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Elementary School Teacher Requirements in Ohio

Elementary school teaching is one of the most important professions, instilling fundamental skills and building a strong foundation for future learning. It’s also a field poised to grow. Projections from the Ohio Bureau of Labor show the state will require 287,652 teachers by 2026, an increase of more than 11,000 jobs. An online bachelor’s degree in education (or traditional route) is the first step toward entering this field, but graduates must also take several other steps to begin their new careers. From earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at MVNU to applying for licensure, future teachers must complete the following requirements to achieve employment in Ohio. 

Complete an Accredited Teacher Preparation Program 

The Ohio Department of Education oversees all teacher licensing and requires future educators to achieve a bachelor’s degree from a regionally and nationally accredited higher education institution. Like all accredited elementary education degree programs within the state of Ohio, MVNU and the Online Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education program are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE), and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Our online elementary education degree program is also recognized by the Ohio Department of Education as a qualifying program for teacher preparation and develops students for the challenges of modern classrooms.

This status helps ensure all students receive adequate training in pedagogy, subject-level instruction, classroom management, curriculum development, and other key concepts. Additionally, ODHE and Ohio Revised Code HLC standards require all elementary education degree candidates to complete a minimum of 12 weeks of student teaching. This provides invaluable real-world experience for students preparing to enter the job market. 

Individuals who have previously completed a bachelor’s degree in another subject may also pursue an alternative route to teacher certification by transferring lower-division credits. 

Pass the Ohio Assessments for Educators

Earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education also prepares students to complete the Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE). Graduates seeking a career in elementary school teaching must earn a passing score to pursue licensure and find employment within Ohio school systems. 

The OAE exam is divided into two parts: pedagogical skill and content-area knowledge. The assessment you will complete includes a variety of question types, including those which require written answers and multiple choice. To schedule an assessment, test takers must register online, pay a registration fee, and adhere to all testing center policies. Accommodations are available for test takers with documented disabilities and those who do not speak English as a primary language. 

Complete Mandated Screenings

Schools should be safe places for all children, and teachers must meet the highest standards for conduct. Accordingly, the Ohio Department of Education requires that all applicants for licensure undergo state and federal background checks to confirm the absence of a criminal record. You will also need to complete fingerprinting via WebCheck. The Ohio Attorney General’s office provides a directory of Open WebCheck Stations and Open Sheriff's Office WebCheck locations to simplify this process. 

Submit an Application for Licensure to Become an Elementary School Teacher in Ohio

Once you have earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with an accredited teacher preparation program, completed the OAE exam, and undergone background screenings, you may submit an application to the Office of Educator Licensure. This application must be completed online via the Department of Education and may take up to three months to finalize. This means you should begin the process as soon as possible before seeking employment. 

A number of important documents are required to submit a licensure application. These include: 
  • Verification of a completed background check and fingerprinting
  • Official transcripts for your bachelor’s degree in elementary education
  • Proof of completion of a teacher preparation program at an accredited school
  • Passing OAE scores
  • A completed application for teaching certification in Ohio

You will be asked to provide a non-refundable processing fee at the time of submission. There may also be questions related to past work history, military service, previous licensing, and any criminal history. Applicants who begin the process without all necessary documentation may pause their application and return to complete it at a later time. 

Once approved, you will be a fully licensed elementary education teacher and eligible for employment at public, charter, and private schools throughout Ohio. 

Enroll in the Online Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education Program at MVNU

Are you ready to explore a career in education? The bachelor’s degree in elementary education at MVNU offers the only primarily online program of its kind in the state of Ohio, allowing adult students to balance family and work with the demands of career education. To get started, request more information or apply for enrollment today. 

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