How to Become a Teacher in Oklahoma
If you're wondering how to get an Oklahoma teaching certificate the following requirements have to be met and will be discussed further in this article:
- Graduate from an approved (by the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability) teacher education program at an accredited higher learning institution
- Successfully pass three competency examinations
- Have a current clear criminal history record search from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation on file with the Oklahoma State Board of Education
- Submit a Teacher Certification application
- Pay all applicable fees
If you are already certified to teach in a different state, there is a caveat to certification in Oklahoma that allows you to skip the tests. Scroll down to the section titled Oklahoma Credentials for Out-of-State Teachers for more information.
Oklahoma Teacher Certification Programs
Professional accreditation is required in the state of Oklahoma in order for a higher learning institution to be approved by the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability. There are two types of professional accreditation, Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). There are seven standards taken into consideration by professional accreditation programs: content, clinical partnership and practice, candidate recruitment progress and support, program impact, quality assurance and continuous improvement, fiscal and administrative capacity and record of compliance with Title IV of the higher education act. There are several Oklahoma teacher certification programs in the state. Below are overviews of two well-known institutions.
|School||Location||Post Graduation||Technology||Study Abroad||Student Teaching||Student Organizations|
|Oklahoma State University: School of Teaching Learning and Educational Sciences||Stillwater, OK||Graduates automatically recommended to the Oklahoma State Department of Education for certification||Program emphasizes instructional methods using technology||Students are eligible to complete 15 weeks of student teaching in either Costa Rica or Mexico||classroom experience begins as early as sophomore year with 60 hours of pre-clinical field experience. Clinical field experience aka student teaching is full-time during the last full semester. Elementary education students have the option of a yearlong full-time student teaching experience.||Optional student organizations focused on teaching such as the early childhood education club|
|University of Oklahoma: Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education||Norman, OK||100% job placement in the first month after graduation||Students receive an iPad and access to a collaborative learning hub classroom and smartboards||Study abroad programs offered in Arezzo, Italy and Puebla, Mexico||Teaching Experiences aka student teaching is a full semester full-time requirement||Optional student organizations focused on teaching such as the early childhood education club|
Oklahoma Educator Prerequisite Requirements
The Oklahoma educator credentialing system requires graduation from an accredited institution with successful completion of that institution's course of learning. This includes foundational knowledge, educational technology, implementing learning experiences, and fieldwork to allow a student to exhibit their classroom skills through field observations, student teaching, and internships. Many states require not only a bachelor's degree to become a certified teacher, but also specific courses and credit hours. Oklahoma does not have a particular curriculum or credit hour requirement independent of the individual school's requirements. Each accredited college or university in Oklahoma has its own individual prerequisites, curriculum, and requirements for graduating. Contact your chosen school to find out what its prerequisites, curriculum, and graduation requirements are.
Oklahoma Teacher Certification Tests
In order to qualify for teacher certification in Oklahoma you must pass the teacher certification tests overviewed below:
|Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET)||Assess core general education knowledge: critical thinking, computation, communication|
|Oklahoma Subject Area Test (OSAT)||Assess specific subject matter knowledge and skills of entry-level educators|
|Praxis Performance Assessments for Teachers (PPAT)||Assess a potential teacher's classroom success while giving an opportunity to learn and improve through the completion of tasks|
Oklahoma General Education Test
The Oklahoma General Education Test is designed to assess core general education knowledge, encompassing critical thinking, computation, and communication. This test is required for anyone who wants to become a certified teacher in the state of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma General Education Test can be taken as a computer-based test in a test center or as an online proctored test remotely from home. The test consists of 100 selected-response questions (80% of your score) and 1 writing assignment (20% of your score). The total testing window is 4-hours and 15-minutes. Before the test begins you have a 15-minute tutorial and a nondisclosure agreement to sign. The first 3 hours of the test time is for the selected response questions. The final hour is for the writing assignment. Mathematics definitions and formulas are provided for you during the test. The Oklahoma General Education Test requires a score of 240 in order to pass.
Oklahoma Subject Area Tests
The Oklahoma Subject Area Tests are designed to assess specific subject matter knowledge and skills of prospective entry-level educators. Anyone who wants to teach these subjects should take the test for their area of interest.
The following OSAT tests consist of approximately 80 selected-response questions (85%) and 1 constructed-response assignment (15%):
- Advanced Mathematics
- Agricultural Education
- Biological Sciences
- Blind/Visual Impairment
- Business Education
- Computer Science
- Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Driver/Safety Education
- Early Childhood Education
- Earth Science
- Elementary Mathematics Specialist
- English as a Second Language
- Family and Consumer Sciences
- Gifted Education
- Instrumental/General Music
- Library-Media Specialist
- Middle Level English
- Middle Level/Intermediate Mathematics
- Middle Level Science
- Middle Level Social Studies
- Mild-Moderate Disabilities
- Physical Education/Health/Safety
- Physical Science
- Reading Specialist
- School Counselor
- Severe-Profound/Multiple Disabilities
- Special Education Comprehensive Assessment
- Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant
- Technology Engineering
- Vocal/General Music
- World History/Geography
In addition, there are two OSAT Elementary Education Tests. Subtest 1 Reading/Language Arts has approximately 52 selected-response questions (85%) and 1 constructed-response writing assignment (15%). Subtest 2 Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, Health/Fitness, and the Arts consists of approximately 66 selected-response questions (100%).
