How to Become a Teacher in Oregon

Since 1965, Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) has been the governmental agency in charge of awarding an Oregon teaching license to each successful graduate of a state-approved teacher education program. To receive an Oregon teaching license, a prospective teacher must satisfy all educational prerequisites, including testing through Praxis testing or the Oregon Educator Licensure Assessments (ORELA). An Oregon certified teacher can work in any of the state’s 199 public school districts or in one of the 17 education service districts (ESDs) that provide auxiliary programming for schools.

Education Requirements

Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) maintains teacher certification in Oregon. The TSPC details all of its routes to various teacher certification in Oregon here. Generally, one must complete a bachelor’s degree and an approved teacher certification program. Specific certifications will have varying requirements, and some limited teaching licenses in the state may not require completion of a bachelor’s degree.

Oregon Teaching Certification

Oregon is home to several different types of teaching certifications. Each of these licenses has differing educational and testing requirements. Typically, a student can complete a bachelor’s degree and a state approved teacher education program to begin applying for licensure. In Oregon, prospective teachers must also demonstrate competency with Basic Skills Tests, and subject area mastery with Praxis II Exams. Learn more about licensure here. For step by step instructions, the Oregon University System released a viewable guide to the licensure process in 2011.

Required Tests

The Oregon Educator Licensure Assessments (ORELA) website has much of the information needed for in-state testing required prior to teacher certification. There are three potential types of tests for prospective teachers in Oregon: the Civil Rights Exam, the Basic Skills Exam(s), and the Subject Mastery Exam(s). Both ORELA and Praxis administer these tests. All licensees must take or have the equivalent of the Civil Rights Exam, offered only through ORELA. The Basic Skills Exam(s) requirement may be satisfied in a number of ways, through ORELA or Praxis testing. Subject area exams are Praxis II exams, and are necessary for certain endorsements and types of licensure. Click here for more detailed information from the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.

State Certification Reciprocity

Reciprocity is granted in Oregon on a case-by-case basis, and may require additional coursework or testing. Typically, the Initial Teaching license and the Transitional Teaching License may be granted for those holding a non-provisional license from out of state. Other requirements may apply; check the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission’s website for more specific details.

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