Professional Education Unit
Officers of the Professional Education Council
John Romans, PhD —Dean and Executive Director of Professional Education
Robin Fuxa, PhD—Director of Professional Education
The College of Education, Health and Aviation coordinates all professional education programs offered at Oklahoma State University. All programs are operated in collaboration with the colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Arts and Sciences, Human Sciences and the Graduate College. The Dean of the College of Education, Health and Aviation serves as the Executive Director of the Professional Education Unit (PEU). The Professional Education Council has been established as the governance and oversight structure for the Professional Education Unit. The Unit has a mission statement, goals and a strategic plan that guide the operation of its programs.
Professional Education Unit Core Values
The underlying structure of the unit is articulated through its conceptual framework that guides the direction of programs, teaching practices, candidate performance, faculty scholarship, and service. The core values of the conceptual framework emphasize leadership, ethics and professionalism, academics and professional roles, diversity and service orientation/community outreach. (L.E.A.D.S.)
The PEU prepares candidates who are committed to the belief that professional educators who provide quality education are the foundation of a prosperous and democratic society.
Ethics and Professionalism
The PEU prepares candidates who demonstrate ethical and professional behavior in their interactions with students, families, colleagues and communities and practice social justice.
Academic and Professional Roles
The PEU provides opportunities to prepare knowledgeable candidates who reflect upon the connections between academics and their professional roles.
PEU prepares candidates who believe everyone deserves the opportunity to learn and can learn; they possess knowledge, skills, and dispositions to serve as effective professionals who understand and meet the needs of a diverse society. (See Professional Education Diversity policy for more information: https://education.okstate.edu/site-files/im-files/peu/peu_policy_statements.pdf.)
Service Orientation/Community Outreach
The PEU prepares candidates who value and engage in service and meaningful involvement of the learner/client and their families, as well as their school and their community.
All Professional Education programs are administered by the Dean of the College of Education, Health and Aviation and are coordinated through the Office of Professional Education. Upon completion of an approved program or degree, passing the appropriate Certification Examinations for Oklahoma Educators (CEOE), and the recommendation of the University, the candidate will be eligible for certification to serve in Oklahoma schools. All candidates completing an approved program or applying for an initial or advanced certificate are subject to all rules and regulations specified by the OSU Professional Education Unit, the Oklahoma State Board of Education and the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability (OEQA). State-mandated changes in teacher certification may result in additional requirements for certification.
Certification programs are offered at various levels in the College of Education, Health and Aviation as well as in the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Arts and Sciences, and Human Sciences, but all require earning at least a bachelor’s degree for recommendation for a standard certificate. Each candidate (regardless of level or college) seeking recommendation for certification from OSU through a Professional Education program must make formal application to do so using the “Application for Admission to Professional Education” and must meet the admission standards specified. Graduate programs leading to the master’s degree, the education specialist degree, and both the Doctor of Education and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees are offered in several areas. In addition, we offer pathways for non-traditional routes to certification in some certification areas. Professional Education programs at Oklahoma State University are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) (formerly NCATE) and the OEQA.
Information regarding all Professional Education policies and practices may be obtained from the Office of Professional Education or the College of Education, Health and Aviation website. Inquiries concerning any aspect of Professional Education programs at Oklahoma State University should be addressed to the head of the School or Department offering the program or the Office of Professional Education, 325 Willard.
The Unit prepares educator candidates with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for a wide range of certification and teaching areas. There are increasing employment opportunities in business, industry and state and federal agencies for persons with strong preparation in education specialties.
