Teacher Development and Educational Studies

Pawley Hall
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
Phone: (248) 370-2613
Fax: (248) 370-2639
teach@oakland.edu

Secondary Education Web Banner

STEP Adviser:
Adrienne Spitzer
363 Pawley Hall
(248) 370-4182
alspitze@oakland.edu

Faculty Adviser: 
Dr. Anthony Tuf Francis, Ph.D
470E Pawley Hall
(248) 370-2491
akfranci@oakland.edu 

Secondary Teacher Education

Program Overview

Secondary Teacher Education Program

The Oakland University Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) is designed to prepare you to take your place as a teacher-leader in today's schools. The OU STEP prepares high-quality reflective practitioners who will have the knowledge, skills, and capabilities needed to help adolescents achieve the highest levels of intellectual, social and moral development appropriate to life in a rapidly changing, multi-cultural world.

STEP a field-based fifth-year program leading to recommendation for Michigan secondary standard teaching certification. This certification is valid for teaching content area majors and minors in grades 6-12. The major areas in which Oakland program participants may become certified to teach are: English, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, history, K-12 modern languages (French, German, Japanese or SpanisH), K-12 music education and K-12 studio art education.  Students can also add on an intregrated science endorsement or a social studies endorsement.

Internship and Testing Requirements

After completing requirements for graduation in their major and minor teaching areas and preliminary professional education coursework, students engage in a 12-credit year-long internship in the public schools which includes both courses and field experiences, and fulfills requirements for state certification.

To progress into the internship year, students admitted to the program must maintain a minimum GPA of a 3.0 (B) in their education coursework and in their major and minor coursework. In addition, no single education course grade may be below a B or 3.0 and no major or minor course below a 2.0 (C). The program status of a student whose grades or GPA fall below these levels will be placed on hold until deficiencies are remedied.

It is recommended that you take your state certification tests during your first winter semester of STEP.  This includes the Michigan Basic Skills Test Requirement, as well as your major/minor MTTC tests. These tests do not have to be taken before you apply to the program. Although these scores will not affect your admission into the program, you need passing scores on these tests before you can begin your internship year.

Course Sequence

Prior to STEP Program (complete one only)

  • SED 3000: Introduction to Secondary Education (4 credits)  -OR-
  • SED 3001: Public Education for Prospective K-12 Teachers (2 credits)


Winter - Year 1

  • FE 3010: Educational Psychology for K-12 Educators (may be taken in the summer) (4 credits)
  • SE 4401: Introduction to Students with Special Needs (may be taken in the summer) (4 credits)
  • RDG 4238: Teaching Reading in the Content Areas (4 credits)
  • SED 4100 (427)/ENG 4000 (398)/SED 4130 (426): Teaching Secondary in the Minor Methods (ESL minors do not take the course) (4 credits)


Fall - Year 1

  • SED 4200: Teaching Secondary of the Major Methods (4 credits)
  • DLL 4197: Digital Technologies in the Secondary Classroom (4 credits)
  • SED 4952: Internship in Secondary Education (4 credits)


Winter - Year 2

  • SED 4952: Internship in Secondary Education (8 credits)
How to Apply

The Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) cohort starts each Winter semester. The application deadline is October 1 in the semester prior to STEP entry.  The online application will be available starting September 1 each year. Applications received after October 1 will only be considered with the permission of your major adviser.

Program Requirements
  • Complete SED 3000 (or 300, 301, or 3001) with a minimum grade of 3.0 or B
  • Complete WRT 1060 (or 160) with a minimum grade of 3.0 or B
  • Earn a minimum GPAs of 3.0 in both teachable major and minor with no single course below a 2.0 or C
  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.8
  • Confirm SAT or ACT scores are on file with Oakland University

If you are missing one or more of the above requirements please talk to your faculty adviser about conditional admission to STEP.


How to Apply
  • Review your Progress to Degree (DegreeWorks) in MySail to ensure all information is accurate, discuss any issue with your CAS Adviser
  • Print out and complete the Advising Guide (requires advisers' signatures)
    • Step 1: Meet with the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Office to confirm cumulative GPA, discuss remaining general education courses, and update your DegreeWorks plan
    • Step 2: Meet with your Major Faculty Adviser to plan any remaining courses and discuss your major GPA
    • Step 3:Meet with your Minor Faculty Adviser to plan any remaining courses and discuss your major GPA
  • Write a two-page, double-spaced goal statement that responds to the following prompts: (1) What experiences have led you to believe you would enjoy teaching middle/high school students? (2) What abilities do you have that lead you to believe you can manage a classroom? (3) What grade levels and/or areas of the curriculum do you hope to teach? Why? (4) What knowledge, experience, or personal attributes do you have that would benefit your students? (5) What do you hope to accomplish in a teaching career?
  • Gather two references: One should be a faculty member in your major. The second should be a non-family reference who can speak to your character. You will need to provide their name, email address, and phone number. A letter of recommendation is not required, references will only be called when needed.
  • After submitting your application to STEP, schedule a meeting with SEHS Advising to plan your remaining courses and discuss your MTTC testing requirements

Applications were due October 1, 2018.  Please contact SEHS Advising with any questions about applying to the STEP program.

Next Steps

Review Process
The application is designed to identify and select well-qualified applicants who demonstrate high potential for success in the teaching profession. Additional information or an interview may be requested to provide a more complete application profile. 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. Admissions decisions will be communicated to students by November 1.

Mandatory Orientation
The STEP orientation meeting will be held on November 28, 2018 for the new cohort beginning in Winter 2019. At this orientation, you will learn about the program expectations, course requirements, student teaching and field placements, and answer any other questions you may have. This is also an opportunity to network with current STEP students.

Testing Requirements
Prior to the year-long field experience, students will need to pass the Michigan Basic Skills Exam Requirement as well as the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) test in the Major and Minor (or endorsement) areas. Students majoring or minoring in a Modern Language must also pass the Oral Proficiency (OPI) Exam prior to certification.

VIA - Online Assessment Tool
VIA by Watermark (http://www.vialivetext.com) is an online assessment tool that every candidate of the initial teacher preparation programs in the School of Education and Human Services (STEP, Elementary, K12, MATEE, MATSE) is required to use. Once you are accepted to the program, you will receive an email from the Office of Continuous Improvement (sehscic@oakland.edu) that will provide you with information to purchase your account. Please visit OU VIA for more information related to VIA.