The teaching profession attracts those who enjoy personal interaction and lifelong learning. Teachers receive excellent benefits and have opportunities to work in rural and urban settings. Oklahoma teaching jobs also include positions working with Native American students in the state's public schools.
Oklahoma offers a loan forgiveness program and a scholarship for future teachers. By earning an online teaching degree, Oklahoma students can save time and money. Most online programs are taught asynchronously, which allows students to avoid a lengthy commute and fulfill personal responsibilities, while often graduating more quickly than on-campus students. Online learners typically complete student teaching in local schools.
Most online programs are taught asynchronously, which allows students to avoid a lengthy commute and fulfill personal responsibilities.
Oklahoma residents who earn a teaching degree through an out-of-state school can receive a provisional Oklahoma certificate that allows them to teach while completing additional requirements for an Oklahoma teaching license. To qualify for Oklahoma teaching credentials, candidates must have completed an Oklahoma history course, passed three examinations from the Oklahoma Office of Educational Quality and Accountability, and undergone a criminal background check.
Oklahoma participates in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement, which simplifies the process for out-of-state teachers looking to obtain an Oklahoma teaching certificate.
How Do I Become a Teacher in Oklahoma?
While necessary qualifications vary by state, most require candidates to hold a bachelor's degree from an approved teacher training program, pass required exams, and submit to a background check. Oklahoma teaching requirements that are unique to the state include a course in Oklahoma history and three exams: the Oklahoma General Education Test, the Oklahoma Subject Area Test, and the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination.
Teachers certified in other states can receive provisional credentials in Oklahoma and can upgrade to a standard certificate after completing additional, state-specific requirements. The NASDTEC Interstate Agreement outlines specific qualifications each state accepts. Oklahoma teachers who plan to move to another state should contact the new state's department of education to learn about reciprocity regulations and procedures.
Meeting the educational requirements for teacher certification in Oklahoma is the most time-consuming part of becoming a classroom educator. Future teachers who plan to work in preschool classrooms must earn an associate degree in child development or an approved equivalent. Paraprofessional educators at all levels need an associate degree. K-12 teaching positions in Oklahoma require a bachelor's or master's degree from an approved teacher training program in Oklahoma.
Most full-time students can complete a bachelor's degree in four years, and a master's degree typically requires 18 to 24 months of study.
Earning a bachelor's degree in education is the fastest and most straightforward way to meeting Oklahoma teaching requirements, and individuals with a bachelor's degree in an area other than education can qualify for teaching licensure by earning a master's in teaching. Most full-time students can complete a bachelor's degree in four years, and a master's degree typically requires 18 to 24 months of study. Students should ensure their education program meets the requirements for Oklahoma teaching credentials.
Student teaching is integral to any bachelor's or master's in education program. Programs often arrange student-teaching placements for on-campus students; however, distance learners may need to find student teaching opportunities at schools near their homes. Each university sets the required number of student-teaching hours, which should align with the requirements for Oklahoma teaching credentials.
Common Courses for Teaching Degrees in Oklahoma
Associate Degree in Teaching
|Oklahoma History||This course is required to qualify for an Oklahoma teaching certificate. Students review the political, economic, and social history of the state and explore Oklahoma's diverse cultural groups and geography.|
|Ethics of Leadership||Students examine concepts of morality as a foundation of good leadership. They consider various perceptions of ethics in leadership and common challenges for underrepresented segments of the population.|
|Developmental Sociology||This course considers the causes and effects of economic change within a society. Students explore economic mobility and the cultural shifts that may affect classroom behavior.|
Bachelor's Degree in Teaching
|Developmental Reading||This course focuses on language acquisition skills for young learners. Students examine foundations, approaches, strategies, and trends of reading education. The course includes a field experience in a classroom setting.|
|Educational Technology||This course introduces students to applications of computers in the classroom. Students gain computer in word processing, multimedia programs, the internet, and database management.|
|Educational Psychology||Students learn about psychological principles and theories of education to maximize classroom learning. They study developmental theories and instructional strategies and learn how to interpret standardized test scores.|
Master's Degree in Teaching
|Curriculum Issues||This course explores curriculum philosophy and history. Students learn decision-making strategies relevant to curriculum creation and become familiar with common terms and concepts.|
|Pedagogical Research||Emphasizing the research role of teachers, this course examines the theory and practice of pedagogical inquiry. Students learn autobiography, action research, narrative, and case writing techniques.|
|Multicultural and Diversity Issues in Curriculum||This course prepares learners to view curricula from historical and cultural perspectives. Students consider how perceptions of students based on race, class, gender, and ethnicity impact curricula.|
How to Get a Teaching Certificate in Oklahoma
The traditional path to Oklahoma state teacher certification begins with earning a bachelor's or master's degree from an approved teacher education program at a regionally accredited university. Individuals can also pursue alternative certification programs. The Oklahoma department of education offers a one-year license that permits the holder to teach while completing additional requirements.
