Certification and Professional Development

WeTeach_CS Foundations of Computer Science for Teachers

 

 

Get Inspired

Bringing Computer Science to America’s K-12 students isn’t just good for your students, it’s good for Texas and America. According to a federal report from 2016, “Last year, there were more than 600,000 high-paying tech jobs across the United States that were unfilled, and by 2018, 51 percent of all STEM jobs are projected to be in computer science-related fields…However, by some estimates, just one-quarter of all the K-12 schools in the United States offer high-quality computer science with programming.”

 

Earn a $1000 Stipend!

WeTeach_CS manages the Certification Incentive Program (CIP) that provides a $1000 stipend for teachers who pass the CS 8-12 Test and obtain TEA CS certification. Hopefully, the stipend will help motivate you in your studies, and it will be a nice reward for your hard work! Instructions for applying for the stipend including eligibility, deadlines, and requirements are located lower on this page. Applications for the incentive program are due before testing. The STEM Center will extend the program, which has assisted over 480 teachers to achieve CS certification, through December 2018, dependent on the availability of funds. This page will be updated when further funding is available.

 

Learn About CS Certification

Please visit Pearson’s website for details and registration: http://www.tx.nesinc.com

Passing the Texas Education Agency's (TEA) Computer Science 8-12 Certification Test, Test Code 241 (CS 8-12 Test) is required to teach the following high school programming-based courses: Fundamentals of CS (can also be taught in Middle School), CS I, CS II and CS III. See the TEA’s CS course detail for more information on each course. This test is also recommended to teach the two Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science courses: AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A. Please note that while some resources are free, there are also approximately $180 in TEA registration and application fees for the test and certification. WeTeach_CS  provides a limited number of $1000 stipends for teachers who become CS certified. It is essential that you apply for the CIP program before registering for the test to verify availability. The Register and Take Test section provide details.

The CS 8-12 Test 241 covers four domains. (Scoring weight indicated below.)

  • Domain I – Technology Applications Core (12.5%) – Understand how to use applications, data, networks, and the Internet to complete simple tasks and large projects.
  • Domain II – Program Design and Development (35%) – Understand how to design and plan coding efforts.
  • Domain III – Programming Language Topics (40%) – Write code using data, data types, arrays, loops, control structures, and data structures.
  • Domain IV – Specialized Topics (12.5%) – This section covers advanced topics such as robotics, digital forensics, discrete math, and game design.

 

Prepare

If you have a standard or lifetime TEA teaching certificate and a bachelor’s degree, you can earn a CS certification via the TEA’s Certification By Exam option, which involves passing the CS 8-12 Test. This path requires that you learn the CS content and related pedagogy on your own before taking the test. Test preparation is a significant amount of work. For most teachers, this effort will include one or two years of learning, practice and professional development. Note that if you don’t have experience using computer applications, networks, and the Internet, we recommended that you pursue these types of experiences before taking on CS certification.

There are many paths to prepare for the test. For example, if you have significant programming experience, you might be able to pass the test without preparing. Also, there are multiple content providers (Code.org, Code Academy, etc.) and languages (Java, Javascript, and Python) that you could choose, based on your preference. If you are looking for direction in this area, we outline one path that will prepare you for the test. Choose the button below to view and print a detailed checklist.

  • Learn Block-Based Programming
  • Learn Text-Based Programming
  • Take CS 8-12 Certification Prep Course – Online
  • Take CS 8-12 Certification Prep Course – In-Person

Certification Prep Checklist

 

Certification Incentive Program (CIP)

CIP provides a $1000 stipend to teachers who apply, pass the 241 test and obtain TEA CS 8-12 certification.

Funding is currently in place through the December 2018testing window.

You are potentially eligible for the CIP stipend if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • You are pursuing a TEA certification in Computer Science 8-12.
  • You do not currently hold a certification in Computer Science or Computer Information Systems.
  • You are currently certified to teach in Texas OR enrolled in a TEA approved teacher certification program in Texas.

View the CIP Checklist for complete requirements and application information.

 

Start Teaching!

Congratulations! We wish you the best in the classroom and your career!

 

Professional Development and Curriculum

Whether you’re new to computer science or an experienced CS teacher, WeTeach_CS offers the professional development experiences you need to get certified, or to improve your knowledge and skills in the classroom. Through in-person workshops and online courses, WeTeach_CS can deliver an array of professional development choices at the right time and in the right location. Keep up with all the professional development offerings from the UT STEM Center, by checking out the events list which can be filtered by subject and location.

If you're new to the CS classroom or just looking for a more effective and 100% TEKS aligned way to teach, check out WeTeach_CS for HS. This unique curriculum contains everything you need to teach CS1.