Educator Preparation Program (EPP)

Houston Christian University’s Education Preparation Program (EPP) is a crucial component of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. It offers a personalized pathway for undergraduate students, bachelor’s degree holders, and graduate students to become highly skilled classroom teachers and educators in Texas.

The program is designed to prepare you to excel in your profession. Support includes management of field-based experiences, state-aligned program delivery, yearly reporting, and training for students and staff. The EPP at HCU offers undergraduate, graduate, and Alternative Certification (ACP) processes for 20 initial teacher certification programs and 6 professional-level certification programs.

Whether you are a prospective or current bachelor’s student, someone who already holds an undergraduate degree and wants to switch to teaching, or seeking a graduate-level teacher preparation program, HCU’s educator preparation program is a hallmark of excellence in the profession.

Educator Preparation Program Services Overview

Houston Christian University’s teacher preparation program provides a wide range of resources and services to students who aspire to be professional educators. These services include academic support and step-by-step guidance throughout the certification process for teaching in Texas, as well as preparation for the Texas Examination of Educational Standards (TExES) exam.

The EPP program will:

  • Guide course selection guidance and assist in the EPP application process
  • Coordinate field experience placements with university professors and schools in the Houston area
  • Assist students applying for clinical teaching positions in area schools
  • Provide information, practice materials, and practice exams for the TExES teacher certification test
  • Facilitate students being approved to take the TExES
  • Help students create an account with the Texas Education Agency
  • Organize top-quality clinical teaching supervision and train mentor teachers in student success
  • Give next steps to students who have completed all requirements for teacher certification in Texas and are ready to apply for licensure
  • Address all grievances or complaints of students participating in the EPP
  • Conduct and disperse results of surveys of graduates and employers of graduates to evaluate the preparedness of teacher candidates trained in the EPP

Pathways to Certification

Three routes to teacher certification are available in HCU’s Educator Preparation Program. HCU offers pathways to initial certification for new teachers as well as professional certification programs for educators.

Find Your Route.

Undergrad

The undergraduate EPP pathway helps pre-education students working on a bachelor’s degree at HCU transition into coursework tailored for teacher certification in the area and subject they wish to pursue and prepare for and complete a student teaching semester.

You can pursue certification in either the BS in Education for all grade levels, or the BS in Elementary Education for teaching early childhood through grade six.

After completing the undergraduate EPP and graduating from HCU with a bachelor’s degree, you are prepared and ready to pass the TExES certification exam and apply for teaching certification in Texas.

Find information for admission to the EPP for undergraduates.

Alternative Certification Program (ACP) Pathway

Comprising 21 hours of certification coursework, the Alternative Certification Pathway is teacher preparation tailored for career changers, those with previous bachelor’s degrees who are pivoting into careers as educators.

Because the Alternative Certification Pathway does not culminate in a degree, it is an abbreviated pathway that can be completed in under two years.

In the ACP, you will complete coursework while working full-time as a teacher. Throughout the process of obtaining and working with an Intern Certificate, the EPP office guides you. After completing the ACP and earning certification in Texas, those credits can be applied to an education graduate program at HCU like a Master of Education at a later date.

Find more information on the Alternative Certification Pathway.
Find information for admission to the ACP pathway.

Grad

The educator preparation graduate pathway is open to students who are accepted into our Master of Education or Doctor of Education programs seeking initial or standard certification. Encapsulated in the graduate teacher preparation program pathway is assistance in locating and applying for a teaching position in the Houston area, where you can begin teaching in a classroom with an Intern Certificate during a year-long internship.

HCU offers pathways to certification in the following areas:

  • Educational Diagnostician EC-12
  • Master Technology Teacher EC-12
  • Principal EC-12
  • Reading Special EC-12
  • School Counselor EC-12
  • Superintendent EC-12

Through the following graduate education programs:

Find admission information for the graduate EPP pathway.

Program Timelines

HCU allows for rolling admissions, so you may begin your program in the fall or spring according to what’s best for your schedule.

