Oklahoma Alternative Teacher Certification

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
Oklahoma offers several alternative certification paths to individuals who would like to teach, including credentialing programs for paraprofessionals and aspiring CareerTech instructors. Read on to learn about the options available and the requirements for each.

Alternative Placement Program

The Alternative Placement Program awards certifications to teach middle school students, high school students or pre K through 12th graders. Individuals are eligible for the Alternative Placement Program for teacher certification if they have:

  • Earned a bachelor's degree with a GPA of at least 2.5 in a subject other than education but related to a teacher certification area
  • Worked for two years or more, or completed post-graduate courses, in the field related to their degree

Once admitted into the Alternative Placement Program, a candidate must pass the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET) and a subject area test to earn a non-renewable, initial alternative certificate. After receiving this certificate, a candidate has three years to complete the program's education requirements. This includes between 12 and 18 credit hours of coursework in topics like educational and developmental psychology, classroom management and instructional methods. Candidates must also receive a passing score on the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Exam (OPTE) in order to earn a standard teaching certificate.

Troops to Teachers (TTT) Option

Under the federal Troops to Teachers program, active or former members of the military with honorable service records are eligible for assistance - including counseling, financial aid and a referral service - if they would like to become public school teachers. Once registered for the federal program, TTT candidates in Oklahoma have to meet the Alternative Placement Program requirements with the exception of needing to have two years of degree-related professional work experience.

CareerTech Instructor Certification

To become an instructor within Oklahoma's CareerTech system, candidates can either complete requirements for the state's Alternative Placement Program or elect to pursue provisional certification. This certification is awarded to high school graduates with at least three years of trade or technical experience and an employment offer from a public secondary school.

To renew these provisional certificates, applicants will have to complete between 6 and 15 credit hours of coursework to be applied towards a standard teaching certificate. This option allows individuals who do not already have a bachelor's degree in education or another field to earn their degree while teaching.

Four-Year-Olds and Younger Teacher Certification

Educators who have taught in a Head Start program may earn a special teaching certificate that allows them to teach this age group in public schools. This is a restricted certificate to which teachers may not add additional subject areas. To qualify for this certificate, a candidate must:

  • Have taught for at least five years in a Head Start program
  • Have a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential
  • Hold a bachelor's degree
  • Pass the Early Childhood Education Subject Area Test
  • Pass the Oklahoma General Education Test

Paraprofessional-to-Teacher Certification

Paraprofessionals who'd like to transition into a teaching career can earn special education, early childhood education or elementary education credentials after acquiring one year of work experience in their desired certification area, provided they've earned a bachelor's degree that meets minimum GPA requirements. Teacher certification candidates pursuing this route will also need to earn passing scores on the OPTE, the OGET and a subject area test for the age group in which they are seeking certification.

Test Prep for Alternative Teacher Certification Candidates

If you are an alternative teacher certification candidate studying for your required exams, offers several comprehensive prep courses to help you master all the content you will encounter on your tests. These self-paced courses are conveniently available online whenever and wherever you have time to study. Course options include the Oklahoma General Education Test as well as subject area exams for aspiring early childhood, elementary, middle and high school teachers. Courses include:

ScienceMiddle Level Science, Earth Science, Physical Science, Chemistry, Physics
Math Middle Level/Intermediate Mathematics, Advanced Mathematics
Social Science Middle Level Social Studies, World History/Geography, Psychology/Sociology
English Middle Level English, English
Business Business Education, Marketing Education
Education Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education

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