Home Teaching Programs in Oregon

Teaching Programs in Oregon

If you’re looking for a rewarding, lifelong career, training to become a teacher in the state of Oregon could be the perfect option for you. Teachers play a crucial role in the development of their students, providing not just education but social support, life guidance, and more. Oregon ranks as the 12th best state for teachers, according to WalletHub, and there is generally little competition for positions so it might be easier to find a job compared to in other states.

How Can I Get a Teaching Degree in Oregon?

Depending on your current situation, there are several different pathways that you can take to become a teacher in Oregon.

Starting With a Bachelor’s Degree in Education

In college, there are several options to choose from in preparation for becoming an Oregon classroom teacher—you could take a bachelor’s level teacher preparation program approved by Oregon’s or earn a bachelor’s degree with a major in a different area, then go on to complete a TSPC-approved post-baccalaureate teacher preparation program.

Once either of these steps is complete, you will be ready to apply for your Preliminary Teacher License from the Oregon TSPC. By obtaining the Preliminary Teaching License, you are signifying that you are on your way to becoming a fully qualified teacher but have not yet met the advanced experience requirements and competencies needed for the full Professional Teaching License. It is valid for three years, costs $182, and to meet the minimum qualifications to apply, you must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Complete a commission-approved teacher preparation program
  • Pass a subject matter test for your teaching content area(s) (if necessary)
  • Pass the required Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment exam (see below)
  • Pass a criminal background clearance, including fingerprints, if necessary

You may need to pass specific exams to gain full licensure, depending on the type of teaching you wish to conduct once qualified. However, all students must pass the Oregon Educator Licensure Assessments (ORELA) Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment exam before applying for their license. The test costs $95 to take and requires a passing score of 240.

Those who wish to teach at early childhood, elementary, and middle school levels must then pass the TSPC National Evaluation Series (NES) Elementary Education Subtests I and II. Applicants are charged $50 for one test (or $95 for both) and must achieve a passing score of 220.

If you plan to teach at the middle/high school levels (or be considered highly skilled in specialist subjects at the elementary/middle school levels), you must pass NES exams for your chosen specialized subject areas. There are different tests for each subject, each costing $95 and requiring a passing grade of 220.

Those wishing to teach English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) must take an additional ESOL exam, which has a set fee of $95 and requires a passing grade of 220.

Once you’ve successfully obtained your Preliminary Teacher License and have gained significant teaching experience, you can apply for your Professional Teaching License. This is valid for five years, costs $182, and to qualify for this, you must:

  • Hold an Oregon Preliminary, Reciprocal, Basic, Initial, or Initial II teaching license
  • Have a minimum of four full-time years or six part-time years of teaching experience
  • Pass a criminal background clearance, including fingerprints, if necessary
  • Complete one of the following advanced professional education programs:
  • Advanced Degree Program: Any advanced degree program reasonably related to improving an educator’s teaching skills
  • Advanced Licensure Program: Work to obtain advanced licensure, such as Teacher Leader, School Counselor, School Psychology, School Social Worker, or Administrator
  • Advanced Professional Development Program: work with your school district to design a program to complete at least 150 units of advanced professional development
  • Endorsement Program: Complete a commission-approved program to add new subject matter areas
  • National Board of Professional Teaching Standards Certification
  • Specialization Programs: Complete a program to add new specialized areas

Becoming an Oregon Teacher as a Current School Employee

If you’re already working in a school environment in a position other than that of a full-time licensed educator, you’re in the perfect place to take your career to the next level and become a teacher. You’ve already got an insider’s perspective on what it takes to make a difference in Oregon classrooms and likely have strong ties to your local community. Some Oregon school districts have set specific pathways in place for instructional assistants and other current school employees, to enable them to earn their teacher licensure. Check with your local school district to find out more about these resources.

You may also be eligible to apply for a Restricted Teaching License. This is issued to qualified individuals who have at least a bachelor’s degree and who have substantial preparation in the subject matter in their teaching area (such as those working as teacher’s aides) but have not yet completed a teacher preparation program. The recipient of the license is required to qualify for the Preliminary Teaching License within three years of the issuance of the Restricted Teaching License, which is valid for one year and costs $182 to apply for.

