Traditional Certification General Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. What is required in order to obtain a traditional Oklahoma teaching credential?
  2. How do I obtain certification forms and applications?
  3. Do I have to be fingerprinted?
  4. What is the cost for electronically scanning my fingerprints or fingerprint cards to receive a report from the OSBI and FBI?
  5. What teacher tests are required for Oklahoma certification?
  6. How do I register for a teacher competency test?
  7. What is the cost of an Oklahoma teaching certificate?
  8. What does it cost to renew an Oklahoma teaching certificate?
  9. What does it cost for a retired teacher to renew a certificate?
  10. What certificate do you need to have as a first year special education teacher?
  11. What do I have to submit in order to apply for a school nurse certificate?
  12. What is meant by the term Specialist Certification?
  13. I completed a teacher education program through an Oklahoma institution of higher education but never applied for a certificate. How do I apply?
  14. If my college/university is recommending me for specific subject area(s), but I have tested in some additional subject area(s), will the additional subject area(s) done by testing be automatically added to my certificate?
  15. I hold an out-of-state credential. How do I get a certificate in Oklahoma?
  16. If I hold National Board Certification from out of state, can I become certified in Oklahoma?
  17. Does Oklahoma have certification agreements with any other states?
  18. How do I obtain an Oklahoma certificate if I graduated from an out-of-country university or if I am not a citizen of the United States?
  19. If I pass an additional teacher competency test, will the new subject area automatically be added to my certificate?
  20. If I want to become an administrator, how do I add principal or superintendent to my Oklahoma credential?
  21. How do I add an advanced degree to my certificate?
  22. How do I request that my certificate reflect a name change or an address change?
  23. How do I obtain a duplicate of my Oklahoma teaching credential?
  24. Do I have to be in compliance with Oklahoma state income tax laws to renew my Oklahoma teaching credential?

1. What is required in order to obtain a traditional Oklahoma teaching credential?

The Oklahoma State Board of Education shall issue a certificate to teach to any person who:

  • Graduated from an accredited institution of higher education that has an approved teacher education program for the certification area sought;
  • Successfully completed a higher education teacher education program approved by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP);
  • Meets all other requirements as established by the Oklahoma State Board of Education;
  • Successfully passed the three required competency examinations; and
  • Has on file with the Oklahoma State Board of Education a current clear Oklahoma criminal history record search from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation as well as a current clear national criminal history record search from the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Has made application to Teacher Certification and submitted the appropriate processing fee

OR

Note: If you have not completed a teacher education degree program, refer to Oklahoma Teacher Certification Procedures (pdf).

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2. How do I obtain certification forms and applications?

Forms and applications are available online at www.ok.gov/sde, or you may direct your inquiries to:

Oklahoma State Department of Education
Teacher Certification Section
2500 North Lincoln Boulevard, #212
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105-4599
(405) 521-3337


3. Do I have to be fingerprinted?

Oklahoma law requires applicants for initial teacher certification to have on file with the Oklahoma State Board of Education a current Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprint-based criminal history record search (70 O.S. 6-190). It does not apply to renewals. For additional information refer to Fingerprint Information.


4. What is the cost for electronically scanning my fingerprints or fingerprint cards to receive a report from the OSBI and FBI?

The cost is $59 for both the required OSBI and FBI criminal history record search. Submit 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.


5. What teacher tests are required for Oklahoma certification?

The Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP), a separate agency of state government, is authorized by law to develop and administer the competency-based teacher tests. Three tests are currently required for Oklahoma teacher certification. The three tests are:

  • the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET)
  • the Oklahoma Subject Area Test(s) (OSAT)
  • the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination (OPTE)

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6. How do I register for a teacher competency test?

Inquiries regarding registration for teacher testing should be directed to the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP), the agency with statutory authority for administering the teacher tests. You may contact the OCTP at:

Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation
3545 Northwest 58th Street, Suite 200
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73112
(405) 525-2612


7. What is the cost of an Oklahoma teaching certificate?
Effective July 1, 2009

Standard Certificate – valid for five years ................................................ $50
Provisional – valid for two years ............................................................. $50


8. What does it cost to renew an Oklahoma teaching certificate?
Effective July 1, 2009

Renewal of a Standard Certificate – valid for five years ........................... $50

You may submit an Online Renewal Application to expedite the renewal process or if you prefer, submit the Application for Renewal of Oklahoma Standard Certificate (pdf) form by mail to the Oklahoma State Department of Education along with a $50 processing fee (check, cashier's check or money order) made payable to the Oklahoma State Department of Education.


