The mission of the Department of English is to provide transformative learning experiences in the multiple fields that comprise English Studies. To fulfill this mission, faculty teach students to read and think critically about texts, to write effectively and creatively for multiple audiences and in multiple contexts, and to apply best practices when teaching English in secondary and post-secondary settings.
The UCO English Education graduates are guided to be productive, creative, ethical and engaged citizens and to contribute to the intellectual, cultural, economic and social advancement of our local and global communities.
The English Education program provides high-quality preparation to enable candidates to successfully undertake the challenges of the teaching profession upon graduation. Teacher candidates in English Education take courses in the Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and in the Department of Professional Teacher Education located in the College of Education and Professional Studies. The program also provides three field experiences in middle and high schools, allowing teacher candidates to learn from mentor teachers and put into practice the knowledge they have gained through coursework.
Admission to the Teacher Education Program
English Education majors must apply and be accepted to the Teacher Education Program in order to be eligible to take professional teacher education courses and to graduate with an education degree from UCO. Admission to the Teacher Education Program is separate from admission to the University of Central Oklahoma.
English Education majors have career opportunities in all levels of teaching, as well as writing and English-based activities.
- Teacher (with K-12 certification)
- Professor (with a doctoral degree)
- Professional Writer
- Technical Writer
- Attorney (with a law degree)
- Game narrative writer
- Grant writer
- Research analyst
- Non-Profit activist/lobbyist
- Literary Agent
- Librarian (with MLS degree)
- Public Relations Specialist
What do English Education majors learn?
A successful student in the English Education Program will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of English language arts subject matter content that specifically includes literature and multimedia texts as well as knowledge of the nature of adolescents as readers.
- Demonstrate knowledge of English language arts subject matter content that specifically includes language and writing as well as knowledge of adolescents as language users.
- Plan instruction and design assessments for reading and the study of literature to promote learning for all students.
- Plan instruction and design assessments for composing texts (i.e., oral, written, and visual) to promote learning for all students.
- Plan, implement, assess, and reflect on research-based instruction that increases motivation and active student engagement, builds sustained learning of English language arts, and responds to diverse students’ context-based needs.
- Demonstrate knowledge of how theories and research about social justice, diversity, equity, student identities, and schools as institutions can enhance students’ opportunities to learn in English Language Arts.
- Interact knowledgeably with students, families, and colleagues based on social needs and institutional roles, engage in leadership and/or collaborative roles in English Language Arts professional learning communities, and actively develop as professional educators.
There are two major milestones for teacher education candidates at UCO:
- Admission to Teacher Education
- Admission to Student Teaching/Concurrent
Each of these milestones is fully described at the Teacher Education Services webpage.
In addition to reviewing the information provided on this degree path, you will need to apply for admission to teacher education and admission to student teaching. To apply for these, you must follow the directions provided by the College of Education and Professional Studies.
Some of the requirements for admission to teacher education are:
- Minimum GPA of 2.75 (or minimum of 3.0 in last 30 hours completed at UCO)
- All coursework in English must be completed with a C or higher
- All coursework in PTE courses must be completed with a C or higher
- 40 hours of coursework must be successfully completed by the end of semester of application
- Completion of PTE 3023 or currently enrolled in this course
- Proficiency in written/oral language as indicated by C or higher in English 1113 or 1213
- Completed Code of Ethics
- Passing score on the OGET
- Interview with Program Director
State and national standards help English/language arts teachers design and implement instruction. Below are the state and national standards most often consulted within our program.
In 2016, Oklahoma adopted the Oklahoma Academic Standards (OAS) to guide curriculum and instruction. Each of the eight standards encompasses both a reading and a writing component. More information about OAS can be found in the State Department of Education's ELA standards.
The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has its own set of guidelines written with the International Reading Association. While these do not drive assessments in Oklahoma, they do help English education teacher candidates think about the holistic nature of their field. Find out more from the NCTE.
Certification and Employment
As English education teacher candidates, you will be required to pass three state tests:
- Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET)
• Take this test first. You must have a passing score of 240 to be admitted to Teacher Education.
- Oklahoma Subject Area Test (OSAT)-Register for Test #107
• Teacher candidates must pass this test with an overall score of 240 PRIOR to being allowed to student teach.
- Oklahoma Professional Teacher Examination (OPTE)-Register for 6-12 Test
• This test is usually taken during the last half of your student teaching assignment.
More information, study guides, and registration details can be found here.
General guidelines for preparing for the OSAT:
- Study the guide and practice test available on the state certification website;
- Review your English course syllabi;
- Go to UCO's library and use the study guides available on the third floor.
State Certification & Employment Opportunities
When teacher candidates successfully complete all courses for their program of study, finish all required elements of their electronic portfolio, complete all requirements specified in the Teacher Education Handbook, and pass all three required state exams, they can apply for a state teaching license.
The two following websites provide information regarding the number of jobs available for English/language arts teachers:
Oklahoma State Department of Education
Please follow information provided at the University of Central Oklahoma's Career Development Center website.
Additionally, UCO hosts a teacher job fair each academic year.