Harmony Certification Program

 

Start teaching as soon as you are ready

HCP offers a quick, easy, and affordable approach to online teacher certification across Texas!

  • 100% online!
  • No application fees.
  • No money down to start, so: what are you waiting for?

Teach anywhere in Texas!

HCP proudly works with any district and school across Texas. HCP is fully accredited and licensed by its regulating state agency and authorized to certify candidates in all certification areas currently listed on the HCP website throughout Texas.

HCP is officially recognized by TEA as "Harmony Certification Program" under Region 4, and accredited to certify teachers in all 20 educational regions of Texas.

HCP is an entity of Harmony Public Schools and as such we encourage all candidates to explore working for the #1 STEM School in the Nation!

Find the school closest to you:

Harmony campuses are always expanding to meet the needs of the Texas children and families it serves, so please check back often for current openings and new teacher positions.

Apply now to teach at Harmony Public Schools! As an HCP candidate you are STEM ready to teach at any school and especially HPS, the #1 STEM school in the nation!

For those who are not already certified teachers, we provide a streamlined pathway for certification. The development received through our HCP program is directly aligned to certification requirements of both Harmony Public Schools and the State of Texas.

Our program supports HCP candidates through every step of the certification process. From certification exams to certificate applications, we clear the path for teachers to obtain certification while developing their craft. It is important to take the following fees into account.

These fees are paid directly to the TEA.

Certification Exam $120.—
Probationary Teacher Certification Application $523.—
Standard Teacher Certificate Application $ 78.—

Pre-Admission Content Tests

According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), an applicant must perform at a satisfactory level on an appropriate content matter examination for each subject in which the applicant seeks certification prior to admission into an approved alternative certification program. In order to gain admission into the Harmony Certification Program, all candidates must take and pass a Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT).

Please note that PACT is not an actual test, but the approval needed to register for a TExES CAT content exam.

For more detailed information on PACT and where to register please visit the ETS website.

If a candidate has a social security number then he or she may register through their testing account in the online registration system of ETS. The only PACT that a candidate needs to submit to HCP is for EC-6 Core Subjects, or Math 4-8, or Science 4-8.

At Harmony Public Schools we offer an online Harmony Certification Program which is approved by the TEA and State Board of Education.

About HCP

Vision

After noticing a gap in alternatively certified educators a few Harmony principals gathered together in collaboration with RICE University and The University of Texas at Austin's Institute for Public School Initiatives to create a premier, holistic, and dynamic learning experience for certification in Texas through the Harmony Certification Program.

Mission

Our mission at HCP is to provide training and support that is relevant and meaningful to you while fully preparing you to become a teacher of record in the state of Texas with a STEM focus.

Quality Professionals

HCP staff are always here to serve you in any way. We invite you to come to our offices anytime during business hours. You may drop off documents or come in for a one-on-one conference to learn how the certification process works. No appointment is necessary, and there's never an application fee. Call or drop by; either way, our friendly staff is ready to serve you.

Educator Preparation Programs (EPP) approved and accredited by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) are regularly evaluated and audited with performance standards. The approved list of EPPs may be found on the TEA website.

Additionally, certification candidates who complete the Harmony Certification Program and become standard certified teachers in Harmony Public Schools (HPS) may receive salary and benefits according to the HPS Compensation Manual. ​

Photo of Director of Certification: Alain Frankiewicz

Alain
Frankiewicz

Director of Certification
Photo of Chief Human Resource Officer: Darren I. Polat

Darren I.
Polat

Chief Human Resource Officer
Photo of Director of Talent Acquisition: Jeannie Castaño

Jeannie
Castaño

Director of Talent Acquisition
Photo of HR Support Specialist
: Sonia Palacios

Sonia
Palacios

HR Support Specialist

 

Admission Requirements

Eligibility to Apply

In order to be eligible for acceptance into the Harmony Certification Program, an applicant must have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA out of a 4.0 scale and a four-year college degree from an accredited college or university and be able to supply official transcripts showing that a degree has been awarded.

GPA Calculations

The GPA is calculated from all coursework previously attempted by a candidate at an accredited institution of higher education at which the applicant is currently enrolled or from the most recent bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution of higher education conferred or the last 60 semester credit hours from an accredited institution or higher.

* College students in their last semester please see the contingency section.

** Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States. Currently, HCP is not sponsoring work visas. Although, Harmony Public Schools sponsor H-1B only in secondary (6-12) Science, including Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, Math, and Computer. Please directly contact a Global Talent Manager if interested in sponsorship details.

