Ohio Teaching Certification Overview: Become a Certified Teacher

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 Principles of Learning and Teaching Test is a required PRAXIS examination for all prospective educators. In addition, if you want to be a teacher in Ohio, you must also take the appropriate subject assessment PRAXIS II Series test or tests. You may add different content areas to your certification throughout your career by successfully passing other tests. By doing so, you become qualified to teach in a variety of subject areas.

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 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.

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You may also be able to earn a five year Senior Professional Educator License when you have achieved a master’s degree, have taught under a standard license for at least five years and have 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.

Each year, the federal Department of Education publishes a document that lists Teacher Shortage Areas in each state. A Teacher Shortage Area indicates a grade level or content area for which a state does not have an adequate supply of qualified instructors. In the case of the 2012-2013 academic year, Ohio is reported to have Teacher Shortage Areas in: English, foreign languages, teaching English as a second language, science, mathematics, art, special education, speech pathology and social studies. If you are interested in teaching any of these subjects in Ohio, then the federal government may be able to provide partial student loan forgiveness or arrange for grants or scholarships should you commit to teaching in one of these shortage areas.

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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