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Issuance of the Standard Certificate and Renewal Requirements, including Continuing Professional Education (19 TAC Chapter 232, Subchapters A and B)

 

1. What is a Standard Certificate?  

2. When did Texas begin issuing the Standard Certificate?  

3. Was there a deadline to receive a lifetime certificate?  

4. When will an educator have to renew the Standard Certificate?  

5. Do current educators have to renew their lifetime certificates?  

6. How soon may an educator begin the renewal process?

7. How do I apply for renewal of my Standard Certificate?  

8. How will TEA staff verify that an educator has satisfied renewal requirements?

9. What is required for renewal every five years?

10. Why does my certificate expire in less than 5 years?

11. Will educators have to take an examination to renew the Standard Certificate?

12. Why does an educator's status with student loan and child support payments impact the renewal decision?

13. Can an educator renew his/her certificate even if he/she is not employed by a school district?  

14. What is the fee for a Standard Certificate Renewal?  

15. What activities count toward the required Continuing Professional Education (CPE) clock hours every five years?

16. Who can provide CPE hours?

17. Are there specific requirements regarding the number of CPE hours that must be accrued each year and the content of the CPE activities? 

18. What happens if an educator does not renew the Standard Certificate?

19. Will TEA consider requests for hardship exemptions from CPE hour requirements? 

20. What documentation should the educator receive to verify attendance at CPE activities? 

21. How do I calculate CEU or/and University classes to CPE hours?
  
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1. What is a Standard Certificate?

The Standard Certificate must be renewed every five years to remain valid. The Standard Certificate replaced the lifetime Provisional and Professional Certificates. back to top 

2. When did Texas begin issuing the Standard Certificate? 

The standard certificate was issued beginning September 1, 1999. Individuals who complete preparation and/or testing requirements after that date are issued the Standard Certificate. back to top

3. Was there a deadline to receive a lifetime certificate?

Applications from individuals who completed these requirements prior to September 1, 1999 must have been received by TEA no later than October 29, 1999, to be eligible for the lifetime certificate. back to top

4. When will an educator have to renew the Standard Certificate?

The renewal date of a standard certificate shall be five years after the last day of the certificate holder's next birth month. For example, an educator born in March who is issued a certificate in December 1999 would be subject to renewal requirements in March 2005. back to top  

5. Do current educators have to renew their lifetime certificates?

No. Educators holding lifetime certificates have been exempted from the renewal process. It is important to note, however, that currently certified educators adding new areas of certification after September 1, 1999, will be issued the Standard Certificate, which must be renewed. As a result, it is likely that many educators will hold both lifetime and Standard Certificates. back to top

6. How soon may an educator begin the renewal process?

An educator may apply for renewal as early as six months prior to the expiration date of the standard certificate. back to top

7. How do I apply for renewal of my Standard Certificate? 

Each educator will need to login to their account on the TEA website. 

When an educator logs on to the online system, he or she will need to select “Applications” from the Educator Main Menu on the left side of the screen, and then select “Renew a Standard Certificate.” After this selection, the educator will be guided through a series of screens that will advise the educator of the process for requesting a renewal of the standard certificate.
Online payment of certification fees is available.  

Educators are responsible for maintaining a record of their Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits, and will not need to submit evidence of completion of CPE credits unless specifically requested by TEA for audit purposes. back to top

8. How will TEA verify that an educator has satisfied renewal requirements?

Each educator will affirm through an online affidavit submitted to TEA that all requirements for renewal have been met. Information regarding criminal history and compliance with student loan and child support obligations will be obtained by TEA from other state agencies. If information is presented falsely on the affidavit, the educator could be subject to criminal charges and sanctioning of his/her certificate.

