About the Program

The Accelerated Teacher Certification Program at Houston Community College is a state-approved comprehensive educator preparation program that trains individuals for Texas standard certification in elementary and secondary education.

Educator preparation programs such as alternative certification programs began in the mid-1980’s as one way of minimizing the teacher shortage that was occurring across the nation.

In Texas, there are many factors that contributed to this shortage including a rising population growth, low recruitment and retention of teachers in the state’s educational system, and the large number of teachers retiring each year.

The term “alternative teacher certification” has been used to refer to non-traditional avenues to become licensed to teach. (Traditional methods have included an associate’s degree leading to a four-year college or an undergraduate degree plan at a four-year university.)

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) approved the Accelerated Teacher Certification Program at HCC in November 2002. The Board is guided by the philosophy that educators will create higher standards for preparation, practice, and conduct than others outside the profession, and that educators will rigorously uphold these standards.

Our Mission

The HCC – Accelerated Teacher Certification Program is dedicated to:

  • Preparing individuals for Texas standard certification
  • Engaging all students in an understanding of teaching and its role in education
  • Offering high quality instruction, training and mentorship to ACP students
  • Serving the education community as a resource and initiative for collaboration between the ACP, students, Region IV area schools including independent school districts, charter, private and parochial
  • Introducing the community to the Accelerated Teacher Certification Program at Houston Community College

About the Accelerated Teacher Certification Program

Program Description

Certification is achieved through successful completion of training, state exams and teaching internship. The program takes approximately 18-24 months to complete. 

Training will reflect the state teacher proficiencies and TExES competencies. HCC – Accelerated Teacher Certification Program has created an individualized program to meet the needs of each content or certificate area.

Program training includes:

  • 216 contact hours of content area education
  • 103 contact hours in professional development 
  • 30 contact hours of classroom observations
  • 2 contact hours of field-based learning experience
  • One year internship or employment with independent school district or state-accredited school
  • Pass all state exams

During the second phase of the program, teachers will be employed full-time and supported by continuing professional development education.  A mentoring program based on the TxBESS standards will also be provided throughout the school year.

Certificate areas that are offered

  • Bilingual Generalist (EC-6)
  • Generalist (EC-6 or 4-8)
  • English Language Arts & Reading/Social Studies (4-8)
  • History (8-12)
  • Life Science (8-12)
  • Mathematics (4-8 or 8-12)
  • Physical Science (8-12)
  • Science (4-8 or 8-12)
  • Social Studies (4-8 or 8-12)
  • Special Education (EC-12)

Comprehensive and fast-tracked curriculums:

  • Cohort-based training
  • Convenient central location
  • Small class sizes
  • Variety of training schedules
  • Student advising services
  • Mentoring program with master teachers

Annual Enrollment Periods

  • Spring Enrollment – January of each year
  • Summer Enrollment – June of each year
  • Fall Enrollment – August of each year

Admissions Information

Program Fees



Application Fee (Non-refundable)


ACP Tuition


Books (approximate)


TExES Content Exam


TExES Pedagogy Exam


TExES Generalist Exam (if applicable)


TExES ESL Exam (if applicable)


TExES BTLPT - Spanish Exam (Bilingual Generalist only)


Fingerprint Identification (Criminal History Background Check fee)


Fingerprint Processing


Probationary Certificate Fee


Standard Certificate Fee


Application Fee

A $75 non-refundable application fee is due upon submitting a completed program application. Submit a completed Accelerated Teacher Certifcation Program Fees form (indicate type of fee) and payment in-person at the HCC-Central Business Office. The Business Office will provide receipt.

 ACP Tuition

Total tuition for the program is $3,900 due upon enrollment (installment plan available). Payable at the Central Campus Business Office. Tuition must be paid in full by 1st day of class.

ACP Installment Plan Fee Schedule:

Payment Date

Payment Amount Due

1st day of class


Every 30 days for 12 months


 (Payable by cash, check, money order, cashier check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover)

* Please note, a $30 installment fee is included in the first payment.

