Oklahoma State Department Of Education Alternative Certification – OBU now offers an 18-hour graduate certificate program that leads to an alternative teaching credential in the state of Oklahoma.
Beginning in January 2023, OBU will offer graduate courses leading to Oklahoma State Alternative Teaching Certification. The program includes 18 hours of coursework through six graduate-level courses taught entirely online for professionals looking for an alternative to classroom instruction at an elementary or high school level. The course focuses on the fundamentals of education, including classroom management, pedagogy and child development.
Oklahoma State Department Of Education Alternative Certification
The program takes one year to complete and financial aid is available. Courses provide professionals with important knowledge and skills as they meet Oklahoma State Department of Education alternative credentialing requirements. OBU received approval for the program from the Higher Education Commission in July.
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Courses start each January, June and August and new students can apply at any of these three starting points throughout the year. The program prepares students to successfully complete the required certification exams to become licensed teachers within the state. OBU’s university teaching applicants have an average success rate of 95% and the university strives to help teachers with alternative qualifications achieve similar success.
The program, called Alternative Certification and Credentialing for Elementary and Secondary Schools, or “ACCESS,” is hosted by the Henry F. McCabe Family School of Education. dr. Liz Justice, president and associate professor of education in the McCabe Family School of Education, and assistant professor of education Annie Keehn will serve as co-directors of the ACCESS program.
The program is in high demand. During the 2020-21 school year, there were 2,801 emergency certified teachers working in Oklahoma classrooms. An emergency certification is an annual instructor certification issued to an individual who has not yet obtained a certification qualification in a state-approved program. Districts may request emergency certification for a candidate only after all avenues have been exhausted to find a qualified individual for the open position.
In order to teach beyond the one year provided by an emergency qualification, teachers must obtain an alternative credential, a route to becoming a teacher for those who have not completed a university teacher education program. Once students meet the alternative certification requirements, they receive a standard Oklahoma teaching certificate and can teach indefinitely. This program helps bridge the gap for emergency credentialed educators to stay in the classroom long-term and provides beginning teachers with the opportunity to earn their credential much faster than earning a four-year degree.
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Those interested can apply online at /education. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in a non-teaching field, a completed online application, official academic transcripts, a resume, a statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation, one of which will be provided by the principal if the teacher is currently working in a K-12 school. .
Dr. Liz Justice, president and associate professor of education at the McCabe Family School of Education, is excited to see the impact this program will have on Oklahoma teachers. Before joining the OBU faculty in 2015, he spent 20 years of his career in public education.
“OBU’s alternative teaching certificate program expedites the path to the classroom for those who have entered or want to enter the teaching profession but do not have a degree,” Justice said. “The program offers emergency and alternative certified educators education focused on the theory and practice of education that they can immediately apply in their classrooms. The program is accelerated and allows candidates to complete all state course requirements within one academic year.
“Last year, there were almost 3,000 emergency room-certified teachers in the state of Oklahoma,” he said. “Teachers, administrators, and education stakeholders across the state need universities to provide courses in classroom, pedagogy, and child development to support teachers. OBU’s Alternative Educator Certificate Program will not only provide these educators with current, research-based practice, but will also support these educators as they pass the Oklahoma licensure exams.”
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Annie Keehn, Assistant Professor of Education and Co-Director of the ACCESS Program, is pleased to offer this opportunity to educators in Oklahoma. Before joining the OBU faculty in 2021, he worked for years as a teacher and administrator in public schools.
“We are excited to launch the ACCESS program because these teachers will have a positive impact on Oklahoma’s school children,” said Keehn. “School districts across the state will have more qualified teachers. For a record number of teachers pursuing alternative certification, the ACCESS program will prepare them to better meet the educational needs of their students. The OBU McCabe Family School of Education has a long history of preparing teachers to become school leaders, and we look forward to ACCESS educators continuing that tradition.” Oklahoma State Board of Education, shown here in an official screenshot. video live stream of Thursday morning’s meeting approved 254 more emergency certifications for people to teach in Oklahoma public school classrooms. Screenshot
The reliability of Oklahoma public schools to fill teaching vacancies with teachers who are not accredited for the position has reached a record high and is likely to rise this school year.
On Thursday, the Oklahoma State Board of Education approved 254 additional emergency teacher certifications for school districts that reported no certified candidates for hire.
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That brings them to 428 by the end of the year as of June 1, surpassing the previous state record of 3,321 from 2019-20.
State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister told the state board Thursday that many school districts said the Delta surge, which coincided with the back-to-school season, is facing some of the most serious challenges since the COVID-19 pandemic, including recruiting and other staffing issues. The epidemic began on the 19
Anecdotally, school officials say special education teacher positions are the most difficult to fill, but state law does not allow emergency certification of unqualified individuals for those positions.
According to data from the Oklahoma State Department of Education, the top three categories of emergency certificates issued so far for 2021-22 are elementary education, early childhood education and English language.
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A decade ago, requests for emergency credentials were rare, with only 32 emergency teacher credentials approved in 2011-12.
But as Oklahoma plunged into a statewide teacher shortage, school districts increasingly relied on underqualified new hires who hadn’t yet met state requirements for traditional or alternative certification.
Emergency certifications allow individuals with a bachelor’s degree to work as a teacher for up to three years before completing the education or training requirements for regular or alternative certification.
Of this year’s total number, there are 647 emergency certificates, of which 19% are renewals in the last year or two.
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A September analysis by the Tulsa World found another sign that the state’s teacher shortage is worsening. According to the Oklahoma Teacher Retirement System, teacher retirements have increased by nearly 38% year over year.
While 1,622 retired between May and August 2019 in the previous two summers and 1,600 during the same peak summer period in 2020, 2,205 Oklahoma teachers retired during the same summer months this year.
Many retired teachers in the school districts said the epidemic somehow crossed the line, and in many cases, years before they would have otherwise left the classroom.
Earlier this month, three former teachers who now serve as Oklahoma legislators held public study sessions at the state Capitol to explore what policy measures can help.
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Rep. John Waldron, D-Tulsa, who previously taught government at Booker T. Washington High School, focused on ways Oklahoma can use compensation, training and other supports to keep more teachers from leaving the state or the profession.
Rep. Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon, chairwoman of the House Public Education Committee, previously taught high school and college English. It examines whether new opportunities for efficiency and cost savings can be created for applicants in the state teacher certification process, and examines other states’ strategies for attracting and retaining teachers.
And Rep. Sherrie Conley, R-Newcastle, a former elementary school teacher and school district administrator, is exploring how “meaningful” training and professional development for teachers could help retain teachers.
Homes decorated for Halloween around Mapleridge in Tulsa, OK, on October 25, 2021. Stephen Pingry, The Tulsa World Stephen Pingry, The Tulsa World
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I am a project reporter who investigates key education topics and other local issues. Since joining the Tulsa World in 1999, I have won Oklahoma’s highest individual investigative reporting award three times. Phone: 918-581-8470
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