Career Development Program Path for Paraprofessionals to Attain Teacher Certification

The Career Development Program is the path for teaching paraprofessionals (teaching assistants) to acquire a teaching certificate.


House Bill 3658 has been signed by the Governor.  The bill eliminates the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET) requirement for ALL certification pathways. 

This is effective IMMEDIATELY.  All applications/forms/webpages will be updated shortly to reflect the change


I am or have been a paraprofessional (teaching assistant) in an Oklahoma public school. How can I move forward to become a certified teacher?

You must meet the following requirements before applying for certification through the Career Development Program:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in any area of study from an accredited college/university and a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA.
  • Have at least one year of experience in a public school in the area for which a teaching certificate is being pursued.  The school should document the specific experience earned on letterhead.
  • Pass at least one Oklahoma Subject Area Test (OSAT) in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, OR Special Education. The test you pass must be in the area of your experience.
  • *NOTICE: As of Sept. 2021, the OPTE is no longer offered and the Praxis Professional Assessment for Teachers (PPAT) will be required.  Applicants may apply for their provisional upon passing the OSAT.  You will have up to 3 years to complete the PPAT and move to a standard certificate.

    • (Two certificate areas are required to be the Special Education teacher of record)

Once the above requirements have been met, please submit the following:

Recent certification or dual fingerprinting (background check) needed, unless you are already certified in Oklahoma. For the most up to date information refer to Fingerprints/Background Checks Information.

As a result to the above, you will be issued a non-renewable teaching credential valid for up to three years.

Once I receive a credential, what do I need to do to obtain a standard certificate?

Within three years, complete 12 semester hours of professional education coursework from an accredited institution of higher education which has an accredited program related to the certificate area sought. The 12 semester hours must include a minimum of 3 semester hours in reading instruction from a higher education program accredited by the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability. Please consult with the Oklahoma college of your choice regarding acceptable courses to fulfill this requirement.

Within three years, successfully complete at least one full school year of teaching service in a public or private school accredited by the State Board of Education or a private school accrediting organization approved by the Board and receive a favorable recommendation from that school. The school recommendation should come from the school principal or district superintendent and the college recommendation/college credit verification should come from the chair or director of the accredited teacher preparation program in which you completed the coursework requirements.


Complete the PPAT (if the OPTE was not taken and passed)

You must also provide a favorable recommendation AND verification that you have completed your 12 semester hours from an Oklahoma college.

Once all of the above have been met, please submit with the following:

  • Application for Oklahoma School Certificate
  • $50.00 processing fee (check, cashier’s check or money order) made payable to the Oklahoma State Department of Education
  • Official transcripts reflecting the professional education coursework completed

As a result to the above, you will be issued a standard certificate.

For a flow chart of this career development program for paraprofessionals, refer to the Application for Oklahoma Paraprofessional to Apply for Teaching Certificate.


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Last updated on February 1, 2023