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WeTeach_CS Certification Prep

Enrollment is Closed

Why WeTeach_CS?

These days we interact with technology in ways previous generations never would have dreamed possible. The digital world has transformed everything from labor to leisure. Computer literacy is no longer optional.  Sixty percent of all STEM jobs require or involve computing yet only 2% of Texas high school graduates take a Computer Science (CS) course. By 2020 there will be 1 million more computing jobs in America than graduates to fill them.  Texas high schools are required to offer CS, but in the 2014 school year less than 15% met that requirement and only 14 teachers completed a CS certification program in Texas.  The Texas system has more than 1.4 million high school students! Texas and the nation will need highly qualified educators to serve our children and the future.  This online course is freely available to any Texas educator, thus bringing CS teacher Professional Development (PD) to every school district in the state and eventually throughout the nation.

Course Overview

The prep course reviews all the main concepts covered in the three certification domains: Software Design and Development, Programming Language topics, and Technology Applications.  

Course content is released one week at a time over the six weeks it will take to complete the course.  There is a required short diagnostic test at the beginning of the course that identifies areas where more study and practice will be necessary. There is also an important pre-course survey thats required.

Each week includes a set of instructional videos, interactive demonstrations, and other supporting content.  Along the way, there are sets of practice questions confirm your understanding of the content.  These practice assessments do not count towards the final course grade.  At the end of each week is a 20-question unit quiz.  Students will have three attempts on each quiz, and the quiz is due two weeks after the content for the week is made available.  The six week outline is as follows:

UnitStart DateDescriptionUnit Quiz Due*
1 June 14 Software Design and Programming basics June 28
2 June 21 Programming Fundamentals July 5
3 June 28 Loops and Recursion July 12
4 July 5 Data Structures July 19
5 July 12 More OOP, Algorithms and Big O (Oh my!) July 26
6 July 19 Programming Fundamentals August 2
6 July 19 Final Exam August 2

* NOTE: Students can take the weekly quiz at any time during the week, and they have up to a week after the weeks content is released to complete the quiz. i.e. the "Due Date" is 2 weeks from the date that the content is released

The last week includes a 100-question practice final exam. But unlike the practice quizzes, students are only allowed to enter answers once.


The diagnostic quiz and practice assessment do not count towards the program grade.  

The six unit quizes count as 80% of the grade.  The final exam is worth 20%.  A grade of 80% or higher is a good indication that you will do well on the actual certification exam.

CPE Credit

To receive CPE Credit hours you MUST:

  1. Complete the diagnostic quiz available in week 1.
  2. Complete the CSC profile and survey in week 1.
  3. Score 80% or higher for the course.

When the course is completed and the above criteria are met, and e-mail notification including your certificate for 36 hours of CPE credit will be sent to the e-mail address used for this course. Please allow up to four weeks after the completion of the course for the delivery of the CPE certificate.

Discussion Forum

Those taking the Prep Course may use the discussion forum to discuss course concepts, problem solving approaches, interesting references, or other topics related to the course. One may use it to ask questions, but no solutions are allowed to be posted on the discussion forum or shared with any students at any time. If solutions are posted on the discussion forum, they will be removed and students will be reminded of this rule. Students who repeatedly post solutions on the forum may face consequences. Please observe the appropriate online etiquette as outlined in the Forum Guidelines posted in the course handouts section of the course information tab. The forum is moderated by course staff.


This course presumes one has experience with programming in a text based language such as Java, Python, JavaScript or C++, and have a basic grasp of the software development lifecycle.

Course Staff

John Owen

John B. Owen - Course Writer and Instructor

John Owen is a 20+ year CS veteran teacher in Texas, recently retired and now passionately committed to helping current educators join the CS teaching community. His first mission is to prepare them to take and pass the challenging certification test through the WeTeach_CS face-to-face workshops, as well as through the newly launched online course. He also wants to help new teachers survive and thrive through their first year of teaching CS in the classroom.

Kristin Anthony

Kristin Anthony - Instructional Designer

Kristin is a learning experience (LX) designer with a love of building really cool stuff. She hates boring e-learning as much as anyone. She's also a budding programmer learning to make even more things with Free Code Camp. Language of Choice: JavaScript.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to buy a textbook?

No, however, ETS provides a useful preparation manual with information such as pseudo code conventions and additional practice questions. It can be downloaded as a pdf from here:

I have no programming experience, is this course for me?

The TEA certification exam is challenging. Think of the Certification Prep Course like an SAT prep course: The intent is to review and reinforce core concepts and provide an opportunity to practice answering the types of questions likely seen on the exam. Anyone can take the course, but in the absense of programming experience the content could seem overwhelming.

Do I have to take the course for Credit?


Do I have to be from Texas to take the course?

No, but if you are from outside Texas, you are not elegible for the CPE credit, or TExES Certficiation Exam.

Am I eligible to take the TExEs 8-12 CS Certification Exam?

To see if you are eligible, please review parameters here:

What do I do after I take the actual TEA Certification Exam?

Upon passing the TExES 8-12 CS Certification Exam, application must be made for certification at

If I pass this course am I certified?


Will this course teach me to program?

No. This course is intended to help with preparing for the TEA certification exam, and teaching a specific programming language is beyond the scope of this course.

What if I don’t pass or finish the course?

The only consequences for not completing the course or achieving the 80% passing grade is foregoing the 36 hours of CPE credit.

Will I be able to access course content after the course is complete?

Yes, as long as you have the course URL.

How can I tell how I'm doing on the course?

Choose the "Progress" menu at the top of the course page for results.

Whom do I contact if I need help?

Please e-mail

How do I obtain my certificate for completing the course?

If a score over 80% is made a certificate will be e-mailed to the address provided. It may take up to four weeks after the course completes for delivery of the certificate.

What courses may I teach if I'm CS certified?

In Texas, CS certification is required to teach Computer Science I, II or III, Fundamentals of Computer Science, or AP Computer Science A. However, each district has its own parameters, so confirm with your district to assure.

Please Note: The WeTeach_CS Certification Prep Course is designed to assist educators to prepare for the TExES 8-12 CS certification exam. Passing the Prep Course is NOT a garantee of passing the TEA Certification exam.

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  2. Classes Start

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  4. Estimated Effort

    4-6 hrs per week