Becoming a Teacher in Oregon as a Career Changer

If you’re ready for a career change to teaching, you may already be part-way to earning the right qualifications. As detailed above, if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you’ll first need to enter a college program and obtain one. If you do, you could complete a TSPC-approved post-baccalaureate teacher preparation program and gain access to licensure that way instead. The steps you’ll need to take to earn your teacher qualification will vary depending on the type of teaching you wish to pursue, so take a look at the licensure information above to find out which would be relevant for you.

Career and Technical Education Pathway

If you’ve already got relevant industry credentials and want to become a teacher, the state of Oregon requires that you apply for the CTE (Career and Technical Education)-I License. To qualify, you must:

  • Have at least 1,800 hours of experience, obtained in the past five years, in the field in which you wish to teach
  • Work in a CTE teaching position from an approved program
  • Have a passing score on the Oregon Educator Licensure Assessments (ORELA) Civil Rights Laws & Professional Ethics examination
  • Have a three-year professional development plan, including 18 credits of prescribed teacher preparation courses (to be completed during the first three years of teaching), college-level credits, and additional board-mandated requirements

Teachers from Out of State

If you are a teacher from out of state who wants to teach in Oregon, you must obtain an Oregon Reciprocal Teaching License. For this, you must have never before taught in Oregon or completed a teaching program in the state, have an active license from another state (even if you are a fresh college graduate), and have successfully completed a teacher preparation program. If your previous license has expired, you must get it reinstated in your current state prior to applying for Oregon licensure.

Career Outlook for Educators in Oregon

The projected job growth for teachers in Oregon is good, set well above the national average. CareerOneStop predicts an 8% to 9% boost in elementary through secondary education jobs through 2026 and as much as a 15% increase in post secondary education jobs. Salaries will reflect the cost of living, with jobs in more expensive areas, such as larger cities, generally paying more than smaller rural areas.

Oregon Mean Teaching Salaries (2018)
Elementary:$67,910 per year
Middle School:$75,280 per year
Secondary:$72,640 per year
Post-Secondary:$88,233 per year (averaged from all mean salaries)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Teacher Training Programs in Oregon

Here are just a few examples of teacher training programs available in the state of Oregon:

Eastern Oregon University

EOU offers several teaching programs, including the Undergraduate Elementary Education and Master of Arts in Teaching. They also provide existing teachers with avenues of study that may lead to additional endorsements. The estimated annual undergraduate tuition cost for Oregon residents is $7,515.

Pacific University

The PU College of Education offers several undergraduate and graduate teaching programs, with paths to initial teaching licensure, advanced degrees, and endorsements for current teachers to choose from. Students can study on-campus in Forest Grove, Eugene, and Woodburn—as well as through programs embedded in school districts throughout Oregon. The annual 2018-19 tuition cost for new students started at $10,660.

Corban University

Corban offers a wide variety of programs at all levels, and students can often study on-campus, online, or both. Students can choose from specialized courses such as biology education and physical education and health, or opt for more generalized topics such as the Master of Education program. Tuition at Corban University costs $32,380 for full-time undergraduate students.

Southern Oregon University

Once enrolled in the Education Studies program at SOU, teaching students can earn both their bachelor’s degree and the Oregon Preliminary Teaching License. The college has strong partnerships with other state and regional community institutions. The annual undergraduate tuition cost for Oregon residents is $8,505.

George Fox University

The School of Education is the largest school at GFU. It offers a wide range of educational options, spanning from school administrator licensure through to Doctor of Education programs. Undergraduate tuition and costs in 2019-2020 were around $36,750 per year.

Oregon Teacher Resources

Whether you’re an Oregonian already working as a teacher or just considering your career options, the following resources could be useful:

  • The Oregon Department of Education provides information for every stage of teacher training, including testing requirements, educational standards, and current vacancies.
  • The Oregon Education Association (OEA) is a union that represents about 44,000 educators working in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 public schools and community colleges.
  • The Oregon Educator Network is a comprehensive website that provides resources, model programs, and professional development for teachers at all levels.
  • The Oregon Center for Educational Equity is a network of highly skilled facilitators and professional development leaders whose mission is to transform current educational inequities to ensure all students have access to high performing schools.
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