will be valid for only the fall, spring, or summer semester for which the contingency admission was granted and may not be extended for another semester. The end of each semester shall be consistent with the common calendar established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Source: The provisions of this §227.15 adopted to be effective December 14, 2008, 33 TexReg 10011; amended to be effective February 28, 2016, 41 TexReg 1238; amended to be effective October 18, 2016, 41 TexReg 8198.


§227.17. Formal Admission.

(a)  For an applicant to be formally admitted to an educator preparation program (EPP), the applicant must meet all the admission requirements specified in §227.10 of this title (relating to Admission Criteria).

(b)  For an applicant to be formally admitted to an EPP, the EPP must notify the applicant of the offer of formal admission in writing by mail, personal delivery, facsimile, email, or an electronic notification.

(c)  For an applicant to be considered formally admitted to the EPP, the applicant must accept the offer of formal admission in writing by mail, personal delivery, facsimile, email, or an electronic notification.

(d)  The effective date of formal admission shall be included in the offer of formal admission.

(e)  An EPP must notify the Texas Education Agency within seven calendar days of a candidate's formal admission.

(f)  Except as provided by §227.15 of this title (relating to Contingency Admission), an alternative certification program or post-baccalaureate program, prior to formal admission, shall not provide coursework, training, and/or examination approval to an applicant that leads to initial certification in any class of certificate. A post-baccalaureate or alternative certification program at an institution of higher education (IHE) may admit an applicant if coursework and training was provided by the same IHE as part of a previous degree that was conferred.

Source: The provisions of this §227.17 adopted to be effective February 28, 2016, 41 TexReg 1238; amended to be effective October 18, 2016, 41 TexReg 8198.


§227.19. Incoming Class Grade Point Average.

(a)  The overall grade point average (GPA) of each incoming class admitted between September 1 and August 31 of each year by an educator preparation program (EPP), including an alternative certification program, may not be less than 3.00 on a four-point scale or the equivalent. In computing the overall GPA of an incoming class, an EPP may include:

(1)  the GPA of each person in the incoming class based on all coursework previously attempted by the person at an accredited institution of higher education (IHE):

(A)  at which the applicant is currently enrolled (undergraduate university program formal admission, alternative certification program contingency admission, or post-baccalaureate program contingency admission); or

(B)  from which the most recent bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited IHE was conferred (alternative certification program formal admission or post-baccalaureate program formal admission); or

(2)  the GPA of each person in the incoming class based only on the last 60 semester credit hours of all coursework attempted by the person at an accredited IHE:

(A)  at which the applicant is currently enrolled (undergraduate university program formal admission, alternative certification program contingency admission, or post-baccalaureate program contingency admission). If an applicant has less than 60 semester credit hours on the official transcript from the accredited IHE at which the applicant is currently enrolled, the EPP may use grades from all coursework previously attempted by a person at the most recent accredited IHE(s), starting with the most recent coursework from the official transcript(s), to calculate a GPA for the last 60 semester credit hours; or

(B)  from which the most recent bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited IHE was conferred. If an applicant has hours beyond the most recent degree, an EPP may use grades from the most recent 60 hours of coursework from an accredited IHE (alternative certification program formal admission or post-baccalaureate program formal admission).

(b)  A person seeking career and technical education certification is not included in determining the overall GPA of an incoming class.

Source: The provisions of this §227.19 adopted to be effective February 28, 2016, 41 TexReg 1238; amended to be effective October 18, 2016, 41 TexReg 8198.


§227.20. Implementation Date.

This subchapter applies to an applicant who is admitted to an educator preparation program on or after January 1, 2017.

Source: The provisions of this §227.20 adopted to be effective July 11, 1999, 24 TexReg 5011; amended to be effective December 14, 2008, 33 TexReg 10011 ; amended to be effective February 28, 2016, 41 TexReg 1238; amended to be effective October 18, 2016, 41 TexReg 8198.


For more information, email sbecrules@tea.texas.gov.