Oklahoma's certification areas include early childhood education, elementary education, special education, and career and technology education. At the middle school and high school levels, teachers receive a certificate to teach a single subject, such as math, science, language arts, or social studies. Some educators, such as those who teach English as a second language, receive a certificate to teach at all grade levels.
After earning a degree in the certification area, teacher candidates must pass three exams required for Oklahoma teachers. Applicants must also undergo a criminal background check through the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The background check requires fingerprints and a $54 fee. Prospective teachers then submit an application and a $50 fee to the Oklahoma State Department of Education (SDE). Next, teaching candidates must pass three exams, for which they can register through the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability.
Graduates of out-of-state programs should contact the Oklahoma SDE to learn about the process for obtaining licensure. A standard teaching certificate is valid for five years. The Oklahoma State Board of Education may establish new requirements at any time, so students approaching graduation should contact the department for information regarding current Oklahoma teaching requirements.
Choosing a Degree Program in Oklahoma
Students pursuing an online teaching program in Oklahoma have a variety of options. Because earning a degree requires substantial time and financial investment, prospective students should consider many factors before selecting a program. For example, students should compare program costs against their budget and financial aid options. Also consider location. Even distance learners may need access to on-campus support or assistance securing a student-teaching placement.
Students can typically complete online teaching programs that offer eight-week courses more quickly than programs that follow a traditional, 16-week semester.
Degree completion time is another crucial factor. Students can typically complete online teaching programs that offer eight-week courses more quickly than programs that follow a traditional, 16-week semester. Prospective students should also ensure any program they consider offers specializations that align with their career goals. Students may need specific specialization options to qualify for positions teaching certain grade levels or subjects. Most importantly, ensure any prospective program meets requirements to qualify for an Oklahoma teaching license.
Can You Earn a Teaching Degree Online in Oklahoma?
After earning a teaching degree online, Oklahoma graduates can qualify for a teaching license. Candidates for licensure must earn a degree from an approved teacher training program, which may be online or on campus. The Oklahoma SDE maintains a list of approved programs and recognizes many online teaching programs outside the state. At minimum, online students should ensure their program is regionally accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies in the United States. The Higher Learning Commission awards regional accreditation to Oklahoma institutions. Online programs may also hold field-specific accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
Most online teaching degrees include a student-teaching component, which distance learners typically complete at an approved site near their home. Oklahoma teaching candidates without teaching experience can receive a one-year provisional license. During their first year of teaching, these candidates must complete a mentorship experience called the Teacher Residency Program. Teachers may receive standard certification after completing the program.
Directory of Teaching Schools in Oklahoma
Paying for Your Teaching Degree in Oklahoma
A variety of financial aid packages are available to students earning an online teaching degree in Oklahoma. Students should begin by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine their eligibility for federal assistance, including loans, grants, and work-study programs. Grants help cover tuition and related expenses and do not have to be repaid. Students must pay back loans, but the federal government subsidizes many student loans, making them more affordable for borrowers.
