The Professional Education Unit (PEU) at Oklahoma State University includes academic programs in the College of Education, the College of Agriculture, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Human Environmental Sciences. In addition, the PEU works closely with the Graduate College on teacher certification programs at the masters and doctoral level, as well as programs for which “graduate special” students seek enrollment.
The PEU at Oklahoma State University works closely with several external agents in assuring the highest quality within each program. These external agents include the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSHRE), the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP), and the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE). While these external agents seek to work closely with each other, there are continuous changes in policies, procedures and requirements. Legislation also affects program requirements.
The Offices of Student Academic Services and Professional Education in the College of Education, on behalf of the PEU, have prepared the following material to assist in the communication of information relative to the PEU programs.
Admission to the PEU
Application for Admission to Professional Education.
The Application for Admission to Professional Education is an online form that you will fill out with your advisor. This is the application that sets you on a path to teacher certification. All students seeking certification must fill this out, even if you are a graduate student seeking an Advanced Certificate (Principal, School Counselor, School Library Media Specialist, etc.).
This application must be submitted before students can enroll in Professional Education coursework. This application initiates the process for students considering degrees in programs offered within the PEU or for those students seeking recommendation for certification in a teaching field upon graduation from Oklahoma State University. Additionally, students in other colleges must meet with the Teacher Certification Specialist for an evaluation of certification requirements to be completed for licensure.
Once a student makes initial application for admission to OSU's PEU, he or she is encouraged to review two certification requirements discussed later in this information. Those requirements are (1) proficiency in a foreign language, and (2) a professional portfolio.
Among the changes in the policy implemented by the OCTP are requirements which vary from student to student depending upon dates of initial enrollment in college and anticipated date of graduation. Because these factors can be quite complex, the requirements are discussed in some detail.
Demonstrate satisfactory basic skills in mathematics, reading and writing.
All applicants for admission to the PEU must demonstrate the following...
1. Achieve a passing score at the level required by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation for state certification on the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET).
- OSU recommends taking the OGET at the completion of 45-60 hours of coursework.
- Applications for OGET are available online at www.ceoe.nesinc.com.
- Minimum required score for OGET is 240
Pass a Foundations of Education course with a grade of "C" or higher
Appropriate "Foundations" courses are listed on the certification check sheet and vary from program to program. Advisors can assist with the determination of the appropriate course for each student's program. This course must be passed with a minimum grade of "C."
Pass a laboratory or field experience (observation) course with a minimum grade of "P" or a "C."
Appropriate "laboratory and field experience" courses are listed on the certification check sheet and vary from program to program. Advisors can assist with the determination of the appropriate course for each degree program. This course must be passed with a minimum grade of "P" or a "C."
Earn and maintain at least a 2.50 grade point average in all courses for full admission.
Oklahoma State University reports several different "grade point averages" on a transcript. Students should discuss these various GPAs with advisors. Each GPA may be based on different hours or different courses. Each GPA may be affected by repeated courses or courses not permitted for use in degree programs. To achieve full admission, a minimum 2.50 cumulative ("graduation/retention") GPA required.
Once a candidate is fully admitted to the PEU, the grade point requirements increase in detail. To remain in "good standing" in the PEU, the student must maintain:
- A 2.50 overall ("graduation/retention") GPA, and
- A 2.50 GPA in major requirements with no grade below "C" or "P," (Except for Secondary Education English which requires a 2.75 GPA) and
- A 2.50 GPA in Professional Education and College/Departmental requirements with no grade below "C" or "P".
In addition, students in the PEU must achieve these grade point requirements to be eligible to complete their student teaching experience. The student teaching experience is discussed in more detail later.
The OCTP requires candidates pursuing initial certification and licensure in Oklahoma to present professional portfolios as a portion of their professional documentation. As a result, Oklahoma State University is required to include professional portfolios as a portion of the accreditation requirement during program review. Consequently the Oklahoma State University Professional Education Council passed a resolution that requires candidates in professional education to submit a professional portfolio for review at three checkpoints during their academic career.
Who must complete a portfolio? All candidates in the PEU within the following categories must complete a portfolio.
- Candidates who are freshmen entering college for the first time as of Fall 1997 or later.
