Find an Education Path For Teaching in Oklahoma, (OK)

When you decide that teaching is the profession for you, following certain steps will help with navigating the path to your goal. Where you are now on this path will determine the steps that must be taken. Please choose the highest level of education that you have reached, and we will help guide you towards earning a license to teach in Oklahoma.

Choose Your Highest Level of Education

The information below will provide you with suggestions about the most productive steps to take to become a teacher in Oklahoma.

If You Have a High School Diploma or a GED

Students who have earned their high school diploma or GED certificate may be eligible to apply for admission into a university that offers a Bachelor’s degree in education. Some high school graduates choose to enter a two-year or community college to earn an Associate degree or certificate in an education-related field. Two-year colleges are often easier to get into and less expensive than four-year colleges. Education degrees or certificates from community colleges may offer career preparation that qualifies graduates to enter the workforce as childcare professionals. Many Associate degrees are designed for students who plan to transfer to a four-year college for a bachelor’s degree in education.

  1. Learn about accredited schools that offer Associate degrees or Bachelor’s degrees focusing on education, specific academic content areas or student populations.
  2. Decide what grade level and subject area you are interested in teaching. Aspiring teachers can enroll at a community college and earn an Associate degree. Some two-year colleges offer programs that lead to certification in the field of Early Childhood Education.
  3. Contact colleges that fit your needs, and request information to help you make a decision about what school to attend and what degree program to pursue.

If You Have Completed Some College or Earned an Associate’s Degree

Graduating from a two-year college with an Associate degree can give you a head start as you advance toward acceptance into a Bachelor’s degree program at a four-year university. A Bachelor’s degree is essential for students who are seeking an official license to teach in Oklahoma. The steps you must take to reach your goal depend on your career goals and what subject or grade level you are interested teaching.

  1. Completing an Associate in Arts (AA) degree in Education or Early Childhood Education may provide you with the coursework and credits required to enroll in a Bachelor’s degree program in Early Childhood or Elementary Education at a four-year college. Students planning to use their two-year Associate degrees to apply for entrance into a higher degree program should consult with an advisor to find out which community colleges offer prerequisite classes that are acceptable to the university major they hope to pursue. If you earn an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree, your lower-division general education credits from some two-year colleges will be guaranteed to transfer to some four-year universities in Oklahoma. Continuing on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in an education-related major may lead you to the next level required to become a teacher in Oklahoma.
  2. Investigate various state-approved Bachelor’s degree programs to find out which ones will accept transfer credits from the college you attended. Contact the schools that interest you to request more information.
  3. Some aspiring teachers, who have earned Associate Degrees or Credentials in Early Childhood Education, choose to seek employment and begin working with infants, toddlers and pre-school children. An Early Childhood Education certificate may qualify you for employment as a teaching assistant, Para educator, or teacher in Oklahoma Early Childhood Education programs. Credits from an Associate in Applied Science degree (AAS) are typically designed to prepare students for specific jobs, but the AAS credits may not be as transferable to a Bachelor’s degree program.

If You Have a Bachelor’s Degree …

In order to be eligible to submit an application for an Oklahoma teaching credential, you must first complete a program that includes the state-required Teacher Preparation curricula and culminates in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Some aspiring teachers may have already earned a Bachelor’s degree when they begin pursuing a teaching credential, and their next steps often depend on which undergraduate major they chose. These suggestions for some different paths to take as you progress toward licensure may help you discover which option meets your career goals.

  1. If you have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education that included an accredited Teacher Preparation Program, you have fulfilled the essential academic and teacher preparation requirements. Teacher Preparation Programs include classroom observations, fieldwork, and student teaching. Successful completion of all degree and teacher preparation requirements will qualify you to apply for a teaching certificate or license.
  2. Certification Examinations for Oklahoma Educators (CEOE) include the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET), the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination (OPTE) and the Oklahoma Subject Area Tests (OSAT). The CEOE program was designed as a method for ensuring that all candidates seeking certification have the knowledge and skills they need to perform as entry-level educators in Oklahoma public schools. The content of the tests are based on a set of competencies, including core general education knowledge and skills, general competencies for Teacher Licensure and Certification, and subject matter knowledge and skills.
  3. Receiving a Bachelor’s degree with a major in liberal studies can be an important step toward certification as an Elementary level teacher. Some certification programs recommend the Liberal Arts major, because it prepares educators to teach in the many different subject areas taught in Elementary school classrooms.
  4. If your Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree is in the specific subject you wish to teach, you may have satisfied many academic requirements recommended by credential programs. Majoring in a specific subject taught at the secondary school level prepares individuals to become endorsed or qualified to teach high school and middle school classes in that content area.
  5. Oklahoma offers an Alternative Placement Program that provides an opportunity for individuals with non-teaching degrees to become educators in Oklahoma accredited schools. The eligibility requirements are: a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; a major in a field of study that corresponds to an area of Oklahoma credentialing; a minimum grade point average; and documentation of work experience that corresponds with your degree or post-baccalaureate course work. To apply for and receive an alternative standard teaching certificate, you must complete the professional education component and pass the series of Certification Examinations for Oklahoma Educators.
  6. Earning a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Education is a major step toward qualifying to apply for an Initial Credential, the Standard Certificate issued by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE). Other essential steps include completing a state-approved Professional Teacher Education Program and the required number of verified hours of student teaching experience in a state or regionally accredited school. All teaching candidates must pass Oklahoma’s series of Certification Exams, and the state requires all teachers graduating in the education field to demonstrate foreign language skills in both listening and speaking.

If You Have a Master’s Degree or are in a Master’s Degree program

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree is available to individuals who hold a Bachelor’s degree in the field of education from an accredited institution. Master’s in Education Degree options include: Masters degrees in Elementary Education and Teaching, in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education: Curriculum and Instruction; or Secondary Education: Curriculum and Instruction. Some graduate students want to continue their academic studies after they receive their Master’s degrees. Options include pursuing a Ph.D. in Education or a Master’s in Education (M.Ed.) before applying for an Oklahoma teaching credential. Many prospective teachers who have graduated with a Master in Education degree continue on the path toward licensure by preparing and submitting their application to become a credentialed teacher in Oklahoma.

  1. Accredited universities with graduate programs in education offer a range of Master’s degrees that can lead you to a teaching license and a career as an educator. Master of Arts or Master of Science in Education, or Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees may be offered concurrently with a Teacher Preparation program that is required for certification. You may also have the opportunity to focus on Elementary or Secondary Education, with an emphasis on the subject area you hope to teach.
  2. When you are ready to begin your teaching career, you must demonstrate that you have completed all requirements for certification or licensure. These steps include finishing required academic coursework, completing an approved Teacher Preparation Program, passing mandated tests, and fulfilling student teaching hours. The next step is to apply for your teaching certificate and begin searching for a job in the education field. Contact the Oklahoma Department of Education to request information and an application.
  3. Some people who have earned a Master’s degree in Education may decide to continue their education and pursue a doctorate degree. Oklahoma offers a variety of Educational Doctoral Programs. Gathering information about available doctorate degrees in your field or specialty will provide the information necessary to discover the best university and education program for you.