Each test begins with a 15-minute tutorial and nondisclosure agreement session, followed by 4 hours of testing time. A score of 240 on any test you take is needed in order to pass.
Oklahoma Praxis Requirements
Oklahoma discontinued the use of the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination as of September of 2021 in favor of the Praxis Performance Assessments for Teachers (PPAT). The Praxis exam is utilized to assess a potential teacher's classroom success while giving you an opportunity to learn and improve through the completion of tasks. The PPAT consists of four tasks; each of the tasks requires written commentary and submission of artifacts from your experience including work, observation, feedback, and a video. Task one requires an understanding of your students, the school, and the larger community. Task two requires you to demonstrate understanding, analysis, and assessment of data collection in order to measure your students' success and aid you in your teaching. Task three requires developing instruction, including the utilization of technology, which will aid your students in learning. Task four requires you to show your ability to plan and follow through with a lesson using research-based instruction, as well as being able to adjust the instruction for the specific class as well as individuals, a 15-minute video is needed for this task. There is a separate Praxis Paraprofessional Assessment test Oklahoma that can be taken to become a paraprofessional in the state of Oklahoma.
Additional Oklahoma Teacher Certification Requirements
Oklahoma requires applicants to have an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) and a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprint-based criminal history record search on file with the Oklahoma State Board of Education. The combined cost for these criminal history records searches is $57.25. You may have your fingerprints digitally scanned at the Oklahoma State Department of Education for quicker results.
Oklahoma Teacher Licensing Application Process
How do you get an Oklahoma teaching certificate? Once you have completed the requirements and if your education degree is from one of the Oklahoma state-approved education programs, everything can be submitted for approval through the Oklahoma State Department of Education Single Sign-On website (https://sdeweb01.sde.ok.gov/SSO2/Signin.aspx). At the bottom click on the link that says "Are you a New user? Click here to create an account". Once you have created your account go to the section labeled "Oklahoma Educator Credentialing System" and follow the instructions. As of January 2022 applications were taking approximately 4-6 weeks to be processed.
Alternative Teacher Certification in Oklahoma
Alternative teacher certification in Oklahoma provides a path towards a career in teaching for individuals who have not met the standard teaching criteria but have a degree in an applicable field. With emergency teacher certification Oklahoma allows an individual who meets the minimum standards of the Oklahoma State Board of Education to receive emergency certification if a school district requests it. To be considered for the alternative placement program you must have a degree from an institution that is accredited by the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education and meet one of three requirements: have a 2.5 GPA or higher, have two years of standard employment in a related field that can be verified by the Oklahoma State Board of Education, or have a doctorate or masters in the area you are interested in teaching. Once approved to seek the alternative teaching certificate you must complete the Oklahoma General Education Test and any Oklahoma Subject Area Test for the area(s) you are approved in. After these tests are submitted fingerprint background checks from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation are required to be submitted for a fee of $57.25. Once these steps are completed, a final alternative placement application with a $50 processing fee is required to finish the application.
Using alternative teacher certification, Oklahoma expands its pool of potential educators. While the process is different, a similar system exists for out-of-state educators looking to teach in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Credentials for Out-of-State Teachers
To get an Oklahoma teaching certificate with out-of-state credentials, these are the documents you must submit to the Teacher Certification Office of the Oklahoma State Department of Education:
- A completed application for Oklahoma School Standard Teaching Certificate
- Official transcripts from all colleges or universities, including the degree earned and the date the degree was awarded
- Proof of teaching form and a teaching certificate valid during the dates of employment, if applicable
- Copies of all teaching certificates including the back if it has valid information
- $50 processing fee for the certificate made payable to the Oklahoma State Department of Education
- $57.25 fee for fingerprints, which can be scanned at the Oklahoma State Department of Education
- There are two options if you have not completed certification from another state but have completed an approved program from another state. Either fill out a Verification of State-Approved Teacher Education Program from Non-Oklahoma College/University form or if there is an equivalent Oklahoma exam that may be taken instead
Oklahoma Teacher Outlook and Salary
The outlook for all teaching positions in Oklahoma is very positive. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Education, there are 1,805 public schools broken down into 965 elementary schools, 312 middle schools/junior highs, and 449 high schools. At the elementary school level, Oklahoma is expected to have an average of 1,350 jobs open each year and the median annual income for an elementary school teacher is $45,810. At the middle school level, Oklahoma is expected to have an average of 570 job openings each year and the median annual income for a middle school teacher is $46,600. At the high school level, Oklahoma is expected to have an average of 820 job openings each year and the median income for a high school teacher is $48,370. The average student-to-teacher ratio in Oklahoma is 17:1.