In order to become a certified teacher in Texas as of 2015, a person must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college, complete a state-approved educator preparation program and pass all required certification exams. After this, it is then possible to submit a state teaching application.
When submitting the state teaching application, the applicant must be fingerprinted in order to undergo a national criminal background check. The Texas Education Association then evaluates each applicant's background on a case-by-case basis, assessing the severity of any past criminal offenses and the age of the applicant at the time the offense was committed.
Although Texas requires a bachelor's degree, it is possible to teach a specialty even if the applicant doesn't hold a degree in that subject, as long as the applicant is able to pass the required subject area competence test. This is one of two required certification tests an applicant must pass, along with the basic skills test.
Along with a bachelor's degree, all applicants must have completed a teacher preparation course that includes at least 300 hours of classroom work and training. This training must include a minimum of 80 hours of coursework and 30 hours of field experience prior to the student teaching experience.