Special Education Certification Requirements in Oklahoma

Jul 02, 2020

Students with learning difficulties have to overcome an array of physical and behavioral challenges on a daily basis. In a structured educational environment, learners with special needs require help and guidance from teachers who are specifically trained to implement strategies which enable disabled learners to develop academically and socially. Special education teachers in Oklahoma must complete a number of education and testing steps to qualify for initial licensure and a special education endorsement.

Special Education Teacher Certification Requirements in Oklahoma

Average Salary for Special Education Teachers in Oklahoma (2019)* $49,970 (Elementary), $50,180 (Middle), $49,850 (Secondary)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Special Education
Testing Requirements Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET) (074), Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination (OPTE) (075 or 076), Oklahoma Subject Area Test (OSAT) in relevant special education specialization

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Degree

Aspiring educators who want to teach in the area of special education must first successfully complete a bachelor's degree program and an approved higher education teacher education program. The teacher education program is generally incorporated into an appropriate degree program and essentially requires a candidate to major in special education.

There are a number of approved teacher education program providers in Oklahoma. Such programs will typically include general education courses and special education courses which can include the following:

  • Behavioral/Class Management
  • Language Development in Special Education
  • Education Strategy for Children with Special Needs

Teacher education programs also require candidates to undertake a student teaching practicum which will comprise lengthy mentored classroom experiences and a student teaching internship.

Step 2: Pass all Required Testing

Towards, or at, the end of a teacher education program, candidates must also pass three tests to qualify for initial certification. These tests are administered by the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability (OEQA). The required tests for special education teacher candidates are outlined below:

  • The Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET) (074)
    • Examination covering the core general education knowledge
    • 100 multiple-choice questions
    • One writing assessment
    • Pass score - 240
      • Test fee - $65
      • CBT fee - $25
      • Registration fee - $30 (paid once per program year)
  • The Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination (OPTE)
    • Examination covering professional knowledge
    • 75 multiple-choice questions
    • Three written assessments
    • Pass score - 240
    • Exam fees
      • Test fee - $140
      • CBT fee - $25

There are two versions of the OPTE test, PK-8 (075) and 6-12 (076) and candidates should take the test which is appropriate for the grade level(s) they want to teach.

  • The Oklahoma Subject Area Tests (OSAT) - Candidates will need to take the test which is appropriate for their special education specialization. The test choices are as follows:
    • Blind/Visual Impairment (128)
    • Deaf/Hard of Hearing (030)
    • Mild-Moderate Disabilities (129)
    • Severe-Profound/Multiple Disabilities (131)

All of the above OSAT tests consist of 80 selected-response questions and one constructed-response assignment. The passing score for each test is 240. The fees associated with each test are as follows:

    • Exam fee - $80
    • CBT fee - $25
    • Registration fee - $30 (paid once per program year)

Step 3: Apply for an Initial Oklahoma Teacher Certificate

When candidates have completed all of the education and testing requirements, they can apply to the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) for their initial teacher certificate which is valid for five years. Applications can be submitted electronically using the OSDE website or by filling out a traditional paper application. The paper application and supporting materials should be sent to the OSDE. As part of the application, candidates must complete a criminal background check and submit official college/university transcripts to the State Board of Education. The application fee is $50.

Oklahoma Teacher Certification Resources

Candidates should click on the link below to access our resources for helping them study for their Oklahoma teacher certification exams:

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