As a leader in educator preparation in Texas, we innovate to provide a meaningful and productive experience that will close the knowing—doing gap for all candidates seeking initial teacher certification. Quality is a continual process, and we are constantly striving to enrich the purpose of our program, placing outstanding educators in the classroom. Educators who will be ready on day one!
The following are some achievements and actions taken to surpass minimum state requirements and better prepare our teacher candidates to change students' lives.
The quality of our online instruction meets world-wide standards such as Quality Matters® external certification.
In the 2018 NCTQ review of 285 of the nation's graduate and alternative certification programs preparing elementary teachers, INSPIRE TEXAS by Region 4 scored at the top (99th percentile), compared to all other such graduate and alternative certification programs.
In the 2018 NCTQ review of 437 of the nation's graduate and alternative certification programs preparing secondary teachers, INSPIRE TEXAS by Region 4 scored at the top (99th percentile), compared to all other such graduate and alternative certification programs.
Our teacher certification program is evidence-based and informed by the best available research in three critical domains: admissions (selection of candidates), content knowledge, and the quality of practice opportunities (including a focus on classroom management).
The acceptance process will require an online audition and either a minimum overall GPA of 2.75 or a standardized test score (GRE, SAT, or ACT) in the top half of the college-going population.
To teach a single subject, all candidates must pass the corresponding TExES content test and have at least 30 semester credit hours (SCH) in the subject area.
To teach multiple subjects in the sciences or social studies, all candidates must pass the corresponding TExES content test for each subject and have at least 50 total semester credit hours (SCH) across the sciences or at least 15 SCH in at least two teachable subjects.
During pre-service, teacher candidates submit video evidence of the execution of six video auditions and receive timely feedback in areas of strength as well as in areas of potential growth from a practitioner (who has a proven record of effective instruction).
Teacher candidates ARE required to pass TExES exams prior to the practicum (internship or clinical teaching assignment).
Prior to a candidate beginning a teaching practicum, 30 hours of field experience (classroom observations) must be submitted for verification. During the clinical teaching practicum, a cooperating teacher will be assigned, while during the internship a mentor is assigned. Both cooperating teachers and mentors are recommended by the campus principal and peers as capable adult mentors and effective instructors.
INSPIRE TEXAS offers a total of 16 micro credentials to interns and clinical teachers. During the practicum, interns or clinical teachers participate in at least two of the micro learning environments that require video evidence of effective strategies that are specific, actionable, and observable to earn corresponding micro credentials in our program.
Six (6) out of the 16 micro credentials authentically assess the six (6) strategies identified as proven practices that promote learning for all students, and are especially potent with struggling students. These strategies were identified and prioritized by the USDE's What Works Clearinghouse (2007) and published by NCTQ (2016). These evidence-based strategies are taught among others during the practicum.
INSPIRE TEXAS has candidates actively piloting the edTPA (Elementary Literacy with Task 4 (four) Math) during internship and clinical teaching assignments. This pilot group is completing coursework, webinars, and writing seminars that correspond to the edTPA’s literacy and math tasks associated with the portfolio. The candidates must submit authentic records of practice including lesson plans, instructional materials, student artifacts, classroom videos, and classroom assessments. INSPIRE TEXAS is one of 27 educator preparation programs participating in year 1 (one) of the edTPA pilot in collaboration with the Texas Education Agency. INSPIRE TEXAS is preparing to scale up to include other areas of certification in year 2 (two) of the edTPA Pilot.
Since 2020, INSPIRE Texas has partnered with the Innovation Center 4 Educator Preparation (IC4EP), a technical assistance center serving alternative certification programs in Texas, and area school districts to collaborative examine and transform program areas through a continuous improvement process.
The Board of Directors of the Houston Endowment authorized a grant to support the development of new Educator Preparation Pathways (EPP) in collaboration with INSPIRE Texas by Region 4 and local school districts.