Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is eligible for consideration for the HCDE Principal Certification Academy program?

Candidates who have an advanced degree (master’s or higher) from an accredited university are eligible for consideration.

2. When can I enroll in the program?

Applicants can enroll as soon as their advanced degree has been conferred or if they are in their last semester of completing their advanced degree.

3. What is required to be considered for acceptance into the program?

  • Application for Admission Form
  • $100 Non-Refundable Application Processing Fee
  • Hold a valid Texas classroom teaching certificate (TAC Title 19, Part 7, Chapter 241 Rule §241.20)
  • Submit all service records verifying a minimum of two years of creditable teaching experience as a classroom teacher as defined in TAC Title 19, Chapter 153, Subchapter CC and TEC §5.001(2)
  • Official transcripts from institutions granting your bachelor’s and master’s or higher degrees (may submit unofficial advanced degree transcripts if degree is still in progress – see item #2 for details; official transcripts will be required for final certification clearance)
  • Two-page narrative of your professional goals
  • Resume that includes names, titles, addresses, email and phone numbers of three professional references
  • Mentor Information and Commitment Form – name, titles, address and phone numbers (principal)
  • Interview
  • $400 Non-Refundable Deposit Fee – due at time of admission

4. What is the total program cost?

The total cost is $5,210 (this includes $100 non-refundable application fee and $400 non-refundable deposit fee). A special 5% discount is available if you live/work in Harris County.

5. What is the application fee?

It is a one-time $100 processing fee. Please note an application fee will increase to $200 after December 30, 2016 if you plan to enroll in January 2017.

6. Is there a deposit?

Yes, there is a $400 non-refundable deposit fee at time of registration. The deadline for payment of the non-refundable deposit fee is December 30, 2016. It is part of the total program cost of $5,210. If you do not enroll in January 2017 cohort, you will lose this deposit. If you do not pay the $400 deposit by December 30, 2016 and subsequently enroll in January, there will be a $150 late charge fee which will be in addition to the total program cost of $5,210.

7. When does the fee ($5,210) have to be paid?

  • $100 - due with application
  • $400 - due at time of admission
  • $4,710 - remaining balance will be divided into three (3) payments due on the following dates with checks made payable to HCDE:
    • 1st payment of $1,570 – due Friday, April 14, 2017
    • 2nd payment of $1,570 – due Friday, June 16, 2017
    • 3rd payment of $1,570 – due Friday, August 19, 2017
  • Other payment plans can be arranged with Academy Director's approval
  • Credit card payments are also accepted (see item #8)

8. Can payments be made by credit card?

Yes, you may use our Online Secure Payment System located on our website to make payments on outstanding balances.

9. What is included in the total program cost?

  • The program and its administration
  • Assessment review
  • Practicum supervision and observations
  • PLEASE NOTE: AEL/T-TESS training and fees are NOT included; you will be required to complete AEL and T-TESS training on your own to fulfill this benchmark before being cleared for certification.

10. Is financial aid available?

No, however you may pursue a bank loan or an external scholarship on your own accord.

11. When does the program begin?

The Spring 2017 Cohort begins January 7, 2017.

12. What is the deadline for submitting required documents to be considered for admissions? (See no. 3 for required documents.)

The deadline is December 16, 2016 for the Spring 2017 Cohort.

13. Where can I get information about the TExES test?

14. Where can I take the TExES test?

After you are enrolled in the program, check with program staff. Generally, you will be approved to take it in spring 2017. Your file and account must be in good standing and a readiness to test will be verified before test approval is granted.

15. Do I need a probationary certificate?

No, unless you are offered a position that requires a principal certification while you are still in the process of completing the academy.

16. How do I get a probationary certificate?

After you are enrolled in the program, talk with program staff. If you are eligible, you will be issued an official eligibility form that informs a district that you can be recommended for a probationary certificate upon employment as an administrator.

17. What if I get a position as an administrator before I finish the program?

If you meet the qualifications, a probationary certificate can be recommended; however, a probationary certificate can only be recommended after you have a job offer.

18. Do I have to pass the state test before I can be recommended for a probationary certificate?

No. Check with program staff for specifics.

19. Does the HCDE Principal Certification Academy program include AEL/T-TESS training?

No, however you will need to complete this training on your own in order to obtain a final clearance for certification from HCDE. Check with your local regional education service center regarding this training. Frequently, your school district will send you to this training if you are employed as an administrator.

20. What benchmarks must be completed before I can get certification clearance for the standard Texas Principal certificate?

  • Successfully complete the Principal Certification Academy
  • Successfully pass TExES Principal exam (#068)
  • Complete AEL and T-TESS training and submit copies of certificates
  • Successful completion of practicum activities and projects over two semesters (minimum of 160 hours total)
  • Successful completion and presentation of Action Research Project and Portfolio of learning experiences
  • Copy of Mentor Information and Commitment Form on file
  • Completion of (3) practicum observations by field supervisor
  • Submit official transcripts showing advanced degree conferred
  • Verification of valid Texas classroom teaching certificate
  • Submit all service records verifying a minimum of two creditable years of teaching experience as a classroom teacher, as defined in Chapter 153, Subchapter CC, of T.A.C. Title 19, Part 7 (relating to Commissioner’s Rules on Creditable Years of Service) and the Texas Education Code §5.001(2)

21. Do I have to live in the state of Texas to participate in the HCDE Certification Academy?

Yes. Also, due to the field observations component, admission of candidates completing their practicum outside of the Houston metropolitan area must be approved by program staff.

Contact Us:
Phone: 713-696-1348