There are several ways to become a teacher in Oregon, but as in many states, the most direct route into the field is to earn a bachelor's degree in education. In addition to a bachelor's degree, a successful application for a teaching license in Oregon requires completion of a teacher education program, passing two stages of exams, and a background check. Out-of-state teachers who have already earned certification may be able to transfer that experience, as Oregon has reciprocity agreements with 32 other states.
Areas of Specialization for Teachers in Oregon
Aspiring teachers in Oregon can apply for a teaching license in one of several authorization levels, including:
- Early Childhood (pre-K to grade 4)
- Elementary (grades 3 to 8)
- Middle School (grades 5 to 9)
- High School (grades 9 to 12 or K-12)
In addition to authorization levels, licenses are given in certain endorsement areas. Possible endorsement areas available in Oregon include:
- Middle Grade Mathematics
- Physical Education
In order to teach at a high school level or teach a more specialized material, additional training or more focused coursework may be required.
In addition to standard teaching licenses in academic subjects, Oregon also offers Career & Technical Education teaching licenses. It's also possible to earn a license in a more specialized area, such as special education, deaf education, home schooling, veterans education, or youth corrections / juvenile detention education. For more information about license options available, see Oregon's Department of Education website.
Oregon Teacher Licensing Requirements
Becoming an Oregon teacher requires that applicants for a license have earned a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, generally in education or a subject the applicant intends to teach. Applicants for an Oregon Initial II Teaching License must have completed a Master's degree or at least 30 semester hours of graduate-level coursework in a relevant field. Oregon teachers are also required to complete a teacher education program approved by the state.
Oregon requires that applicants for teaching licenses pass two exams as part of the process:
- The Oregon Praxis I exam, which covers basic skills in math, reading, and writing
- The Oregon Educator Licensure Assessments, which are specific to the area of endorsement the applicant is seeking
Applicants are required to submit fingerprints along with the other components of their licensure applications.
Out-of-State Educators in Oregon
For out-of-state educators who want to move to Oregon and teach, there are a few steps that they can take to receive a license:
- The person must have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited postsecondary institution.
- They must already possess a teaching license, and be able to pass a background check.
- An Initial Teaching License will be issued to the applicant, and then they have 18 months in which to pass Oregon's testing requirements.
If the applicant has already taken assessment tests in the state where they are licensed, they can submit their scores to the state. If the assessments are similar enough, then those requirements may be waived by the state.
For more information on licensing requirements, visit the Teaching License page on the state of Oregon's official website.
Alternate Paths to Becoming a Teacher in Oregon
Those seeking alternative routes to a teaching career in Oregon will find a few different options available. These can include the restricted transitional teaching license, the limited teaching license, and the career and technical education I teaching license. In addition to these license types, Oregon also has a Troops for Teachers program allowing military personnel to jumpstart their teaching careers in high-need public schools. More detailed information about alternate ways to earn a teaching license in Oregon is available on the Education Testing Service's Praxis website.
- Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, Oregon Official Website http://tspc.oregon.gov/licensure/licensure.asp
- Teaching and Learning, Oregon Department of Education, http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=51
- Teaching License Requirements, Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, Oregon Official Website, http://www.oregon.gov/tspc/Pages/index.aspx
- "Oregon Alternate Route," The Praxis Series, http://www.ets.org/praxis/or/alternate_route/