Educator Certification and Advancement division kicks off educator preparation program recruitment, offers scholarships for teacher and principal candidates

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April 29, 2021 by HCDE Communications

HCDE’s Educator Certification and Advancement (ECA) division held its first series of educator preparation information sessions this week.

The free sessions, which will be held virtually through the end of June, offer aspiring teachers and principals the opportunity to learn about Harris County Department of Education’s competitive teacher and principal preparation programs.

“What is unique about the program is the comprehensive support given to each candidate,” said Lidia Zatopek, director of ECA. “We know every single student by name and give individualized support to ensure candidates are successful. In addition to the courses, we do benchmark assessments to gauge how well they are doing throughout the year. Based on their results, we’ll offer tutorials in their areas of need at convenient times for their busy schedules.”

Assistance is also provided in securing teaching assignments in elementary or secondary education classrooms.

“We have a great record of passing rates on the state certification exams,” said Zatopek. “While passing the test is a major focus, we also make sure that we help support students throughout the beginning years of their careers as school leaders.”

This year, the ECA teacher and principal preparation programs are offering scholarships to individuals admitted into the program. These scholarships provide candidates with the opportunity to participate in a premier educator preparation program at a competitive price. Tuition for in-county residents is $2,500, and out-of-county tuition is $2,750.

“We decided to truly invest in our future teachers and educational leaders by reducing cost-prohibitive barriers, especially now in the pandemic,” said Zatopek. “There are wonderful individuals who would make awesome teachers or administrators, but they are not able to do that because it is cost-prohibitive. This is an opportunity for those individuals to take advantage of our program at the best value possible.”

To register for an upcoming teacher or principal information session, visit A complete list of dates and times can be found on

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