Lone Star College addresses teacher shortages through Alternative Teacher Certification Program

The Lone Star College Alternative Teacher Certification Program prepares individuals with a bachelor’s degree to become certified educators in Texas. Pictured is Joshua Perez, ATCP student and first-year science teacher at Westlake Middle School in Humble ISD.

The Texas Education Agency reports schools are dealing with teacher shortages for a variety of reasons which can impact a child’s opportunity to obtain a quality education.

The Lone Star College Alternative Teacher Certification Program aims to put more teachers into the classrooms. ATC trains individuals who have already completed a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science and have a passion for making a difference in students’ lives to become educators. The coursework is five to six months with a required one-year internship or an unpaid one-semester clinical placement. 

“The Lone Star College Alternative Teacher Certification program is well respected by school districts in our service area and beyond for the quality of certified teachers we produce,” said Linda Leto Head, LSC Senior Associate Vice Chancellor External and Employer Relations.

Joshua Perez, ATCP student, believes his experiences in the cheerleading, fitness and medical industries have prepared him for his first year in the classroom.

“In previous roles, I was tasked to teach and lead others, which developed my passion to coach children and make positive impacts,” said Perez, sixth-grade science teacher at Westlake Middle School in Humble ISD. “Becoming an educator allows me to blend those ideals to make lasting connections with students.”

Perez earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He enrolled in the LSC Alternative Teacher Certification Program in 2021 and will obtain his teaching certificate in May. His skills and passion for teaching recently earned him the “Rookie of the Year” award.

“Utilizing my previous experience coupled with learning the material and practicing it in the classroom has greatly prepared me to embark into the teaching world,” said Perez. “My goal is to make science fun for my students. Hopefully, I can start Westlake’s first Science Fair next year.”

The Alternative Teacher Certification Program, available at all eight LSC campuses, prepares students to meet the Texas Education Agency’s domains and competencies for their chosen content area. All students must complete a minimum of 300 hours of coursework, field experience and training. The ATC Program partners with multiple school districts in 35 certification areas and offers flexible course schedules. Find more information at LoneStar.edu/Programs-of-Study/Teacher-Certification-Internship.

“Our teacher certification program at Lone Star College is one of the largest offered at a community college in Texas,” said Leto Head. “Many students have become certified teachers since this program began in 2002.”

Lone Star College also offers a Substitute Teacher Occupational Skills Certificate for individuals interested in education. Students learn teaching strategies, classroom management techniques, lesson plan guidelines and more. Visit LoneStar.edu/Programs-of-Study/Substitute-Teacher-Certificate for more details.

Lone Star College enrolls over 80,000 students each semester providing high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and has been named a 2022 Great Colleges to Work For® institution by the Chronicle of Higher Education, ranked 35th in Texas in the Forbes ‘America’s Best Employers By State’ list and recognized by Fortune Magazine and Great Place To Work® as one of this year’s Best Workplaces in Texas™. LSC consists of eight colleges, seven centers, eight Workforce Centers of Excellence and Lone Star Corporate College. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.

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