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Alternative Paths to Teacher Certification

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Alternative Paths to Teacher Certification

The Oklahoma State Department of Education provides alternative pathways to Oklahoma teacher certification through the Alternative Placement Program and the Paraprofessional Career Development Program. Note: Unlike traditional teaching endorsements, endorsements earned through alternative teacher certification may not be recognized outside of the State of Oklahoma.

The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education (JRCoE) offers individualized plans of study for the OSDE Alternative Placement Program in Mathematics – Advanced Mathematics (111); Science – Biological (010), Chemistry (004), Earth Science (008), Physical Science (013), Physics (014); World Languages – Chinese (080), French (120), German (021), Latin (123), Russian (122), Spanish (119); and Language Arts – English (107). JRCoE also offers coursework to meet requirements in the Paraprofessional Career Development Program.

Note that the individualized plans of study for the Alternative Placement Program and the Paraprofessional Career Development Program will meet State coursework requirements and may include additional coursework as deemed appropriate by program area faculty.

Alternative Placement Program and Paraprofessional Career Development Program students will be advised by program faculty with support from the Undergraduate Advising Office.

Application Requirements

Students seeking to apply to JRCoE to complete coursework required in the Alternative Placement Program or the Paraprofessional Career Development Program must:

• meet the OU Graduate College GPA requirement (minimum 3.0 GPA).
• pass the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET) and all relevant Oklahoma Subject Area Tests (OSATs) and, for world languages (not Latin), pass the relevant Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI).
• submit transcripts.
• submit a cover letter explaining motivation for and qualifications to teach.
• interview with program area faculty.
• agree to a contract that outlines requirements for the alternative certification program of study.

ODSE Alternative Certification Process: Step by Step

1. Register with the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
a) Application and information packet (click here)
b) Document your education experience
c) Provide all college transcripts
d) OSDE will determine your licensure area based on your college course work

2. Pass the Certification Examinations for Oklahoma Educators (click here)
a) Oklahoma General Education test (OGET)
b) Oklahoma Subject Area Test(s) (OSATs) – you must pass the exam(s) that corresponds to the subject area for which you have been approved to alternatively certify, including all relevant subject sub-areas you will teach in. OSAT exam numbers are indicated above.
i) NOTE: Midlevel subject area exams will not be accepted.
c) Oklahoma Professional Teaching Exam (OPTE)
i) NOTE: The OGET and OSAT(s) must be taking prior to application to OU. The OPTE can be taken before or after admission into the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education.

3. Submit fingerprints for FBI/OSBI clearance
a) Information can be found here: http://sde.ok.gov/sde/bg-check

4. After you (a) receive the OSDE letter indicating the program area for which you have been approved for alternative certification, and (b) have passed the OGET and all required OSAT exams, you will begin the OU Application.

5. Apply for admission into (a) the OU Graduate College AND (b) the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education (JRCOE)
a) Apply to the OU Graduate College: Alternative Certification X031-Q160
i) Submit all transcripts- undergraduate and graduate.
ii) Receive Admission letter from the OU Graduate College.
b) Apply to the OU Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education (JRCOE) teacher certification program:
i) Submit all transcripts- undergraduate and graduate.
ii) Submit OGET and all OSAT exam scores.
iii) Submit OSDE letter admitting you to the Oklahoma Alternative Certification Teacher Program and indicating the approved subject area.
iv) Submit an essay (approx. 750 words) response to the following prompt: Discuss your desire to enter the teaching profession and provide information regarding previous experiences working with children and youth in educational settings. Please include the schools or sites, length of time, job title and description of duties and grade(s) level taught. In addition, note qualities and attributes that will positively contribute to your success in the teaching environment.

6. Complete admission interview
a) Once you have been accepted to the OU Graduate College and completed the JRCoE application process you will be notified of the date and time of your interview.

7. Meet with program faculty or the Associate Dean for Professional Education to develop a plan of study.
a) After acceptance into the alternative certification pathway, you will sign a contract detailing the required program of study.
b) NOTE: Course enrollment permissions are issued through the Undergraduate Advising Office.

8. Upon successful completion of the plan of study and passing the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination (OPTE), the College will notify the Oklahoma State Department of Education of your completion of the OSDE Professional Education Component.

More information can be found at Oklahoma State Department of Education: Oklahoma Alternative Placement Program for Teacher Certification (click here)