Notice To Applicants with Foreign Transcripts

All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an accredited transcript evaluation company and include a course by course evaluation with a translation if any other languages present on the transcript as well as a grade point average (GPA) out of a 4.0 scale.

A list of transcript evaluation companies currently accepted by HPS will be posted on the state board of educator certification (SBEC) website by clicking here.

Therefore all applicants are responsible for submitting eligible transcripts with a GPA on a 4.0 scale in the application process. If the applicant attended a foreign university then he or she must also show evidence of English language proficiency in the following ways: undergraduate or graduate degree in the US; if the degree is from a foreign university then the applicant must submit evidence that instruction was in English; Satisfactory scores of the TOEFL exam with a score of at least 26 on the English speaking section; information regarding specific tests can be found on the ETS TOEFL website by clicking here or by calling 877-863-3546.

Contingency Admission for College Students

If the applicant is in his or her last semester of school and will graduate in good standing at the end of the semester then HCP may grant a contingency admission to the program pending the degree conferred and submitted to the HCP.

Pre-Admission Content Certification Examination (PACT)

For applicants who have not previously been admitted into an EPP, a passing score on a pre-admission content certification examination administered by a TEA-approved vendor, such as ETS is required for admission into Harmony Certification Program.

The only PACT tests currently accepted are the: Generalist EC-6 test, Math 4-8, or Science 4-8.

Certification Routes

Currently, HCP is offering a certification route in Generalist EC-6 with an ESL and SPED Supplemental option. Also, HCP is offering certifications in Math 4-8, Science 4-8 both with ESL and SPED Supplemental options. Any certification route not listed is currently not offered by HCP but may be added in the future. Please check with the HCP often for updates.

Elementary School STEM Pathway: Generalist EC-6 with an ESL & SPED Supplemental
Middle School STEM Pathway: Math 4-8 or Science 4-8 with an ESL & SPED Supplemental

Application Process

Step 1

All applicants must fill out, print, sign, and submit (Step 6) the

  1. Application Form
  2. Volunteer Consent and Authorization for Release of Information Form
  3. DPS Computerized Criminal History Verification Form
  4. Code of Ethics Signature Page

Step 2

Please register here.

Step 3

Please fill out a teacher vacancy spot and take the Gallup Teaching Survey.

Step 4

All applicants must take and pass a PACT (pre-admission content test), which is currently the Generalist EC-6 test, Math 4-8 test, or Science 4-8 test.

Step 5

All applicants will be screened by the Human Resources department prior to acceptance into HCP. Applicants who pass the initial screening by the HR department and meet all admission requirements will receive an invitation to interview for HCP.

Step 6

Submit your Documents here:



*If you have any questions about the application process please call the HCP office at (713) 343-3333.

Important Deadline

August 1st is the deadline to submit online application to qualify for the upcoming cohort year.

A cohort year runs from September 1st to the following August 31st of any school year.

Cost

Low Enrollment Fee of Only $200

Begin by applying for free today. When admitted to our program, the low enrollment fee is all you pay to gain immediate access to our comprehensive training program, test approvals and strategy, job search resources, and ongoing personal support from our Program professionals- everything you need to become competitive for hire.

You pay nothing more until you are hired as a full-time teacher of record.

The Remaining Balance

The deferred cost of $4,500.— is spread out over your first year as a salaried teacher, usually in monthly installments and always interest-free.

Remember, you only begin paying off your program balance once you start your teaching job.

Starting salaries for teachers in Texas have never been higher, and many districts offer stipends for teachers in high-need areas, which you will be uniquely qualified for as the only STEM teacher preparation program in the state of Texas.

TEA Technology Fee

Beginning March 15, 2017, state-accredited Educator Preparation Programs are required to collect a $55 technology fee on behalf of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) from each admitted program candidate. Please note that while the payment is collected by the Harmony Certification Program, all of the revenue from the fee is forwarded to the TEA.

State Fees Associated with Certification:

Probationary Certificate Fee: $200.—
Fingerprints and processing fee: $48.80
Required exam fee: $131.—  per test
Standard Certificate: $77.—
TOEFL (if applicable): $190.—
* Please note that state fees are not covered by the HCP cost and are subject to change

Completion Requirements

  1. All candidates must complete a minimum of 300 clock-hours of coursework and/or training.
  2. All candidates must complete a minimum of 30 clock-hours of field based experience prior to a teaching internship.
  3. All candidates must complete 150 clock-hours of coursework and/or training prior to a teaching internship.
  4. All candidates must enter an internship assignment as teacher of record for teaching of one full school year that matches the certification field for which the person is prepared by HCP.
  5. All candidates must sign and adhere to the Educators’ Code of Ethics at all time.

