Youth Empowerment Services, Inc. provides an alternate route to teacher certification in Texas, once approved by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). The EPP provides a certification for those individuals who have not completed a traditional university teacher education program but who hold an undergraduate or graduate degree. Educators from all backgrounds make up the the EPIC Advisory Committee who see a program like this as necessary to advance the field of education.
Individuals must satisfactorily meet specific program entry and training requirements as outlined by the program. They must also complete a practicum or clinical teaching under the supervision of program staff and the respective school district, charter school or Texas Education Agency (TEA) approved private school. The program provides preliminary screening, pre-service and in-service training, and program evaluation.
EPIC is approved and monitored by the Texas Education Agency Educator Certification and Standards. Program staff work cooperatively with regional schools that screen, hire, and place interns, provide mentor teachers, provide release time for mentors and interns as necessary, and recommend interns for certification. Program staff also work cooperatively with regional school to place practicum teachers prior to receiving their standard certification.
EPIC is a unique Educator Preparation Program in that it provides all courses in a face-to-face, hands-on setting and focuses on areas of need in Texas:
Areas in Demand: English as a Second Language
Health & Wellness of Teachers & Students
While all coursework will be provided in a face-to-face classroom setting, some training/activities will require candidates to access various websites and interact with others online. To this end, the candidate will need hardware and software and skills necessary to access various websites on the Internet. They will also need electronic devices to participate interactively during and between classes as they incorporate skills learned, including skills from Technology Applications Standards.