Becoming a Teacher in Oklahoma

Explore Program, Licensing and Job Outlook Data for 2016

For aspiring teachers in Oklahoma, ToBecomeATeacher.org has the tools needed to navigate your career path from start to finish.  To begin, anyone hoping to teach in Oklahoma will need to complete the following critical steps:

1. Choosing a Program: First, you will need to find an education program that supports your budget and short- and long-term career goals.

  • Finding an appropriate program that fits your needs is never easy. What matters to you as a student? Is cost a major concern? Are you concerned about the program’s graduation rate or job placement rate? Asking the right questions upfront will help you find a program that meets your academic and career goals while remaining within your budget.

2. Planning for Licensure in Oklahoma: To become a teacher in Oklahoma, you’ll need to complete at least a bachelor’s degree, a teacher preparation program and the state’s applicable certification exams, which include Oklahoma General Education Test, Oklahoma Subject Area Tests and Oklahoma Professional Teaching Exam.

3. Entering the Workforce: Once you’ve completed an education program and passed the applicable exams, you will be ready to enter the job market and launch your teaching career in Oklahoma.

  • To get started, it is important to assess where you hope to teach. Are you interested in working in a city, town or rural community?  What are your lifestyle priorities and salary expectations? What special skills and talents do you have and what type or school would benefit most from these assets?  Throughout this process, it is critical to continue developing your resume, expanding your education (e.g., by completing professional development courses for teachers), and gaining additional teaching experience. The more current you are when you go on the job market, the more likely you will be to obtain a full-time teaching position in Oklahoma shortly after graduation.

Choosing an Education Program in Oklahoma

ToBecomeATeacher.org appreciates that choosing the right program is never an easy task. Fortunately, we have streamlined the process with the aid of our algorithmic tool designed just for aspiring teachers. Since our criteria reflects prospective teachers’ top priorities, our rankings focus on all the factors that matter most to you, including total expense, student-to-faculty ratios, graduation rates, potential earnings and over all return on investment.

All the schools on ToBecomeATeacher.org’s list below are committed to excellence and have proven themselves to be among the very best places to pursue an education degree in Oklahoma. Find out which schools rank best at the bachelor’s and master’s levels in education.

University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 13 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 21864
  • Acceptance rate 62.46 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 31606
  • Graduation Rate 39.41 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 19591.5

Northeastern State University

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 18 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 19968
  • Acceptance rate 73.37 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 31606
  • Graduation Rate 30.02 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 18471

Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 6 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 46400
  • Acceptance rate 43.31 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 31606
  • Graduation Rate 46.1 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 17500

Southeastern Oklahoma State University

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 17 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 21260
  • Acceptance rate 79.92 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 31606
  • Graduation Rate 30.32 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 16443

Family of Faith College

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 7 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 23840
  • Acceptance rate 66.67 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 31606
  • Graduation Rate 26.67 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 0

East Central University

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 19 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 20964
  • Acceptance rate 98.14 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 31606
  • Graduation Rate 33.51 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 19500

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 17 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 22568
  • Acceptance rate 59.8 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 31606
  • Graduation Rate 31.17 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 15000

University of Central Oklahoma

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 21 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 21748
  • Acceptance rate 83.98 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 31606
  • Graduation Rate 33.95 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 22250

Southwestern Oklahoma State University

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 18 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 21840
  • Acceptance rate 90.26 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 31606
  • Graduation Rate 34.54 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 16759

Oklahoma Panhandle State University

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 16 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 26956
  • Acceptance rate 47.67 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 31606
  • Graduation Rate 21.51 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 18154
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Ranking Factors Explained

Our ranking data is based upon Collegescorecard.gov, IPEDS, and the Carnegie Foundation data sets.

How to Become a Teacher in Oklahoma

In order to teach in Oklahoma, an individual must hold at least a bachelor’s degree, but there are several pathways to becoming certified, including the following:

  • Pathway 1: For aspiring teachers without a degree, there is the option of completing a bachelor’s degree in an educator preparation program in one of Oklahoma’s many colleges of education; in order to receive a teaching license, candidates must also write and pass the state’s required teacher licensure exams, which include the Oklahoma General Education Test, Oklahoma Subject Area Tests and Oklahoma Professional Teaching Exam.
  • Pathway 2: Another common pathway to teaching is to complete a bachelor’s degree or higher and then to complete an education degree at the certificate or master’s level and to write and pass the state’s required teacher licensure exams.
  • Pathway 3: Oklahoma also offers multiple alternatives for qualified personnel who wish to enter the classroom without completing a bachelor’s degree in education. In most cases, candidates must hold at least a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of a 2.5 GPA and in some cases, they must be able to demonstrate at least two years of relevant work experience in their subject field to pursue the state’s Alternative Placement Program or Non-Traditional Paths for Teacher Certification (e.g, Teach for America and American Board certification) options.

What is the job outlook for teaching careers in the State of Oklahoma?

Oklahoma continues to face major teacher shortages. While elementary, special education, mathematics and science teachers are in especially high demand, teacher shortages are a problem across levels, content areas and communities. In 2015, the state issued close to 1000 emergency teaching certificates in response to the crisis. The problem with this form of certification is that in most cases, candidates who enter the classroom on this basis have no formal training in pedagogy, curriculum development or classroom management. One variable that continues to hamper Oklahoma’s teacher recruitment efforts is the state’s lower than average compensation for teachers. In 2014 to 2015, Oklahoma teachers made $12,750 below the national average. To help address the state’s ongoing teacher shortage, the government has established a Teacher Shortage Employment Incentive Program and a special task force on the issue.

What resources do teachers have to help them during their careers in Oklahoma?

What online programs are available to potential teachers in Oklahoma?

As Oklahoma struggles to address a major teacher shortage, it has poured increased resources into teacher certification programs designed to help residents easily transition to teaching while working full-time. For this reason, the recognizes many in-state and out-of-state online programs leading to teacher certification, including American Board certification. In addition, Oklahoma State University offers a master’s degree in agricultural education and Southwestern Oklahoma State University offers a master’s degree in educational administration in a webinar format.

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