Start Your Certification Journey Today!
Bringing Computer Science to America’s K-12 students isn’t just good for your students, it’s good for Texas and for America. According to WhiteHouse.gov, “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.”
Computer Science in K-12 is important work. Watch the video to learn more.
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. This can 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 for applying and requirements, are located later on this page. Applications for the incentive program are due prior to testing. This program is currently funded through the August 2017 testing date. This page will be updated when further funding is available.
Learn About CS Certification
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 has provides a limited number of $1000 stipends for teachers who become CS certified. It is important to apply for the CIP program before registering for the test to verify availability. The Register and Take Test section provides 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, discreet math, and game design.
The TEA released CS 8-12 Test 241 in September 2016. Both the CS 8-12 Test 241 and the previous CS 8-12 Test 141 tests will be available for one school year, then Test Code 141 will be retired.
Note that TEA also offers a Technology Applications certification. This certification focuses only on Domain I above and is not sufficient to teach programming-based courses.
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, by 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. This 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/or the Internet, it is recommended that you pursue these types of experiences before taking on CS certification.
- Learn Block-Based Programming
- Learn Text-Based Programming
- Take CS 8-12 Certification Prep Course – Online
- Take CS 8-12 Certification Prep Course – Face-To-Face
Register and Take the CS 8-12 Test
Because the registration process is a bit complex, we have detailed, printable checklists to help you out. There are two versions, one stand-alone and another that covers the registration and Certification Incentive Program (CIP) application process, since they are intertwined. CIP provides a $1000 stipend to teachers who apply, pass the certification test and obtain TEA CS 8-12 certification. Note that the CIP application and stipend are not required to register for the CS 8-12 Test or obtain the certification.
Funding is currently in place through the August 2017 testing window. You are personally eligible for the CIP stipend if:
- You are pursuing a TEA certification in Computer Science 8-12.
- You are not already certified in Computer Science or Computer Information Systems.
- You are currently certified to teach in Texas or enrolled in an approved teacher certification program in Texas.
If you will apply for CIP, follow these instructions: View/Print Detailed Steps With CIPIf you will not apply for CIP, follow these instructions: View/Print Detailed Steps Without CIPIf you pass the test, we would love to hear about it! You can email us at email@example.com. Also email us if you didn’t pass, especially if you have ideas for how the certification prep courses could improve.
Congratulations! We wish you the best in the classroom and in your career!
Stick with WeTeach_CS, because we can help you in the classroom as you teach day-to-day and as you continue to increase your CS knowledge. You can start with the Elementary School, Middle School and High School CS teaching resources on this site.