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For School Employees and Volunteers in Dallas-Ft. Worth

For School Employees
If you’re a Dallas Ft. Worth paraeducator you can turn your current job into a teaching career. Sign up to learn more.
For School Employees
If you’re a Dallas Ft. Worth paraeducator you can turn your current job into a teaching career. Sign up to learn more.
  • 17
    Programs to explore
  • $51,500
    Average teacher salary
  • 15
    Partner school districts
  • 44%
    of paraeducators want to become teachers

Paraeducators, substitutes and volunteers make great teachers.

Your experience in the classroom has prepared you to be an impactful teacher from the start. You have the dedication, passion and drive. We have the resources. Our 1-on-1 coaching sessions can help you navigate the process of becoming a certified teacher.

Talk to a Coach

Pathways to Teaching

Whatever the hurdles may be between your current job and a teacher certification, there is a unique pathway to teaching that gets you there on your own terms. Whether you're concerned about the time, the cost or your current school job, you can find a way forward that works for you and your lifestyle.

You can choose a program that works with your current job. Consider these options while you browse our partner teacher prep programs.

  • Part-time options: Some degree programs offer flexible schedules that allow you to keep your job. You may choose to earn your degree first, then enroll in an educator preparation program for school employees or one with a paid internship.

  • Alternate routes: If you already have your degree, consider alternate routes to certification through one of our featured programs below.

 

  • Earn While you Learn

    You can choose a program that works with your current job. Consider these options while you browse our partner teacher prep programs.

    • Part-time options: Some degree programs offer flexible schedules that allow you to keep your job. You may choose to earn your degree first, then enroll in an educator preparation program for school employees or one with a paid internship.

    • Alternate routes: If you already have your degree, consider alternate routes to certification through one of our featured programs below.

     

  • Use Your Benefits

    Some school employees may be able to use professional development time or tuition reimbursement programs to complete an educator preparation program.

    Strategies to consider:

    • Ask your supervisor about available professional development time. If you’re a paraprofessional or you’re getting certified for a critical needs subject area your school may invest in part of your education.

    • Some DFW school districts offer tuition reimbursement for employees taking courses to advance their careers. Your undergraduate or postgraduate educator preparation program may count. Check your employment contract or ask your supervisor!

  • Consider an In-Demand Subject Area

    You’ll have more job opportunities and more ways to fund your education if you teach in a state-designated shortage area.

    Strategies to consider:

    • If you’re already serving in a special education setting, you’re a great candidate for certification in elementary or secondary special education.

    • If you’re fluent in a language other than English, consider getting certified in Bilingual/English as a Second Language. DFW needs teachers in these areas.
    • If you plan to teach in a critical shortage area you may be eligible for the Educational Aide Exemption Program, which provides need-based exemptions from tuition and fees for some paraprofessionals and substitute teachers.

    You’ll have additional options for loan forgiveness by teaching in a high-needs area, so you can feel more confident if you need to take education loans for your program.

You already have classroom experience. Here's what's next.

  1. Earn your degree

    • The state of Texas requires that all teachers have a four-year degree from a  public, private or community college. Just make sure your program is state-accredited.
    • For people who are already working in schools, there are part-time and online options available. 
    • Some four-year programs offer a certification upon completion of the degree, depending on the program and the school.
    • Whatever your lifestyle and your work situation, there is a degree path that works for you. 

     

  2. Complete a teacher prep program.

    You’ll complete coursework and training specific to the grades and subject area you want to teach.

    • Browse our partner programs to find the teacher prep program that's right for your life and schedule. 
    • Check out our guides to see which programs you're eligible for and what you need to do to apply. 
    • Start a checklist. We'll help you track your application process so you can stay confident you’re moving in the direction you want. 
  3. Pass Required Assessments

    To get certified, you will need to pass one or more assessments. Some programs require you to take and pass these assessments before you apply while others require you to pass them before you finish your coursework.

    We'll walk you through what tests you’ll need to take and when in our assessment guide, but it's always a good idea to contact the program you're interested in and ask about their testing requirements.

    The Texas Education Agency requires teachers complete one of the designated Pre-Admission Content Tests. 

    • If you completed a program in a southwest state, you can take one of the required TExES exams. 
    • For all other teachers, you will need to pass a Praxis content area exam for certification. 

Featured Programs

The following partners participate in the Educational Aide Exemption Program, which provides need-based exemptions from tuition and fees for some paraprofessionals and substitute teachers getting certified in state-designated shortage areas. That means that you may be eligible to finish your degree and get certified tuition-free!

Still have questions? We have answers.

Talk to a 1-on-1 coach to get expert advice and insight into what it will take to level up your career. 

Talk to a Coach