9. What does it cost for a retired teacher to renew a certificate?

Retired teachers pay the same renewal fees as any other teacher. See question above for renewal fees.


10. What certificate do you need to have as a first year special education teacher?

Special Education teachers new to the profession after December 3, 2004, are required to have a Special Education certificate AND an appropriate certificate in Early Childhood OR Elementary Education OR Middle or Secondary Education in Math OR Science OR Language Arts.

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11. What do I have to submit in order to apply for a school nurse certificate?

If you have a Registered Nurse’s License and a bachelor’s degree in any area, you may be issued a five-year standard certificate.

If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, but have an associate’s degree or diploma from a school of nursing (3 years), you may be issued a five-year provisional certificate. You will have 10 years from the initial issuance to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Please submit the following:

  • Application for Oklahoma School Certificate (pdf).
  • Copy of current Oklahoma Registered Nurse’s License.
  • Official transcripts of all college work. Transcript must denote degree earned and the date degree was conferred.
  • $50 processing fee (check, cashier’s check, or money order) made payable to the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
  • Submit fingerprint cards and a $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.

12. What is meant by the term Specialist Certification?

Specialist certification (library-media specialist, school counselor, school psychometrist, school psychologist, speech-language pathologist, and reading specialist) requires a graduate degree and completion of a program approved by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation. Application for certification in the specialist areas listed above should be initiated through the director of teacher education at the recommending higher education institution.


13. I completed a teacher education program through an Oklahoma institution of higher education but never applied for a certificate. How do I apply?

Contact the higher education certification office at your university for a certification recommendation. Refer to Higher Education Teacher Certification Office Contact List.


14. If my college/university is recommending me for specific subject area(s), but I have tested in some additional subject area(s), will the additional subject area(s) done by testing be automatically added to my certificate?

When the university recommendation is completed online, you will be prompted to add the area(s) tested, at no additional charge. This applies only to areas eligible to be added by test only with no additional program requirements.


15. I hold an out-of-state credential. How do I get a certificate in Oklahoma?

If you hold a full teaching credential in any state, you are eligible for provisional certification in equivalent subject areas with the possibility of having to take Oklahoma tests.

Please submit the following materials to the Teacher Certification Section of the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

  • Application for Oklahoma School Certificate (pdf)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities. Transcript must denote degree earned and the date degree was conferred.
  • Proof of Teaching (pdf) form and copy of teaching certificate valid during dates of experience listed, if applicable.
  • Copy of all teaching certificates. (Copy the back if it holds any valid information.)
  • A $50 processing fee (check, cashier’s check, or money order) made payable to the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
  • Submit fingerprint cards and a $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.

You will be issued a provisional certificate in order to complete the Oklahoma testing requirements (general education, subject area(s), and professional education competency examination). You will also be required to complete one year of successful employment in an Oklahoma accredited school, college or university.

If you have passed teacher test(s) in another state, you may request a review of these test(s) for comparability to Oklahoma tests by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP). They will determine if any of the out-of-state tests are comparable and inform the Teacher Certification Section which test(s) are acceptable. For more information you may contact the OCTP at http://www.ok.gov/octp and search for Teacher Certification.

Note: You will not be issued a five year standard until all test requirements have been met and one year of successful employment has been completed and verified.

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16. If I hold National Board Certification from out of state, can I become certified in Oklahoma?

A provisional certificate in the subject of the out of state certificate, not the National Board Subject, may be issued if you hold a full certificate issued by another state. See question 15 for information for out-of-state applicants.


17. Does Oklahoma have certification agreements with any other states?

Yes. A list of participating states/jurisdictions is available at http://www.NASDTEC.org/. Refer to the Status Report of States/Jurisdictions that have signed certification contracts with Oklahoma. The terms of these agreements are limited to educator preparation program requirements. Please contact individual states regarding ancillary requirements (minimum grade point average, standardized testing, mentoring experience, or graduation from an accredited institution).

