Teacher Education candidates completing an approved program of study should go to the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) web site and open a file and then fill out the application for the initial certificate. Once the candidate's final grades and degree have been posted on the official transcript, East Central University will approve the application on-line and then send an official copy of the student transcript to the proper authority at the OSDE. The student will then need to pay the fee for the certificate as directed. Students are responsible for providing a final official transcript to the office of the Dean of the College of Education and Psychology. Students may elect to turn in all application material to the Office of the Dean for the College of Education and Psychology who serves as the Certification Officer for ECU and who is the authorized signator recognized by the Oklahoma State Department of Education- all applications for initial certificate must be approved by the Certification Officer.
State certification regulations require that candidates demonstrate competence at the high novice level in a foreign language. ECU must verify the candidate's successful demonstration of foreign language competence before the application can be approved for the OSDE. This requirement is noted in the ECU Catalog, on degree check-sheets, and on the degree check forms.
The Oklahoma State Department of Education will affirm the following items prior to the issuance of the Teaching Certificate:
- Candidates must have passed all three state certification tests -all three state certification tests must be successfully completed- NO EXCEPTIONS. Candidates must have passed the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET), the Oklahoma Subject Area Test (OSAT) for the area of their certification program, and the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Exam (OPTE) before the OSDE will issue a Teaching Certificate. The satisfactory completion of all three tests is a state requirement, not an ECU program requirement. Candidates who turn in a hard copy of the application should attach copies of state test scores to their application so ECU can verify all tests have been passed prior to the submission of the application. ECU does not always receive candidate test scores and applications will not be processed without this information.
- Candidates must have successfully completed a background check by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) prior to receiving a Teaching Certificate. Fingerprint information may be reviewed at the Oklahoma State Department of Education website. Fingerprinting is done at the OK SDE and students are encouraged to go there for this activity. Candidates may submit two fingerprint cards to the OSDE in time for this review to be completed prior to the issuance of the Certificate. It is possible for a candidate to receive a Temporary Teaching Certificate upon successful completion of an OSBI name check if all other certification requirements have been met.
Candidates should check with the Dean's Office for answers to questions about this process.