Undergraduate Initial Teaching Certification Programs
Elementary Level (PK-8) Programs
- Early Childhood Education (PK-3)
- Elementary Education (1-8)
Elementary/Secondary Level (PK-12) Programs
- Art Education
- Foreign Language (French, German, Spanish)
- Physical Education/Health/Safety
Secondary Level Programs
- Agriculture Education
- Secondary English
- Secondary Mathematics
- Secondary Science
- Secondary Social Studies
- Career and Technical Education
- Family and Consumer Sciences
Graduate Initial Teaching Certification Programs
Master's of Arts in Teaching
- Elementary Education option
- Math Education option
- Science Education option
Advanced Level Certification Programs
- Elementary Math Specialist
- Principal (Elementary/Middle/Secondary) - Standard
- Reading Specialist
- School Counselor
- School Library Media Specialist
- School Psychologist
- Special Education (Mild-Moderate Disabilities)-MS degree for those who already hold initial certification in another area
- Speech/Language Pathologist
Non-Traditional Certification Paths
- Principal (Elementary/Middle/Secondary) - Alternative
- Secondary Education (6-12) Initial Certification at the MS level
- Special Education (Mild-Moderate Disabilities) – Non-Traditional Route to Special Education Teacher Certification (Grades P-12)
Professional Education Dispositions
Following is a list of professional dispositions all pre-service teachers should exhibit in coursework, field experiences and student teaching: ethics, commitment to student learning, respect for diversity, professionalism, professional growth, communication and advocacy (further description and assessment tool available on the Professional Education website). Faculty of Professional Education and specialization courses will assess candidates throughout the program. Candidates evaluated below target on dispositional assessments will be offered remediation and their placement in PEU field experiences/clinical practice is not guaranteed.
Admission to Professional Education
The criteria for admission to Professional Education programs are based on University-wide policies recommended by the Executive Director of Professional Education through the Professional Education Council. Requirements are applicable to all Professional Education administrative units of the colleges preparing educators. Students should submit an Application for Admission to Professional Education form to the Professional Education Unit as early as possible in their programs. The candidate is not considered a fully-eligible participant in a Professional Education program until formally admitted to the Professional Education Unit.
Full admission is required to enroll in the restricted courses in teaching methods and the clinical practice internship.
Criteria for Admission to Undergraduate Professional Education Programs
The student must meet all of the following criteria to be fully admitted to Professional Education:
- Orientation to Professional Education Course and Field Experiences. An appropriate orientation to Professional Education course must be completed with a grade of "C" or better. One semester credit hour of early field experiences must be completed with a grade of "C" or better or grade of "P."
- Basic Skills Competency. Basic skills competency must be demonstrated by successful completion of the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET).
- Minimum cumulative overall GPA of 2.50 or higher as specified by the individual program. The minimum cumulative overall GPA must be earned based on no fewer than 40 credit hours of courses to include lower-division general education requirements as specified in the student's program.
Criteria for Admission to Graduate (post-baccalaureate) Professional Education Programs
Graduate (post-baccalaureate) students must complete the Application for Admission to Professional Education form. Post-baccalaureate candidates must meet one of the following criteria for full admission to Professional Education:
- The student must have completed an approved Professional Education program and hold a valid Oklahoma certificate or Provisional, Standard, or Professional Certificate; or a valid certificate from a state with which the Oklahoma State Department of Education has an interstate contract. The certificate or Provisional, Standard, or Professional Certificate must have included successful completion of (a) one semester credit hour of early field experiences with a grade of "C" or better or a grade of "P" and (b) an orientation to professional education course with a grade of "C" or better or a grade of "P." If the graduate student does not hold a valid credential and did not successfully complete the criteria listed above, he or she must meet 2 or 3.
- Students in a Master's program must satisfy the departmental requirements for unqualified admission to the Master's degree program:
- have a minimum cumulative overall GPA of at least 2.50 or higher as specified by the individual program;
- complete one semester credit hour of early field experiences with a grade of "C" or better or a grade of "P," and
- complete an orientation to Professional Education course with a grade of "C" or better or a grade of "P" and receive a passing score on the OGET.
