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SFA offers course sequences allowing you to become eligible to apply for certification with the Texas Education Agency. These certification preparation programs that can be applied to any master’s program.

Educational diagnostician certification preparation (online)

An individual possessing a master’s degree in a related field (e.g., counseling, special education, school psychology) may be eligible for the option to seek certification only as an educational diagnostician. The following tracks for an M.Ed. in special education utilize a pre-admission process:

  • Master of Education in special education without initial teacher certification
  • Master of Education in special education with certification as an educational diagnostician
  • Educational diagnostician – certification seeking only. This track is for individuals who possess current teacher certification and a Master of Education.

All courses for this degree are offered online, with regular virtual class meetings.

For more information email

English as a second language/bilingual supplemental certification preparation (online)

This four-course online program is designed for K-12 teachers seeking supplemental certification for teaching children whose native language is not English (English as a second language) or for teaching children whose native language is Spanish (bilingual). As the U.S. population continues to become more diverse, these certifications are highly marketable. 

You can earn your certificate in one summer (the program is offered only in the summer), and the program is open to teachers in almost all 50 states. The four courses focus on the history of English as a second language and bilingual education in the United States, foundations of English as a second language and bilingual education, English as a second language/bilingual assessment and content-specific pedagogies.

As a certified English as a second language teacher, you’ll have enhanced knowledge of methods and techniques for teaching that will aid English language learners in the content areas, although you’re not required to learn a foreign language. As a bilingual certified teacher, you’ll help limit confusion encountered in an English-speaking environment by introducing concepts and clarifying information in the child’s native language. Students pursuing the SFA bilingual certificate must be proficient in Spanish because they will be delivering content instruction in Spanish and in English.

The courses required for this certification are offered online. The courses are offered ONLY during the summer sessions and must be taken in a specific sequence. You will take a capstone exam in last semester of your coursework. Then you must pass the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards English as a Second Language Supplemental Exam or Texas Examinations of Educator Standards Bilingual and state proficiency test to earn your certificate.

English as a second language/bilingual supplemental certification is also available to select undergraduates through the senior overlap program. The overlap program permits qualified undergraduates to pursue a limited amount of graduate study (usually 12 credit hours or less) concurrently with undergraduate study. Overlap courses count only for graduate credit and will apply to a master’s degree.

You must apply for this program and also for graduate school. The admission process takes up to one month, so it is important for you to start the procedures well in advance of the time you expect to register for these classes.

To be eligible for the overlap program, you must:

  • Be enrolled in an SFA undergraduate program
  • Have achieved at least 95 earned hours of undergraduate credit
  • Have a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average. A student with fewer than 115 undergraduate earned hours must present a 3.0 GPA both overall and in the major field.


Orientation and mobility certification

This 33-hour specialization program is open to graduate students who seek to become certified orientation and mobility specialists. This career provides opportunities for students and clients who are blind or visually impaired to be more independent, lead lives to their fullest potential and participate to a greater extent in society at large. 

Once you complete our orientation and mobility certification training program, you’re equally eligible to become nationally certified by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP). Many graduate students continue their SFA education after certification and seek a master's degree in special education.

For more information email

Teacher of students with visual impairments certification

This 21-hour specialization program is open to the graduate student who already holds a valid teaching certificate and seeks to become a teacher of students with visual impairments.

Texas law permits students to begin working as a teacher of students with visual impairments under emergency certification after successful completion of the braille and eye anatomy courses. A field experience course is offered every fall and spring to students who have successfully completed the coursework and are regularly providing services to students who are blind or visually impaired.

For more information email


Department of Education Studies
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Janice A. Pattillo Early Childhood Research Center
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Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13017, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962