Can I teach in Texas with a Iowa certification?

Can I teach in Texas with a Iowa certification?

If you are a certified educator in Iowa and are planning a move to Texas, you need to consider the job opportunities available to you. The Lone Star State is happy to make teaching possible to Iowa transplants, and having your Iowa certification will help you save time and money over new educators who must pursue their training and certification before they can begin looking for jobs. Here is a closer look at how the process works.

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Understanding Teacher Reciprocity

Coming to Texas with your Iowa teaching certification can save you time and money by removing (for the most part) the need to study for and earn a new teaching certification when you relocate.

The concept of states implementing processes by which they can recognize and accept other states’ teaching certificates is called reciprocity. Many states implement reciprocity as a way to remove barriers to entry for educators who move from one state to the next, while also maintaining a high level of quality in the education they offer their students.

While Texas does not have full reciprocity with any state (e.g. Automatically granting teachers from another state teaching privileges in Texas), it does have a process for transferring your Iowa certification to the Lone Star State called a review of credentials.

Eligibility for Review of Credentials

Not every educator is eligible to request a review of their Iowa credentials. The process is reserved for individuals who meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a classroom teaching certification,
  • That is not a temporary certification,
  • And was issued by the state NOT by a city or school district,
  • And does not list any academic or program deficiencies

There is another type of educator certification called the student services or academic administration certification. If you ONLY hold this type of certification, you will also need to submit proof to the state of Texas that you have

  • 2+years of full-time, wage-earning experience in your desired subject area
  • And verification of accreditation if that experience was gained in a private school.

Without meeting these requirements, you may be required to complete a teacher preparation course and pass the relevant exams before you can receive your Texas teaching certification.

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Transferring Your Iowa Certificate to Texas

If you meet the eligibility requirements for a review of credentials, you can begin the following process. It will only take a few weeks, at most, to get your new Texas teaching certificate.

Create a TEAL account.

You will complete the review of credentials process through the Texas Education Agency (TEA). To get started, create a TEAL account on the TEA website. Your account will give you access to the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS).

Using ECOS, you can set up your profile, submit documents, pay fees, and track the status of your submitted materials. Within just a few minutes, you will have at your fingertips the tools you need to pursue your Texas certification.

Submit your application and relevant documents

The next step in the credential review process is the application, which includes submitting a number of documents that verify your certification status in Iowa and your teaching experience. Use the ECOS portal to submit this information:

  • Your mailing address
  • An application for credential review
  • Copies of your standard certifications
  • Transcripts from colleges and universities you have attended
  • Proof of your teaching experience (A form filled out by your previous employer that confirms your level of experience in education)

Determine your test exemption status

Usually, if you hold a standard teaching certification, you will be exempt from taking additional tests in Texas. Here is a look at the exemption guidelines that you can follow:

  • 1 year of full-time, paid teaching experience for test exemption
  • 2 years of full-time, paid teaching experience for administrators
  • 3 years of full-time experience in your chosen certificate area OR proof that you took the subject tests in another state
  • Submit your test scores if you took subject tests in another state

If you do not meet the test exemption guidelines, you may need to complete additional steps, including taking the relevant exams, to demonstrate your proficiency in your chosen subject area. This step is to ensure that every educator in Texas is capable of providing a quality education to the state’s students.

Apply for your Texas certification

Once you complete your application, submit all of your documents, and take any required tests, you can apply for your Texas teaching certification. You may have to wait up to 4 weeks to receive your certificate. In addition, you will need to complete the following steps:

  • Undergo a national criminal background check.
  • Submit your fingerprints.

Once your certificate comes through, you will be able to access it through your ECOS portal.

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Pursuing Teacher Preparation

If there comes a point in the process where you discover that your Iowa credentials are not sufficient to receive a Texas teaching certification, you may need to complete a teacher preparation course, such as the one at TeacherBuilder.com. This course can help you gain the knowledge and skills necessary to pass the relevant exams and receive your Texas certificate.

If you do need to take additional tests or pursue a teacher preparation course, you may be able to apply for a one-year teaching certificate from Texas. This non-renewable certificate can help you gain the time you need to fill in anything deficient in your current credentialing.

At TeacherBuilder.com, we simplify the process of preparing for your Texas certificate by offering a curriculum that is 100 percent online and that supports you through your first year of teaching. With a 98 percent test pass rate, we are proven to offer the education you need to successfully become a teacher in Texas. Can you teach in Texas with an Iowa certification? Chances are good that you are equipped to transfer your license to Texas without a problem. But, if you need additional preparation, we are here to help you get into a Texas classroom more easily! Apply for free today!


This article does not contain legal, educational, or government advice. As regulations can change from time to time, readers are advised to check with their local education departments to receive up-to-date information.


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