University of Houston–Victoria: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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Victoria Online Initial Certification for Educators
Victoria, Texas

Distance Learning Program

The Victoria Online Initial Certification for Educators (VOICE) is an online learning program in which students receive teacher certification entirely through online courses. Course requirements can be completed in as little as one year of study or may take up to three years if a student chooses to participate in a practicum. There are no Saturday or evening meetings to attend, and online tests are offered with no proctoring fees.

Delivery Media

The University of Houston–Victoria is the managing partner of the University of Houston System's off-campus teaching center in Sugar Land, and it participates in the System's off-campus teaching center in Cinco Ranch. In addition, the University occasionally delivers courses to a center in El Campo, which is operated by Northside Center, Inc., and it may also deliver courses to other sites within the service region from time to time. The Information Technology (IT) department provides academic and administrative computing and telecommunications resources for the University of Houston–Victoria. The IT department also supports faculty members, staff members, and students with audiovisual technologies, including distance learning through interactive videoconferencing. Classes are also offered face-to-face and online.

Hardware requirements include access to a personal computer with Pentium 600 MHz or higher, Windows 98/NT/2000/XP, 128MB RAM, 10 GB hard drive, 56 kpps modem or faster, CD-ROM and/or CD-RW drive, and a sound card with speakers. Recommended Internet browsers include Internet Explorer 6.0, Netscape 7.0 or 7.1, Mozilla, and Firefox.

Programs of Study

The University of Houston–Victoria's VOICE program offers certification for students interested in teaching in the following areas: Early Childhood through Grade 4 Generalist; Grade 4 through Grade 8 Generalist; and Grade 8 through Grade 12, specializing in business; computer science; English, language arts, and reading; history; math; and science. Courses are offered during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Students complete six courses covering 18 credit hours of study through the VOICE program. All certification courses apply towards a master's degree in curriculum and instruction. Six additional classes are required to complete the master's degree program.

Special Programs

The School of Education and Human Development's Center for Academic Excellence helps students acquire the skills and information necessary to excel. Students are encouraged to go beyond being satisfied with meeting minimum standards.

Founded in 1973, University of Houston–Victoria (UHV) is one of four institutions in the University of Houston system. The primary role of the University is to provide upper-level and graduate instruction to students within the Coastal Bend region, including collaborative programs in Fort Bend County, Texas. The University shares some services with the Victoria College and has designed bachelor's degree programs in conjunction with the Victoria College, Blinn College, Coastal Bend College, North Harris Montgomery County Community College, Wharton County Junior College, and Houston Community College.

The University serves students who have completed two or more years of college, providing bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and professional certification programs. Many students are employed adults with obligations to their jobs, families, and communities as well as to their studies. Because of the ethnic and cultural diversity of the region, the University recognizes its responsibility to serve the needs of minority students, particularly underrepresented groups. The student population has now grown to approximately 2,400, and some 7,000 bachelor's and master's degrees have been conferred.

UH–Victoria is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097; telephone: 404-679-4501) to award bachelor's and master's degrees.

All Texas candidates for teacher certification must pass the appropriate Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities TExES tests. Each student must also pass a second test that is appropriate to his/her teaching field; for example, a first-grade teacher would need to pass the Early Childhood–Grade 4 Generalist test. Students may elect or be required to take additional tests for certification in other areas. One of the functions of the Center for Academic Excellence is to help prepare students for the TExES. Since the center's inception four years ago, the number of UHV students passing the TExES has increased by 6 percent.

Student Services

Students enrolled in the VOICE program have access to all student services, including student insurance, the student senate, the University of Houston–Victoria Library, instructional support services, and information technology services.

Credit Options

Students may be exempt from student teaching if they have worked as educational aides in public or accredited private institutions for at least one year within the five years before enrollment in the VOICE program. Applicants who have worked as substitute teachers for 180 days in long-term assignments over two grading periods are also eligible to apply for the student teaching waiver.


There are 21 faculty members in the School of Education and Human Development and most have doctoral degrees. The same faculty members who teach the face-to-face Teacher Education courses teach the VOICE classes. The student-faculty ratio at UHV is 1:30.


Prospective students must hold bachelor's degrees from accredited colleges or universities; pass the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) Test before registering for their first VOICE classes; pass the content TExES before registering for their first VOICE classes; and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA throughout their enrollment in the program. Students who intend to pursue masters' degrees may waive the THEA and take the GRE. The required practicum or internship must be completed in an accredited Texas school.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for Texas residents for the 2005–06 school year is $108 per credit hour (undergraduate) and $160 per credit hour (graduate); nonresidents pay $384 per credit hour (undergraduate) or $386 per credit hour (graduate). The student services fee is $15 per credit hour (maximum $150). The student teaching fee is $15 per course (maximum $45). The library fee is $3 per credit hour per semester. Other fees may apply, and all fees are subject to change.

Financial Aid

Students must meet certain criteria to be eligible for financial aid. The University of Houston–Victoria offers financial aid packages to qualifying students. Financial aid is awarded through federal, state, and institutional aid programs. It is to the student's advantage to complete a UHV Financial Aid and Scholarship Application and a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form as early as possible, since limited funds require that priority be given to the earliest applicants.


Deborah Biner
Student Recruitment Coordinator
Victoria Online Initial Certification for Educators
University of Houston–Victoria
3007 North Ben Wilson
Victoria, Texas 77901
Phone: 877-970-4848 Ext. 266 (toll-free)
Fax: 361-570-4257
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:


Courses are offered in the fall, spring, and summer semesters, and students can apply on a rolling admissions basis. The TExES test is offered six times each year, and students must successfully pass the test prior to entering the program.

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University of Houston–Victoria: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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University of Houston–Victoria: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth