School and Field Services

Pawley Hall, Room 385
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-3060
(248) 370-4920 fax


Applying to the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP)

The School of Education and Human Services (SEHS) and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) offer a fifth-year secondary teacher education program (STEP) leading to recommendation for Michigan secondary standard teacher certification. This certification is valid for teaching content area majors and minors in grades 6-12, except for music, art, and modern language majors which are valid for grades K-12. The major areas in which Oakland program participants may become certified to teach are: biology, chemistry, English, French, German, history, Japanese, mathematics, music education, physics, Spanish, and studio art education.

Teaching minors include biology, chemistry, computer science, dance, economics, English, English as a second language, history, integrated science, mathematics, modern languages (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish), physics, political science, social studies, and sociology.

Students interested in music education need to contact the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance to learn about content-specific course and sequence requirements.

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

Prospective applicants considering education beyond teacher certification should note that 8 credits of OU STEP professional coursework can be applied directly to a M.Ed. program offered by the Department of Teacher Development and Educational Studies. The conditions under which this is applicable, and additional information about the M.Ed. program, can be obtained by contacting the SEHS advising office. These credits may also be applied to Master’s programs in the content areas.
Applications to the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) and K-12 Modern Language Teacher Education Program (also STEP) are considered once per year. The deadline is 4 p.m. on October 1 of the year preceding the intended internship year. Applications received after that date will only be considered with the permission of your major adviser. Application packets may be printed directly off of the website, and completed packets are returned to 385 Pawley Hall.

Both Oakland undergraduates and students who have completed undergraduate degrees from Oakland or other universities (second undergraduate degree candidates) may become eligible to enter the program. Both groups must fulfill all Oakland requirements for a baccalaureate degree, B.A., 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, English, history, mathematics, modern languages, physics, political science, economics, sociology. For details on specific major and minor course requirements, consult the applicable College of Arts and Sciences departmental listings.

The program also requires 42 credits of professional education coursework. Program coursework includes courses which are taken prior to the start of the internship year, typically while students are completing their other degree requirements.

Initial Steps to Pursuing STEP
Initial Steps in Pursuing STEP
A note about STEP Internships:
The  Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP)  culminates in a twelve credit yearlong teaching internship,  SED455 .  This internship includes both classes and field experiences.  The internship is organized around public school calendars and divides the year into approximately four quarters.  During the first half of the year (roughly corresponding to the first public school semester and the university fall semester) interns are required to be at their school placement for approximately one half day, each day, and to assume instructional responsibility for two classes by about the start of the second marking period (assuming a four marking period calendar).  Students then intern full-time during the Oakland University winter semester (corresponding to the third public school marking period in a four marking period system).  Although they are encouraged to take advantage of all school activities associated with their districts, students are required to be at school only during the stated times.  Students are permitted to work during the internship year at any and all times they are not committed to the field experiences or associated classes.

Applicant Eligibility
Eligibility to apply to the program requires: 
  1. Completion of SED 3000 with a minimum grade of 3.0. This course must be taken at least one semester prior to the semester of application to the program. 
  2. Minimum GPAs of 3.0 in both liberal arts major and minor with no single course below a 2.0. 
  3. A minimum overall GPA of 2.80. 
  4. A minimum grade of 3.0 in Rhetoric 1060 (or an equivalent course as determined by the rhetoric department or the OU records office.) 
  5. Passing scores on the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) basic skills test as determined by the Michigan Department of Education.  This test must be taken prior to applying to STEP and passed prior to the internship.
To complete your application to STEP you need to prepare and submit a packet that includes the following items:

  1. _____ Completed OU STEP Application
  2. _____ Michigan Basic Skills Requirement (SAT, PRE) Scores
  3. _____ Program Plans for Major(s) and Minor(s) completed and signed by the major and minor adviser. Select the "majors" tab and download your content area checklist.
  4. _____ Program Plan for Professional Coursework completed and signed by the SEHS adviser.
  5. _____ Unofficial Transcripts for coursework that hasn't already been sent to Oakland University
  6. _____ Written Responses to Application Questions
  7. _____ Three Letters of Recommendation:
    • one from a professor in your major
    • one from a professor in your minor or endorsement area
    • and one from an off-campus professional who knows your work in a responsible position
  8. _____ Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) Scores (for Modern Language only)
The process of admission is designed to identify and to select a number of well-qualified applicants who demonstrate high potential for success in the teaching profession. 

Factors considered in the applicant selection process include GPAs, written responses to a set of application questions, letters of recommendation, and field evaluations. 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 K-12 Modern Language Teacher Education Program and to the university involve separate processes and should contact the undergraduate admissions office for information about admission to Oakland. 

STEP is unique among teacher education programs in that both the School of Education and Human Services (SEHS) and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) participate collaboratively in its governance and operation. Both of these units have a voice in the process of admissions. 

You will submit your application to the SEHS where it will be checked for completeness. It will then be forwarded to your major department in the CAS along with the applications of others who have your teaching major. A sub-committee within each of these CAS departments will consider your application according to a number of criteria. Criteria that are considered include your academic work in your major and minor areas. Committees also consider academic work and field performance in SED300 or SED301. In addition, department committees will review your written responses to application questions and letters of recommendation. Other department-specific criteria may be applied.

When the CAS review is completed, the determination for acceptance is forwarded to the Director of School and Field Services in SEHS. Letters will be sent to the address you put on your application to inform you of the decision within a month of your application.

If you are accepted by CAS and SEHS, you need to respond letting us know whether or not you wish to become a STEP student. You will need to read the acceptance form, initial each page, sign the last page and return it to the Director of School and Field Services. You also need to return the form telling which orientation date you will attend.
A STEP orientation meeting will be held in November to go over some of the important points of the STEP program and instruct you on the next steps with the student teaching application. You will have a choice of two meetings to attend, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. During the meeting, an advisor will be present to help you register for the classes you will need for the winter semester.

To progress into the internship year, students admitted to the program must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in their education coursework and in their major and minor coursework. In addition, no single education course grade may be below 2.8 and no major or minor course below 2.0. The program status of a student whose grades or GPA fall below these levels will be placed on hold until deficiencies are remedied.