- Students classified by the Graduate College as "special" or "provisionally admitted" must:
- (a) have a minimum cumulative overall GPA of at least 2.50 or higher as specified by the individual program; and
- (b) complete one semester credit hour of early field experiences and an orientation to Professional Education course with a grade of "C" or better or a grade of "P" and receive a passing score on the OGET.
Candidates in Professional Education are required to submit a professional portfolio for review and approval at designated checkpoints prior to certification. Details of the portfolio are available in the Professional Education Student Handbook (http://education.okstate.edu/peu).
Transfer students must work toward meeting the criteria for full admission to Professional Education established by Oklahoma State University as soon as possible during the first semester at OSU. It may be possible to transfer admission from another Oklahoma institution. For information see the OSU site http://education.okstate.edu/peu or contact the Office of Professional Education.
Retention in Professional Education
For participation in all courses requiring full admission to and for continued acceptability in the Professional Education unit, an undergraduate candidate must maintain a grade-point average required for graduation of at least 2.50 or 2.75 depending on the program. If this GPA falls below 2.50/2.75, the candidate is placed on probation. When the required graduation GPA is raised above 2.50/2.75, the candidate is removed from probation. If the candidate fails to meet the graduation GPA requirement in that probationary semester or fails to have at least a 2.50/2.75 GPA for that semester, the candidate will be suspended from the Professional Education Unit. A candidate not satisfying the probation requirements at the end of the semester following the initial probationary semester will be administratively withdrawn from the Professional Education Unit and all courses having full admission as a prerequisite. Readmission to the Professional Education Unit will require a new application. advisers are available to assist the candidate in regularly reviewing continuing retention or reinstatement in Professional Education programs. A retention review prior to enrollment and again prior to the beginning of classes each semester is encouraged when continuing retention is in question.
Graduate students, including those classified as graduate special students, admitted to the Professional Education unit must meet and maintain the requirements of the Graduate College to remain in good academic standing. This will require that graduate candidates earn and maintain a 3.00 GPA at Oklahoma State University following admission to Professional Education.
It is important for candidates to recognize the importance of milestones (admission requirements, testing, portfolio, etc.), professionalism and dispositions as non-negotiable requirements in Oklahoma State Statutes and national accreditation requirements. Program area faculty, advisers, and PEU staff are available to assist candidates through remediation opportunities as needed.
Foreign Language Proficiency
Candidates in Professional Education programs may be required to document competency in a foreign language at the novice high-level.
In Oklahoma, a program completer is defined as a person who has met all the requirements of an accredited educator preparation program. Program completers include all those who are documented as having met such requirements. OSU requirements include a degree, program credentials as documented on a transcript and written proof of having met the program's requirements which include successful completion of all certification examinations and a professional portfolio. The certification check sheets are available at http://education.okstate.edu/peu/certification and detail requirements for each certification area.
Background Check for Field Placements
In alignment with Oklahoma state statutes and administrative code (OS §70-6-190, OS §70-3-104, OAC 210:20-9-98), the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Professional Education Unit (PEU) requires a state level background check (name check) on ALL non-certified candidates prior to placement in any field experience or clinical practice. The candidate is responsible for associated fees, which may vary depending on in-state or out-of-state student status. The PEU may request an updated background check as needed. While we make every effort to place candidates in the best possible field experience or clinical practice situation, school districts do review background checks and past criminal history in terms of their own policies and may decline hosting a particular candidate for field experiences or clinical practice. (In most cases this would be an Oklahoma check, however, in the case of an out-of-state transfer student it could be a check from their originating state.) This process if facilitated by the Office of Professional Education (325 Willard).
Diverse Placement in Field Experiences
Since OSU is a land-grant institution, we are particularly proud of partnering with Oklahoma public schools. Candidates will experience diverse placements in a variety of settings (rural, urban, and suburban), varied school community socio-economics, and experiences with diverse groups of students. Previous clinical/field experiences will be considered when determining the internship placement. See the Professional Education Diversity Statement for clarification: http://education.okstate.edu/peu/diversity.