HCP Important Deadlines

A Fall cohort year runs September 1st to August 31st of any school year.

Dates may change if demand warrants additional cohorts in the Spring session.

For a more detailed, printable version of the timeline, click here.

August 1st Candidate deadline to submit online application to qualify for the upcoming cohort year. (Check back often as multiple cohort dates may become available depending on the demand.)
August 1st - August 15th HR and HCP screen applications.
August 15th Acceptance letters via email sent to prospective candidates for HCP.
September 1st Candidate deadline to return email of intent to join HCP.
September 11th Online courses begin on Canvas
September 15th Campus placement letters go out with mentor/advisor information.
September 25th Deadline for field supervisors/mentors to contact the candidate
November 15th Deadline for candidates to visit campuses and observe/work with mentors or experienced teachers. Candidates must keep a log recording and documenting the 30 clock-hours of field based experience (FBE) required prior to any teaching assignment. Additionally, all candidates must upload online their learning in relation to FBEs.
December 15th Deadline for candidates to perform a demonstration lesson as an interview for campus administration and sit for a mock interview with the campus principal.
May 1st - May 31st candidate secures an intern teaching position for the next school year and signs an agreement for salary/benefits.
June/July candidate completes online modules and confirms mentor/mentee assignment
June 15th candidate deadline to have successfully completed the PPR test
August attend the new teacher in service training and meet with a field observation advisor to pick four teaching observation dates.
August candidate starts teaching internship on the first day of school with students as teacher of record under a probationary certificate.
October 15th candidate deadline for applying for standard teaching certification
October 31st- candidate deadline to have successfully completed the ESL supplemental test
January 1st- candidate deadline to have successfully completed the SPED supplemental test

Testing Requirements for Standard Certification

According to the TEA, specific tests are required to receive standard certification through an approved Educator Preparation Program (EPP) such as HCP. Please review the information below so that you are aware of all the tests that you will be required to take and pass in order to be approved for standard certification through the program.

* Please note that each exam is currently $131 and subject to change in accordance with the ETS.

In order to obtain a standard certification in Generalist EC-6 which means you are able to teach self-contained and departmentalized core subjects in grades EC-6 during your internship year, you must take and pass the Generalist EC-6 Content Exam as well as the ESL Supplemental Exam (if servicing ESL students). Also, you must take and pass the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12 (PPR) Exam by the end of your internship assignment.

* Test preparation materials are available from ETS

General Certification Information

Out of State Teaching Certificate

The Texas State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) will issue a Texas One-Year Certificate to those educators holding a valid teaching certificate from another state. Application for an evaluation of credentials and issuance of a Texas One-Year Certificate should be made through SBEC. The toll free number is (888) 863-5880 and the website is www.sbec.state.tx.us

Alternative Certification Programs

Alternative Certification Programs (ACP) are designed for persons who have a Bachelor’s degree but do not have teacher certification. Harmony Public Schools will only consider alternative certification candidates who have been accepted into an approved ACP program, submit their letter of acceptance from the entity with a target certification area listed and for those candidates in the core academic areas submit a copy of their successful content exam to be considered for employment.

Harmony Public Schools works closely with several ACP programs in the area. Please check with the program of your choice for information regarding application to the program and certification areas offered. Most programs offer information sessions for eligibility, program requirements and costs.

Emergency Teaching Permit

Due to No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements, Harmony Public Schools will not consider candidates in the NCLB core academic subject areas under an Emergency Teaching Permit based on a Deficiency Plan.

No Degree

Individuals interested in teaching but who do not possess a Bachelor’s degree should go to the university of their choice with a teacher education program and have a degree plan done. There are many universities in our area that offer teaching certification programs. University of Houston , University of Houston – Downtown, Houston Baptist University , Prairie View A&M University , Sam Houston State University , University of St. Thomas and Texas A&M University are area colleges that offer teacher education programs that lead to teaching certification.

Steps for Texas Certification

Items 1 - 5 must be completed before coming to Human Resources to do New Hire paperwork

  1. Visit web site of State Board for Educator Certification www.tea.state.tx.us
  2. Click on the right-hand column Educator Login
  3. Create an account and apply for your Texas Certification.
    • Click on Applications
    • Click on Out-of-State Certified Applicants
  4. Choose between fingerprint Option ONE (recommended) and Option TWO and pay the required fee.
  5. Schedule an appointment for fingerprinting.
  6. E-mail your director when you receive your ONE-YEAR Certificate.

