Alternative Teacher Certification Program

Alternative Teacher Certification Program

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

You must complete the following steps to become a certified classroom teacher in Texas:

  1. Obtain a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education
  2. Complete an Educator Preparation Program (EPP)
  3. Pass required state certification exams for certificate sought
  4. Apply for state certification upon the EPP’s recommendation (Must be fingerprinted as part of a national criminal background check)
  5. Become certified by obtaining a Texas Classroom Teacher Standard Certificate

Once certified, Texas Standard Certificates are renewable every five years, provided you have completed continuing professional education (CPE) requirements.

Don’t have a Bachelor’s degree? See Teacher Education for Associate of Arts in Teaching.

Have a Bachelor’s degree? Apply to the Alternative Teacher Certification Program.

Already a Certified Classroom Teacher? See Out-of-State Certified Educators, Out-of-Country Certified Educators, Renewing a Standard Certificate, or Additional Certification by Exam.

Houston Community College — Alternative Teacher Certification Program is accredited by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) and Texas Education Agency (TEA).

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) oversees all aspects of the preparation, certification, and standards of conduct of public school educators. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is the state agency that oversees primary and secondary public education. TEA provides staff support to the SBEC board.

For additional information regarding EPP accreditation ratings, pass rates, and annual performance reports, please visit Consumer Information.

To file a complaint, refer to the Student Handbook for the complaints process. If the student is not satisfied with the complaint process or outcome, the student may file a complaint against the program with the Texas Education Agency. The official Texas Education Agency complaint process can be found at at the bottom of the page

The program is considered an alternative certification program. It is designed primarily to prepare students for employment as an educator. The program is offered as a “non-credit” program; therefore, no semester hours are awarded. Completion of the program requires 1-2 years. Students receive a recommendation for their Texas Standard Classroom Certificate upon successful completion of all program requirements.

Training includes (at minimum):

  • 319 clock-hours of coursework and/or training,
  • 30 clock-hours of field-based experience,
  • 6-12 clock-hours of TExES test preparation, and
  • One academic year (2 semester) supervised clinical experience completed as an internship as teacher-of-record under a probationary certificate at a public, charter, or any school accredited by Texas Education Agency (TEA).


  • Core Subjects (EC-6)

Middle School

  • Core Subjects (4-8)
  • English Language Arts & Reading/Social Studies (4-8)
  • Mathematics (4-8)
  • Science (4-8)
  • Social Studies (4-8)

High School/Secondary Grade Levels

  • Life Science (7-12)
  • Mathematics (7-12)  
  • Physical Science (6-12)
  • Science (7-12)

All Levels

  • Special Education (EC-12)

Supplemental (Not standalone certificates)

  • Bilingual Education Supplemental-Spanish 
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Supplemental 

Even though you think you might not qualify, applying for financial aid and/or scholarships may help determine what resources are available to assist you with your educational goals.

Please see the Continuing Education Financial Aid Website for any available scholarships or grants approved for the Accelerated Teacher Certification Program.

Individuals may qualify for the following:

The Alternative Teacher Certification Program (ATCP) is a state-approved comprehensive educator preparation program (EPP) that trains individuals for Texas standard certification in elementary and secondary education.

Online resources

New Student Orientation Combined Shape Created with Sketch. Virtual Information Session Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Additional Resources

Program Outline

 The program offers a route to certification that allows you to teach while completing the requirements.

Year 1:

In-Person Training

  • ACP 1000 Accelerated Teacher Certification Program 54 hrs
  • ACP 2000 Teacher Certification II 54 hrs
  • ACP 3000 Teacher Certification III 54 hrs
  • ACP 4000 Teacher Certification IV 54 hrs

Online Training (Co-requisite to In-Person Training)

  • ACP 1001 Human Growth & Development 16 hrs
  • ACP 1002 Curriculum & Instruction 17 hrs
  • ACP 1003 Assessment 16 hrs
  • ACP 1004 Critical Thinking 10 hrs
  • ACP 1005 Special Populations and  Student Motivation 12 hrs
  • ACP 1006 Classroom Management 12 hrs
  • ACP 1007 Schools, Parents, and Communities 10 hrs
  • ACP 1008 Teaching in Texas 10 hrs

Pre-Internship & Testing Requirements (Co-requisite to In-Person Training)

  • Field-Based Experience 30 hrs
  • Test Preparation (6 hrs per exam) 6 hrs

Year 2:

Internship (under a Probationary Certificate)

  • Internship I One Semester
  • Internship II One Semester

Total: 355 hrs


Program Cost


Due Date


ACP Tuition

Upon enrollment

ACP Payment Plan available per semester for 18 weeks (5 payments) of training


*A $30 installment fee is included in first payment.


Varies according to certification area

(Not Included)

Program Cost

$3,900 + books

Additional Fees


Due Date


TEA Technology Fee

Upon enrollment


TExES Exam

Upon exam registration

$131.00/ per exam

Probationary/Intern Certificate Fee

Upon application for Probationary/Intern Certificate prior to beginning the one academic year internship, candidates must apply for the probationary/Intern certificate through TEA/SBEC.


Fingerprint Identification (Criminal History Background Check fee)

Upon application for Probationary/Intern Certificate


Fingerprint Processing

Upon application for Probationary/Intern Certificate


Standard Certificate Fee

Upon application for Standard Certificate


Additional Fees (at minimum)



Information Session

The Alternative Teacher Certification Program will host an information session to recruit New potential candidates to enroll in our upcoming enrollment set for summer 2020 and Fall 2020. Application Deadline for summer is May 22, 2020. The application deadline for Fall is August 1st, 2020. Interested candidates must have a 2.5 GPA and a Bachelors's degree from an accredited institution. We would like to enroll at least 30 new students.

  • March 12 from 5:30-6:30 pm (SJAC Rm. 285)
  • March 25th 5:30-6:30 pm (SJAC Rm. 140)


Geraldine Gibson, Program Director

Get in touch

Learning Hub 6815 Rustic St., Houston, TX 77087-2623

Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. By Appointment