College of Education
The mission of the College of Education (College or COED) at UTEP is to prepare effective teachers, counselors, diagnosticians, and school administrators to successfully address the needs of schools and other youth serving agencies, especially those in multicultural communities. To support this mission, the faculty members of the College engage in research and scholarly activities, provide educational services to local schools and community, and strive to demonstrate by example the quality of teaching expected of our graduates.
The Bachelor of Science in Education offers two pathways for students seeking a degree in the field of education: one leading to Texas teacher certification and another for students who aim to prepare for a career in various areas such as Early Childhood Education, after-school programs, nonprofit work, and community outreach.
Texas Teacher Certification Pathway
The College of Education Educator Preparation Program (EPP) provides qualified students with unique educational experiences to help them attain the knowledge, values, and skills needed to enter the teaching profession and to receive an initial Texas teaching certificate. Individuals interested in becoming early childhood/elementary, middle school, or all-level special education Texas certified teachers, pursue a Bachelor of Science in Education. Students may choose from the following concentrations:
- Elementary with ESL Certification
- Elementary with Bilingual Certification
- Middle Grades with Bilingual Certification
- Middle Grades with ESL Supplemental Certification
- Middle Grades English Language Arts/Reading with ESL Certification
- Middle Grades English Language Arts/Reading and Social Studies with ESL Certification
- Middle Grades Mathematics with ESL Certification
- Middle Grades Mathematics and Science with ESL Certification
- PK-12 Special Education
Students interested in becoming secondary education or all-level education certified teachers, complete a major in the specialization area in which they will teach (e.g., All-level Art Certification students complete a Bachelor of Arts with the College of Liberal Arts) and a minor or concentration with the College of Education. Coursework information appears in the appropriate section of this catalog under the College of Health Sciences, Liberal Arts, and Science. Students may pursue certification in the following areas:
- Dance 6-12
- English Language Arts and Reading 7-12
- History 7-12
- Journalism 7-12
- Life Science 7-12
- Mathematics 7-12
- Physical Science 6-12
- Physics/Mathematics 7-12
- Science 7-12
- Social Studies 7-12
- Speech 7-12
- Art EC-12
- Health EC-12
- LOTE: French
- LOTE: Spanish
- Music EC-12
- Physical Education EC-12
- Theatre EC-12
Students planning on becoming certified in Texas as secondary or all-level education teachers are advised by their major advisors of the college where their major resides and by their assigned Center for Student Success (CSS) program advisors in the College of Education for their concentration in secondary or all-level education.
The Bachelor of Science in Education also offers two concentrations for students who are interested in a career in the field of education outside of the realm of state public school teaching. Students interested in working in organizations involving education or child-advocacy, early childhood learning or childcare, early childhood intervention, or Head Start should consider a concentration in:
- Early Childhood Care and Education
The Bachelor of Arts in Applied Learning and Development - Early Childhood Care and Education program prepares educators to serve young children birth to five years of age [0-5] in diverse, bilingual settings outside of state public schooling. Emphasis in this program is on the care and education of young dual language and English language learners. This is a non-licensure concentration for students seeking professional preparation for working with infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children, in settings such as private and public childcare, early intervention, community and child-welfare programs, and Head Start.
To earn the BS in Education-ECCE degree, students must complete The University Core Curriculum, College of Education Required Coursework and selected elective courses. All College of Education Required Coursework requires a combined minimum grade point of 3.0. A total cumulative grade point of 2.75 or higher is required for this degree program.
- Education and Community Studies
At the graduate level, the College offers master's degrees in the areas of Literacy Education, Curriculum and Instruction (i.e., Bilingual Education, Early Childhood/Elementary Education, Educational Technology, and Engineering), Educational Administration, School Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, Educational Diagnostics, and Special Education. Students who wish to specialize in other subject areas can consult with COED Graduate Faculty for approval. In addition to these graduate degree programs, the College offers graduate-level courses leading to advanced Texas licensure in administration, supervision, counseling, and various teaching specialties. A Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Teaching, Learning, and Culture is offered in the Department of Teacher Education and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership and Administration is offered in the Department of Educational Leadership and Foundations. (For information about graduate programs in Education, students should refer to the University's Graduate Catalog.)
