Teaching Here

Why Choose Oklahoma City?

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Shawna Taets (Oklahoma ‘14)

Oklahoma City is always happy that you are here--I feel entirely welcomed by this community and the people within it, and they are so invested in building up this city and making it great.

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Brandon Wold (Oklahoma ‘14)

If you want to go somewhere where you can have an immediate impact on what's going on around you, Oklahoma City is the place to be.

Headshot of Char Moss, a Teach For America - Oklahoma City corps member.
Char Moss (Oklahoma City '16)

For a number of years there has been a need to fill vacant classrooms in Central Oklahoma. I knew that if I could fill even one of those teacher vacancies, I could work to guarantee that at least one class of students would have a consistent and committed educator.

What You Need to Know

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Average salary is $33,000

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Required

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  • University of Oklahoma (O.U.) (Hybrid program)
  • John’s Hopkins (Online)
  • University of Central Oklahoma (Face-to-face)
  • Cameron University (Format varies)

See below for details about each program.

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Completed after two corps years

Becoming Certified to Teach

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  • Overview
  • Is a Master's degree required?
  • Which universities does TFA Oklahoma City partner with?

Program Requirements

To become certified to teach in Oklahoma City-Lawton, corps members must complete the following requirements:
  • Pass background checks as required by Teach For America and the State of Oklahoma
  • Pass two content specific tests (Praxis II or OSAT). It is a corps member's responsibility to register and pay for their exams (between $90-$120 each). Two exams are required.
  • Complete all Teach For America provided professional development. All professional development is provided by Teach For America Oklahoma City at no extra cost to corps members The number and frequency of these professional development sessions vary by time of year and year in the corps, however, you can expect a formal engagement every other week.
  • Complete additional certification requirements. This can include meetings with a teacher coach, completion of annual surveys, and submission of teaching portfolio. 

Corps members obtain certification at the end of two-year service and is contingent upon completion of above requirements. 

Master's Degree Options

After their first year of teaching, corps members may choose to begin a Master’s Degree with one of our university partners. Expand below to see specific options and program offerings. 

No.

University of Oklahoma (O.U.) – Norman Campus (Hybrid online/face-to-face class model)

  • Masters in Educational Administration and Curriculum Studies (EACS)

Additional partnership benefits:

  • Streamlined application processes for second-year corps members and alumni
  • No GRE requirement (subject to change)
  • Admission fee waiver
  • Granted in-state tuition cost

Johns Hopkins University (Online)

The program with JHU is designed specifically for Teach For America corps members currently in the corps.

  • Master’s Degree in Education Studies with a focus on Teaching Leadership or Policy

University of Central Oklahoma (Face-to-face)

 Located nearby in downtown Oklahoma City.

  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership

Cameron University (Format Varies)

Located in Lawton Oklahoma. Offers three different tracks:

  • Master of Science in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Education in Education
  • Master of Education in Reading

Placement School Locations

Subjects And Grade Levels

  • Elementary
  • English
  • Math
  • Science

Neighborhood Spotlights

As one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, Oklahoma City is never short on post-work entertainment and destinations. Many corps members, alumni, and staff naturally gravitate toward the diverse set of districts in and around the city, finding places to hang out, unwind, and connect with people in the community. Here are just a few of the places we love in Oklahoma City. 

Visit the Chamber of Commerce sites for Oklahoma City and Lawton for more information. 

  • Asian/International District
  • Lawton
  • Midtown OKC
  • Paseo Arts District
  • Plaza District
  • Uptown
The head of a Chinese dragon costume.

Photo Credit: Caseman (via Wikimedia Commons)

Centrally located in the city, this neighborhood boasts two full-sized Asian super markets and a multitude of locally owned and internationally themed cafes, bakeries, and restaurants. From the hidden gem Café Cacao, to the giant Lee’s Sandwiches, and the trendy Classen Coffee Company. There are so many great places to meet, mingle, and dine.

A photo of a lakefront, with mountains in the distance.

Lawton is Oklahoma’s third largest city and home to Fort Sill, one of the largest army bases in the country making it both diverse and close-knit. Corps members in Lawton serve a large military family community and an area with a rich Native history. It is also the home of the Comanche, Apache & Kiowa Nations. Lawton is next door to the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, the oldest in the U.S., and one of the state’s premier playgrounds for outdoors enthusiasts with more than 100,000 acres to hike, climb, and explore.

A photo of a group of people standing in front of the Midtown Plaza Court building

Located just north of the central business in downtown Oklahoma City, Midtown is home to some of the city’s most distinct shopping including a shoe lab, men’s accessories, craft/paper store, and bookstore; restaurants and bars with rooftop access, and professional services. If that isn’t enough for you, Midtown also hosts the largest annual food truck event in the United States with H&8th Night Market each summer. This is also an area you can find the best local bakery in town (and a new addition: Insomnia Cookie!) Rent some bikes to burn off those delicious treats with the OKC bike share program or try you hand at bowling in Fassler Hall. Feeling earthy? You can also spend time at the dog park or community garden.

A photo of a historic storefront in Oklahoma City.

