Teacher Education Admission & Decision Points

Otterbein is committed to advanced programs that prepare students to become outstanding teachers. The essence of good teacher candidates lies in their potential for having positive impacts on the learning and well-being of the pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade students that they teach.

Impactful teachers are those who possess the knowledge, skills and dispositions to effectively facilitate learning for students of diverse backgrounds and abilities.

Federal, State and Institutional standards all play a role in the development of Teacher Education Admission criteria.

Otterbein faculty members work continually with highly qualified field supervisors and cooperating teachers to monitor the performance and progress of teacher candidates.

To determine the progress of education and teaching candidates in meeting departmental standards, five benchmarks or checkpoints are used across the programs.

Note: The Otterbein Department of Education reserves the right to refuse registration and/or admission to any candidate who does not meet the criteria or who does not make satisfactory progress in the Teacher Education Program.

Change of Major

Please note the requirements for an internal Change of Major to Education (30 semester hours or less from all institutions):

  • Post-evaluation 2.5 overall GPA from all institutions
  • Permission of Education Department Chair

Please note the requirements for an internal Change of Major to Education (more than 30 semester hours from all institutions):

  • Post-evaluation 2.5 overall GPA from all institutions
  • Post-evaluation 2.75 GPA in concentration/teaching area(s)
  • ACT scores of 17 or above in Mathematics and Reading (or equivalent Accuplacer, SAT, or Praxis Core—see Decision Point 1, above)
  • Permission of Education Department Chair

Transfer Students

  • Requirements for all external transfers as intended Education majors
  • Post-evaluation 2.5 overall GPA from all institutions
  • Post-evaluation 2.75 GPA in concentration/teaching area(s) (all courses required for a teaching license)
  • ACT scores of 17 or above in Mathematics and Reading (or equivalent Accuplacer, SAT, or Praxis Core – see Test Table in Decision Point 1)
  • Recommendation of the Transfer Admission Counselor
  • Enrollment at Otterbein in at least one of the following courses: EDUC 1600, EDUC 2000, or EDUC 2200, or an alternative course with a field experience (e.g., EDUC 3700, EDUC 3850, EDUC 2600, EDUC 3410, or EDUC 2555.)

Transcript Evaluation

Once all official transcripts are received by the University, the Office of the Registrar will conduct a formal transcript evaluation.  Only courses approved by the Office of the Registrar or the Chair of the Department of Education will receive transfer credit.

Significant Improvement Policy

Candidates who are transferring low undergraduate grade point averages in from other institutions may encounter significant obstacles when trying to raise their overall GPA to 2.5 or content GPA to 2.75.  For these candidates, the Significant Improvement Policy has been developed.  If a transfer student has earned a 3.0 or higher overall GPA at Otterbein over 24 or more semester hours and a 3.0 content GPA in a minimum of 3 content courses in their area of intended licensure, they will have met the grade point average for admission to Teacher Education.


COVID-19 policies regarding standardized test requirements

Because of disrupted availability of standardized tests and the many challenges of living and learning through a pandemic, the Otterbein Education Department has deferred the pre-admission requirement to demonstrate reading and mathematics competencies on standardized tests (e.g., ACT) before admission to EDUC 1600 (or the other first EDUC course as a transfer student) in the summer 2020, fall 2020, spring 2021, summer 2021 and fall 2021 semesters. Students accepting this deferment are required to demonstrate competency before Decision Point 2 (see below). Accuplacer tests may be arranged through the Education Department.

The pre-admission GPA requirement (2.5 in courses appearing on the Otterbein transcript) before enrolling in EDUC 1600 or another EDUC course, if applicable, remains the same.

Decision Point 1: Pre-Admission (Entry to EDUC 1600)

Standardized Test Minimum Score
ACT Math 17
SAT Math 430
Praxis Core Math 141
Accuplacer Next-Generation Qualitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics (arrange test through the Education Department) 246
ACT Reading 17
SAT Reading 420
Praxis Core Reading 159
Accuplacer Next-Generation Reading
(arrange test through the Education Department)

Students who meet the following criteria will be allowed to enroll in EDUC 1600. This is the first step candidates will need to complete in order to be eligible for admission in our teacher licensure programs.

  • 2.5 overall GPA
  • By the end of the third semester, standardized Reading and Math scores at or above the scores indicated in the table.

