Teacher Development and Educational Studies

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

A group of adults seated around a table in a classroom.

Secondary Teacher Education

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. 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.

Program Overview Request More InformationCourse RequirementsField PlacementSTEP Application

STEP is 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 integrated 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 major/minor MTTC certification tests during your first winter semester of STEP. These tests do not have to be taken prior to applying to the STEP program, but you are required to have passing scores before you can begin your internship year.

Academic Advising

For additional information, visit the SEHS advising homepage, or contact:
  1. STEP (academic) Adviser
    Adrienne Spitzer
    363 Pawley Hall
    (248) 370-4182

  2. Faculty Adviser
    Dr. Anthony Tuf Francis
    470E Pawley Hall
    (248) 370-2491
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 opens around mid-September and the deadline to apply is October 1 in the semester prior to STEP entry. 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 GPA of 3.0 in both teachable major and minor with no single course below a 2.0 or C (For Winter 2020 only "S" grades can be used to satisfy degree requirements with the exception of HST 3000 and HST 4980)
  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.8

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
  • During the application window, apply by completing the STEP Application
  • Review your Progress to Degree (DegreeWorks) in MySAIL to ensure all information is accurate, discuss any issue with your CAS Adviser.
  • Complete a copy of the Advising Guide (requires meetings with advisers)
    • 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:
    • What experiences have led you to believe you would enjoy teaching middle/high school students?
    • What abilities do you have that lead you to believe you can manage a classroom?
    • What grade levels and/or areas of the curriculum do you hope to teach? Why?
    • What knowledge, experience or personal attributes do you have that would benefit your students?
    • 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, attend an advising appointment with Adrienne Spitzer. Call the School of Education and Human Services Advising Office at 248-370-4182 to schedule an appointment. During your advising session you will plan your remaining education courses and your MTTC testing requirements.
Please contact Adrienne Spitzer (SEHS Advising)  at  alspitze@oakland.edu 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
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 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 is an online assessment tool that every candidate of the initial teacher preparation programs in the School of Education and Human Services (STEP, Elementary, K-12, 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.