Alternative Teaching Certification Programs in Oklahoma
The Oklahoma State Department of Education recognizes that professional experience and knowledge can be an asset for classroom teachers even though they may not have completed a traditional teacher preparation program.
The department also acknowledges that Oklahoma is facing critical teacher shortages in a variety of areas including math, science and special education.
Thus the OSDE created the Oklahoma Alternative Placement Program, a clearly defined alternative path to certification for individuals with a bachelor's degree in a certifiable content area.
The number of Oklahoma teachers certified through alternative programs has grown steadily since the 1990s. In 1991-92, the state issued 54 certificates to individuals entering the profession through an alternate route, according to the National Center for Alternative Certification. In 2005, that number jumped to more than 1300.
The process for alternative certification begins with an application to the program. Once accepted, candidates must pass general and subject area competency tests.
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Candidates who do so may apply to the Teacher Competency Review Panel. Candidates are asked to submit a resume and a written description of their professional goals. They then have a personal interview with the review panel.
If the panel recommends a candidate for certification, the candidate is issued an initial license and has three years to complete the requirements for standard certification. These requirements can be completed through a number of approved programs but all require six to 18 semester hours of coursework.
One way to complete these requirements is through the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence. ABCTE offers a self-paced, online program that takes just eight to 10 months to complete and costs about $2500. Certification is available at the secondary (middle and high school) level in math, sciences, history and English/Language Arts.
Those who wish to go the university route to complete their credentials have a number of options. One is Northeastern State University's alternative certification program. An advisor will review your transcript and determine what additional coursework is needed. Candidates often complete coursework in 18 months or less.
Schools in Oklahoma:
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