Undergraduate Initial Certification Timeline: Four-year bachelor’s degree program with student teaching in the final two years.
Graduate Initial Certification: Two-year program with concurrent student teaching.
Graduate Specialized Certification: Two-year master’s degree program, or become certified two years into a doctor of education program.

Review timelines and detailed program activity calendars for all pathways to educator certification.

EPP Program Components

Clinical Field Experience Placements

Gaining in-classroom experience is essential for the certification process and in helping you develop your career skills while discovering your true calling. Whether you are working full-time in a classroom while completing your certification coursework or this will be your first time working in a real classroom setting, our EPP program ensures that you have access to experienced clinical supervisors who are accomplished educators.

Clinical supervisors will train and support you through classroom learning, administrative exposures, parent interactions, and other aspects of day-to-day teaching. This will help you become a confident and well-rounded teacher ready to take on the classroom challenges.

For undergraduate students: Undergraduates in the EPP program complete clinical teaching semesters in their certification area.
For alternative certification students: Alternative certification students complete a clinical internship as a full-time employee, teaching in classrooms while completing coursework requirements.
For graduate education students: Those pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees through the EPP at Houston Christian University complete a clinical experience.

Test Preparation and Certification

All students preparing for education and teaching certifications receive a subscription to online test preparation resources and personalized guidance on meeting course and clinical requirements for certification exams.

For undergraduate students: EDUC 4100: TExES State Certificate Prep is a dedicated course that prepares you to sit for the Education Practice Exam.
For graduate and undergraduate students: A passing score (80% or above) on the Education Practice Exam qualifies you to take TExES exams for teacher certification.

Review HCU’s TExES study resources.
Learn about Testing Services at the Moody Library.

FAQs

  • What is an Educator Preparation Program?

    In Texas, an Educator Preparation Program (EPP) is a structured and accredited course designed to prepare individuals for a career in teaching. These programs meet certification guidelines set by the Texas Education Agency and consist of theoretical coursework and practical teaching experiences.

    EPPs, such as the one offered by Houston Christian University, aim to equip aspiring educators with the necessary skills, knowledge, and competencies to teach in various educational settings and earn state certification effectively. Completion of an EPP is a requirement for applying for a teaching certificate or license in Texas, which qualifies graduates to teach in public schools.

  • How do I choose an EPP?

    In choosing an Educator Preparation Program, prioritize accreditation to ensure quality and recognition. Consider the curriculum’s relevance to your teaching interests, the program’s format (online, in-person, or hybrid), and location. Also, evaluate the cost, financial aid options, and the availability of student support services. Conduct research, visit potential institutions, and seek advice from current educators or alumni for a well-informed decision.

  • How long is an Educator Preparation Program in Texas?

    Depending on which of the three pathways you follow, students with bachelor’s degrees pursuing initial or standard certification can complete the EPP in around two years with clinical experience.

    If you are pursuing your first bachelor’s degree, the EPP is a four-year program that coincides with the bachelor’s degree timeline.

  • Are teacher preparation programs worth it?

    For those committed to a career in education, teacher preparation programs are not only worth it but also required in many regions, including Texas. These programs provide the essential training, knowledge, and practical experience necessary to succeed as a teacher. Beyond preparing you for the classroom, they often fulfill the requirements for teaching certification or licensure, a mandate in states like Texas. Additionally, they offer valuable networking opportunities, mentorship, and access to teaching resources.

EPP Admission and Requirements

Educator Preparation Program Admissions Requirements vary for those seeking initial certification as an undergraduate or alternative pathway student, and those seeking initial or professional certification through a graduate program.

EPP Application Deadline (Fall Admission): February 15
EPP Application Deadline (Spring Admission): September 15
If applying for professional-level certification programs, applications are accepted year-round.

Find admissions information and policy details for HCU’s Educator Preparation Program.

Contact Educator Preparation at HCU

Houston Christian University’s undergraduate and graduate degree-earning Educator Preparation Program (EPP) and the Alternative Certification Pathway (ACP) are accredited by the Texas Education Agency and serve as excellent preparation for starting or furthering a teaching career in Texas.

Review the admissions information above to get started. If you have any questions, contact the EPP office by email.