Education students should also research funding opportunities from the state, private organizations, and universities. Many universities award scholarships based on academic merit and financial need. Most scholarships are competitive and require applicants to meet certain criteria. Teachers who plan to work in high-need school districts or critical shortage subject areas may qualify for state and federal tuition reimbursement programs.
Loan Forgiveness for Oklahoma Teachers
Loan forgiveness programs partially or fully cancel a teacher's student loans in exchange for time spent in public service. The federal government offers the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which forgives the remaining student loan balance for teachers who make 120 on-time payments. The TEACH Grant forgives up to $17,500 of federal loans for teachers who work in high-need fields or areas.
Oklahoma offers a loan forgiveness program called the Teacher Shortage Employment Incentive Program designed to recruit and retain science and math teachers for the state. Applicants must complete required forms prior to graduating from an accredited, four-year teacher education degree program in Oklahoma. Recipients must teach secondary math or science in an Oklahoma public school for at least five years. Successful applicants receive an annual student loan reimbursement or cash benefit. Most student loans, except PLUS loans for parents, qualify for reimbursement.
Scholarships for Oklahoma Teaching Students
Scholarships are awards from public or private organizations that support learners who meet specific criteria. Applicants typically compete for these awards. Many scholarships are reserved for Oklahoma residents, and some are exclusively for future teachers. Students should also look for national scholarships that support education majors.
Future Teachers Scholarship Program $500 to $1,500
MetLife Foundation Scholarship $2,000
May T. Henry Scholarship Fund $1,000
Regional University Baccalaureate Scholarship $3,000
Job Outlook and Salary for Teachers in Oklahoma
|Location||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
Many factors impact an individual teacher's salary. Teachers with advanced degrees and years of experience typically earn more than bachelor's degree holders at early career stages. Generally, teachers who work with higher grade levels earn higher salaries. Wages also vary by school district. Oklahoma is home to both major metropolitan areas and a significant number of rural areas. Although educators in metropolitan areas tend to earn more, teachers in rural areas may qualify for loan forgiveness programs and enjoy lower costs of living.
The annual mean wage for Oklahoma teachers is below the national mean. However, the cost of living in Oklahoma is also lower than the national average. Additionally, teachers who hold certificates in critical shortage areas, such as math, science, or special education, often earn higher salaries.
|Elementary School Teachers||$41,150|
|Middle School Teachers||$42,380|
|Secondary School Teachers||$42,460|
Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching in Oklahoma
How do I get a teaching license in Oklahoma?
What is the average salary for a teacher in Oklahoma?
How long does it take to get a teaching certificate in Oklahoma?
What classes are required for a teacher in Oklahoma?
Resources for Teachers in Oklahoma
- Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education (OkACTE) OkACTE is Oklahoma's state affiliate of the Association for Career and Technical Education. The organization provides professional development opportunities, including an annual "unconference." Members receive access to discounts, insurance plans, and networking opportunities. OkACTE's awards program recognizes excellence in career education.
- Oklahoma Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) Founded in 1922, the Oklahoma PTA has 40,000 members. The organization hosts a state convention, offers scholarships, and recognizes excellence through annual awards. Oklahoma PTA also advocates for legislative policies that benefit children, teachers, and schools. Oklahoma PTA maintains local chapters and provides information about laws and best practices.
- Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association (TCTA) With 2,200 members, TCTA is the largest local educators' association in Oklahoma. The organization informs teachers about policies and legislation that affect classrooms and teachers. Members can apply for grants and participate in an employee assistance program that provides legal, financial, and work and life services to teachers.
- Oklahoma Education Association (OEA) The Oklahoma state chapter of the National Education Association, the OEA advocates for legislation, provides legal services to teachers, offers professional services, and publishes a magazine. The organization hosts annual conferences, provides networking opportunities for retired educators, and maintains an online job board.
- Oklahoma State Department of Education (SDE) The SDE executes state and federal initiatives. The department oversees accountability for teachers and schools, maintains school personnel records, establishes and ensures adherence to teacher certification standards, and manages Native American education in the state. The department also offers awards and grants to schools and teachers.