Photo Credit: MARELBU (via Wikimedia Commons)

Where else can you go to see 22 galleries and over 80 visual, culinary, and performing artists all within a couple blocks? The Paseo Arts District, lined in Spanish Revival architecture, has long been the destination of choice for lovers of art and entertainment. Each year you can also spend the weekend at the Paseo Arts festival enjoying art, crafts,food, and live entertainment.

Formerly an end-stop on the Oklahoma City trolley system, the Plaza District first appeared on the city’s map in the 1920s as a commercial niche along 16th St. Since that time, the Plaza District has become a hub of art, music, creativity and a haven for local business. Boutique shopping, coffee at District House, yoga in a roomy studio, and what may become your go-to pizza joint, Empire. Plus fro-yo and a number of pubs/bars make for a great hangout neighborhood. James Cross, a ’13 Oklahoma City Alumus, says,

The Plaza has been my home for three years now, and it truly feels like home. I have established great relationships with the owners/employees at local favorites like The Mule and DNA Galleries, and they always make you feel welcome. It's great to live so close to such a unique and beautiful sub-community of OKC where I can go out on a Friday and catch up on work on a Saturday at District House. 

Newly revamped and continuing to grow, uptown is the place to be for an evening of pub crawling, taking in a movie or a concert at the newly renovated Tower Theater, or strolling through the quiet neighborhood and parks just behind. You can also enjoy bagels at Old School Bagel Cafe, warm up with a hot drink at Urban Tea House, and get mini massage and haircut at the posh Walk In Salon. Don’t forget incredible flavors from Pizzeria Gusto (plus brunch!) and tater tots you can’t say no to at the outdoor Pump Bar

Alumni Spotlight

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Oklahoma City 2014
Science Teacher Lawton Public Schools
I chose to stay in Oklahoma beyond my corps commitment because of my students. Over the past two years I put in so much time and energy to get my classroom and my students where they were now, I feel like I have [more] traction within my school and with my student’s lives.

Community Spotlights

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Teach For America-Central Oklahoma believes that in partnership with family and community, we will help fuel an educational ecosystem in central Oklahoma that excels at preparing all students for 21st century leadership through a holistic K-12 learning experience, in pursuit of greater, self-determined opportunities in schooling and in life beyond the classroom. 

This directly positions CMs’ classrooms to serve as proof points of our work and mission on their campuses, demonstrating what our students are capable of, when we have strong relationships and partnerships with families and communities.   

  • Sharing Tree
  • Urban League
  • OCCC Family & Community Education Center (FACE)
  • OKC Beautiful
  • GEAR UP
  • Possibilities Incorporated

Sharing Tree is a metro-area nonprofit that serves families in need by providing a dignified shopping experience at no cost. Their facility is stocked with clothing, household items and basic necessities, laid out like a department store where visitors can “shop” year-round. Most of the goods are donated, the store is primarily staffed and stocked by volunteers, and all clients are referred by one of their partner agencies.

 

Since 1946, the Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City has worked to bring social and economic equality to impoverished citizens in their community. Their mission is to assist African Americans, other minorities, and the poor achieve social and economic equality. They work to accomplish this mission through advocacy, research and program services in five major areas:

 

Located on the Southside of Oklahoma City, OCCC is a leader in serving the adult education and job readiness needs of the community's diverse members. With programming that includes computer skills training, Internet knowledge, resume writing, and job interview preparation, most of which are provided in a multitude of languages, the center continually evolves its offerings to respond to community needs. FACE also offers a host of other classes. Students who attend Oklahoma City Community College can enroll their children around their class schedule, whether it is in the mornings or the evenings. Other programs at the center will include summer camps for children in first through eighth grades; adult enrichment classes such as dance, languages, computers and music; and ACT preparation workshops

 

OKC Beautiful is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the image and appearance of Oklahoma City through education, programs and community engagement. OKC Beautiful believes the appearance of our city directly impacts its economic viability as well as affecting the quality of life and self-image of its residents.

 

Oklahoma GEAR UP is a federally funded program administered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. GEAR UP contains a college access information plan that targets seventh- through 12th-grade students, their parents and teachers and includes new, innovative ways of providing information about college to Oklahoma residents. Since 2011, GEAR UP has provided 24 school districts more than $6.5 million in partnership support for college access activities such as college campus tours, onsite professional development, parent events and college access student services. In 2014-15, a total of 18,980 students were served through GEAR up services. 

 

Possibilities helps people gain the skills to work together for lasting change, rather than giving away food or material aid. The result is self-reliance, rather than dependence on external aid. Possibilities Inc. partners primarily within the inner city of Oklahoma City in low to moderate income areas. Possibilities partners with people to help them identify their own hopes and dreams, and then provides training and technical assistance to make those dreams a reality.  As a result, participants determine the nature of the community change initiatives and the direction of Possibilities’. Possibilities Inc.  tackles the issues of community decline with a unique and innovative approach. They promote understanding and embraces conflict that arises from differences.  The program brings people of different social, economic, racial and generational backgrounds together to experience a truly inclusive community that openly addresses issues of power and privilege. 

 

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What's Left Over
Ongoing Certification Costs
You may be able to offset ongoing certification costs with an AmeriCorps education award. Learn more.
One Time Summer Start Up Costs
Estimated Start Up and Certification Costs