Educator Preparation Program
The College maintains close ties with practicing professional teachers through field-based teacher preparation programs. The educator preparation programs are approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and by the Texas State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). Students who successfully complete a certification program are recommended to receive teacher certification in the state of Texas.
Professional certification programs in the College of Education are offered in Elementary Education; Bilingual Education; Reading Education; Middle, Secondary, and All-Levels Education; Counseling; Special Education; Educational Diagnostics; and Educational Administration.
Students wishing to explore teaching as a career option enroll in education sections of UNIV 1301. In this course, information concerning the teaching profession is presented, and students have an opportunity to discuss career issues with education faculty and public-school practitioners. Education-focused learning communities are available for students with 0-45 credit hours of academic work.
Undergraduate Degrees and Teaching Licenses
Early Childhood/Elementary Grades, Middle Grades, and All-Level Special Education
The College offers a Bachelor of Science in Education degree for students who wish to become certified teachers in Elementary Grades, Middle Grades, and All-Level Special Education. Students working on the Bachelor of Science in Education degree must have their degree plan filed in the College of Education. These students are advised by College of Education Center for Student Success (CSS) program advisors, and can request degree and certification course substitutions through these individuals.
Secondary Education and All-Level Education
Students interested in becoming secondary or all-level (Art, Health, LOTE, Music, Theatre or Physical Education) complete a major through the College of Health Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, or College of Science and a minor in secondary or all-level teaching, depending on their specialization area, with the College of Education. Programs of-study information can be found in the appropriate section of this catalog under the Colleges of Health Sciences, Liberal Arts, and Science. Information on the secondary and all-level teaching minors is available in the CSS website.
Students planning to become certified in Texas as secondary or all-level teachers must have their degree plan and a copy of their current certification plan filed under the college in which they are pursuing their major. These students must also have a copy of their degree plan and a certification plan filed in the CSS, College of Education Building, Room 412. Students are advised by the advisors of the college of their major for their major program requirements and by the CSS advising staff for their minor or concentration in secondary or all-level education. Requests for course substitutions for courses pertaining to the major program requirements are handled by the respective college dean’s office. Substitutions pertinent to the secondary or all-level teaching certificate minor are handled by the CSS program advisors, under the purview of the Dean’s Office of the College Education.
Transfer Students Seeking Degrees in Education
Undergraduate transfer students seeking a bachelor's degree in Education must submit an application for admission and original copies of their transcripts to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment, located in the Mike Loya Academic Services Building. Transfer students cannot be advised in the College of Education until a written evaluation of previous academic work has been prepared by the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.
Alternative Certification Program
The College of Education offers an alternative certification program for students who have already completed a bachelor's degree and wish to become early childhood/elementary education, middle grades, secondary, or all-level Texas certified teachers. This is a non-degree plan administered by the Center for Student Success (CSS) in cooperation with the academic department in which the student's teaching specialization resides.
For information about admission, fees, and program requirements, visit the Center for Student Success website or the CSS office at:
Center for Student Success
College of Education
Additional Certification Levels, Fields, and Supplemental
Teachers who are already certified in Texas can add any level of certification or field of specialization available to early childhood/elementary education, middle, secondary, and all-level UTEP students. The state provides certified teachers an opportunity to add new certification levels and specialization fields by challenging the TExES tests in those areas (H.B. 2185). There are also supplementary certificates offered in Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language (ESL).
Teachers with valid out-of-state teaching credentials who are seeking a Texas certificate must contact the Texas State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) directly in order to have their credentials evaluated. Information is available on the SBEC website (http://www.sbec.state.tx.us). To update their certificate, teachers with expired out-of-state teaching certificates must either contact the state in which they were certified before contacting SBEC, or follow the procedure established for students who have a bachelor's degree and desire an initial Texas certification.
