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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 mission of the Department of Education is to offer a state-of-the-art program for students seeking careers in our nation’s schools. The department fulfills this mission by providing academic opportunities that produce transformative professional educators who are:

  • Experts in subject matter and pedagogy;
  • Experts in child and adolescent development;
  • Equipped to advance every child’s learning amid the social, economic and cultural diversity of our classrooms and communities;
  • Committed to educational inquiry and lifelong professional learning;
  • Firm believers in public education as a crucial element of a just and vibrant democracy

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 its initial application for eligibility to OEQA on April 9, 2018 and had a site visit on May 10, 2018 to investigate its readiness to apply for reaccreditation.  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.