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ESL Teacher Certification Requirements in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma State Department of Education has to two options to get an ESL Teacher Certification in Oklahoma. Information and requirements for each option are provided in this article.

Information on ESL Teacher Certification Requirements in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) sets the standard for certifying teachers in the state. The OSDE is responsible for verifying the credentials of a certification candidate to ensure that they meet the qualifications required. An ESL Teacher certification can be achieved by taking the OSDE traditional path or the alternative path. Whichever path is taken, the OSDE will validate the candidate's qualifications meet the requirements needed to teach English as a Second Language.

Education/Experience Required' Bachelor's Degree
Exam Requirements Oklahoma General Education Test (174), Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination PK-8 (075) or 6-12 (076), Oklahoma Subject Area Test - English as a Second Language (177)
Certification Renewal Period 5 Years
CEU Required for Renewal 75
Average Salary $40,450 (Elementary), $41,660 (Middle School), $42,540 (High School) as of May 2018- Oklahoma
Estimated Job Growth 7% (Elementary, 8% (Middle & High School) National Stats

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education and Preparation

If following the traditional path, the candidate needs to graduate and fulfill program requirements for the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) degree and preparation program. Out-of-state candidates are required to have graduated from a course equivalent to those approved by the OSDE. Candidates that have a bachelor's degree but did not complete a teacher preparation program, like the TESOL, can use the alternative path option to obtain an ESL teaching certification in Oklahoma by applying to an alternative placement program that will provide them with the professional education and professional development hours needed for a teaching certification. Alternative placement programs require the candidate pay a $50 application fee and submit application along with a resume, and university transcripts verifying completion of a bachelor's degree, to the OSDE.

Exam

The candidate will be recommended by their TESOL program institution or the alternative place program for certification. A recommendation is required to take a series of certification exams required by the OSDE. Traditional candidates must pass the Oklahoma General Education Test (174), the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination PK-8 (075) or 6-12 (076), and the Oklahoma Subject Area Test - English as a Second Language (177). Alternative path candidates must pass the Oklahoma General Education Test (174), and the Oklahoma Subject Area Test - English as a Second Language (177) first and then take the Professional Teaching Examination PK-8 (075) once all professional education and development hours have been fulfilled. All tests require a passing score of 240.

Fingerprinting

All candidates need to complete a state and federal criminal background investigation through a fingerprinting process. Fingerprinting is done to ensure that all teaching candidates meet the standard that safeguards the safety of the children. Fingerprinting can be done at the OSDE main office, any OSDE satellite office, local sheriff's office, or local police department. The cost for fingerprinting $53.94 and can only be made using a check, money order, or credit card.

Apply

The final step to get an ESL teaching certification for traditional path candidates is to submit an application for certification along with a $50 processing fee to the OSDE. Alternative path candidates will submit the Alternative Placement Application and the $50 application fee to obtain a temporary 3-year ESL teaching certification. They will then begin teaching while completing the hours of professional education and professional development hours required. Alternative path candidates will be able to apply for the standard ESL teaching certification once all tests and professional education and development hours have been fulfilled. For more information on the traditional and alternative paths for getting an ESL teaching certification visit the OSDE website.