Items 7 - 9 must be completed within the first year of employment (before your One-Year Certificate expires)

  1. Register to take and pass the required exams: (Deadline determined by your date of hire)
    • Content test (depends on your certification area)
    • Professional Pedagogy and Responsibilities Test (PPR)
    • Bilingual and Foreign Language teachers must also take and pass the TOPT exam.
  2. Apply for Texas Standard Certificate and pay the required fee online ($77.00)
  3. E-mail your director when you receive your TEXAS STANDARD Certificate.

Supply and Demand Forces on the Educator Workforce in Texas

According to the Texas Association of Workforce Boards (TAWB), the supply of educators will diminish by 2040 as the aging incumbent worker pool will retire and an ever increasing significant high school dropout rate plagues the population in Texas, which the Texas population is projected to increase to 35.8 million or a 151% increase from 1980 (2014). Also, the TAWB (2014) states that Texas is ranked 2nd in total student enrollment (4.9 million students), 1st in total student enrollment growth, and 1st in Hispanic student enrollment growth. Thus, the demand for more educators is significant and such a need will continue to rise through 2040.

Specifically, the need for elementary certified teacher with an English as a Second Language endorsement will be key in servicing the population as the TAWB projects that there will be 18.8 million Hispanics in Texas, which is a 530% increase from 1980 (2014).

Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor expects that by the year 2020 elementary jobs will grow by 17% and Kindergarten Special Education teaching positions will grow by 21% (2016). TAWB (2014) reports that by 2018 Texas will need to fill 758,000 STEM-related jobs yet Texas has not produced enough graduates with strong enough backgrounds and knowledge in STEM courses. So, in order for Texas to grow its workforce and economy, STEM curriculum must be strengthened in the elementary and middle school programs of Texas (TAWB, 2014).

So, what the aforementioned data means for you as a teaching candidate going through the Harmony Certification Program is that you will be prepared, certified, and ready to fill the needs of the state of Texas. Also, you will be well trained for and working for a dynamic leader in the teaching STEM field with Harmony Public Schools. Becoming a certified teacher is fulfilling your career goal and moving one step closer to your long term pathway to success! You will make a huge difference in Texas children’s lives!

Complaints and Grievances

Purpose

The purpose of the grievance process is to resolve conflicts in an efficient and expeditious manner. This policy governs complaints and grievances filed by HCP candidates, mentors, filed supervisors, EPP staff members or any other pertinent person.

Harmony Certification Program (HCP) values the opinions of its candidates and personnel. The aforementioned individuals have the right to express their views through appropriate informal and formal processes.

The advisory committee encourages individuals wishing to make a complaint to discuss their concerns and complaints through informal meetings with their designated supervisor. Concerns and complaints should be expressed as soon as possible to allow early resolution at the lowest possible administrative level.

Neither the advisory committee nor any HCP employee shall unlawfully retaliate against a candidate or an employee for bringing a concern or compliant.

The Superintendent of Schools for Harmony Public Schools or designee may develop a more detailed grievance procedure at any given time. The Superintendent of Schools or designee shall ensure that the HCP grievance procedures are distributed to all candidates and staff. Any grievance procedures shall provide that any grievance may ultimately be considered or heard by the Board of Directors in accordance with Commissioner of Education rules.

Definitions

For purposes of this policy, “days” shall mean HCP business days. In calculating timelines under this policy, the day a document is filed is “day zero,” and all deadlines shall be determined by counting the following day as “day one.” If the administrator addressing the complaint determines that additional time is needed to complete a thorough investigation of the complaint and/or issue a decision, the administrator shall inform the complainant in writing of the necessity to extend the time for investigating or responding and a specific date by when the decision will be issued.

The terms “complaint” and “grievance” shall have the same meaning. A grievance under this policy may include, but shall not be limited to, any of the following:

  1. Grievances concerning wages, hours, or conditions of work.
  2. Specific allegations of unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex (including allegations of sexual harassment and/or wage discrimination on the basis of sex), race, religion, national origin, age, or disability, following the completion of an investigation by the appropriate compliance coordinator designated by applicable policy.
  3. Specific allegations of unlawful discrimination or retaliation on the basis of an individual’s exercise of constitutional rights.
  4. Specific allegations of adverse employment action in retaliation for reporting a violation of law by an HPS or HCP employee, Director, or Officer to an appropriate authority. Employees making such complaints must initiate a grievance under this policy within the time specified by law. Timelines for the employee and HCP set out in this policy may be shortened to allow for a final decision within 60 days of the initiation of the complaint.
  5. Specific allegations of unlawful discrimination or retaliation as a result of an individual questioning or seeking further clarification on academic decisions, HCP policy, evaluator feedback, mentorship, guidance, and/or certification endorsements.

