Become an Early Childhood Teacher

Elementary School Classroom

The four basic requirements for becoming an Early Childhood teacher (pre-kindergarten through grade 4) in Oregon are:

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree
    To become a certified teacher in the state of Oregon you must earn, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. Complete a state-approved teacher preparation
    In order to receive a teaching license in Oregon, you must complete a teacher education programs approved by the state, which will consist of college coursework and fieldwork.

    This requirement typically is met through a master’s degree program for middle and high school teachers or through a bachelor’s degree program (with an elementary education major) for those teaching at the elementary level.

    Note: 80 percent of newly hired teachers in Oregon hold a master’s degree, which increases their earning potential and job competitiveness.
  3. Pass required exams
    • The Civil Rights Exam (for licenses, registrations and certificates)
    • Subject Matter Exam: Multiple Subjects for Early Childhood Education endorsement

      See Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission for a listing of all possible endorsements and corresponding schools that offer preparation for these.
  4. Submit your Oregon teaching credential application
    Upon satisfying the above requirements, you may apply for a Preliminary Teaching License from Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. This application process includes successful background clearance, including the submission of fingerprints.

    Note: If you completed an out-of-state teacher preparation program, you can apply for the Reciprocal Teaching License.

Getting into a Teacher License Program

The Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, an independent state agency that awards educator licenses and approves educator preparation programs, requires prospective teachers to complete a state-approved preliminary teacher licensure program.

Admission to one of these accredited programs typically includes the following requirements:

  • A 3.0 GPA overall or in the last two semesters of your undergraduate course
    work (those with a GPA below 3.0 may need to take and pass additional exams before
    being admitted)
  • Proof of strong academic preparation for multiple subjects in general education/major
    course work
  • Previous experience working with children in a classroom setting. Some programs provisionally admit students without this contingent upon completion of 30 hours of classroom observation within the first semester.
  • A strong recommendation from at least three non-family members who are familiar with your work with children
  • Evidence of graduate-level writing
  • Ideal teacher candidates are focused, open to multiple viewpoints, enthusiastic about learning, able to negotiate systems, and excellent at communicating.

Be sure to contact the teacher education program of your choice to learn about specific requirements
for admission.

Testing Information Testing Information
Teaching Programs Teaching Programs
Teacher Salary Information Teacher Salary Information is intended to provide information on becoming a teacher in Oregon and the state's NCATE-accredited teacher education programs.
For additional information on the process of becoming a teacher in Oregon, visit the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission website.
Teacher Standards and Practices Commission is Oregon's licensing agency for all educators.