Earning a Doctor of Education Degree in Oklahoma
Oklahoma doctoral programs in education fall into two broad categories: offerings from big public research players (i.e. OSU and OU) and Ed.D. programs from private universities with a Christian worldview (i.e. SNU and ORU). Most of these schools focus on traditional leadership specialties, but OSU has a couple of highly unusual offerings. You’ll find them in our school listings, alongside links to costs & curricula.
Keep in mind that these are primarily on-campus or blended doctorates—Oklahoma institutions have yet to jump with gusto on the distance learning bandwagon. If you like the look of one in particular, be sure to match it up against the links in our Ed.D. funding section. A few of these Ed.D. degrees will also be able to help you prepare for administrator certification at the district-level (i.e. superintendent).
Already planning for post-graduation? Have a quick look at our career section. We’ve highlighted relevant administrative job & salary data and identified useful resources for your job interview (e.g. PreK-20 financial reports). This area of the guide also contains an annotated list of educational leadership organizations and ideas for conferences & training programs. CCOSA is extremely active in the realm of professional development.
Doctoral Education Funding in Oklahoma
Internal Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
For this section, we’ve highlighted institutional aid—doctoral awards and discounts that are offered by the university itself. The Office of Financial Aid and the Graduate School will have more information and advice on applying for federal financial aid and loans. You can also talk to your employer about the possibility of work reimbursement.
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
The College of Education, Health and Aviation (EHA) has info on applying for EHA Scholarships, but the list of awards in the OSU catalog isn’t big on specifics. The Graduate School has an extensive section on Financing Graduate School, with details on assistantships, graduate scholarships & fellowships, graduate college awards, and loans.
The Graduate School appears to have a fair amount of funding for current students. There’s a Doctoral Student Phoenix Award and a lovely Robberson Summer Dissertation Fellowship. However, OSU doesn’t specify whether Ed.D. students count as doctoral students. We recommend you ask the Ed.D. program coordinator for details.
Oral Roberts University
The College of Education (COE) has a list of Graduate School of Education Scholarships at the master’s and doctoral level. There are some excellent awards & fellowships in this list, along with details about ORU’s Military Discount.
Southern Nazarene University
SNU has a section on Financial Aid for Professional and Graduate School; most of the info is on external aid. And Graduate Scholarships are often limited to master’s students.
University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus
The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education (JRCOE) has a large section on COE Graduate Scholarships. This list includes a number of general graduate awards, but it’s best to ask the program coordinator if Executive Ed.D. students qualify for them.
We also want to recommend the JRCOE Money Guide, which provides info on graduate assistantships, fellowships, financial aid, loans, and much more. At OU, there are a number of travel & research grants available for academic conferences or conducting research.
Note: If a university name is missing from the list, we didn’t find specific examples of Ed.D. funding beyond private & federal loans and external aid.
School Administration Certification Requirements in Oklahoma
The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) is responsible for issuing teacher certificates and administrator certifications.
- The OSDE’s page on Updates/Enhancements to Teacher Credential Areas has detailed info on the process, including instructions for educators who are seeking alternative administrator certification. We’ve also provided a brief rundown of requirements for principal & superintendent positions below.
- In addition, the Oklahoma Office of Educational Quality and Accountability (OEQA) maintains a list of state-approved educator preparation programs for certification.
You don’t have to earn a doctorate to qualify for principal or superintendent certification, but there are some Oklahoma Ed.D. programs in our school listings that incorporate that preparation into the curriculum. For example, OU’s Executive Ed.D. and ORU’s Ed.D. in Public School Administration have been approved by the OSDE for district-level certification purposes.
To earn the Standard Administrator Certificate as a Principal, you must:
- Hold a standard master’s degree.
- Complete a state-approved building-level leadership skills program in education administration.
- Achieve a passing score on Principal Oklahoma Subject Area Tests (Common core and principal specialty area).
- Have two years of successful teaching experience in an Oklahoma public or private school accredited by the Oklahoma State Board of Education.
To earn the Standard Administrator Certificate as a Superintendent, you must:
- Hold Principal certification OR complete a state-approved building-level leadership skills program in education administration that includes a standard master’s degree.
- Complete a state-approved district-level leadership skills program in education administration OR have completed a state-approved master’s degree in education administration between 7/1/05 and 8/25/12.
- Achieve a passing score on the Superintendent Oklahoma Subject Area Test.
- Have two years of administrative experience in an Oklahoma public or private school accredited by the Oklahoma State Board of Education.
Educational Leadership Jobs in Oklahoma
Educational Leadership Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps close watch on employment & salary data for elementary & secondary school education administrators and postsecondary education administrators in every state. Averages for four types of education administrators are listed in the BLS’s section on State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Oklahoma.
