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Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP)

The Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) with an English major is a cooperative program between the College of Arts and Sciences and the  School of Education and Human Services designed to prepare students for careers as teachers of English in the secondary schools. Students earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and complete additional requirements leading to recommendation for teacher certification. A special feature of Oakland's program is a yearlong internship including both field experience and coursework after degree requirements have been met. Among the advantages of Oakland's program are these:

  • Emphasis on content area preparation
  • A more extensive field experience than traditional student teaching, including experience with the start and end of a school year
  • Better preparation for the field experience because all subject area coursework must be completed before the field experience begins
  • Integration of the methods course with the field experience
  • More career flexibility because students who are not accepted into the STEP program or who change their minds about becoming teachers will still meet the requirements for a B.A. degree.

Applications are due every year on October 1. For questions regarding the application process, please contact Roberta Rea or SEHS advising.

Major Requirements 

Students should meet frequently with academic advisers to plan their course of study. Students who have been admitted to Oakland University and who have met any specified prerequisites may take general education courses, courses to meet the College of Arts and Sciences distribution requirements, courses in the minor, and courses toward an English major. The application process for the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) is handled through the School of Education and Human Services.

Application packets are available on the SEHS School and Field Services website. The Department of English will make recommendations about applicants for English majors in STEP; in order to ensure fair and adequate evaluation of their applications, students should make sure they have completed most of their required English courses before they submit applications.

This program will be selective; simply meeting course requirements will not guarantee admission to the program. While STEP requires a minimum GPA of 3.00 in the major, we anticipate that successful applicants in English will have a GPA in English courses of at least 3.4.

Transfer students should follow procedures specified in the Oakland University Undergraduate Catalog. At least 20 credits in English must be taken at Oakland. While some courses toward an English teaching major may be transferable, students should be aware that our requirements are quite specific and that transfer courses do not always match up well with our requirements. Please see the  Undergraduate Admissions website for more information.

Students who have a baccalaureate degree in English from Oakland or from another institution may apply for the program. STEP admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA in the major and minor disciplines; students may be required to take additional English coursework at OU if their English GPA is below a 3.0. Students may also need to take additional English coursework if the English courses taken do not meet all of the state content requirements for English teacher certification. Transcripts should be evaluated by an adviser in SEHS in order to determine if additional English coursework is necessary. Post-baccalaureate students who graduated with a degree in English do not earn a second degree; rather, they complete the requirements for recommendation for teaching certification.

Post-baccalaureate students who graduated with a degree in a field other than English will follow the STEP English major curriculum, which includes both English content courses and professional education courses; those students will also need to choose a teachable minor in which they will earn certification.

Post-baccalaureate students will need to apply and be accepted into OU's STEP in order to complete the professional education courses and intern teaching. Information regarding the application process can be found on the Secondary Teacher Education information page.

See the post baccalaureate section of the Undergraduate Admissions website for more information.

Department of English, Creative Writing and Film

O'Dowd Hall, Room 544
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-3700
fax: (248) 370-4429