Career Development Program for Paraprofessionals to Become a Certified Teacher


Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. I am or have been a paraprofessional (teaching assistant) in an Oklahoma public school. How can I move forward to become a certified teacher?
  2. Once I receive a credential, what do I have to complete to move on to a standard certificate?

45. I am or have been a paraprofessional (teaching assistant) in an Oklahoma public school. How can I move forward to become a certified teacher?

You must meet the following requirements before applying for certification through the Paraprofessional Program:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university in any area.
  • Have at least one year of experience as a teaching assistant in a public school in the area for which a teaching license is being pursued.
  • Pass the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET), Oklahoma Professional Teaching Exam (OPTE), and pass at least one subject area test in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, OR Special Education
  • Two certificate areas are required to be the Special Education teacher of record.

Once the above requirements have been met, please submit the following:

  • Fingerprint cards and the $59 fee for a criminal history record search or, for faster and more accurate results, you may have your fingerprints laser-scanned at the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE), Room 212, 2500 North Lincoln Boulevard, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for a $59 processing fee. Fingerprints are scanned at the OSDE between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. For additional information refer to Fingerprint Information.
  • Application for Oklahoma Paraprofessional to Apply for Teaching Certificate (pdf)
  • $10.00 processing fee (check, cashier’s check or money order) made payable to the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
  • Official transcripts of all college work. Transcript must denote degree earned and the date degree was conferred.

Result: You will be issued a teaching credential valid for one year, renewable for up to three years.


46. Once I receive a credential, what do I have to complete to move on to a standard certificate?

Within three years, complete 12 semester hours of professional education coursework from an accredited institution of higher education which has an accredited program related to the certificate area sought. The 12 semester hours must include a minimum of 3 semester hours in reading instruction from a higher education program accredited by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation. The reading course must be approved by the Teacher Certification Section. Contact Teacher Certification  at (405) 511-3337 for information on the approved reading courses for the Paraprofessional Program.

Once the professional education requirements have been met, please submit the following:

  • Application for Oklahoma School Certificate (pdf)
  • $50.00 processing fee (check, cashier’s check or money order) made payable to the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
  • Official transcripts reflecting the professional education coursework completed

Result: You will be issued a standard certificate.

For a flow chart of this career development program for paraprofessionals, refer to Application for Oklahoma Paraprofessional to Apply for Teaching Certificate (pdf).

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Last updated on April 30, 2012