Sep 19, 2021  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog

Secondary Education, OU STEP

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363 Pawley Hall 
(248) 370-4182


Program description

The School of Education and Human Services (SEHS) and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) offer a fifth-year secondary teacher education program (Oakland University STEP) leading to recommendation for Michigan secondary standard teacher certification. This certification is valid for teaching content areas in grades 6-12, except art, foreign language majors, English as a second language, and music, which are valid for grades K-12. The major areas in which Oakland program participants may become certified to teach are: art, biology, chemistry, English, history, mathematics, music and physics.  Students may also earn endorsements in Social Studies or Integrated Sciences. STEP does not include art education or music education. Students interested in art or music should consult the degree requirements in the College of Arts and Sciences section of this catalog.

After completing the requirements for graduation in their major and minor teaching areas and preliminary professional education course work, students engage in an academic year-long internship in the public schools that includes both courses and field experiences, and fulfills requirements for certification.

Program requirements

Both Oakland undergraduates and students who have completed undergraduate degrees from Oakland or other universities (second undergraduate degree candidates) may become eligible to enter OU STEP. Both groups must fulfill all Oakland requirements for a baccalaureate degree in an approved major (listed above) prior to beginning their internship year. In addition, they must complete a teaching minor in one of the following areas: biology, chemistry, economics, English, English as a second language, history, mathematics, physics, or political science unless they are completing an endorsement in social studies or integrated science. For details on specific major and minor course requirements and social studies and integrated science endorsements, consult the applicable College of Arts and Sciences departmental listings in this catalog.

The program also requires 36 credits of professional education coursework. Program coursework includes courses which are taken prior to the start of the internship year, and which may be taken while students are completing their other degree requirements. A minimum overall GPA of 2.80 is required before students can begin the professional sequence.

Courses to be taken prior to application to the Secondary Teacher Education Program

  (4) or SED 3001 - Public Education for Prospective K-12 Teachers  (2)
(includes a 30-hour field assignment in the major in addition to course time.)
Overall GPA of at least 2.80 is required to enroll. May only be retaken once. A minimum grade of a B is required for STEP application. Must be completed no less than one semester before application to STEP.

Pedagogy and field courses to be taken during the STEP Program:

Additional professional course requirements for Modern Language majors:

Professional program

Retention in the program is based on student demonstration of the characteristics, skills, and conduct of members of the teaching profession.

Retention in the SEHS professional education programs

Retention in the SEHS professional education programs is based on the expectation that students will demonstrate the characteristics of, and conduct themselves as members of, the profession as described in the Expected Competencies. Students may be removed from a program, removed from a field placement, or may not be recommended for certification for the following reasons: (i)  failure to fulfill any such expectations to Oakland University’s satisfaction, including without limitation the expectation that they demonstrate adequate and appropriate communication ability and character and develop, maintain and fulfill their professional relationships, responsibilities and competencies: (ii) academic misconduct; (iii) violations of the Michigan Code of Ethics for Teachers; (iv) failure to fulfill any Oakland University academic or conduct requirements; or (v) violations of any other program or Oakland University’s policies, rules, regulations or ordinances.

Students may also be removed from field placements: (i) upon request of a building administrator; (ii) for a failure to comply with the requirements of this Competency and Retention Statement; (iii) if Oakland University determines that removal is in the best interests of the student, Oakland University, the professional education programs or the schools where the student is placed; (iv) inadequate planning, classroom management, and/or discipline; (v) lack of content knowledge; (vi) deficiency in oral or written communication skills; (vii) inappropriate personal or professional behavior; (viii) ethical impropriety; (ix) violation(s) of community standards or policies; or (x) failure to exercise appropriate professional judgments.

Field experiences

SED 3000 /SED 3001, FE 3010, SED 4100, SED 4130, RDG 4238, SED 4200, SE 4401, SED 4951 and SED 4952 require field experiences in the public schools, which must be arranged through School and Field Services, (248) 370-3060. Prior or current full- or part-time teaching will not satisfy this requirement. SED 3000 /SED 3001 requires 30 hours of field experience to be completed during the semester in which a student is enrolled. FE 3010 and SED 4100, SED 4130, and RDG 4238 or the equivalent course requirement for the K-12 Foreign Language or the K-12 Art endorsement programs require 30 hours of field experience to be completed during the semester in which a student is enrolled. (Modern language majors will be required to complete a 30-hour field experience during the semesters they are enrolled in FE 3010, EED 3001, and SE 4401.) If professional courses are taken out of this sequence in the summer semester, an additional field may be required. Sustained experience in diverse settings is required. Students will have experiences in classrooms of their major and minor areas of certification.

SED 4951 in the fall semester requires half-day participation at a field school for 3 - 4 hours per day, 4 - 5 days per week.  SED 4952 in the winter semester requires full-day participation at the field school during the entire student teaching semester.

Students may be required to be fingerprinted and have a state police and FBI background check, at their expense, before beginning a field placement depending on school district requirements.

Applicant eligibility

Eligibility to apply to the OU STEP requires:

  1. Completion of SED 3000 /SED 3001 with a minimum grade of a B. This course should be taken at least one semester prior to the semester of application to the program.
  2. Minimum average GPA of 3.00 in both CAS major and minor.
  3. A minimum overall GPA of 2.80.
  4. A minimum grade of a B in WRT 1060 - Composition II  (or an equivalent course as approved by the registrar’s office or the Department of Writing and Rhetoric).

The process of admission is designed to identify and select a number of well-qualified applicants who demonstrate high potential for success in the teaching profession. This number is determined by the capacity of the university to provide quality teacher preparation within its resources.

Factors considered in the applicant selection process include GPA, written responses to a set of application questions, field evaluations, and academic and character reference list. Additional information or an interview may be requested to provide a more complete application profile. Second undergraduate degree applicants should note that admission to the OU STEP and to the university involve separate processes and should contact the undergraduate admissions office for information about admission to Oakland.

Internship and certification

To progress into the internship year, students admitted to the OU STEP must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in their education coursework and in their major and minor course-work. In addition, no single education course grade may be below B and no major or minor course below C. All major and minor coursework and all professional coursework (except DLL 4197, SED 4200, SED 4951 and SED 4952) must be satisfactorily completed before the internship year begins. Modern Language coursework applicable here include DLL 4197, EED 4240, SED 4200, SED 4951 and SED 4952.

Students must pass the MTTC subject area test for each major and minor in which they plan to be certified. Successful completion of both of these tests must be documented prior to the beginning of SED 4952.

In addition, students must receive a minimum grade of a B in SED 4951 and SED 4952 to be eligible for recommendation by Oakland University for Teacher certification. The State also requires a certificate in first aid and adult/child CPR before certification may be recommended.  Students may be required to be fingerprinted and have a state police and FBI background check, at their expense, before beginning a field placement depending on school district requirements.

Successful completion of the STEP program and internship does not guarantee certification by the State of Michigan. Applicants should be aware that a conviction for a felony or a misdemeanor may constitute grounds for denial of a teaching certificate by the State of Michigan. (See complete policy on the SEHS School and Field Services web site.)

Application deadline

Applications to the OU STEP are considered once per year.  The deadline is October 1 of the year preceding the intended internship year. Applications received after that date may be considered pending review by faculty and space in the program. Applications are available on the SEHS website

Course Offerings

The department offers selected courses from this catalog as warranted by student needs and the availability of faculty. Specific offerings for each term may be found on SAIL.

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