The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has approved Ozarks Technical Community College’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 the state of Missouri.
“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.”
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. Previously, 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. OTC’s substitute teacher training in the “Orientation to the Teaching Profession” course would serve as the appropriate training. The class can be completed in an online or in a hybrid (virtual and in-person) format. Students who complete the course earn three credit hours toward the new Associate of Arts in Teacher Education (AA.TED) degree.
Before the 22-23 school year, OTC offered an Associate of Arts in Teaching degree. The new AA.TED improves the college’s education training pathway by making the degree more accessible to more people. The new AA.TED 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.
Features of the Associate of Arts in Teacher Education degree include:
- The AA.TED will require 60 hours to graduate, five fewer than the AAT.
- The AA.TED can be completed entirely online.
- The degree has minimal textbook costs—almost all of the education classes in the degree pathway use no-cost course materials.
- The college will offer nineteen $500 scholarships for students pursuing the AA.TED. Made possible by a grant from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; the Lincoln Legacy scholarships are named after Lincoln School, the school for African-American children in Springfield before integration. Lincoln School, now called Lincoln Hall, is an academic building on the OTC Springfield Campus.
Students who are interested in substitute teacher training or the AA.TED should call 417-447-6604 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.