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 (or EPP) that trains individuals for Texas standard certification in elementary and secondary education.

An EPP provides the training necessary for individuals without experience in a college-level teacher training program or with a major in another field, such as biology or art, to obtain the skills and knowledge necessary to be a classroom teacher.

The following items to become a certified classroom teacher in Texas:

  1. Obtain or possess a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  2. Complete an approved Educator Preparation Program (EPP)
  3. Register, take and pass required state certification exams for the certificate sought
  4. Apply for state certification upon the EPP’s recommendation (Fingerprinting is required as part of a criminal background check)
  5. Obtain a Texas Classroom Teacher Standard Certificate awarded through TEA

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

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

Have a Bachelor’s degree? Apply directly 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 the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) oversees all aspects of the preparation and certification as well as standards of conduct of public school educators. The Texas Education Agency 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

HCC's ATCP is considered an alternative certification program. It is designed primarily to prepare students for employment as an educator at the primary or secondary level. The program is offered as a “non-credit” program; therefore, no semester credit 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:

  • 277 contact hours of coursework
  • 30 contact hours of field-based observation
  • 42 contact hours of test preparation
  • One academic year (2 consecutive semesters) 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) at HCC 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 Plan

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

In-Person or Online Training

  • ACP 1000 Cognitive Development, Literacy Strategies & SPED 48 hrs
  • ACP 2000 Pedagogy for Curriculum & Instruction 48 hrs
  • ACP 3000 Managing Culturally Diverse Classrooms 48 hrs
  • ACP 4000 Practices in Educational Environment 48 hrs
  • ACP 0000 Specific Content Preparation 43 hrs
  • ACP 0000 Field-Based Experience 30 hrs
  • ACP 0000 Pedagogy & Professional Responsibilities Preparation 42 hrs
  • ACP 1009 Science of Reading (or Foundations of Reading) 42 hrs
    (as required or recommended for certification)

349 Total

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

Internships must be completed within two consecutive semesters whether fall-spring or spring-fall


Program Cost


Due Date


ACP Tuition

Upon enrollment (as of 8/31/2020)

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

$4,435 + books

TEA Technology Fee

Upon enrollment


Other fees associated with completing the requirements for Teacher Certification by TEA (such as exams, background checks, finger printing, etc.) are outside of Program costs or expenses and are managed by other organizations. HCC ATCP keeps an updated requirements list with current costs and provides that to students. However, HCC cannot guarantee costs have not been changed recently by other organizations.


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 Winter/Spring 2021 and Summer 2021. Application Deadline for Winter/Spring is TBA, 2020. The application deadline for Summer is TBA, 2021. Interested candidates must have a 2.5 GPA and a Bachelors's degree from an accredited college or university. We would like to enroll at least 30 new students.

  • TBA, 5:30-6:30 pm (SJAC Rm. TBA)
  • TBA,  5:30-6:30 pm (SJAC Rm. TBA



Eastside Campus Learning Hub - Second Flr, 6815 Rustic St., Houston, TX 77087-2623

Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and by Appointment