The ACP Payment Plan must be set-up in person at the HCCS - Central`s Business Office.

HCCS - Central`s Business Office Business Hours:

Monday - Wednesday: 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM

Thursday: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Friday: 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

HCCS - Central`s Business Office Location:

Learning HUB/Science Building (LHSB)

1300 Holman, Suite 200

Houston, TX  77004


Textbooks are due upon request by each course instructor. Cost varies from approximately $300-400, according to certification area and/or course. All textbooks are available for purchase from the HCC-Central Campus Bookstore only. 

 Testing Fees

All TExES exams are offered and administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service). A $120 fee is due upon exam registration. You must be approved by the program prior to exam registration.

 Fingerprint and Criminal History Background Check

If prints are submitted electronically through Morpho Trust USA, formally L-1 Enrollment Services, the cost for taking the fingerprints is $9.95 and must be paid to Morpho Trust USA at the time of the applicants’ fingerprint appointment. If prints are submitted via ink rolled cards the cost varies from agency to agency. As a result, it is difficult for TEA/SBEC (Texas Education Agency/State Board for Educator Certification) to state definitely how much this service may cost.

 In addition to the fee paid to Morpho Trust USA or the local law enforcement agency to roll fingerprints, there is a non-refundable $39.50 fee that must be paid directly to TEA/SBEC. For all first time applicants for an initial credential a $42.25 fee will be charged as part of their national criminal background check by TEA/SBEC. This fee is in addition to the fee charged for issuance of the credential, and will cover the costs of processing the fingerprints by DPS and the FBI.

 Certificate Fees

Prior to beginning a 1 academic year (180-day) internship, candidates must apply for the probationary certificate through TEA/SBEC. A $52 fee is due upon application for Probationary Certificate. After meeting all program and internship requirements, candidates must apply for the standard certificate through TEA/SBEC. A $77 fee is due upon application for Standard Certificate. After an application is submitted with TEA/SBEC, ATCP will recommend candidate for certificate and TEA/SBEC will then issue respective certificate.

Financial Assistance

Individuals may qualify for the following:

  • Gulf Coast Community Services Association (GCCSA)
    • Must be at 18 years of age or older.
    • Must be a resident of Harris County.
    • Must be a GCCSA client prior to submitting an application with HCC.
    • Must meet the Federal Income Guidelines (125% of Poverty Line).
    • Contact: Leona Baker (Program Administrator) - bakerl@gccsa.org or David Moya - moyad@gccsa.org.
  • Workforce Solutions
    • Funds Mathematics, Science, Special Education, and Bilingual Generalist only
  • The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Scholarship
    • Funds to be used to assist qualified students in reducing their tuition cost.
    • Scholarship award amounts are between $800-1,200.
  • Award funding is on first come, first serve basis, limited, and can only be applied towards tuition. If awarded, applicant will receive award letter by mail and must agree to abide by the policies, procedures, rules, and regulations of Houston Community College – Accelerated Teacher Certification Program.
    • Allocation scale:
      • $800 - 3.0 G.P.A. (undergraduate)   
      • $1,000 – Advanced degree   
      • $1,200 – Major in Science (must also be seeking Science certification)
      • $1,200 – Major in Mathematics (must also be seeking Mathematics certification)  
      • $1,200 – Seeking Bilingual Generalist EC-6 certification
    • Criteria:
      • 3.0 G.P.A. (undergraduate)   or
      • Advanced degree   or
      • Major in Science (must also be seeking Science certification)   or
      • Major in Mathematics (must also be seeking Mathematics certification)  or
      • Seeking Bilingual Generalist EC-6 certification
    • To Apply for Scholarship:
  1. Complete application process for acceptance into Accelerated Teacher Certification Program
  2. Must meet all program entrance requirements - no conditional waivers
  3. Meet one of the above criteria



9 Jun
HCC All Campuses
Accelerated Teacher Certification Program Upcoming Enrollment Period

Upcoming enrollment period for the Accelerated Teacher Certification Program