Ohio Teaching Certification Overview: Become a Certified Teacher

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Becoming certified is a necessary first step regardless of where you want to teach. However, it’s important to understand that the method for becoming a certified teacher in Ohio may vary slightly than the procedure in other states.

Requirements for certified teachers in Ohio

The first step toward obtaining an Ohio teacher certification is earning a bachelor’s degree. Ohio does not require that you major in education while you earn your four year degree, though you may certainly do so. You may alternatively choose to major in the content subject matter that you hope to teach. To achieve certification in Ohio, you must also finish an accredited teacher preparation program.

The state of Ohio also prescribes certain tests that must be passed in order to become certified. The Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE) series consists of a pedagogy assessment and content area test relevant to the grade and subject you want to teach.

When you apply to become a teacher in Ohio, you must also be able to pass a criminal background check. The results of federal and state background checks are kept on file with the Department of Education, and each candidate is required to submit fingerprints for this purpose.

Ohio Jobs for licensed teachers

Initially, Ohio educators are issued a four-year initial Resident Educator License. This license expires after four years and may not be renewed. After expiration of this initial license, you may obtain a Professional Educator License that is renewable for five year periods. This license is conferred once you have finished the Ohio Resident Educator Program.

After your initial license, you may advance to a Professional License, which requires a number of continuing education credits.

You may earn a Senior Professional Educator License once you have nine years of teaching experience (five of which must be under a Professional License), a master’s degree, and completed the Master Teacher Portfolio. Some candidates even go on to earn the Lead Professional Educator License, which is also renewable for five year periods. You must earn a Teacher Leader Endorsement or possess an active National Board Certification or the Master Teacher Portfolio.

If you plan to teach a subject designated as a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) by the U.S. Department of Education, you might be eligible for student loan deferment or cancellation. The following TSAs have been approved for Ohio for the 2014-2015 school year:

  • English/Language Arts
  • Foreign Language
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Special Education
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

A full and current list of TSAs for each state is available via the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.

Teaching license reciprocity in Ohio

If you are a licensed teacher in a state other than Ohio, then you may be able to bypass some of the licensure requirements in the state based on the credentials you have already established. Ohio has reciprocity agreements in place with many other states, so you’ll probably enjoy a fairly easy process for becoming certified here. However, it’s important to be aware that you must still test for additional subject content areas if you would like to add them to your license. To learn more, see Teaching License Reciprocity Explained.

Disclaimer: Licensing requirements are subject to change. Please visit your state board of education to check for recent revisions to teaching license requirements.

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