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Dallas-area teachers are more in demand than ever. And if you have a bachelor’s degree, you may be able to start your teaching career sooner than you think.

Here, we’ll go over the steps to get started with alternative certification.

What is alternative certification?

Alternative certification is a non-traditional route to becoming a teacher. This innovative pathway lets you start teaching, earn a salary and finish your standard teaching certificate, all at the same time.

An intern certificate is the special permit you’ll need to start teaching through an alternative certification program. 

How to get started with alternative certification

We’ll break it down step-by-step.
  1. 1

    Make sure you’re eligible.

    To qualify for alternative certification, you’ll need to:

    • Have a bachelor’s degree. Most alternative certification programs require a GPA of at least 2.5.
    • Meet any coursework requirements. For most teaching programs, you’ll need a certain number of college credits in your teaching subject. 
    • Pass any required tests. For some teaching programs, you’ll need to take the Pre-Admission Content Test, or PACT, in order to enroll. (The TeachDFW Testing Guide can help you prepare!)
  2. 2

    Decide what you want to teach, and choose the teaching certificate you want to earn.

    The teaching certificate you earn will depend on the subject and grade level you want to teach. The TeachDFW Certification Guide has a full list of your options. 

  3. 3

    Apply to teaching programs and enroll.

    You should look for a teaching program that is specifically for alternative certification teacher candidates. (You can find programs with our Program Explorer.)

    For some programs, you’ll apply for teaching jobs before you apply to the program itself. If this is the case, you should apply for jobs in a school district that partners with your desired teaching program. Check with individual programs to make sure you understand their process and where you should apply for jobs.

  4. 4

    Create a certification plan.

    Your teaching program will help you create a certification plan. This will outline your courses and let you know which exams you’ll need to take to become a fully certified teacher.

  5. 5

    Apply for teaching jobs in a DFW school district.

    Your teaching program may be able to help you with this step! Your teaching job must be in the same grade level and subject area that you plan to teach once you’re fully certified (1).

    Where should you look for a job? Check out these pages to find positions in our partner school districts:

  6. 6

    Apply for an intern certificate.

    Once you’ve been accepted into a teaching program and secured a job, your program will give you permission to apply for your intern certificate. Remember, this is the permit that allows you to teach while you complete your alternative certification program.

    You’ll apply through the Texas Education Agency Login (TEAL) website. Your program staff can help you complete the application! You’ll also need to complete a background check. 

    You’ll need to pay a fee to receive your intern certificate. Visit our Fee Reimbursement page to learn how TeachDFW can help with the cost!

  7. 7

    The Texas Education Agency will review your application.

  8. 8

    Start teaching!

    Once you have your intern certificate, you’re ready to step into the classroom and start your new career. Congratulations!

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions about alternative certification? We can help!

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Have more questions? A TeachDFW coach can help you decide if alternative certification is right for you. Set up a 1:1 coaching session for free!

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  1. “Becoming a Certified Texas Educator Through an Alternative Certification Program.” Texas Education Agency. https://tea.texas.gov/texas-educators/preparation-and-continuing-education/becoming-a-certified-texas-educator-through-an-alternative-certification-program