Also, if you hold a full credential in any state, you are eligible for Oklahoma certification in equivalent subject areas. You must meet Oklahoma testing requirements and complete one year of successful employment at an Oklahoma accredited school, college or university for standard certification. For specific information regarding Oklahoma certification based on an out-of-state certificate, refer to Out-of-State Applicants.


18. How do I obtain an Oklahoma certificate if I graduated from an out-of-country university or if I am not a citizen of the United States?

To apply for an Oklahoma certificate if you graduated out-of-country or are not a United States citizen, submit the following documents:

  • Official copy of your college transcript and foreign credential evaluation. Transcript must denote degree earned and the date degree was conferred. Transcripts and credentials from outside the United States must be analyzed by one of the state-approved educational credential evaluation services. For a list of evaluating service agencies, refer to Evaluation of Foreign Credentials (pdf). (The credential evaluation service will submit their evaluation directly to the State Department of Education.)
  • Copy of Social Security card.
  • Current employment authorization document.
  • An Application for Oklahoma School Certificate (pdf).
  • Submit 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.
  • Submit all documents together.

Note: The expiration date of your teaching certificate will not exceed the expiration date of your employment authorization document.


19. If I pass an additional teacher competency test, will the new subject area automatically be added to my certificate?

No, additional areas are not added automatically. You must apply to have the additional area(s) added to your certification. When you pass a new subject area test (other than the exception area tests listed below) log-on to your teacher account or create a teacher account and apply to add the test you passed. (Click here to create an account or log on to your existing account.) The other option is to submit an Application for Adding Areas to Certificate by Testing (pdf) and a $25 processing fee (check, cashier’s check, or money order) made payable to the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Exception: By law, Effective November 1, 2009, the areas of Early Childhood, Elementary Education, and Special Education may not be added by only testing. The applicant must complete a full university program, receive a recommendation from the certification officer at the university and pass the appropriate subject-area test.

Exception: Specialist certification (library-media specialist, school counselor, school psychometrist, school psychologist, speech-language pathologist, and reading specialist) may not be added by only testing. The applicant must complete a full university program, receive a recommendation from the certification officer at the university and pass the appropriate subject-area test.

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20. If I want to become an administrator, how do I add principal or superintendent to my Oklahoma credential?

Oklahoma has two options for obtaining certification as a principal or superintendent. Option one is Traditional Administrator Certification, and option two is Alternative Administrator Certification. To view a flow-chart explaining each program, refer to Administrator Certification Requirement Chart (pdf).


21. How do I add an advanced degree to my certificate?

Submit a Request Form (pdf) and an official transcript to the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Transcript must denote degree earned and the date degree was conferred. If you want a new certificate printed reflecting the degree change, submit a $25 processing fee (check, cashier’s check, or money order) made payable to the Oklahoma State Department of Education.


22. How do I request that my certificate reflect a name change or an address change?

Submit a Request Form (pdf) with the name/address change and a copy of your signed Social Security Card with the correct name. If you want a new certificate printed reflecting the name change, submit a $25 processing fee (check, cashier’s check, or money order) made payable to the Oklahoma State Department of Education. You may also update your address by clicking Create or Log into your account. Name changes cannot be made online.


23. How do I obtain a duplicate of my Oklahoma teaching credential?

Submit a Request Form (pdf) and a $25 processing fee (check, cashier’s check, or money order) made payable to the Oklahoma State Department of Education. You can also request a duplicate by clicking Create or Log into your account.  


24. Do I have to be in compliance with Oklahoma state income tax laws to renew my Oklahoma teaching credential?

Yes. In order to renew an Oklahoma credential, Oklahoma law requires the educator to be in compliance with the Oklahoma tax laws. The Oklahoma Tax Commission will notify the Oklahoma State Department of Education of noncompliance with Oklahoma income tax laws. (68 O.S. 6-190)

Note: The effective date of the renewed credential will be the date the Oklahoma Tax Commission notifies the Oklahoma State Department of Education of your compliance.

The Oklahoma Tax Commission can be reached at (405) 522-6800.

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Last updated on April 28, 2014