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/In-basket activity
  • $400 Non-Refundable Deposit Fee – due at time of admission

4. What is the total program cost?

The total cost for in-county residents is $5,775 and $6,010 for out-of-county residents (this includes $100 non-refundable application fee and $400 non-refundable deposit fee).

5. What is the application fee?

It is a one-time, $100 processing fee.

6. Is there a deposit?

Yes, there is a $400 non-refundable deposit fee at time of admission. It is part of the total program cost of $5,210. 

7. When do the fees have to be paid?

  • $100 - due with application
  • $400 - due at time of admission
  • The remaining balance will be divided into three (3) equal payments due on the following dates with credit card or checks made payable to HCDE:
    • 1st payment – due at Orientation
    • 2nd payment – due by end of 5th month
    • 3rd payment – due by end of 9th month
  • Other payment plans can be arranged with 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
  • Exam preparation
  • PLEASE NOTE: AEL/T-TESS training and fees are NOT included.

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?

Program offers rolling entry point each month.

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

See no. 11

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. 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 an intern or 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 an intern or 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 an intern or 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, an intern or probationary certificate can be recommended; however, an intern or 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?

Yes, however you may qualify for an intern certificate prior to passing the exam. Check with program staff for specifics.

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

No. If applicable, you would need to complete a T-TESS training on your own. 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 T-TESS training and submit copy of certificate, if applicable
  • Successful completion of practicum activities and projects over two semesters (minimum of 160 hours total)
  • Successful completion of at least 200 hours of coursework
  • 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