Informal Conferences

HCP candidates and personnel may request an informal conference through his or her designated supervisor within five days of the time the individual knew or should have known of the event(s) giving rise to the complaint. If the individual is not satisfied with the results of the informal conference, he or she may submit a written grievance form to the supervising Director of Certification and/or Human Resources Department Chief.

Formal Grievances

The formal process provides all HCP candidates and personnel with an opportunity to be heard up to the highest level of management if they are dissatisfied with an administrative response. Once all administrative procedures are exhausted, individuals may bring concerns or complaints to the Harmony Public Schools Board, and if that avenue does not satisfy the complaint then HCP individuals may formally file a complaint with the Texas Education Agency as outlined in the below text.

In the event of a problem or dispute with other personnel, students, or parents, an employee or HCP candidate may submit a grievance following the process described below.

A grievance must specify the harm alleged by each individual and the remedy sought. An individual is prohibited from bringing separate or serial grievances regarding the same event or action. Multiple grievances may be consolidated at the discretion of HPS and HCP. The complaining individual shall strictly comply with all time limits discussed in this policy, unless such time limits are modified by mutual consent. Costs of any grievance shall be paid by the party incurring them.

Level One

HCP individuals shall submit a proper grievance, in writing, to the supervising Department Chief within the later of (1) five days of the date the individual first knew or should have known of the event(s) giving rise to the complaint, or (2) within five days after the date a letter is mailed or e-mailed to the individual after completion of the informal grievance process notifying the candidate or staff of the formal grievance process. HCP reserves the right, upon review of the grievance, to require the individual to begin the grievance process at Level Two.

The supervising Department Chief or designee shall serve as the Level One Grievance Officer, and will meet with the individual to consider the grievance within ten days of receipt of the written grievance. The Level One Grievance Officer will supply a written response to the HCP candidate or employee within 10 business days of the meeting.

Level Two

If the grievance is not resolved to the individual’s satisfaction at Level One, or if no written Level One decision is received within the time allotted, the individual may submit a written appeal to the Superintendent of Schools or designee within ten days of the Level One decision or the response deadline if no decision is made. The appeal must be specific, reference the law or policy alleged to have been violated or the dissatisfaction raised by the individual, and where possible, suggest a resolution.

The Superintendent of Schools or designee will serve as the Level Two Grievance Officer. The Level Two Grievance Officer may, but is not required to, meet with the HCP candidate or employee. The Level Two Grievance Officer shall review the complaint and the record, and shall issue a decision on or before ten days of receipt of the Level Two Grievance.

Level Three

If the matter is still not resolved, the individual may submit a written appeal to the Board of Directors within ten days of receipt of the Level Two decision or, if no written decision is received, no later than ten days of the deadline for receipt of a Level Two decision. The complaint shall be directed and delivered to the President of the Board of Directors, and shall include a copy of the written complaint to the Level Two Grievance Officer, with his or her response.

The Board shall then consider the grievance and may, at its discretion, require the appearance of the HCP candidate or staff member and administration. The Board may subsequently take action or no action. If the Board takes action, it may make and communicate its decision orally or in writing at any time up to and including the next regularly scheduled Board meeting. The failure of the Board to act on a complaint has the effect of upholding the decision below. The Board may not delegate its authority to issue a decision, and any decision by the Board is final and may not be appealed.

Grievances involving the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, certification appeal or dismissal of the employee or candidate bringing the grievance, may be heard by the Directors in a closed meeting. Grievances involving a complaint or charge against another HPS or HCP employee, Director, or Officer shall be heard in a closed meeting unless an open meeting is requested in writing by the employee, Director, or Officer against whom the complaint or charge is brought.

TEA

If the matter is still not resolved, the individual may submit a written complaint to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) through their website.

The TEA must determine if a clear violation of TAC has occurred and whether the TEA has jurisdiction to act upon the grievance. Please visit the TEA website to lodge a formal complaint or access more detailed information on filing complaints against educator preparation programs.

HCP Grievance Forms

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