December 15, 2021: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

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Texas Education Agency

December 15, 2021

Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

CTE teacher


"Seeing is believing, but, sometimes, the most real things in the world are the things we can't see." - Polar Express 

This quote is a great reminder to “keep the faith” even when you are not seeing the change or the pay off of the work right away. Sometimes, we just need to keep believing. As we close out one semester and prepare to begin a new year, keep reminding yourself to believe in people, believe in what you do, and believe that you can make a positive impact. 

Our goal is for this newsletter to serve as a support by compiling the most up-to-date information concerning what you need to know that impacts your candidates in the coming weeks. Please thoroughly read all the sections for reminders, upcoming events, to dos, and FAQs.   

If you are not currently subscribed to the newsletter, please sign up at the link below.
Educator Preparation Program Listserv Registration  

Upcoming Deadlines

Topic: Last Administration Date for TExES #117 & TExES #291 Exams
Action Item: 
Share deadline information with candidates and encourage early exam registration. 
Due Date: Last administered December 31, 2021

Table Of Contents

EPP Points of Contact

Your best source for information and support at the TEA.   

As an EPP, your main point of contact is your Education Specialist.   

  • To view a list of EPPs and their associated Education Specialist, please click here.   
  • For easiest assistance, file a HelpDesk Ticket.  

Educator Preparation Program Support

Updates related to Educator Preparation Program Management

New: Let’s Welcome TEA’s New Educator Preparation Program Director! 
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Pam Wetherington as the Director of Educator Preparation. Pam brings extensive knowledge, skills, and experiences as a former classroom teacher, teacher educator, and leader in teacher education. She is thrilled to work with and support Texas’ educator preparation programs.  

New: Updates to Student Maintenance Page in ECOS 
As of December 16, the student maintenance page in ECOS will only allow an EPP to select and add current certificates to a candidate’s enrollment record. Previously, current and expired certificates could be selected and added to an unlocked year. This fix will help to decrease potential errors in this data entry. 

Educator Standards and Testing

Updates related to Educator Standards and Certification Testing   

Reminder: ELAR 4-8 #217 Exam Launch January 1, 2022 
The redesigned ELAR 4-8 #217 exam launches January 1, 2022. The last day for candidates to take the ELAR 4-8 #117 exam will be December 31, 2021.  The last registration date will be December 29, 2021 with score reporting through January 2022. Please see the linked one-pager for more information.  

Starting January 1, 2022, the Core Subjects: EC-6 (391) will be the only certification exam available for administration for the Core Subjects EC-6 certification. For more information, please review the FAQ section of the Core Subjects: EC-6 transition one-pager or TEA’s STR Teacher Candidate webpage. 

Educator Certification 

Updates related to Educator Certification 

New: Two Views for Online Certificate Information  
The virtual certificate, SBEC’s online official record of certification, is being updated to show a “current” and a “historical” version. Effective December 16, 2021, educators will have the option to view and print the online version of their certificate record that best meets their needs. The “current” version will only include the list of certificates with active dates, while the “historical” version will include the list of certificates with expired dates. Members of the public will continue to have access to the Certificate Lookup feature on the TEA website to view an educator’s official record of certification if they have the correct name under which the educator obtained his or her certification. Educators with a sanction on their file will have that information appear on both versions of their certificate record.  

Updates about SBEC, Rules, and Legislation  

Updates related to actions by the State Board for Educator Certification, the State Board of Education, and the Legislature.   

New: SBEC December 10th Meeting 
The December SBEC meeting was held Friday, December 10th.  More information about the SBEC meeting, including the meeting agenda and access to view the meeting recording, can be found on the SBEC webpage 


Every newsletter we take this space to highlight questions that we have heard from EPPs. 

Q: Is it acceptable for an EPP to use representative exams to determine a candidate’s readiness to test? 
A: Taking a representative exam itself does not determine a candidate’s readiness to test. It is the EPP’s responsibility to determine a candidate’s readiness to test. If the EPP determines that earning a certain score on a representative exam means that the candidate is ready to test, that is acceptable.  

Reference 19 TAC §228.40(d): An EPP shall determine the readiness of each candidate to take the appropriate certification examination of content, pedagogy, and professional responsibilities, including professional ethics and standards of conduct. An EPP shall not grant test approval for a certification examination until a candidate has met all of the requirements for admission to the EPP and has been contingently or formally admitted into the EPP. An EPP may make test approval contingent on a candidate completing additional coursework and/or training to show that the candidate is prepared to pass the test if the candidate is seeking test approval from the EPP in an area where the standards and/or test changed since the candidate completed the EPP or if the candidate has returned to the EPP for test approval five or more years following the academic year of completion. 

Q: Can the formal admission date be dated for a later date? For example, the admission letter is sent out on October 1, 2021, but identifies the admission date as January 1st, 2022. 
A: Yes, this is acceptable. The date of notification (letter date) would be the date the applicant was notified of admission. The admission date embedded in the letter is the date the candidate may begin coursework with the EPP. 

For More Information...

Information regarding educator certification testing can be accessed at the Texas Educator Certification Exam website.   

Information regarding the Science of Teaching Reading Exam can be accessed at   

Information regarding edTPA 2020-2021 information opportunities.   

Information and updates regarding the Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL) can be accessed at the Important Updates link.   

Updated information related to the COVID-19 response can be accessed here.   

To view previous editions of the weekly newsletter, please see the Texas Educator Preparation Program Weekly Newsletter webpage.  

Lesson Study Gateway Resources

Practice based preparation resources for virtual field-based experience: Provides model lessons and video of instructional delivery.  

Texas Teach Like a Champion (TLAC)   

Practice based preparation resources for virtual field-based experience:  Provides content neutral pedagogical skill building through observing a model of and practicing the same high leverage skill.    

Texas TLAC One Pager for EPPs

Full scope and sequence of upcoming edTPA training opportunities.   

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