Data on all field experience and clinical practice placements is maintained by the Professional Education Unit and Assistant Director of Assessment. Initial and Advanced certification programs work directly with the Coordinator of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice to best serve candidates and our partnering school districts with research-based experiences. Placements are based on the following criteria:
- OSU must have a contractual agreement with the participating school district,
- the Principal and the Mentor Teacher/Educator must be in agreement about the placement,
- the Mentor Teacher/Educator must meet established criteria to work with a candidate,
- a qualified OSU Supervisor must be available for travel to that site, and
- a program Faculty recommendation for clinical practice (based on academics, field experiences, and dispositions).
Clinical Practice Requirements
In order to participate in clinical practice, all teacher candidates must complete the Clinical Practice Internship Application during the prior semester. Clinical practice information including the Clinical Practice Application link is available in the PEU Student Handbook. In addition, the link to the Clinical Practice Application will be sent to all candidates enrolled in a Professional Education course with a pre-internship field observation. Music and Physical Education students who have completed pre-internship requirements will also receive the link. Candidates must submit their on-line applications electronically prior to specific dates in September and February. For placement in Spring semester clinical practice, the Clinical Practice Application must be submitted by the third Wednesday in September by 5 pm, and for placement in Fall semester clinical practice the Clinical Practice Application must be submitted by the third Wednesday in February by 5 pm. Candidates must complete submissions 1 and 2 of the portfolio, pass all required certification tests, and complete all required coursework with the specified GPAs before a placement will be sought. Candidates will be notified by e-mail of their placements after the Professional Education staff has received confirmation from the cooperating schools.
Candidates should not meet with teachers or principals in an attempt to establish their own placement. The following guidelines should be considered when listing your placement preferences in the space provided on the application:
- Public Schools: All internships occur in public schools.
- Placement in Diverse and Geographic Settings: Candidates will experience diverse placements: a variety of settings (rural, urban, and suburban), varied school community socio-economics, and experiences with diverse groups of students. Previous clinical/field experiences will be considered when determining the internship placement.
- Professional Experiences: Candidates will be placed in a location where professional experiences can develop. You will not be placed in a school where your children attend, a relative is employed, or you have developed personal relationships. In addition, candidates will likely not be placed in a school system from which they attended.
- Finances: Finances cannot be considered when determining the internship placement.
- Out of Area/State Placements: Out-of-area/out-of-state placements are rare and only granted in extreme cases. To request an out-of-area/out-of/state placement, refer to the policy on the OSU Professional Education website. Note that the intern must appeal to the Field Experiences Committee for consideration, and, if granted, the intern bears all financial responsibility associated with placement, travel to on-campus meetings, supervision and fees charged by a cooperating institution. Some programs facilitate international student teaching; check with your program for details.
NOTE: Check with your program area for information about any additional placement requirements for your certification area prior to completing your application.
Criteria for clinical practice placement for all Professional Education candidates are:
- Continued full admission to a program in the Professional Education unit (see "Retention in Professional Education" on the previous page);
- A current overall grade-point average of at least 2.50 or higher as specified by the program;
- A grade-point average of at least 2.50 or higher as specified by the program in courses listed on the current approved program for certification in the areas of professional core, major and college/departmental requirements. No grade lower than a "C" or a "P" in either of these areas;
- Completion of all professional education course work that includes at least one course in social foundations, all early field experiences (60 clock hours minimum), exceptional learners, and human growth and development, with no grade lower than "C" or "P" in any of these courses. It is recommended that all professional sequence coursework be completed.
- Successful completion of submission II requirements for the Professional Education Program portfolio. The exact submission dates for portfolio are set by the Professional Education Unit in collaboration with programs. Portfolios should contain the materials listed in the Portfolio Handbook (http://education.okstate.edu/peu/portfolio) for the pre-internship submission and any additional items required by a specific program. The portfolio is completed in conjunction with the internship and should not be separate.
- Successful completion of the appropriate subject area test for certification.