Admission to Educator Preparation Program (EPP)
Bachelor of Science in Education program students who wish to become elementary, middle grades, or all-level special education certified teachers in Texas receive a degree plan and information about the Educator Preparation Program (EPP) admission requirements during their New/Transfer Student Orientation advising session with the College of Education (COED). Undergraduate students pursuing secondary grades or other all-level teacher certification, receive information about the EPP and major requirements during their New/Transfer Student Orientation advising session with the college where their major resides. Beginning during their first semester at UTEP, students can begin to work on EPP admission requirements, which are available on the CSS website.
According to University policy, students must remain in good standing to progress toward the completion of a degree program (see the appropriate catalog section under Academic Standards). In addition, students can be barred from enrolling in professional education courses if their suitability for the teaching profession is found to be unacceptable.
Field-Based Experience and Student Teaching Residency Requirements
Students are expected to spend a significant amount of time in specially selected schools (partner schools and professional development schools) while they complete pre-EPP courses as well as their EPP/student teaching Residency. Admission to EPP is required for enrollment in EPP/Residency courses that involve a field-based experience component. Additionally, students are required to pass the qualifying and Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) certification exams prior to enrolling in student teaching.
The Texas State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) regulates the certification of educators to teach Texas public-school children. Before an individual can be certified, SBEC must conduct a criminal history background check to ensure an applicant’s suitability to interact with children. Working with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the agency conducts statewide criminal history background checks on all applicants for educator Certification. Students pursuing educator preparation should be aware that some criminal histories can lead to the denial of certification as a teacher.
Texas public school districts require student teaching residency and field-based experience participants to undergo a criminal history background check prior to placement in the school district. School districts can deny placement to students with a criminal background. If a school district denies a placement or other field-based experiences for this reason, the UTEP College of Education can attempt to assist the student in obtaining a placement in an alternate district. Students should be aware, however, that if they are unable to obtain a placement, they will not meet UTEP’s program or state certification requirements.
A person who is enrolled or planning to enroll in an educator preparation program or planning to take a certification examination may request a preliminary criminal history evaluation letter regarding the person's potential ineligibility for certification due to a conviction or deferred adjudication for a felony or misdemeanor offense.
Effective August 1, 2015, MorphoTrust, the Texas Department of Public Safety fingerprinting vendor, can no longer utilize P-numbers in place of social security numbers for completion of the fingerprinting process. As a result, candidates attempting to be fingerprinted using a non-valid 9-digit social security number will not be allowed to complete the fingerprinting process, which is required for the background check necessary for teacher certification in Texas.
Student Teaching Residency Description
Student teaching residency for elementary grades, middle grades, special education, secondary, and all-level programs consists of one or two semesters (depending on concentration) in which students are assigned to partner schools where they spend at least one semester of five days per week for the entire school day for a minimum of 15 weeks engaged in student teaching. During student teaching residency, the major concepts and skills are introduced and student teachers become familiar with the pupils, the teams of teachers, and the community of the partner schools to which they are assigned. The semester(s) have an emphasis on role induction. Student teachers assist teachers mainly through small-group work and begin to experience whole-class instruction. Student teachers demonstrate that they can synthesize the knowledge, values, and experiences of earlier semesters in developing an effective teaching style. Proficiency in all program competencies is assessed during this time.
Student teaching takes place during the spring and/or fall semester. Students are usually assigned to their student teaching classrooms two weeks prior to the start of the regular semester. Students normally begin student teaching on the first day of teacher in-service or soon afterward.
Application for Graduation and Certification
Students must apply for graduation during the first month of the semester in which they intend to complete all degree requirements. A graduation fee is required.
Students who are seeking certification must register for and pass the appropriate state certification examinations (TExES). Students apply for certification once they complete all the program and state requirements, including the appropriate TExES tests. A fee is required for the Texas certificate.
In order to be recommended for degree and/or certification, a student must:
- Complete the courses listed in the degree and certification plan with an overall GPA of at least 2.0.
- Have a 2.5 GPA or better in the teaching field specialization.
- Have a 2.75 GPA or better in professional education courses.
- Complete the Texas Education Agency (TEA) application and pay fees.
- Complete fingerprint/background check requirements.
- Meet State Board of Educator Certification requirements that are in place at the time of certification application submission.
Note: To receive initial Texas teacher certification, individuals must be free of felony convictions.