How to Become an Art Teacher in Oregon

Oregon art teachers must complete a teacher education program and pass exams before becoming licensed. Read on for specific details on the education and testing requirements as well as the licensure process.

Since 2015, Oregon's Department of Education has maintained particular standards for arts education in media and visual arts. Prospective teachers with an interest in art can help students understand the impact and benefits of art by becoming art teachers. In Oregon, art teachers must hold a bachelor's degree, complete a teacher education program, pass exams, and apply for licensure before beginning their teaching careers.

Oregon Art Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Oregon (2017)* $65,640 (Elementary), $73,630 (Middle School), $69,660 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree and completion of an approved teacher education program
Degree Field Education with a focus on art
Testing Requirements Civil Rights Exam
NES Art Exam

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Your Degree

Prospective art teachers in Oregon must complete a bachelor's degree program/teacher preparation program approved by the state's Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. Students can major in education as part of a bachelor's degree program. In addition to required general education courses, an undergraduate degree program in education includes classes such as education methodology, curriculum design, classroom management, and trending topics in education. A practicum or student-teaching experience is also usually required. Admission to undergraduate programs may require interviews, statements outlining students' professional goals, and letters of recommendation. Students wishing to teach art after graduating can benefit by including substantial coursework in art or a minor in art during their undergraduate years. This approach can provide exposure to art history and studio art genres and techniques.

Another potential education path involves completing a graduate degree program at some Oregon universities that offer graduate teacher education programs leading to teaching licenses. Programs may offer endorsements in several subject areas, including art. Alternatively, some degree paths are specifically tailored to particular academic subject areas such as art. These programs emphasize teaching techniques specifically applicable to the field of art and often include a classroom-based internship. Admission to graduate teacher preparation programs may require that students hold an undergraduate degree in art and submit a portfolio of their work. Students can often complete these graduate programs in one to two years.

Step 2: Take Exams

Before art teachers can become licensed, Oregon requires passage of two tests administered by Oregon Educator Licensure Assessments (ORELA). The first is the Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment exam. This computer-based test assesses teachers' familiarity with Oregon's learning standards. A passing score is 240 or higher. The second test covers material specific to teaching art as a subject. This National Evaluation Series test consists of 150 multiple-choice items, and a passing score is 220.

Step 3: Apply for Licensure

After completing the education and testing requirements, Oregon art teachers should apply for licensure through Oregon's Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. The application process involves passing a criminal background check and submitting an application and the associated fee. Applicants should submit all required supporting documents, including official transcripts recognizing their bachelor's degrees and teacher preparation programs along with their test results. New art teachers will be eligible for a preliminary teaching license that is valid for three years.

Certification Resources for Oregon Art Teachers

Educators preparing for Oregon's certification exams may find the following resource helpful.


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