August 2017, Vol. 1

How the new intern certificate differs from a probationary certificate

by Karen Dooley
 
Effective September 1, 2017, the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) will begin issuing an intern certificate, in addition to the probationary certificate.

At first glance, the new intern certificate might remind you of the current probationary certificate, with the exception of being able to substitute completion of coursework for the passing of the appropriate content area certification examination(s).

Certificates are required for individuals, other than an educational aide, completing certification through an educator preparation program (EPP) that requires an internship (19 TAC § 230.36–230.37). The main differences between the two is the type of tests an individual must pass and how long an individual may serve on the certificate.

For either certificate, an individual must meet the following criteria:
  • Have a bachelor’s degree, except as otherwise provided in SBEC rules related to certain career and technical education certificates based on skill and experience
  • Meet the general certification requirements prescribed in 19 TAC § 230.11
  • Pay the prescribed fee
  • Meet fingerprint requirements
  • Be a participant in good standing of an approved Texas EPP, serving in an acceptable, paid, supervised internship

Classroom teacher

To be eligible for either certificate, a teacher candidate must pass all of the appropriate certification content examination(s). For an internship in a career and technical education classroom teacher assignment based on skill and experience, a candidate must satisfy the requirements for that subject area and pass the appropriate content certification examination(s). The probationary certificate requires an additional requirement of passing the appropriate pedagogy and professional responsibilities (PPR) examination.

Assignments other than classroom teacher

A candidate for an assignment other than a classroom teacher (i.e., superintendent, principal, reading specialist, master teacher, school librarian, school counselor, educational diagnostician) must also meet the following criteria:
  • Meet all requirements established by the recommending EPP,  based on the qualifications and requirements for the class of certification sought and the duties to be performed
  • Be accepted in a Texas EPP that has been approved to prepare candidates for the certificate sought
  • Be assigned in the certificate area sought in a Texas school district, open-enrollment charter school, or other school approved by the TEA
A candidate for an assignment other than classroom teacher must pass the appropriate certification examination(s) to be eligible for the probationary certificate. In contrast, an intern certificate may be issued before an individual passes the appropriate certification examination.

Length of certificate

The intern and probationary certificate are valid for a 12-month period from the date of issuance. However, an intern certificate cannot be renewed or extended. A probationary certificate may be renewed for one additional 12-month period.

Final thoughts

Be aware: as of September 1, 2017, exceptions that allowed an EPP to place a special education, bilingual education, or English as a Second Language candidate in an internship before passing the certification examination will no longer apply.