Teacher Education Advising Information
Getting Started: How to Become an Oregon Teacher
We highly recommend that you begin your teacher education journey with reading the
resource "How to Become an Oregon Teacher". This advising guide is updated annually and has comprehensive information about
the licensure process and universities that provide teacher education programs.
Requirements for Licensure
The guidelines for earning and maintaining an Oregon teacher license are administered by Oregon's Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC).
To work in an Oregon public school, you must have an Oregon teaching license that allows you to teach a specific subject (called an "endorsement") to specific grades (called "authorizations"). To get an initial license you must
1) have a bachelor's degree,
2) complete an approved teacher education program, and
3) pass the subject area test in the areas that you would like to teach (endorsements).
4) Eventually, all teachers will need a master's degree or similar graduate credits.
Initial teaching licensing programs in Oregon are offered two ways:
- A bachelor's degree program combines an education major with a content area major or emphasis into an undergraduate degree.
- A bachelor's degree with a major in your content area followed by a master's degree program that contains the approved teacher education program.
Helpful questions to ask yourself
1. What age/grades will you teach?
Oregon has four authorization levels; it is recommended that teachers have two authorizations.
Early childhood (pre-k to grade 4)
Elementary (grades 3-8)
Middle school (grades 5-9)
High school (grades 9-12)
2. What is your content area?
Content area is the subject that you will teach and is related to your authorization. For example, if you want to teach math to high school students, you would obtain a math endorsement for the high school authorization (earning the middle school authorization is suggested as well).
3. What is available locally?
There are currently two local teacher licensure programs in central Oregon.
-OSU-Cascades' Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program
-George Fox University has a local program which offers all four authorizations.
4. What if I want to teach elementary grades?
Elementary educators need a broad content area to teach multiple subjects (language arts, math, science, etc.), and to pass the Multiple Subjects Exams required to earn the endorsement. The "How to Be an Oregon Teacher" guide (Appendix VII) provides detailed information about recommended courses. The OSU-Cascades MAT has a list of required competency areas that must be taken prior to entering the program for elementary licensure. The list of courses is part of the application process.
- Teachers Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC, at www.tspc.state.or.us) is the state agency that oversees teacher licensure. The publications section is helpful.
- A list of teacher education programs is available through TSPC http://www.tspc.state.or.us/programs.asp) or in the How to Become an Oregon Teacher