There are different paths to certification that are offered by the Oklahoma State Board of Education. They include the Traditional Path, Alternative Path, Other Non-Traditional Path, and Emergency Certification. Below are the paths offered, and what is required for each.
Traditional Path for Oklahoma Teacher Certification
- Graduated from an accredited institution of higher education that has an approved teacher education program for the certification area sought
- Successfully completed a higher education teacher education program approved by the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability (OEQA);
- Meets all other requirements as established by the Oklahoma State Board of Education;
- Successfully passed the three required competency examinations; and
- Has on file with the Oklahoma State Board of Education a current clear Oklahoma criminal history record search from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation as well as a current clear national criminal history record search from the Federal Bureau of Investigation;
- Applied to Teacher Certification and submitted the appropriate processing fee
- Hold a full out-of-state certificate and meet standards set by the State Board of Education. Anything less than full certification will require review by Teacher Certification.
Steps to Certification
- If you hold an education degree from an Oklahoma state-approved teacher education program then please use the Oklahoma Education Single Sign-On to get started on certification. Register for an account then navigate to the “Oklahoma Educator Credentialing System”.
- If you hold an education degree from outside the State of Oklahoma:
Alternative Placement Program (not for early childhood, elementary or special education)
Provides an opportunity for individuals with non-teaching degrees to teach in Oklahoma accredited schools
Career Development Program for Paraprofessionals (for early childhood, elementary and special education ONLY)
A path for individuals who are teaching assistants to acquire a teaching certificate
CareerTech Instructor Certification
For individuals wishing to know more about teaching in the Oklahoma CareerTech system
Troops To Teachers
Troops to Teachers is a federally funded program designed to assist separated members of the US military with obtaining certification and employment as teachers.
Four-Year Olds and Younger Certificate
A path for Child Development Associates in Head Start programs to teach four-year-old and younger students in a public school
Oklahoma Title I (tier 1) Paraprofessional Teaching Credential (Teaching Assistant)
A path for individuals who are teaching assistants at Title I schools to acquire a teaching certificate
Non-Traditional Path for Oklahoma Teacher Certification
Non-Traditional Special Education Certification Program
Route for individuals who meet certain criteria and interested in obtaining a special education certification
American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE)
A program designed to inspire career changers to enter the teaching field and give them a rigorous and efficient process to achieve their goals
Teach for America
National corps of outstanding recent college graduates and professionals of any area who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools
American Board Certification
The American Board is a program designed to inspire career changers to enter the teaching field and give them a rigorous and efficient process to achieve their goals. Requirements for teaching in Oklahoma through the American Board are outlined below.
Certification areas that are acceptable in the state of Oklahoma are: Biology, Chemistry, English Language Arts, General Science, Mathematics, Physics, United States History, and World History. These areas cover grade levels 6-12.
Application and Submission
Once certified through the American Board program, to teach in Oklahoma, you would need to submit the following:
- Fingerprint cards and a $59 fee for a criminal history record search.
- Or, for faster and more accurate results, you may have your fingerprints laser-scanned at the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE), Room 212, 2500 North Lincoln Boulevard, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for a $59 processing fee.
- Fingerprints are scanned at the OSDE between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. For additional information refer to Fingerprints/Background Checks Information.
- Application for Oklahoma School Certificate
- Official transcripts of all college work. Transcript must denote degree earned and the date conferred.
- Copy of certificate issued by the American Board
- $50.00 processing fee (check, cashier’s check or money order) made payable to the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
As a result from the above you will be issued a one-year, non-renewable teaching credential for employment in Oklahoma.
Teach for America
Teach for America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates and professionals of all academic majors and career interests who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity.
Once assigned by the Teach for America program to teach in Oklahoma, you will need to:
- Have on file with the Oklahoma State Board of Education a current clear Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) and a clear Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprint-based, criminal-history, record search. Fee is $59. Please see Fingerprint/Background Checks for further information.
- Be issued an Oklahoma credential (valid for 2 years)
Course work and mentoring are provided by Teach for America. An Oklahoma standard certificate will be issued (valid for 5 years) when:
- course work and mentoring are completed,
- completing an application to the Oklahoma State Department of Education and
- paying the $50 processing fee
Further Pertinent Information:
- All applicants must be in compliance with Oklahoma state income tax laws before a teaching credential can be issued.
2500 North Lincoln Boulevard, #212
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105-4599
Phone: (405) 521-3337