Required Grades in Clinical Practice
A candidate must receive grades of "P" in all sections of clinical practice in order to be recommended for a teaching certificate. A candidate assigned a grade of "F" in any section of clinical practice will not qualify for a recommendation for any level of certification.
Placements in clinical practice are made based on program faculty recommendation, availability of a qualified cooperating teacher, school district and site preferences, availability of a university supervisor, and candidate request. Candidates do not contact schools to secure their own placements. Candidates will not be placed in a school where a relative(s) attends or is employed or where the candidate has developed personal relationships with teachers or administration. In addition, candidates will not be placed in the school system from which they graduated. Finances cannot be considered when determining the internship placement. As a general rule, interns are placed within an approximate 75-mile radius of Stillwater.
A candidate requesting an out-of-area/out-of-state placement due to extenuating circumstances or seeking an assignment that provides exceptional professional experiences that would not be afforded by a local placement must submit a written request and receive the approval of the degree program area coordinator, the unit head and the PEU Field Experiences Committee. Securing placements and supervision are the responsibility of the Office of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice and the program area coordinator.
Extenuating circumstances may include, but are not limited to, medical or health issues that would impede the progress of the pre-service candidate’s internship, family issues that would cause a hardship in the pre-service candidate’s ability to successfully complete the student teaching assignment, or an issue of personal concern that cannot be addressed through a change in local placement site. Financial exigency alone is not grounds for an out-of-area/out-of state placement.
Candidates granted an out-of-area/out-of-state placement must meet all clinical practice deadlines and requirements, including attendance of on-campus meetings and are required to pay the following fees:
- All necessary and appropriate fees required in securing and finalizing the placement (e.g., such as reimbursement for cooperating teacher, supervisor, etc.). These fees are payable to the Office of Professional Education or designated office and/or out-of-state university at the beginning of the semester in which the placement is sought.
- If a recommendation for certification is to be made by Oklahoma State University, the candidate is responsible for reimbursing visits performed by the cooperating institution. All other criteria pertaining to in-state clinical practice placements apply as previously stated.
- OSU fees - A non-refundable administrative fee to cover time and extra work related to securing an out-of-area placement may be assessed when an approved request is submitted to the Clinical Practices office. The fee is due upon approval of designated site(s).
- Supervising teacher fees - The out-of-area/out-of-state supervising fee is determined by each supervisor, the out-of-area/out-of-state university, and the Field Experience and Clinical Practices Office and typically ranges from $400 to $800 to cover the expenses incurred to conduct the required observations and student teaching evaluations. Students are responsible for all costs related to their out-of-area/out-of-state supervision. The fee is to be paid to Office of Professional Education, who will then pay the supervisor.
- Cooperating teacher fees - Whereas local cooperating teachers are compensated with tuition vouchers, an out-of-area/out-of-state cooperating teacher may not benefit from such compensation.
- Additional fees - The local (out-of-area/out-of-state) cooperating university may require a fee for supervision for a student not enrolled in their university or require co-registration in additional credits as a student at their university to attend their student teaching seminars.
Exceptions to this policy are permitted for students who are enrolled in programs that have a specific out-of-area/out-of-state placement policy and for students who participate in special placements abroad.
Qualifications for consideration of out-of-state/out-of-area placement request:
- Minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA and 3.0 GPA in content/certification area classes.
- Successful interview with Program Area Coordinator presenting your request for an out-of-area placement.
- Recommendation from Program Area faculty.
- Agreement from local (out-of-area/out-of-state) university to supervise the student teacher.
- Availability and willingness of qualified university-affiliated supervisor to observe and evaluate student teacher.
- A memorandum of understanding signed by the student, the Program Area Coordinator, and the PEU or Program Representative must be on file prior to the request for placement being sent to the school district. The out-of-area/out-of-state university may require additional signed documentation.
