Building on the teacher education pathway

By Ozarks Technical Community College

Substitute teachers were never more important than during the Covid-19 pandemic when some schools were forced to shut down due to teacher and staff absences.

In Missouri, a person seeking to become a substitute teacher was required to have completed at least 60 college credit hours. In the fall of 2021, the State Board of Education changed the requirement to become a substitute teacher to either the 60 completed college credits or a high school diploma and the appropriate substitute teacher training.

Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) is helping to meet that requirement. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has approved OTC’s class “Orientation to the Teaching Profession” as substitute teacher training. Students who complete this introductory course for OTC’s new teacher education degree will be eligible to apply to become substitute teachers in Missouri.

The course is rolled into OTC’s new Associate of Arts in Teacher Education degree (AA.TED) program.

“When the college revamped its teaching degree, we wanted to give students that substitute teacher training during their first semester so they could work in the classroom while completing their degree,” said Angie Miller, department chair for teacher education. “With this approval, anyone in the state could take this course and then apply with DESE to become a substitute teacher.”

The “Orientation to the Teaching Profession” course can be completed in an online or in a hybrid format. Students who complete the course earn three credit hours toward the new teaching degree.

OTC had previously offered an Associate of Arts in Teaching degree. The new program improves the college’s education training pathway by making the degree more accessible to more people. Among the improvements: it can be completed fully online, it requires five fewer credit hours to graduate and almost all of the education classes in the degree pathway use no-cost course materials.

The teacher education degree is designed for students who plan to transfer to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor’s degree and eventually become K-12 teachers.

Learn more here.

Ozarks Technical Community College

is located in Springfield, Missouri.