How to Become a Teacher in Texas without a Degree

How to Become a Teacher in Texas without a Degree

Not having a bachelor’s degree in education should not deter you from pursuing your passion of becoming a teacher. If transitioning to teaching has been on your mind ever since you were in high school, then there are ways you can become a teacher now. Yes, even if you have majored in fields other than education, but it could take a while. Read below to know how you can transition to teaching without a degree.

Jobs That Don’t Require Certified Teachers

Not-For-Profit School Jobs

While it is true that you have to be certified to be able to teach at a high-school or an elementary school as a subject teacher, some private, or charter schools don’t ask for state licensure or a teaching degree.

Substitute Teacher Jobs

Substitute teaching gigs are an excellent way to real classroom experience, especially for recent graduates of any stream without teaching certification. You can also apply for a preschool teacher or teaching assistant job even with an associate’s degree.

Emergency Teacher Jobs

You will need to receive an emergency teaching certificate. It is a temporary license awarded to teach in certain areas. Some of these areas include foreign languages, STEM subjects and special education.

Texas and other states grant this certification, where qualified candidates are in shortage. Bachelor’s degree holders in the related field have to pass the licensing exam to get the emergency teacher status.

Alternative Programs

If you have a master’s degree, just not in education or teaching, you can become a teacher in a public and private college or a university. If you don’t, you can enroll yourself in a master’s program in education or teaching. Otherwise, there are Alternative Certification Programs (ACPs) that can help you in becoming a teacher in Texas.

An ACP is a teaching certification designed for graduates of an unrelated field. You can become teachers in K-12 public schools and teach the subject in which you majored. After completing the program, you can apply with the Texas Department of Education.

How to get a teaching certification through alternative routes

Requirements for Non-Traditional Teaching Programs in Texas

You must hold a graduate degree from a university or college that has a Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board accreditation. A post-graduate certificate can be finished in one year, and you can even opt for a master’s degree in any specific subject or education. Even in these alternative programs, you have to test in the same exam pattern as the traditional teacher prep program.

Types of Alternative Teaching Programs (ACPs) in Texas

The TEA (Texas Education Agency) designs the ACP’s and set the guidelines, which means the general standards, pre-service training, and grading are the same as traditional programs.

Typically, these short and intensive alternative programs allow you to get your teaching license faster than the traditional routes of the education program. TFA (Teach for America) and TNTP (The New Teacher Project) are two popular non-profit programs that allow you to be a teacher in underserved communities without a degree. These programs can be classroom-based or online format, and you may be eligible to get financial aid from the US government. The Teacher Builder is a similar program that assists you in getting a full teaching degree.

Probationary Certificate

To complete the teaching assignment in an ACP program in Texas, you will be granted a Probationary Certificate, with a validity of one year. To receive this, you should apply online and submit a recommendation for the certificate program which you are completing. The procedure is the same for career and technical alternative certification programs.

Transferring Teaching Certificates from another State

If your issue is that you do not have a teaching certificate from Texas, but hold one from another state, there is a possibility that you can transfer it here. Texas recognizes specific out-of-state teaching licenses, provided you pass the assessments designed by Texas certified educators and meet the general requirements.

Teaching is indeed an incredibly rewarding career that gives you a sense of accomplishment. If you have been trying to find an effective way to get a teaching degree without a bachelor’s in Texas, choose a suitable method from the above. Start making your first move towards pursuing your teaching credential.


Learn more about the tools you need to pass your teacher certification exam!

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