The Internship Experience
The clinical practice intern is supported by their student teaching course instructor, the assigned OSU Supervisor and Mentor/Cooperating Teacher and the School Principal. Mentor Teachers and OSU Supervisors are asked to complete training in co-teaching prior to the experience. If needed during the internship, the problem-solving process includes the support team above as well as Professional Education Unit representatives. The Memorandum of Understanding candidates sign at the application stage signifies their understanding of conduct to be followed during the internship. A breach in this agreement can result in removal from the internship.
Neither school districts nor OSU insure candidates during the internship; candidates are responsible for carrying their own insurance of any type that may apply. Candidates are strongly encouraged to obtain professional liability insurance. Candidates are encouraged to consider student membership of the Oklahoma Education Association (SOEA) or the Professional Oklahoma Educators (POE), which typically provide liability insurance.
Outside Activities/Classes during the Clinical Practice Internship
The clinical practice internship experience is considered the beginning of your professional career and your energies should be directed toward making the most of your professional assignment. Therefore, outside employment or taking coursework other than the internship courses is definitely not advised during the internship. If you believe employment is a necessity, you must confer with your program area supervisor to determine if such employment should continue, or if you should consider completing your internship another semester.
By enrolling in Professional Education programs at Oklahoma State University, students accept the responsibility for complying with all applicable Professional Education Council policies and procedures that allow them to maintain good academic standing. If the student believes that the established policies of the Professional Education Council have not been fairly or consistently followed, he/she has the right to pursue an appeal.
Certification Examinations for Oklahoma Educators
All candidates who graduate or are seeking recommendation for certification from a Professional Education program are required to complete the Certification Examinations for Oklahoma Educators before a license or area of certification can be issued. The examinations, which include a general education test, subject area tests, and a professional teaching exam (OGET, OSAT, and OPTE), are administered by the Evaluation Systems, Pearson for the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability. Registration materials are available online at www.ceoe.nesinc.com. Candidates for Elementary, Early Childhood and Special Education certification must also pass the Oklahoma Reading Test.
Copies of the test competencies and study guides for the Oklahoma Teacher Certification Testing Program are available on the Pearson Education, Inc., website at www.ceoe.nesinc.com.
Teacher candidates must successfully complete the OGET prior to admission to Professional Education, the OSAT prior to student teaching placement and the OPTE at or near completion of their program and prior to a certification recommendation.
Registration deadlines and score report dates are indicated on the website.
Recommendations for Certificate, or Additional Certification Areas
Application information for an Oklahoma certificate can be obtained in the Office of Professional Education, 325 Willard. Candidates seeking advisement concerning teacher certificates can be assisted by a Coordinator in the Office of Professional Education.
Effective May 31, 2001, Title 68 O.S. 238.1 requires all certificate holders be in compliance with Oklahoma state income tax laws before a teaching certificate can be obtained or renewed.
Effective November 1, 2001, Oklahoma Statute 70 O.S. 6-190 requires applicants for initial Oklahoma teacher certification to have a full federal fingerprint-based background clearance.
To receive Oklahoma State University’s in-state or out-of-state certification ‘Recommendation’ or ‘Verification’ of program completion, the applicant must:
- be admitted and maintain admission to OSU’s Professional Education Unit;
- complete the appropriate level of degree;
- meet the Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement;
- meet the Computer Proficiency Requirement;
- complete the required courses with the required grades and grade-point averages;
- have confirmation of the final clearance of portfolio submission III;
- pass the required Certification Examinations for Oklahoma Educators for Oklahoma certification; and
- complete the state’s application for certification.
Unless the applicant has successfully completed all of the above, Oklahoma State University will not make a recommendation or verify program completion for an in-state or out-of-state certificate.
A candidate assigned the grade of “F” in any section of clinical practice will not qualify for a recommendation for a license or any level of certification. Requirements for certification and degrees are not necessarily the same thing. Candidates must meet all other certification requirements, including portfolio and foreign language proficiency if appropriate.