06.11.2024

Can I Teach in Texas with an Oklahoma Certification?

Can I Teach in Texas with an Oklahoma Certification?

Texas has a high demand for teachers year-round. The Texas Workforce Commission predicts an 11% increase in demand for teachers in the Lone Star State by 2028. This is more than double the national average of 4%.

But what if you have earned your certification from Oklahoma? Can you use it to teach in Texas?

The short answer is no. You cannot teach in Texas with an Oklahoma certificate. Texas does not have full reciprocity with other states for teacher certification.

However, there is still a chance to teach in the Lone Star State. In this article, we will explain the entire process.

Texas and Teacher Certification

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The path to becoming a teacher in Texas involves several steps, with some variations depending on the desired teaching level (elementary, secondary, or university).

The core requirements are:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is mandatory for all teaching levels.
  • Educator Preparation Program (EPP): Aspiring teachers are required to complete a TEA-approved Educator Preparation Program (EPP) specific to the desired grade level and subject area.
  • Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES): Aspirants are also required to pass the TExES exams for the chosen certification area. These exams assess your subject matter knowledge and teaching skills.
  • State Application: Anyone intending to teach in Texas is required to submit a state application and get certified by the TEA. This step comes after you have met all the requirements.
  • Fingerprinting: The last step is getting the identification and background check done through fingerprinting. Once completed, you can start teaching in the Lone Star State.

Certification is an important step in the process of becoming an educator.

Teaching in Texas with an Oklahoma Certificate

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Whether you can teach in one state with a certificate issued by another state depends on the teachers’ reciprocity agreements that apply to the state to which you are moving.

Reciprocity for teacher certification refers to agreements between states that allow educators with a valid teaching license from one state to qualify for a license in another state, potentially with minimal additional requirements. This simplifies the process for qualified teachers to move between states and fill teaching positions.

For teacher reciprocity, there’s the NASDTEC agreement. Here, the participating states agree on a common set of standards for teacher preparation and qualifications.

Unfortunately, Texas does not participate in the full NASDTEC Interstate agreement and does not have blanket reciprocity with other states for teacher certification. This means that a teaching license earned in another state will not automatically qualify you to teach in Texas.

That being said, it is still possible to become a teacher in the Lone Star State with certifications from Oklahoma.

Out-of-State Certification Review

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Your ability to teach in Texas with an Oklahoma certification depends on the out-of-state certification review process by TEA.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) conducts an Out-of-State Certification Review process to evaluate the credentials of educators holding a teaching certificate from another state.

TEA will meticulously evaluate your documents to determine if your Oklahoma certification meets the basic requirements for a standard teaching certificate in Texas. If the credentials meet the Texas standards, you will be allowed to teach in the state. If not, TEA may ask you to complete additional coursework, exams, or fingerprinting to bridge the gap.

If TEA doesn’t approve your educator preparation program, you might need to take coursework from a TEA-approved EPP in Texas to fulfill specific requirements.

Exemption

Not everyone is required to undergo the out-of-state certification review process. The TEA exempts certain candidates and has different procedures in place for them. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.

You are exempt from the out-of-state certification review process if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You hold a standard certificate issued by the state department of education or country of licensure that is equivalent to a Texas standard classroom or professional class certificate.
  • You were required to take exams to obtain the certificates that you submitted for the review of credentials.
  • You are a certified Principal or superintendent or hold a student services certificate.
  • Your country issues teacher certificates signed by an authorized department of education.
  • You took content exams in another state that corresponded with the certificate for that state.
  • You hold a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certificate and a standard certificate in a corresponding subject area and grade level.

The exceptions change from time to time. Stay up to date with the changes by following the official resource for exemptions.

Once TEA determines you meet the exemption criteria, they will notify you in writing or via email. This notification will typically include details about the next steps.

Out-of-State Certification Review Step-by-Step

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Now, let’s look at the steps involved in the certification review process for out-of-state candidates.

  • Gather the Oklahoma certificates

The first step is to get the certificates in order that were issued by Oklahoma colleges, universities, and agencies. This includes your transcript, program completion certificate, and current Oklahoma teaching license. Make sure they are valid and up-to-date. TEA will reject any application that contains incorrect information.

  • Apply for out-of-state certification review

The next step is applying to get your certifications reviewed. For this, you need to create a TEAL user account online. Provide the relevant details like email ID and official name to create the account. After that, you need to complete an application inside your user account. The application will require additional details regarding your teaching credentials. So, provide accurate details and fill out the application form.

Then, you will need to pay a one-time processing fee. This is non-refundable and must be done online.

In case you have earned some of your educational certifications outside the United States, you will need to submit proof of oral English language proficiency.

  • Possible outcomes

TEA will review your documents to determine if your Oklahoma certification meets the basic requirements for a standard teaching certificate in Texas. There are three possible outcomes:

  • Equivalency: If your Oklahoma certification meets all the Texas standards, you may be issued a Texas certificate without any additional requirements.
  • Additional Requirements: TEA may identify areas where your Oklahoma certification falls short of Texas standards. In such cases, they might require you to complete additional coursework, exams, or fingerprinting to bridge the gap.
  • EPP Review Needed: If your educator preparation program wasn’t approved by TEA, you might need to take coursework from a TEA-approved EPP in Texas to fulfill specific requirements.

You will get an email regarding the outcome and the future steps.

Alternative Certification Program

There’s another way to become a teacher in Texas. That is by following the alternative certification program.

ACPs are designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than education who want to become teachers.

For this, you’d have to find a TEA-approved ACP that accepts out-of-state candidates. Then, complete the coursework and obtain your teaching certification.

You can also use these programs to fulfill your EPP requirements when trying to move your Oklahoma certification to a Texas teaching certification.

Enroll in the Alternative Certification Program with TeacherBuilder.com

Are you ready to begin your teaching journey? TeacherBuilder.com offers a TEA-approved Educator Preparation Program that provides a quick, flexible, and cost-effective path to earning your teaching certification – entirely online.

You can study at your own pace, receive support during your first year of teaching, and get assistance in finding the perfect job in Texas. Apply for free and start pursuing your dream career today!

Disclaimer

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.

Resources

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