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New Teacher Pathway

Get a full-time job and earn your teaching certification while receiving a Master of Education in 24 months at no cost to you.

Get a full-time job and earn your teaching certification while receiving a Master of Education in 24 months at no cost to you.

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new teacher pathwayAbilene Christian University and Education Service Center Region 13 have partnered to provide an accelerated pathway for aspiring teachers and career changers interested in becoming tomorrow’s certified educators. Designed for individuals seeking a career change to K-12 education, Candidates accepted into the New Teacher Pathway program will embark on an intense but structured training program that will earn their teaching certification and master’s degree—all at no cost while receiving a full salary.

Read more about the New Teacher Pathway program, its benefits, and ESC Region 13’s commitment to its participants. 

Program Overview

new teacher pathway

Getting Started: First Year

Once accepted into the program, candidates will begin with a self-paced online preparatory course for the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) exam. This pre-service training will start in early July 2023 at specific ESC Region 13 training facilities and continue through July 29, 2023. ACU will provide a stipend to alleviate any potential financial constraints if candidates are unable to attend the training during the workday. 

Beginning in August 2023, upon successfully completing the training and passing the SBEC exam, candidates will start their new classroom careers as teaching assistants to make an immediate impact on the lives of K-12 students. During the first year, candidates will be expected to be complete their first year of teaching assistantships while attending continuing education classes three times a month, including two evening and one weekend sessions

Next Steps: Second Year

During the second year, after completing 30 hours of observation, candidates will also be offered a $50,000 salary paid on behalf of their district to begin preparation for the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) exam, paid for by ACU. Upon completing your first-year requirements, ACU will also award candidates one year of college credits that will be applied toward a Master of Education in Instruction and Learning degree. Focused on upscaling each candidate’s future as an educator, the pathway is purposefully augmented to prepare candidates successfully and lead them ultimately to earning a master’s degree in as little as two years. By the end of their second year, candidates will have earned more than just their teaching certification but also a full-time position at one of Region 13’s school districts and a master’s degree from ACU Online. 

new teacher pathway

Committed To Long Term Success: Third & Fourth Year

The New Teacher Pathway is anchored in candidates’ long-term success of becoming certified teachers in the state of Texas. As candidates refine their skills via mentorships and coaching during their third and fourth year,  the New Teacher Pathway program will aim to help candidates develop their own unique teaching techniques and styles to further our goal of standing up the next wave of qualified educators. 


Learn More

Answer the call and become a teacher today

Other teaching certification programs can cost up to $6,000 out of pocket. ACU’s New Teacher Pathway provides robust training and a network of mentors for free while preparing you to make a difference in the lives of students across Texas. Contact Adam Garza at to learn more. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • Candidates should have a minimum 2.5 GPA on all coursework or 2.75 GPA in the last 60 semester hours of completed coursework.
  • Candidates must provide a copy of their transcripts.

As a teacher’s assistant, you will earn your required training hours and be partnered with dedicated faculty leaders who will guide you through your training and assistantship. During these initial months, you will be expected to: 

  • Candidates accepted into the program must commit to a minimum of four years working with the district.
  • Candidates must clear the district criminal background check.
  • Attend ESC Region 13 and ACU professional development training sessions before the start of the school year and throughout the year.
  • Co-teach and assist support staff with lesson planning, leading group instruction, student activities, etc.
  • Monitor and improve instruction with formative and summative assessments, grading, and developing rubrics.
  • Embrace constructive feedback from leads and support staff during informal and formal observations.
  • Oversee lunch duty, recess, after-school care, classroom monitoring, and other student events.

During your time in the program, you will be expected to foster an effective classroom environment and meet individual students’ and educators’ social, emotional, and behavioral needs to set ambitious yet achievable measurements. These include:

  • Developing a nuanced understanding of each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles to identify potential barriers to academic success.
  • Ensuring expectations are communicated clearly and effectively; may involve using colloquial language, storytelling, real-life examples, or other creative strategies to make learning more engaging. 
  • Identifing and addressing individual student’s social, emotional, and behavioral learning needs and barriers.
  • Holding students accountable for reaching their goals, using words that evoke emotion rather than technical terminology.
  • Creating an encouraging atmosphere where all students feel safe and motivated to reach their highest potential.
  • Monitoring student behavior during transitions and less structured time (such as recess and lunch)

ESC Region 13 holds teachers to a high standard for developing and executing thoughtful curricula for students’ maximum success. During your time in the program, you will: 

  • Partner with a dedicated lead to consider all aspects of the learning experience – from lessons and activities to assessments – when creating a cohesive plan that meets expectations while allowing individualized instruction.
  • Review existing standards and objectives; this will provide direction for constructing lesson plans with clear, achievable goals.
  • Gain mastery of subject material more quickly, using existing materials to construct meaningful connections between concepts. 
  • Implement methods for evaluating student progress to assess which parts of the curriculum need further refinement.

As an ESC Region 13 instructor, you will be asked to focus on providing the highest level of collaboration between your students by leading and encouraging your class to work together. Candidates will be expected to: 

  • Lead small-group instruction under the direction of an experienced educator..
  • Work with teams comprised of dedicated staff members with diverse abilities to exchange ideas and opinions that strive toward overall student success.
  • Supervise practice sessions that allow learners to build confidence in their communication skills while perfecting articulation and pronunciation.
  • Encourage students to step out of their comfort zones and think critically, resulting in more dynamic verbal expression.
  • Participate in instructional planning, data review, and improvement during the year.

Our mission is to put greater focus and resources toward the success of all teachers. With the help of our dedicated faculty and staff, candidates will be nurtured during their time in the program to advance their goal of becoming certified teachers within Texas. Throughout the program, candidates learn how to: 

  • Embrace feedback to cultivate professional skills, striving towards a unified direction with dedicated leads and support staff.
  • Engage in frequent meetings with an assigned mentor to ensure that the output of instruction is linguistically accurate and well-crafted.
  • Develop fluency and confidence in articulating ideas using vivid language, coupled with proven teaching techniques.
  • Refine techniques to demonstrate proficiency and learn more about the intricacies of teaching.
  • Participate in all ESC Region 13, ACU, and District professional development training sessions throughout your training.

About ACU

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Degrees to fit your career goals. Online to fit your life.

Through ACU’s more than 40 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs, you’ll receive a powerful learning experience that combines Christian values, real-world skills and career-boosting connections. Our accredited degree programs are designed with busy working adults in mind. That means you can further your education at a nationally recognized university without the need to relocate – all while balancing the demands of work, life, and community.

Newsweek 2023

One of America’s Best Colleges

This year, Abilene Christian University has been named one of America’s Top Online Colleges by Newsweek. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report awarded ACU in the top 10 of three categories – the only Texas university to do so – and was ranked in six out of eight highlighted categories, more than any other Texas college or university. Combine this educational excellence with the flexibility of an online format, and it’s easy to understand why earning your degree from ACU Online makes sense.