- Candidates who are already enrolled in college prior to Fall 1997 and who are fully admitted to an accredited teacher education program during or after Fall 1997 and who will graduate after September 1, 1999.
- Candidates who already have a college degree, but who are seeking initial Oklahoma licensure and who were fully admitted to an accredited teach education program during or after Fall 1997.
- Candidates holding valid Oklahoma certificates and seeking to add an advanced certification are also required to complete a portfolio.
Individual programs within the PEU may require the portfolio within the respective program requirements. In all cases where program requirements are more specific than those of the PEU, advisors and faculty members will inform students of those requirements.
The OCTP requires that the portfolio be introduced into the program at an early point and become an integral part of the program. The portfolios are expected to demonstrate the range of experiences provided by the OSU professional education program. Early integration is achieved by making the portfolio a part of the admission interview process.
Those students who must prepare a Professional Portfolio as part of their requirements are encouraged to read the portfolio handbook on-line at: http://education.okstate.edu/peu/portfolio
Initiating this portfolio early in the application process is important. The first submission in the portfolio process occurs near the point of admission to the Professional Education program. The handbook further describes the evaluation process and additional submissions in the portfolio component.
Clinical practice internship is the second submission in the portfolio process. The portfolio presentation affords students the opportunity to demonstrate the progress they have made through their coursework and field experiences. Since clinical practice is the capstone of professional education experience, it provides many opportunities to enhance the portfolio and demonstration of the 15 Oklahoma General Competencies at an acceptable level.
The final submission for the professional education candidate is the application for licensure. A signed form from the respective program faculty verifying portfolio completion is required before OSU can make a recommendation to the State Department of Education for licensure.
At each submission there are provisions for completing a plan of improvement and resubmitting portfolios found to be insufficient. Upon graduation, the portfolio may continue to be an important document for professional educators.
Portfolios should be kept up to date since candidates must make their portfolios available for review with one week's notice from a representative of OSU's PEU. This circumstance is likely to occur during academic program review and accreditation review.
Foreign Language Proficiency
The OCTP and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education have established policies requiring all candidates for degrees in professional education programs to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language at the "novice-high" level. "Novice-high" is a specific competency defined by the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages. This competency is further defined as being novice-high in communication (speaking and listening) skills in a single foreign language:
Who must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language at the novice-high level? This requirement is placed upon candidates in professional education programs, but is dependent upon a number of factors. The following candidates must successfully demonstrate competency at the novice-high level in a single foreign language:
- Candidates who are freshman entering college for the first time beginning in the Fall 1997 or later.
- Candidates who already have a college degree, but who are seeking initial Oklahoma licensure and who were fully admitted to an accredited teacher education program during or after Fall 1997.
Students seeking to transfer between institutions of higher education in Oklahoma should request information on how novice-high proficiency is determined and documented on each campus under consideration.
While individual degree plans may include a foreign language component, successful completion of courses in a foreign language DOES NOT document proficiency in a foreign language as defined by the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages. As a result, the OSU Professional Education Council has established the following ways in which a student may attain documented novice-high competency:
- The candidate who wishes to be tested in a language may choose, at personal expense, to successfully complete the Oral Proficiency Interview developed by the American Council on theTeaching of Foreign Languages, or
- The candidate may complete two years of high school coursework in a single foreign language with grades of "B" or better (from a State Department of Education approved high school program), or
- The candidate may complete one course, five or more credit hours (or transcripted equivalent), in a single foreign language from an accredited college or university with a grade of "C" or better, or
- The candidate may meet the requirement by transfer of documentation of meeting the foreign language competency from one of the teacher education programs in the State of Oklahoma approved by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
Students whose native language is other than English may document proficiency in English as their second language with a score of 550 or more on the Test of English as a Foreign Language.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education require that all students entering college in Oklahoma as of the Fall 1998 must meet specific computer competencies. These competencies are defined in the Priority Academic Student Skills (P.A.S.S.). Oklahoma State University has incorporated these competencies into all academic programs. Students who begin as freshman at OSU and complete their academic programs at OSU are assured of meeting this requirement.
Other institutions in the state may meet the Regent's computer proficiency requirement in various ways. Students transferring from one institution to another should check with their respective advisors as to the fulfillment of the computer proficiency requirements.
