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Becoming an Educator in Oregon

Expand Sections Below to Explore Becoming an Oregon Educator

​To become a teacher in Oregon, you will need to hold a bachelor’s degree, complete a TSPC-approved preparation program, and obtain a teaching license through TSPC. There are several types of programs available in Oregon, and choosing the program type depends on 1) what type of teaching you want to do and 2) how flexible your life circumstances are.

Undergraduate Teacher Preparation Programs

​For individuals who do not yet have a bachelor's degree, but who are interested in teaching should look into undergraduate preparation programs.

Community College
If you are interested in teaching, but don't want to start a 4-year degree program, then the community college path may be right for you. The state of Oregon has a comprehensive Major Transf​er Map for Elementary Education. This document outlines the course-taking path between an Oregon community college and Oregon public university. An individual interested in teaching can take a series of courses in Elementary Education at the identified community colleges, recieve their Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree (AAOT-Elementary Education) and apply as a junior at an Oregon public university to complete their bachelor's degree and finish licensure requirements. 

Traditional Undergraduate Licensure Programs
A traditional undergraduate licensure program allows you to complete your teaching preparation, meet licensure requirements and earn your bachelor’s degree. Contact one of Oregon’s approved educator preparation providers​ listed on the TSPC website for more information.

Graduate Teacher Preparation Programs

​For individuals who do have a bachelor's degree, but who have not yet completed an educator preparation program should look into graduate preparation programs. 

Traditional Graduate Licensure Programs
A traditional graduate licensure program allows you to complete your teaching preparation, meet licensure requirements and may lead to a master's degree though its not required. Contact one of Oregon’s approved educator preparation providers listed on the TSPC website for more information.

Other Types of Teacher Preparation
Non-traditional Teacher Preparation Programs
A non-traditional program (sometimes called alternative program) is any program that deviates from the traditional model of university and degree-based teacher preparation. These programs may be offered by a non-profit or for-profit educator preparation provider rather than one housed in a college or university setting. A nontraditional program may also be provided by a university as a non-degree program alongside the university’s traditional degree-granting program. The TSPC is currently working to support partners in expanding nontraditional program opportunities. Please check back for updates!

Career and Technical Education (CTE)
CTE educators provide intentional programs in high wage, in-demand areas, preparing and supporting students in acquiring the technical skills, professional practices, and academic knowledge critical for success in highly-skilled careers. CTE comprises programs offered in six career areas:  Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resource Systems; Arts, Information and Communications; Business and Management; Health Sciences; Human Resources; and Industrial and Engineering Systems.

There are a few ways to get started in CTE:

  1. Email the Oregon Department of Education Teacher Licensure Specialist Margaret Mahoney
  2. Contact the school district where you are hoping to work​
  3. ​Contact the Regional Coordinator assigned to the region of the state in which you want to teach
  4. Contact the Teacher Licensure Program​ you want to attend​

Out-of-State Preparation Programs
There are many educator preparation programs through colleges and universities in other states, or through for-profit organizations that provide opportunities for Oregon residents to gain the content knowledge they need to apply for a teaching license. Individuals who are prepared for licensure out of state need to apply for licensure in that state, and then follow the process for Out of State Applicants.​​​ Please work with your preferred school district to identify an appropriate training program.​​​​​

Working in a School While Earning a Teaching License

There are traditional, nontraditional, graduate and undergraduate pathways to teacher licensure which may allow you to be hired by the school district as a teacher while you earn your license. Examples include the Internship model and the Residency model. Ask your preferred Educator Preparation Provider if these models are offered in their programs. The TSPC is currently working to support a nontraditional pathway that closely aligns with an Apprenticeship model. Please check back for updates on this new initiative. ​​

There are three categories of school-based mental health professionals that are licensed by TSPC and can get hired in school buildings as a licensed educator: School Counselors, School Psychologists and School Social Workers. Each of these professionals plays a unique role in a school system. These are the programs approved to train school-based mental health professionals as of 2022, in alphabetical order:

  • ​School Counseling: Bushnell University, George Fox University, Lewis and Clark College, Oregon State University (Corvallis and Cascades), Portland State University
  • ​School Psychology: Lewis and Clark College, University of Oregon
  • ​School Social Work: Portland State University

​Every teaching license requires endorsement in a specific area. All individuals who are new to teaching will need to complete a full teacher training program in an endorsement area. Endorsements allow you to teach any instructional assignment from prekindergarten through grade 12 within the scope of the subject-matter endorsement(s). 

Some endorsement areas are stand-alone programs (Program-Required Areas) and other endorsement areas can be taken by a pre-service candidate within a teacher training program or by an in-service educator as a stand-alone course sequence to add a secondary endorsement. 

Endorsement Areas

Program-Required Areas
Pre-service candidates and in-service teachers must complete a full licensing program to qualify for the following endorsements.

  • Elementary- Multiple Subjects
  • Reading Intervention
  • ​​Special Education (Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education, Generalist or Visually Impaired)
  • Art
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Library Media
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages
  • Drama
  • World Language: Japanese or Russian

Non-Program-Required Areas
For pre-service candidates, these endorsements are included within a Preliminary Teaching License Program. For in-service teachers, these endorsements may be added to an existing license without completion of a full licensing program.

  • Advanced Mathematics
  • ​Agricultural Science
  • Biology
  • Business: Generalist or Marketing
  • Career Trades: Generalist
  • Chemistry
  • English Language Arts
  • Family and Consumer Science
  • Foundational English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, or Social Studies
  • Health
  • Integrated Science
  • Physics
  • Social Studies
  • Speech (Forensics)
  • World Language: Chinese, French, German, Latin or Spanish

Educators who have completed an educator preparation program and hold an active, valid and non-provisional teaching license from another state can apply in Oregon for a Reciprocal Teaching License. This allows teachers from another state to transition to the Oregon licensure system using the credentials they earned while working to meet any additional Oregon requirements. Teachers have one year to meet all of the requirements of the Oregon Preliminary Teaching License or another non-provisional Oregon license. This license is valid for full-time teaching and substitute teaching. Please see Out of State Applicants or this informational document for more information.​​


​To become a substitute teacher, you need to have completed a teacher preparation program but may or may not hold a regular Oregon teaching license. Individuals will apply for the Substitute Teaching License. This license allows an educator to substitute teach in preK-12 in Oregon public school districts, ESDs, and charter schools.

If an individual has the sponsorship of a district as well as a Bachelor’s degree, but has not completed a teacher preparation program, they may apply for a Restricted Substitute Teaching License.​​

Still Need Assistance?

If you still have questions about becoming a new educator in Oregon, please reach out to any of the following:
  1. Any Approved Educator Preparation Provider
  2. The Human Resources department in the district where you want to work 
  3. Your regional Teacher Pathway Navigator or 
  4. Contact us here at TSPC