Educator Certification

Special Education

Shannon Hewgley

Certification Officer
Shannon Hewgley


The University of Texas at Austin offers state and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) approved programs to get students certified and ready for the classroom. Our programs prepare students to become early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school teachers. We also help students from other majors become certified classroom teachers. Our professional certification programs prepare students for administrative and supporting roles in schools.

Our certification programs are available for potential teachers at all stages of their careers. We offer paths to certification for undergraduates, postbaccalaureates, graduate students, and working professionals.

Professional Development Sequence for Teaching Certification

In addition to completing coursework in your teacher certification program, you must apply to the Professional Development Sequence (PDS). This is a teacher preparation program that prepares you for the classroom through fieldwork, observations, and student teaching.

Regardless of which level of certification you are enrolled in, the PDS will provide you with plenty of classroom experience. You will work closely with mentors who will guide you in developing teaching skills. Our programs give you ample experience in classroom settings, preparing you to be a leader in school settings.

University Recommendation

Students who have successfully completed all of the steps to become a teacher ​and the certification requirements will be recommended to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for certification by our certification officer.

A young boy with short, curly hair and dark skin holds up a book in a classroom.

Teacher Certification Programs for Undergraduate Students

Students seeking initial teacher certification in any K-12th grade area and a bachelor's degree can enroll in one of the university's undergraduate certification degree programs.

A diverse group of students collaborate on a project at a table.

Teacher Certification Programs for Those Seeking a Graduate Degree

We offer graduate programs for those seeking both a master’s degree and initial teacher certification in English, social studies, special education, natural sciences, or physical education.

A diverse group of teenage girls listen to dark-skinned student teacher during a discussion session.

Postbaccalaureate Teacher Certification Options

If you already have a bachelors' degrees and wish to become a certified teacher, you may apply to the university as a non-degree seeker. You will enroll in courses and a professional development sequence that will qualify you for the teacher certification exams.

Professor and Department Chair Victor Saenz leads a discussion session.

Professional Certifications

We offer options to become a certified principal, school counselor, reading specialist, superintendent, or school librarian. A graduate degree and teaching experience are required in order to pursue these certifications in Texas.

Alternative and Emergency Certifications

These certification programs are NOT offered through the University of Texas at Austin. For information about alternative certifications, please call the Texas Education Agency at (512) 463-9734.


Dr. Sharon Evans, Director, Education Services

Dr. Evans oversees Field Experiences, Career Services, and Certification. She serves as a lead liaison with the University, school districts, and education-related entities working with our preservice teachers. She ensures that state-of-the-art career services are available to all College of Education undergraduate students.
Office: SZB 244
Phone: (512) 471-1511

Shannon Hewgley, Certification Officer

Shannon serves as a certification officer for all certification programs at the university. She manages test approvals for certification exams, recommends students for certification, and handles appeals. She also gathers data and prepares reports for outside entities.
Office: SZB 244
Phone: (512) 471-3485