Investing in our future is vitally important and strangely difficult. In order to fight oppression from the greedy and power-hungry elite, to better our ways of life with advancing technology, and to increase our country's overall views toward the concept of acceptance, we need education to be a priority. Learn how you can be a spoke in this terribly important wheel. See how Oklahoma measures up to the rest of the country by viewing the percentage of state revenue going toward education in each state. (see State Education Spending vs. Overall State Revenue).
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Education, there were 638,817 students enrolled in the state’s public schools in the 2008-09 school year. These students were taught by the 30,529 highly qualified Oklahoma public school teachers at 1,845 school sites, which were divided among elementary, middle/junior high, high, vocational/technical, and charter schools. Find schools offering teaching certification programs in Oklahoma.
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If you wish to become a certified teacher in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State Department of Education (405-521-3337) expects that you have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a state-approved college or university teacher training program. You must also have a certification recommendation from the certification officials at that program.
Did you complete your teacher training in a state other than Oklahoma? If the college or university is regionally accredited, you may still be eligible for a provisional teaching certificate, which will allow you to complete any of Oklahoma’s educational requirements in which you are deficient. You and your school’s officials must also complete the Verification of State-Approved Teacher Education Program from Non-Oklahoma College/University.
If the program you completed was in another country, you must have your transcripts and academic credentials evaluated by one of the foreign evaluation agencies listed here.
Different types of certificates are issued by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE), based upon your qualifications, as follows:
- License – mainly issued to those in an alternative non-traditional certification program, this allows you to teach while completing educational/examination requirements for full certification. It is valid for one year and renewable up to three years.
- Provisional Certificate - mainly issued to those who graduated from an out-of-state teacher education program but have not completed all Oklahoma requirements for full certification. This certificate, issued for five years, allows you to work as a teacher and complete examination requirements necessary for a standard certificate.
- Standard Certificate – the initial and subsequent type of certificate issued to you if you meet all educational and examination requirements for full certification in Oklahoma. It is valid for five years.
For a complete listing of subject matter competencies for each area of certification, click here.
Visit the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation website for an overview of examination requirements for teacher certification.
Basic skills testing:
All applicants for teacher certification in Oklahoma must pass the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET), as well as the Oklahoma Professional Teacher Exam (OPTE) for the grade level you plan to teach (PK-8 or 6-12).
Content area assessment testing:
You must also pass the Oklahoma Subject Area Test (OSAT)
for the area(s) in which you wish to become certified:
- Early Childhood Education:
- Early Childhood (Birth-K)
- Special EC Kindergarten
- Early Childhood (PK-3)
- Four Year Olds and Younger
- Elementary Education (Grades 1-8)
- Middle Level (Grades 5-8):
- Social Studies
- Language Arts – Jr. High (Grades 6-8)
- Math – Jr. High (Grades 6-8)
- Physical Education – Jr. High (Grades 6-8)
- Technology Engineering – Jr. High (Grades 6-8)
- Junior High (Grades 6-8)
- Computer Science:
- Elementary Keyboarding (K-8)
- Dance (PK-12)
- English as a Second Language (PK-12)
- Library/Media Specialist (PK-12)
- Music (PK-12 or K-12):
- Instrumental/General Music
- Vocal/General Music
- Physical Education (PK-12):
- Physical Education/Health/Safety
- Reading Specialist (PK-12 or K-12)
- Speech/Drama/Debate (PK-12)
- Secondary (Grades 6-12 or 7-12):
- Agriculture – General
- Agriculture Education
- Business English
- Business Law
- Business Machines
- Business Math
- Career/Occupational Information
- Computers in Business
- General Business
- Office Procedures/Management
- Business Education
- American Literature
- English Literature
- Grammar & Composition
- Library Science
- World Literature
- Family and Consumer Sciences
- Home Economics:
- Adult/Family Living
- Career Education
- Child Development/Parent Education
- Consumer Education
- Nutrition Education
- Industrial Arts:
- Drafting Technology
- General Industrial Arts
- Metal Technology
- Power Technology
- Wood Technology
- Computer Science/Applications
- General Mathematics
- Linear Algebra
- Advanced Secondary Mathematics
- Intermediate Mathematics
- Earth Science
- General Science
- Physical Science
- Biological Sciences
- Computer Applications
- Social Studies:
- American History
- Ancient/Medieval History
- Black History
- Conservation of Natural Resources
- International Problems
- Oklahoma History
- U.S. Government
- World History
- U.S. History/Oklahoma History/Government/Economics
- World History/Geography
- Technology Education:
- Communication Technology
- Construction Technology
- Manufacturing Technology
- Engineering/Power/Transportation Technology
- Technology Engineering:
- General Technology Engineering
- Technology Engineering
- Special Education (Birth-12 or PK-12):
- Emotionally Disturbed
- Hearing Impaired
- Learning Disability
- Mentally Handicapped
- Physically Handicapped
- Visually Handicapped
- Blind/Visual Impairment
- Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Mild-Moderate Disabilities
- Severe-Profound, Multiple Disabilities
The practicums and field experiences you will be exposed to during your teacher preparation program will allow you to learn from experienced teachers, as well as demonstrate your own skills in the classroom. You will first enroll in a practicum as part of your ed classes, which is mainly observation-based. Here, you will watch experienced classroom teachers in action, gleaning valuable information and ideas from them. You may be asked to lead the class in instruction periodically during your practicum.
When your coursework is completed, the final academic component to becoming certified is your student teaching assignment in which you will be placed into a classroom specific to the grade level and subject area you wish to teach. You will take over as classroom teacher, leading instruction, drawing up lesson plans, putting classroom management skills into practice, and more. Your performance will be observed and graded by certification officials from your college, as well as by experienced classroom teachers. Your student teaching experience may last up to 12 weeks.
Document and Application Requirements
Once you have completed all educational, examination and experience requirements for Oklahoma teacher certification, you are ready to apply for your initial Standard Certificate. You may begin this process and pay application fees online. You will be instructed to mail the following documents to the Oklahoma State Department of Education:
Send all of the above documents to Oklahoma State Department of Education, Professional Standards Section-Room 212, 2500 North Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105-4599.
Criminal History Background Check
If you are applying for your first Oklahoma teaching certificate, you must undergo a criminal history background check, and fingerprinting. This is conducted through two agencies: the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Have your fingerprints taken at one of the agencies listed here. You are responsible for all costs associated with background checks and fingerprinting.
Contact certification officials at schools offering Oklahoma-approved teacher preparation programs for more information on teacher training in the state.
For more information on teacher certification in Oklahoma, contact the Oklahoma State Department of Education at 405-521-3337.
State estimations based on analysis by Richard Ingersoll, Professor of Education and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, from the National Center for Education Statistics Student and Staffing Survey, and therefore include a slight margin of error.