Complaints and Disclaimers

Dismissal Policy for candidates who violate the Educators' Code of Ethics

Alleged violations of the Texas Educators’ Code of Ethics in PK-12 settings during any EPP-related experience (e.g., field experience, observations, practica, clinical practice, service learning) are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the co-directors and faculty of UTeach. The review includes interviews with relevant parties, including the candidate(s), and examination of documents, communications, and other evidence.  If the evidence indicates a violation has occurred the co-directors, in consultation with program faculty and administrators, will determine a course of action appropriate to the nature and severity of the violation. Decision options include (a) the candidate may continue in the program with a monitored growth plan or (b) the candidate is dismissed from the program.  A degree-seeking candidate who is dismissed from the educator preparation program may be given the option to complete the degree without certification.  Candidates may appeal the decision to the Dean of the College of Natural Sciences.   

Complaint Policy

In accord with § 668.43 of the Federal Register, UTeach has not determined whether preparation by the UTeach program will prepare you for certification in any state but Texas. However Texas has reciprocity agreements with many states that facilitate acquiring teacher certification elsewhere once you have it in Texas.

You have the right to raise a concern or lodge a complaint and to seek redress in areas where you feel that the program did not fulfill requirements for certification or for actions that you feel are wrong.

To raise a concern or file a complaint 

  1. Contact UTeach Natural Sciences Associate Director Pamela Garrison Elias,; UTeach Natural Sciences Co-Director Dr. Flavio Azevedo,;  Dr. Jennifer Smith,, or call 512-232-2770 to schedule an appointment.
  2. If your concern is not resolved to your satisfaction and you want to speak with someone else, contact UTeach Natural Sciences Executive Director Dr. Michael Marder, or call 512-232-2770 to schedule an appointment.

All conferences are confidential.

When students make an appointment, we always ask them what it's about so that we can make sure you see the most appropriate person. However, you DO NOT have to disclose that you have a complaint. Just say that the matter is confidential and you will not be asked for further information.

Please feel free to make use of the electronic UTeach Suggestion Box (form is below). We also have an analog version, a real box, on the table just outside the Workroom, PAI 4.12. Only the UTeach Co-Directors, Dr. Michael Marder and Pamela Garrison Elias read suggestions left by our students. Suggestions can be made anonymously or leave contact information if you would like Dr. Marder to get in touch with you.

University of Texas Student Ombudsman

The University of Texas at Austin Student Ombudsman is also a resource:

Texas Education Agency

While we hope that students will feel comfortable talking to anyone at UTeach about a concern, you DO NOT have to go through UTeach or the Student Ombudsman first. You have the right to file a complaint directly with TEA.UTeach Natural Sciences Educator Preparation Program Exit Policy

UTeach Exit Policy 

The state of Texas requires all educator preparation programs to have an exit policy for the dismissal of candidates that is published, reviewed, and signed by candidates when they are admitted to the program. The requirement is found in 19 TAC §228.20(h).

Dismissal from the Educator Preparation Program

Certification candidates may be removed from the UTeach Educator Preparation Program (EPP) when candidates demonstrate behavior inconsistent with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions expected of teachers and leaders in Texas. Dismissal from the program may be based on grounds including but not limited to:

  • Failure to meet coursework requirements.
  • Failure to abide by policies and/or procedures established by the EPP and/or program requirements established by the State Board for Educator Certification as published in the Texas Administrative Code.
  • Any action deemed a violation of TAC 247.2 - Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators.
  • Any action deemed a violation of the UT Student Code of Conduct.
  • Any action deemed a violation of school district and/or campus policy during field-based experiences, clinical teaching, internship, or practicum.

Dismissal from the program is determined by a committee composed of the program faculty. Dismissal may occur at any time. Candidates who are dismissed from UT Austin will be automatically dismissed from the EPP.  All decisions of dismissal can be appealed following University policies.

Pausing or Withdrawing from the Educator Preparation Program

A candidate who voluntarily decides to pause or withdraw from the EPP must send a written notice of that intent from a UT Austin email account and include their UT EID in that email.  If formally admitted, the candidate also must submit a signed Texas Education Transfer Form if they transfer to another EPP.  Withdrawal from the University constitutes automatic withdrawal from the EPP.