Alternative Teacher Certification
Plan of Study


Program Outcomes

Begin your career in a sector that is consistently seeking leaders to help shape the young minds of our community. Here's what you can expect post-graduation of the program.

  • With the support from program faculty, earn the certification necessary to teach in Texas.
  • With a near 100% pass-rate on the required exams, Rice-trained teachers have a 100% program-to-hire rate.
  • Build the skillset and confidence necessary to lead and manage a classroom.
  • Expand your network to our award-winning Rice teacher community.
  • Successfully start a rewarding career that will inspire and challenge you every day.

Content Areas

As of 2022-2023, the Alternative Teacher Certification program offers teacher certification in the following content areas:

  • Art (Early Childhood - Grade 12)
  • English Language Arts & Reading (Grades 7-12)
  • History (Grades 7-12)
  • Life Science (Grades 7-12)
  • Mathematics (Grades 7-12)
  • Physical Science (Grades 6-12)
  • Science Composite (Grades 7-12)
  • Social Studies Composite (Grades 7-12)

Plan of Study

The Alternative Teacher Certification program is designed to provide future teachers with a holistic understanding of teaching pedagogy, strategy and practice. Over the course of three sessions, you will complete the professional education coursework, prepare for two state-required assessments (TExES and edTPA) and serve as a first-year teacher in a Houston-area school.

  Session One Session Two Session Three
Regular Track Spring & Summer Fall Spring
Accelerated Track   Summer Fall Spring

The plan of study includes a state of Texas teacher certification and requires 315 clock hours of non-credit professional education coursework and 30 hours of field experience/classroom observations.

Session Details

Session One: Spring/Summer

Depending on your admissions cycle, you will begin your first session in the spring or summer semester. This session includes:

Professional Education Coursework
Four courses are taken in this session: Assessment; Teaching Diverse Learners; Race, Class, Gender in Education; and, Instructional Practice.

Field Experience
Field experiences are classroom observational periods where you will become familiar with authentic learning environments. Whenever possible, you are paired with a fellow Rice-trained educator to provide opportunities to expand your network and connect on your shared experiences. While classroom observations are typically conducted in-person, a selection of your required hours may be completed in an online format. 

TExES exam prep
The Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) is a content-specific computer-administered exam used to assess whether an individual has the knowledge and teaching skills required to become a first-year educator in Texas. The TExES exam must be passed to be hired as a teacher and earn your teaching certification. You will work with an advisor one-on-one to prepare to take and successfully pass the TExES exam.

Session Two: Fall

This session includes:

Professional Education Coursework
Three courses are taken in this session: Curriculum Development; Seminar for First-Year Teachers; and, Theory and Methods of Instruction.

First-Year Teacher Internship (First Semester)
You will begin your paid internship for one full school year at a Houston-area public or TEA-accredited private school. In this school year, you are considered a first-year teacher and will receive a full teacher salary.

Session Three: Spring

This session includes:

Professional Education Coursework
One course is taken in this session: Seminar for First-Year Teachers.

First-Year Teacher Internship (Second Semester)
You will continue your paid internship at a Houston-area public or TEA-accredited private school. In this school year, you are considered a first-year teacher and will receive a full teacher salary.

edTPA portfolio preparation
edTPA is a national portfolio-based teacher performance assessment designed to measure a preservice teacher's readiness to enter the profession.

Calendar of Progression from Application to Standard Teacher Certification

Candidates interested in the Education Program will follow the process from application to admission and teacher preparation that will generate questions, develop learning strategies, and foster a similar development in students. 




Course Spotlight

At the core of a great teacher is an innate ability to translate pedagogy principles into classroom practice. We provide a series of professional education coursework to help establish the foundations needed to be an effective practicing educator. 

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Teaching Diverse Learners

Sheila Whitford

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Race, Class, Gender in Education

Dr. Judy Radigan

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Instructional Practice

Dr. Judy Radigan

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Curriculum Development

Dr. Judy Radigan

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Seminar for First-Year Teachers

Sheila Whitford

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Theory and Methods of Instruction

Anthony Nguyen


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