  • Educators are responsible for maintaining a record of their CPE credits, and will not need to submit evidence of completion of CPE credits unless specifically requested by TEA for audit purposes. It is the responsibility of the educator and the school district to determine which workshops or training sessions meet the requirements for standard certificate renewal. TEA staff will not make these determinations. This allows maximum flexibility for educators to identify appropriate CPE activities to meet their individual needs. back to top

9. What is required for renewal every five years?

All certified educators, including educational aides, seeking to renew a certificate must: 

  •  hold a valid Standard Certificate that has not been, nor is in the process of being, sanctioned by TEA;    
  • successfully undergo a national criminal background check by submitting fingerprints for review;   
  • not be in default on a student loan or in arrears of child support;   
  • complete the required number of clock hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE);   
  • pay the appropriate renewal fee.  
    • NOTE: Please note that educational aides are not required to complete any CPE hours for certificate renewal.  
  • The CPE requirements for each class of certificate are as follows:   
    • classroom teachers must complete 150 clock hours every five years;  
    • counselors must complete 200 clock hours every five years;   
    • learning resource specialists and school librarians must complete 200 clock hours every five years;   
    • reading specialists must complete 200 clock hours every five years;   
    • educational diagnosticians must complete 200 clock hours every five years;   
    • master teachers must complete 200 clock hours every five years;   
    • and superintendents, principals, and must complete 200 clock hours every five years. back to top   

10. Why does my certificate expire in less than 5 years?

An educator renewing multiple classes of certificates issued during the same five-year renewal period may satisfy the requirements specified in §232.851 of this title (relating to Number of Required Continuing Professional Education Hours by Classes of Certificates) for any class of certificate issued for less than the full five-year period by completing a minimum of one-fifth of the required CPE hours for each full calendar year that the class of certificate is valid. back to top

11. Will educators have to take an examination to renew the Standard Certificate?

No. back to top

12. Why does an educator's status with student loan and child support payments impact the renewal decision?

The Texas Education Code (Sec. 57.491) and the Family Code (Chapter 232) explicitly require all licensing agencies to deny renewal to any licensee – in this case, a certified educator – who does not comply with student loan and/or child support obligations. back to top

13. Can an educator renew his/her certificate even if he/she is not employed by a school district?  

Yes. Any educator can apply to renew a valid Standard Certificate, regardless of his/her employment status.
Professional development opportunities not specifically connected to school districts exist. back to top

14. What is the fee for Standard Certificate Renewal? 

 

 

To renew all certificates for individuals with one or more certificates:

For individuals with only an Educational Aide Certificate:

On-time renewal of Standard certificate:

$20

$10

Additional fee for late renewal of Standard certificate

$10 first 6 months $20 after 6 months

$5

Reactivation of inactive certificate

$40

$15

Reinstatement following restitution of child support or student loan repayment

$50

$20

   back to top

 

15. What activities count toward the required CPE clock hours every five years?

To allow maximum flexibility for educators to identify appropriate CPE activities to meet their individual needs, CPE clock hours can be accrued through the following, use our Tracking Worksheet to track your hours:  

  • At least 80% of the CPE activities should be directly related to the certificate(s) being renewed and focus on the standards required for the initial issuance of the certificate(s), including (*italicized requirements below overlap in multiple categories);
    • content area knowledge and skills*;
    • professional ethics and standards of conduct;
    • professional development, which should encompass topics such as the following:
      • district and campus priorities and objectives;
      • child development, including research on how children learn;
      • classroom management;
      • applicable federal and state laws;
      • diversity and special needs of student populations*;
      • increasing and maintaining parental involvement;
      • integration of technology into educational practices;
      • ensuring that students read on above grade level;
      • diagnosing and removing obstacles to student achievement; and
      • instructional practices. 
  • At least 25% of the CPE training is completed in instruction regarding (*some of the below requirements are covered in the above requirements*):
    • Collecting and analyzing information that will improve effectiveness in the classroom;
    • Recognizing early warning indicators that a student may be at risk of dropping out of school;
    • Integrating technology into the classroom instructions; 
    • Educating diverse student populations, including: students with disabilities, including mental health disorders, students who are educationally disadvantaged, students of limited English proficiency, and students at risk of dropping out of school*; and 
    • Increasing knowledge of the subject are taught by the educator*
      • Educators are encouraged to identify CPE activities based on results of his or her annual appraisal required under the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 21, Subchapter H.
      • The required CPE for educators who teach students with dyslexia must include training regarding new research and practices in educating students with dyslexia.  The required training may be satisfied through an online course approved by Texas Education Agency Staff (see approved registered providers)
      • An educator eligible to renew multiple classes of certificates issued during the same renewal period may satisfy the requirements specified in TAC 232.13 for any class of certificate issued for less than the full five-year period by completing a prorated number of the required CPE clock-hours. Educators must complete a minimum of one-fifth of the additional CPE clock-hours for each full calendar year that the additional class of certificate is valid.

