State Competency Testing Requirements
In order to be admitted to the Teacher Certification Program, students must pass or be exempted from all parts of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA). The THEA is offered six times each year. Registration booklets are available in the Education Department or online. In order to be recommended for the initial TExES teacher certification or additional teaching fields, all persons shall be required to achieve a satisfactory level of performance on one or more examinations contained in the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES). Students may register for the TExES during their student teaching semester by obtaining approval from the Teacher Certification Officer in the Education Department.
Approval will be given to students attending Southwestern University who have:
- taken a TExES practice exam in their field-based semester,
- demonstrated satisfactory performance on each component of the Disposition Toward Teaching evaluation, which may include satisfactory completion of a professional growth plan
- completed all degree requirements other than student teaching and its co-requisites, and
- are performing satisfactorily in their student teaching placement. Southwestern University's Certification Officer may deny any student permission to test if it is determined that the student is performing unsatisfactorily in his or her student teaching placement.
No student will be allowed to take more than two teacher certification exams on one test date.
Students seeking teacher certification in grades PreK-6 must take two state exams: Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (EC-6) and Generalist (EC-Grade 6).
Students seeking teacher certification in grades 4-8 must take two state exams: Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (4-8) and the chosen content area (language arts, social studies, math, science or math/science).
Students seeking teacher certification in grades 8-12 must take two state exams: Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (8-12) and the major content area (see Academic Specialization below for secondary certification).
Students seeking teacher certification in special education must take two state exams: Generic Special Education (EC-12) and PPR (EC-12). This certification is not a stand alone certification and must be completed in addition to either elementary or secondary certification. All students seeking Generic Special Education certification must have at least one content area of 24 hours to be considered a "qualified teacher" by federal mandates. The following areas meet this requirement: EC-4 Generalist, 4-8 Language Arts, 4-8 Math, 4-8 Math/Science, 4-8 Science, 4-8 Social Studies, and 8-12 certification in English, math, life science, physical science, history or social studies.
Students seeking certification in Spanish or French for grades 6-12 must take three exams: Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (8-12), Spanish (6-12) or French (6-12), and Texas Oral Proficiency Test (TOPT). New standards for Spanish will go into effect fall 2009 and require the all-level Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (EC-12) and the Languages Other Than English (LOTE).
The TExES is offered four times each year. Both the THEA and the TExES are prescribed by the Texas Education Agency.