Department of Education

The Department of Education offers bachelor’s degree programs that lead to careers in K-12 teaching, as well as master’s degree programs for those interested in pursuing or advancing their careers as teachers, policymakers and researchers. The department offers a curriculum that is founded in the arts and sciences and integrated with education courses, field and clinical experiences and content specialization programs that draw upon the expertise of faculty from other disciplines such as deaf education, exercise and sports science, instrumental and vocal music education and foreign languages. The education curriculum is designed to prepare teaching professionals.

The University of Tulsa Department of Education is committed to cultivating effective teachers who are critical thinkers, skillful learners, caring community partners, and engaged democratic citizens. The department fulfills this mission through its program learning outcomes, ensuring that students who complete a program in education will be able to:

  • Demonstrate mastery of the central concepts and tools of inquiry of their discipline(s)
  • Plan research-based instruction that advances the learning of each student
  • Utilize research-based pedagogy that advances the learning of each student
  • Design curriculum based on state and national standards
  • Demonstrate mastery of the assessment cycle as a component of teaching
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the processes of human development and learning
  • Demonstrate a commitment to ongoing professional development
  • Promote the success of each student based on a demonstrated understanding of the socio-cultural, historical and institutional contexts of education

On June 23, 2017, the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability (OEQA), which is the state accrediting body for education programs in Oklahoma, revoked the accreditation of the education programs at The University of Tulsa. This decision removes the authority of the department of education at TU to recommend its graduates for teacher certification in Oklahoma. As a consequence of the OEQA decision, The University of Tulsa was notified on May 30, 2018 that the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) also revoked the TU’s Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) accreditation. However, these decisions do not affect the university’s ability to award degrees in education. Students who complete any of the teacher preparation programs at TU can seek teacher certification through one of the alternate routes to certification. Faculty in the programs can help students with this process.

The university is aggressively seeking to regain state accreditation. The program submitted a self-study to OEQA on January 14th, 2019 providing evidence of implementing state and national standards. On August 15, 2018, the Oklahoma Commission on Educational Quality and Accountability (CEQA) unanimously approved our application for eligibility following positive reviews of the application and site visit.  The program will submit a self-study to OEQA in January 2019 providing evidence of implementing state and national standards.  Following a final on-site visit on September 8-10, 2019, the CEQA will make a decision regarding full state accreditation by December 2019.

Students, families or prospective students and families are encouraged to contact the Department of Education Chair Elizabeth Smith with questions.

Cooperating Teachers

Maria CoppThe TU Department of Education school partners include approximately 10 districts and 25 urban, suburban, and rural schools that provide candidates with opportunities to receive continuous exposure to diverse school environments and potential employers. Cooperating Teachers are essential partners in preparing our candidates to teach. Cooperating Teachers are selected through a collaborative process between TU and school partners. There are three basic requirements for serving as a Cooperating Teacher: at least three years of teaching experience, status of highly qualified and certified in the area in which they teach, and good standing in their school and district. Principals recommend Cooperating Teachers based on their knowledge of teachers’ positive impact on P-12 student learning and development as well as their potential to serve as positive mentors for candidates.

Cooperating Teachers attend both an orientation training session at the beginning of each semester and a celebration at the conclusion of the semester. At the orientation, teachers learn about the student teaching model, their responsibilities, and expectations for student teachers. Additionally, Cooperating Teachers are trained in using the CPAST, the student teaching evaluation tool. Please see below for resources to prepare Cooperating Teachers for their role.

Research on the CPAST

The PPAT Cooperating Teacher Handbook

10 Tips on How to Effectively Mentor New Teachers

Secrets for Mentoring Novice Teachers


Education students benefit from the school’s collaboration and partnerships with other components of TU’s academic and service community:

  • University School for academically gifted children
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Summer programs for students and teachers
  • Continuing Education/Lifelong Learning
  • True Blue Neighbors
  • Kendall-Whittier Elementary School
  • Communication Sciences & Disorders (Speech Language Pathology)
  • TU’s Center for Community Development and Research (CCRD)
  • Gilcrease Museum
  • Henry Zarrow Center for Arts and Education
  • Global Alliance Center
  • English Programs for International Studies
Title II Reports

For information on the Title II Reports, click here.

Program Completer Outcome and Impact Measures

State and national accreditors require that all educator preparation programs publicly report eight outcome and impact measures.  To learn more.