Oklahoma Teacher Certification
The Oklahoma State Department of Education is responsible for Oklahoma teacher certification. Oklahoma issues two credentials to allow individuals to teach in Oklahoma:
- License - A License is a one-year credential issued to individuals who have completed teacher education programs and have no teaching experience.
- Standard Certificate - A Standard Certificate is issued to teachers with at least one year of verified teaching experience. They are valid for five years.
The Process for Oklahoma Teacher Certification
The process for becoming certified to teach in Oklahoma is relatively straightforward. To receive a License, an individual needs to:
- Complete the necessary educational requirements:
- In an approved teacher preparation program in an Oklahoma college or university.
- In an approved teacher preparation program in a college or university that includes student teaching in another state that is a participant of the NASDTEC Interstate Contract (see www.NASDTEC.Org for details).
- Complete the Oklahoma Alternative Placement Program. Individuals must apply for acceptance into this program and have their qualifications reviewed by a Teacher Competency Review Panel (TCRP). See the Oklahoma State Department of Education web site for specific details for this program.
- Pass the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP) General Education Test (OGET) and one or more Subject Area Tests (OSAT).
- Complete the fingerprint/criminal background check requirement.
- Participate in the one-year Resident Teacher Program under the direction of a Resident Teacher Committee consisting of a mentor teacher, administrator, and higher education representative.
To move from a License to a Standard Certificate, an individual needs to:
- Successfully complete the one-year Resident Teacher Program under the direction of a Resident Teacher Committee consisting of a mentor teacher, administrator, and higher education representative.
- Pass the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination (OPTE).
An individual may receive additional certification areas or endorsements by passing the appropriate OCTP tests. Some advanced subject areas have requirements beyond testing.
Certification for Teachers Certified in Other States
There are several options available to teachers with out-of-state teaching certificates who would like to become certified to teach in Oklahoma.
- Any individual who holds a current National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certificate may be issued a Standard Certificate with no further requirements.
- Any individual who holds a valid teaching credential in any state may receive a Two-Year Certificate. During the period of validity for this certificate, the individual must pass the OCTP General Education Test (OGET), one or more Subject Area Tests (OSAT), and the Professional Teaching Examination (OPTE). As an alternative, they may verify that they have passed comparable tests to fulfill the testing requirement. If the individual has one or more years of teaching experience they will be issued a Standard Certificate at the end of this process. If they have less than one year of teaching experience they will be issued a License and will need to participate in the Resident Teacher Program.
All out-of-state candidates for Oklahoma teaching credentials need to fulfill the fingerprint/criminal background check requirement.
Oklahoma Professional Certificate Renewal
A Standard Certificate may be renewed by having 3 or more years of teaching experience during its five year validity period. Individuals with less than 3 years of teaching experience may substitute Professional Development Points or college credit hours. Consult the Oklahoma Department of Education for the table of Professional Development Points, college credit hours, or combination of the two, needed to substitute for teaching experience.