TCTA urged the State Board for Educator Certification in testimony to increase the number of training hours required for candidates from trade and industry professions seeking a new Trade and Industrial Workforce Training certificate. TCTA pointed out at the board’s Oct. 6, 2017, meeting that the proposal for a floor of 200 hours total of training for the new certificate fell far short of what an educator preparation program could reasonably be able to accomplish and failed to sufficiently cover important topics that go to the heart of teaching such as the relevant TEKS, classroom management skills, instruction of students with dyslexia, and knowledge of students and student learning. 

The proposal came before the board as a result of legislation passed in 2017 requiring SBEC to establish an abbreviated educator preparation program for individuals with a high school diploma seeking a new Trade and Industrial Workforce Training certificate. TCTA opposed the bill during the legislative session.

Current SBEC rules require all educator preparation programs to offer at least 300 hours of coursework and/or training for all classroom teacher certificates. Current rules require that, of the 300 hours minimum, 180 must be completed prior to any clinical teaching or internship. Of the 180 hours, the rules require at least 150 hours to address a list of specified topics, and at least 30 hours of field-based experience. 

Although, commendably, the Trade and Industrial Workforce Training certificate would be subject to the same 180-hour requirement, the total number of training hours proposed for the training program would only be a minimum of 200 hours, potentially allowing only 20 hours for educator preparation programs to cover a long list of educator preparation program curriculum requirements specified in current rule.

TCTA pointed out that, although the 200-hour training requirement for the new certificate is a minimum, it is important for SBEC to set the bar higher in the acknowledgment that it is not reasonable to assume that anyone could be properly trained in topics that are fundamental to teaching in only 20 hours. Reminding the board of its mission statement that SBEC is dedicated to upholding the highest levels of educator preparation, TCTA emphasized that this was particularly important to consider when deliberating training requirements for certification candidates with high school degrees coming from the trade and industry sector who could end up teaching courses that count for high school credit.