Methods to earn CPE hours:

  1. TEA approved free online providers
  2. workshops, conferences, and in-service or staff development delivered by an approved registered provider;
  3. undergraduate and graduate coursework through an accredited institution of higher education, with one semester credit being equivalent to 15 CPE clock hours;
  4. interactive distance learning, video conferencing, or on-line activities;
  5. independent study, not to exceed 20% of the required clock hours; development of curriculum or CPE training materials;presenting CPE activities, not to exceed 10% of the required clock hours;
  6. serving as a mentor (teacher to teacher), not to exceed 30% of the required clock hours;
  7. Only those CPE activities from approved registered providers will be recognized for Standard Certificate renewal purposes (see question 16 for full explanation).  back to top 

16. Who can provide CPE hours?  

It is the responsibility of the educator to verify the approval status of the CPE provider prior to completion of the CPE activities - see the approved provider list.
All entities or individuals interested in providing CPE hours must apply for approval by TEA. If an entity or individual provides CPE activities on behalf of an approved provider, the approved provider is responsible for ensuring compliance with quality and documentation requirements. 
  CPE providers (approved list located on question 15) may include the following: 

  • Texas public school districts, provided that staff development activities are developed, approved, and conducted in accordance with the site-based decision-making process;
  • accredited public and private schools in other states, United States territories, and countries outside Texas; 
  • regional education service centers; accredited institutions of higher education; 
  • education associations that have offered professional development in Texas for at least five years and have tax-exempt status under federal law or state associations that are affiliated with a national association with tax-exempt status; 
  • private companies approved by TEA; private schools recognized by TEA;
  • TEA and; 
  • If the provider is not approved by the TEA, you may use these acrued hours towards a percentage of independent study (not to exceed 30 hours per renewal period).

It is the responsibility of the educator and the school district to determine which workshops or training sessions meet the requirements for Standard Certificate renewal. TEA staff will not make these determinations. This allows maximum flexibility for educators to identify appropriate CPE activities to meet their individual needs. back to top 

17. Are there specific requirements regarding the number of CPE hours that must be accrued each year and the content of the CPE activities?

Educators must complete the required total number of CPE hours each five-year renewal period. It is recommended that at least five CPE hours each year be devoted to the content area for each certificate being renewed. back to top

18. What happens if an educator does not renew the Standard Certificate?  

A Standard Certificate that is not renewed will be placed on inactive status. back to top

19. Will TEA consider requests for hardship exemptions from CPE hour requirements?

The TEA staff will consider hardship exemptions to the CPE requirements for documented health-related reasons and other extenuating circumstances.  back to top

20. What documentation should the educator receive to verify attendance at CPE activities?

At the conclusion of each activity, the provider must give to each educator a written document that lists, at a minimum, the provider's name and ID number, the educator's name, the date and content of the activity, and the number of clock hours that count toward satisfying CPE requirements. back to top 

21.  How do I calculate CEU or/and University classes to CPE hours?

 CPE credits are issued on an hour by hour conversion, also referred to real "seat time". 

1 CEU = 10 CPE clock hours (these courses last longer than a traditional CPE class, which is why they have the 10 hour conversion)

1 university credit hour = 15 CPE clock hours  back to top 

 

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