Students who want to become teachers can take their first two years of coursework at COCC and transfer to a four-year program to work toward their teaching credential.

The Education program at COCC provides an overview of public education and it is designed to serve as an introduction for students considering careers in education. Public school teaching certification is given for various teaching levels: age 3-grade 4, grades 3-8, grades 5-10, or grades 7-12.

Students either complete a four-year education or other subject area degree through an approved institution and then complete the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. A fifth-year program, which leads to certification, is also available at some Oregon higher education institutions. Contact Enrollment Services for a detailed program brochure.

Teachers play a critical role in assisting children as they develop their abilities in thinking, reasoning and problem solving. Teacher education programs in Oregon are designed to provide content knowledge, understanding of the learning process and supportive guidance skills, which are all necessary components for the classroom teacher.

Teacher education programs in Oregon continue to be in a state of transition in an effort to improve the quality of teacher preparation. At some institutions it is possible to earn a teaching credential with a bachelor's degree. At other institutions the teaching credential is earned after the bachelor's degree, in a fifth-year or master's degree program.

Please note: Education programs at each state institution vary dramatically. Contact an Education advisor at COCC for current program information for the teacher licensing institution of your choice. You should make a decision about your transfer plans early in your studies and request a current catalog from the school to which you plan to transfer.

Students may select a major in any academic area. Some colleges require selection of a minor or interdisciplinary concentration. For elementary education preparation, human development, liberal studies and general science programs provide a suitable and wide knowledge base. Each specific university and college will determine its own list of recommended elective courses for students to pursue as they complete their majors for the Bachelor's degree. The list of recommended courses on the reverse side have been useful for education majors in Oregon in recent years, however it is important to check with each college for specific recommendations.

Transfer Options
The best advice is that students should check specific requirements at the four-year or fifth year institution they plan on attending. General education requirements will be met at most Oregon public universities by working towards the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree. This option is especially beneficial for education studies as it allows students to keep options open before deciding a transfer school. Consult with your COCC advisor to determine how the recommended elective courses may fit into lower division studies to meet AAOT degree requirements.

Beyond COCC
Admission will be competitive for the limited number of placements available at each Oregon college and university. Options include four-year programs, five-year programs and post baccalaureate fifth-year (Master's degree) programs. General admission criteria at most Oregon schools include:

  1. GPA: A cumulative total grade point based on all previous coursework. The minimum requirement will vary among colleges, but is generally in the range of 3.0 - 3.5.
  2. CBEST: A passing score on the California Basic Education Skills Test of reading, writing and math skills. Generally, the test must be taken before admission to a program.
  3. PRAXIS: Check with your institution as to the specific test(s) and most appropriate time to take this exam.
  4. Demonstrated communication skills.
  5. Documented field experience with children.

The criteria will vary widely among schools. Students should check periodically with the college of their choice for specific requirements.

Career Opportunities
Positions in both teaching and administration are available in elementary education, secondary education, special education, early childhood education, counseling, library, speech, reading and curriculum. Preparation in teaching provides excellent qualifications for other careers in private industry.

For more information contact Amy Howell 

Also see: Early Childhood Education

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