The Clinical Practice Internship requires Full Admission to the PEU. "Intent for Clinical Practice Internship" meetings are scheduled early each Fall and Spring. Announcements of dates, times and locations are made by several means including class announcements and postings at various locations around campus. In addition, individual academic counselors have the information for their respective advisees. Further information on these meetings is available on the homepage for the PEU at the following address: http://education.okstate.edu/peu/field
Candidates must attend the "Intent for Clinical Practice Internship" meetings one semester prior to their anticipated semester of clinical practice. Applications for clinical practice are available on line at links with the above homepages. Complete information on clinical practice is distributed at the "Intent for Clinical Practice Internship" meeting. International opportunities are available for completing this requirement in some programs.
Licensure and Certification
Licensure and certification of teachers is the responsibility of the OCTP and the Oklahoma State Department of Education. However, Oklahoma State University is a partner in the preparation of professional personnel for the school systems in Oklahoma, first, and in other states as well when OSU graduates seek employment outside Oklahoma.
Individuals who complete an approved certification program through OSU and move to other states will receive assistance from OSU's Office of Professional Education. Professional Education Staff will assist the individual as he or she applies for licensure or certification in those respective states. Some states have full articulation with Oklahoma's requirements, while others may have requirements that vary somewhat from those in Oklahoma.
The candidate should make application for Licensure/Certification once all requirements are complete. This application should be submitted once the Office of Professional Education has given approval and notified the candidate of such.
Applicants are also required to undergo a federal background check prior to receiving an Oklahoma certificate. The Office of Professional Education assists candidates in completing this requirement.
Licensure and certification is based on proficiency and competency. Proficiency and competency are documented by examination rather than by credit hours and grade points earned. As a result, candidates who consider adding teaching area(s) to an existing certificate may find that passing specific subject area tests will satisfy the competency requirements. Oklahoma State University's PEU strongly encourages candidates to complete supporting courses prior to taking examinations in subject areas.
Certification Examinations for Oklahoma Educators
Licensure and certification in Oklahoma requires the candidate to pass three separate sets of tests (OGET, OSAT, & OPTE). These tests are administered under the direction of the OCTP and the Oklahoma State Department of Education. OSU's PEU provides support to assist the candidate in meeting deadlines for filing applications and understanding the testing process. Professional Education Services will assist the candidate in determining readiness for specific tests.
Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET)
- The Oklahoma General Education Test is designed to asses the state core general education knowledge and skills. The OGET includes assessment of competencies in grammar, composition, reading, interpretation and other communication. It also includes strong assessment in mathematics, history, and sciences.
- The OGET is required for full admission to Professional Education of all students completing a Professional Education program.
- Students should plan to take the OGET upon completion of 45 to 60 semester hours. This typically occurs during the first two years of college. Since the OGET is designed to assess general education, the student should be near the completion of all general education hours.
Oklahoma Subject Area Tests (OSAT)
- Those candidates seeking licensure or certification in Oklahoma must take the appropriate certification test(s) in order to be certified. Test information and registration books are available in 325 Willard and on line at http://www.ceoe.nesinc.com.
- The OCTP defines the certification fields for which individual OSAT tests have been developed. Candidates may have to take several tests to demonstrate proficiency as required prior to certification and licensure.
OSU recommends candidates take the OSAT when the following criteria are met:
- Have successfully completed at least 90 semester credit hours toward an undergraduate degree.
- Have Full Admission to Professional Education and be in good standing within the PEU.
- Have passed the test in the respective primary certificate area if the candidate is testing for additional areas.
Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination (OPTE)
- The OPTE is designed to assess professional knowledge and skills needed by entry level Oklahoma Educators.
- It is recommended that students take the OPTE during their final (clinical practice) semester since this is the time when most or all of professional education course work will be completed.
Candidates may register for certification examination by mail or internet. Materials to register by mail are available in 325 Willard; On-line registration is available at www.ceoe.nesinc.com. Further details are available in the Registration Bulletin available in 325 Willard.
Since different agencies are responsible for different areas, the requirements for certification and the requirements for graduation are not necessarily the same. Students must meet all academic requirements for graduation in order to receive the degree and the respective diploma. OSU acknowledges its responsibility to prepare graduates to meet state certification requirements in Oklahoma. Academic success and test proficiency for certification or licensure may differ.