+  What is the difference between regional and national accreditation?

Regional accreditation agencies cover specific regions within the United States while National agencies recognize institutions across the United States and some schools abroad. Though they both perform the same functions, nationally accredited programs tend to be more career-oriented while regionally accredited programs are more academic.

+  What scholarships and grants are available to educators in Texas?

Did you know that scholarships for teachers are offered just about everywhere? While some scholarships are general and others are region specific, any type of teaching student can apply. Other scholarships are offered for teaching students of minorities, those focusing on the subjects of math or science, subject specific, for those at the graduate level, and even for those who are already teaching professionals.

Currently, $1,000 scholarships are being offered to 1,000 potential teachers across the state looking to participate in the Texas Teacher Preparation program. The Texas Center for Teacher Preparation assists those who have already received a bachelor's degree to earn their teacher certification.

The Texas State School Board recently approved The American Board, who recently launched the Texas Center for Teacher Preparation, as an official route to Texas teacher certification. It has been recognized with assisting those interested in education to overcome obstacles in attaining certification and also for helping schools and districts with their struggle to recruit and train teachers.

To find out more, visit the Texas Department of Education.

+  What is teacher loan forgiveness?

There are two types of loan forgiveness programs for teachers: First, Teacher Loan Forgiveness for Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Unsubsidized or Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, and second, Teacher Cancellation for Federal Perkins Loans.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession. Under this program, if you teach full-time for five consecutive academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools that serve low-income families, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 on your loan. If you have PLUS loans only, you are not eligible for this type of forgiveness.

Teacher Cancellation is a little different. If you have a loan from the Federal Perkins Loan Program you might be eligible for loan cancellation for full-time teaching at a low-income school, or for teaching in certain subject areas. You may also qualify for deferment for these qualifying teaching services. Be sure to check with the school that made you Federal Perkins Loan for more information.

+  How do I renew my teaching certification in Texas?

In Texas, teachers are required to renew their registration every five years, a largely painless procedural process. The one requirement for renewal is that you must have completed at least 12 hours of additional educational training, 180 hours of professional development work or a combination of the two. The personal development work must be in a course or activity the state of Texas recognizes.

To be certain you have completed the steps of renewing your teaching certification, check the following:

  • Take approved academic or professional development courses (courses must be approved by district superintendent or HR representative at your school).
  • Complete the Teacher Certification Renewal application.
  • Gather all professional development certificates and/or academic transcripts.
  • Have a photocopy of your Texas Fingerprint Clearance card prepared and up to date.
  • Send a packet of all of this information with check or money order for $20 and all certificates, transcripts and verifications to The Texas Department of Education.

+  What is TEACH GRANT?

A TEACH Grant can assist you with paying for tuition if you plant to become a teacher in a high-need field in a low-income area. A Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant is different from other federal student grants because it requires certain demands in order to receive the grant, as well as have a certain career to keep the grant from turning into a loan.

The TEACH Grant Program provides grants up to $4,000 a year to students planning to have a career in teaching. As a condition for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must sign the grant’s agreement in which you agree to several requirements such as teaching in a high-need field, at an elementary or secondary school, or educational service agency that serves low-income students, and for at least four complete academic years within eight years after completing your course of student. Without completing these requirements, all TEACH Grant funds convert to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan that must be repaid to the U.S. Department of Education.

+  Are there alternative pathways to receive my teaching certification?

Yes, Texas offers another route to obtaining your certification. Those who hold a degree in a different area of interest but wish to enter the classroom can participate in teaching full-time under the “Teaching Intern” certificate. Upon the issuance of a Teaching Intern certificate, individuals will be able to pursue a teaching contract in an Texas public school or charter. They receive full teaching salary plus benefits, which ensures no loss of income for participants.

+  Which area offers the best homes for sale in Texas?

Lake Lewisville is home to many fine educators in our state. There are fishing options to get away from the classroom. The real estate prices are great but they also have many well-established communities like Wildridge.

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