Teacher Certification Options: A Guide for HR Professionals

Teacher in the Classroom
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When filling vacancies in your district, navigating the variety of teacher certification options and requirements can be challenging. Our Educator Certification Program is here to guide and support you throughout the hiring process. In this post, we’ll provide an overview for district HR personnel of the various certification options, the different types of permits, and how ECP can help your teacher candidates become certified through our District Referral Program

Certificates Tracked by SBEC

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) tracks the following certification options: intern certificates, probationary certificates, and emergency permits.

Intern Certificate

The Intern Certificate is available to candidates who have passed all required content exams. During their internship year, candidates can take the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam. Candidates are limited to one 12-month period on an Intern Certificate and must be enrolled in an Educator Preparation Program. Additionally, a completed Statement of Eligibility from the district is required for placement on an Intern Certificate.

Probationary Certificate

Candidates who have passed all required content exams, including the PPR exam, are eligible for the Probationary Certificate. Similar to the Intern Certificate, candidates are limited to two 12-month periods on a Probationary Certificate. Furthermore, enrollment in an Educator Preparation Program and a completed Statement of Eligibility from the district are prerequisites for placement on a Probationary Certificate.

Emergency Permit

In situations where a superintendent or designee is unable to find a qualified and certified individual for a vacant position, an Emergency Permit can be activated.

The Emergency Permit is valid for one school year with no renewal allowed, except for specific cases such as JROTC or assignments of less than 90 days. Appropriate experience requirements and submitting Emergency Permit forms and applications to the TEA within 45 instructional days are mandatory. An Educator Preparation Program must also prepare a deficiency plan for submission with the application.

Certificates Not Tracked by SBEC

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) does not track the following certification options: School District Teaching Permits, Certification Waivers, and Districts of Innovation. These certificate options are unavailable for Special Education, Bilingual, or ESL assignments.

School District Teaching Permit (SDTP)

School District Teaching Permits (SDTP) allow districts to employ individuals who don’t hold an SBEC teaching certificate but are deemed qualified by the district. To qualify, candidates must meet certain criteria. The SDTP form must be submitted no later than the 31st day of employment.

Certification Waiver

Certification Waivers enable districts to employ individuals who don’t meet emergency permits or SDTP requirements. These waivers are valid for one to three years, subject to the board of trustees and commissioner of education approval.

District of Innovation (DOI)

Districts can explore Districts of Innovation (DOI) flexibilities to address vacancies in hard-to-fill assignments or urgent campus needs requiring certified teachers to teach outside their certification area. Additionally, flexibilities must be documented in locally created and approved DOI plans.

Regardless of what option you use for hiring teachers, our District Referral Program (DRP) can help prepare them for the responsibilities of the classroom. The DRP is a 2-year preparation program for all content areas and grade-level teachers already being hired by a district or currently working for a district. For other resources, check out our HR page.

Amy is the Coordinator for the Education Certification Program at ESC Region 13.

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