Decision Point 2: Admission to Teacher Education Programs

Admission to teacher education is required to be eligible for any EDUC Methods field course.  Students complete applications during EDUC 2000/2200, or for transfer students, upon taking their first course at Otterbein; forms are available in Watermark-Taskstream.  Criteria for admission to the Teacher Education Program include:

  • Must continue to meet all Decision Point 1 criteria.
  • 36 semester hours of college level work, including EDUC 1600 and EDUC 2000/2200; a minimum of two semesters or 28 semester hours must be completed at Otterbein;
  • AYA and Multi-Age candidates must complete a minimum of 9 semester hours in their teaching area.  Middle Childhood candidates must complete at least 9 hours in their teaching areas; at least one course in each of the concentration areas is part of the 9 hours.
  • Post-evaluation 2.5 overall GPA from all institutions;
  • Post-evaluation 2.75 GPA in teaching area(s).  This includes all EDUC courses and subject courses in the teaching areas.  If the course is required for a teaching license, it is included in this GPA.
  • Communication Proficiency Rubric in EDUC 1600 and EDUC 2200/2000.
  • Technology and Differentiation evaluations in EDUC 2200/2000.
  • Positive recommendations from persons listed below.  These recommendations provide evidence of effective interpersonal relations, motivation, critical dispostions, and content knowledge for the field of teaching:
    1. EDUC 1600 instructor, supervisor, and cooperating teacher(s);
    2. EDUC 2000/2200 instructor, supervisor, and cooperating teacher(s);
    3. Additional Otterbein instructors who can assess the student’s time in a field experience.
    4. If both EDUC 1600 and EDUC 2000/2200 were transferred from another institution, a positive recommendation from a field-based course is required before admission
    5. The chairperson of the teaching area department (for AYA or Multi-Age).
  • The teacher education admission candidate is responsible for obtaining a Department recommendation from a course instructor other than those listed above.  This independent recommendation must be submitted to the Department of Education.
  • Transfer and post-baccalaureate candidates who have completed at least 75% of their content area requirements with a content GPA of 2.75 or higher do not need approval of the content area department and may apply for admission after completing 9 content hours at Otterbein;
  • Proficiency in written communication as evidenced by a “C” or better in a college level composition course.
  • Proficiency in oral and written communication as evidenced by performance in EDUC 1600 and EDUC 2000/2200.
  • Course grades of C or higher and overall field ratings of 3 or higher in EDUC 1600 and EDUC 2000/2200.
  • At the discretion of the Teacher Education Committee, data collected and reported in all college-level courses; and dispositions in courses, field experiences, and on-campus interactions with university faculty, staff, and students, may also be considered in the decision to admit a student to teacher education.  Reports of academic misconduct, counseling reports, or other informal documentation (e.g. email from a supervisor) that suggest unsatisfactory performance in courses and schools will be considered with the other documentation.  This list is not exclusive.
  • Missing multiple application materials will result in a deferral of your application until all requirements are received** If however, your application is missing materials because faculty did not submit a recommendation, a conditional admit status will be considered should all other materials meet the criteria stated above.

Applications are reviewed every term; files are complete only after a candidate has taken EDUC 1600 and 2000/2200.  Applicants will be notified of the action of the Committee in writing, and they may reapply if they do not qualify on the first application by contacting the Education Department for application deadlines.

Eligibility will again be checked prior to candidates being enrolled in Methods courses.  Candidates must receive positive recommendations from prior field experience in order to enroll in EDUC 3200, 3420, 3705, 4550, or MUSC 3032/3033.

Decision Point 3: Enrollment in Capstone (Student Teaching)

The Student Teaching-Internship Placement Request Form is available through the Education Department.  Candidates must submit their placement request in the spring prior to the student teaching year. (deadline set by the Field Experience Coordinator).  Candidates’ records will be reviewed before student teaching placement by the Teacher Education Committee.  Requirements before placement in student teaching include:

  • GPA (see Admission requirements in Decision Point 2);
  • Successful completion of pre-student teaching field and course requirements; (determined based on your teaching license)
  • Communication proficiency rubric
  • Technology and differentiation evaluation
  • Positive recommendation from a Methods instructor;
  • An updated background check
  • Submission of a student teaching-internship request form to the Department
  • An assessment portfolio without reports of academic misconduct or other serious violations of the university code of conduct or dispositions for teaching (i.e., critical dispositions).  Assessments of critical dispositions indicate acceptable performance levels.
  • Note: Placements at districts of employment are not permissible. Candidates needing more time to demonstrate competencies for student teaching may be required to take an extra field experience before decision point 3.  Faculty professors reserve the right to require this intervention for candidates of concern.


Decision Point 4: Exit Requirements for Student Teaching

Successful completion of student teaching clinical practice requirements include:

  • Twelve weeks of Otterbein-approved full-time, supervised teaching; at least four of which are solo-teaching;
  • Completion and submission of the edTPA for national scoring.  The Student Teaching Handbook indicates the scoring guide for the edTPA.  Retaking the edTPA may be necessary.
  • Successful completion of the associated seminar and workshop requirements, including an electronic exit portfolio.

Decision Point 5: Program Completion and Recommendation for Licensure

In order to be recommended for licensure, candidates must:

  • Completion of all required coursework, including a “C” grade in all Professional Education courses (C- is unacceptable)
  • Verification of GPA requirements (see Admission to Teacher Education)
  • Application for graduation/program completion (See the Registrar’s Office at least two terms before you plan to complete your program)
  • Licensure candidates must maintain a 2.75 GPA in their content area(s); Successful completion of OAE licensure tests required for the specific teaching area(s).  Valid Fingerprinting and Background Check is required for licensure;
  • Opioid awareness training;
  • Dyslexia training
  • Set up an OH|ID account on the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) website and apply for licensure