The BLS’s employment maps are particularly helpful if you want to see how Oklahoma is doing in relation to its neighbors. For example, the job market for K-12 administrators is low when compared to big states (e.g. Texas), but it’s not at the bottom of the barrel—it’s usually similar to Arkansas and Kansas.
- For more detailed K-12 data and statistical perspectives on districts, check out the OSDE’s Administrators section. This contains links to Oklahoma School Report Cards, NAEP results, and much more.
- The section on OSDE Public Records is also enlightening. It has a list of award-winning schools & districts, performance & finance reports, and an entire sub-section on Workforce data.
The job news is better for Oklahoma postsecondary education administrators. The state is frequently lurking in the BLS’s second employment bracket—on par with Missouri and beating out Arkansas and Kansas. Big research universities such as OU and OSU obviously employ more administrators than smaller schools, but be aware that Tulsa Community College is pretty sizeable, both in terms of enrollment and staff numbers.
Planning your next higher education move? The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (State Regents) and its section on Studies, Reports and Data is an excellent place to start your career research. It contains annual data reports on OK postsecondary institutions (e.g. enrollment, ten-year institutional profiles, fiscal reports, etc.) and 10,000-foot-view publications (e.g. Report of the Task Force on the Future of Higher Education).
Educational Leadership Salaries
Annual mean wages for Oklahoma K-12 administrators are less than stellar. The Sooner State is often one of the lowest paying states in the country for this job category.
You’ll discover public school salaries for Oklahoma superintendents and school administrators listed in OSDE Public Records, under Workforce. These can be quite detailed. For instance, the report on Oklahoma district superintendent salaries contains the person’s name, base salary, and fringe benefits.
It’s a similar tale for Oklahoma postsecondary education administrators—mean wages are usually in the lowest bracket, along with New Mexico. The one bright spot is in the middle of the state, with its cluster of well-paying higher education institutions (e.g. OSU-OKC, OU, UCO, etc.).
- The State Regents publishes annual Salaries in the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education in its section on Fiscal data.
- If you want to search for salaries by the person’s name, the Office of Management Enterprise Service (OMES) publishes quarterly State of Oklahoma Payroll data.
- Oklahoma Watch’s Data Center also lists Oklahoma University Salaries, but these are primarily limited to high-level administrators.
Educational Leadership Job Boards
Regular job sites (e.g. LinkedIn, Indeed, HigherEdJobs, SchoolSpring, etc.) will always contain postings for Oklahoma educational leaders. But you may wish to try a couple of local job boards as well.
- OSSBA conducts Superintendent Searches for Oklahoma superintendents and maintains a comprehensive Job Board with listings for Oklahoma educators and administrators (e.g. principals, business managers, directors, etc.).
- CCOSA lists Job Postings for school administrators, support staff, special education educators, and teachers.
Educational Leadership Organizations in Oklahoma
Educational Leadership Associations
- Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA): CCOSA is an umbrella organization for five professional associations in Oklahoma (see below). It promotes quality administrative leadership for Oklahoma schools through professional development, legislation, and member services. It’s a state affiliate of AASA.
- Oklahoma Association of School Business Officials (OKASBO): OKASBO is a non-profit professional association dedicated to promoting excellence and professionalism in all aspects of school business. It offers voluntary certification and it’s a state affiliate of ASBO International.
- Oklahoma Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (OASCD): OASCD represents educational leaders who are committed to promoting excellence in student learning. It’s a state affiliate of ASCD.
- Oklahoma Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (OASFAA): OASFAA serves the needs of Oklahoma student financial aid administrators and counselors in institutions of higher learning.
- Oklahoma Education Association (OEA): OEA is the state’s largest teachers’ union. It has nearly 40,000 members and is a state affiliate of the NEA.
- Oklahoma State School Boards Association (OSSBA): OSSBA works to promote quality public education for the children of Oklahoma through training and information services to school board members. It often works closely with superintendents and CCOSA.
CCOSA Member Associations
- Oklahoma Association of Elementary School Principals (OAESP): OAESP supports Oklahoma elementary and middle level principals with professional development, advocacy, and networking. Check out the OAESP Member Awards Program Grants. It’s a state affiliate of NAESP.
- Oklahoma Association of School Administrators (OASA): OASA advocates for adequate funding for Oklahoma public schools, accountability measures, fair treatment of education employees, and seeks to reduce state intrusion in local board of education matters.
- Oklahoma Association of Secondary School Principals (OASSP): OASSP is committed to the improvement of middle and high school education in Oklahoma and the support of Oklahoma secondary level principals. It’s a state affiliate of NASSP.
- Oklahoma Directors of Special Services (ODSS): ODSS provides local special education directors with opportunities to collaborate, problem-solve, and participate in professional development.
- Oklahoma Middle Level Education Association (OMLEA): OMLEA represents middle level administrators and educators in Oklahoma and works to improve the educational experiences of young adolescents by providing vision, knowledge, and resources to all who serve them.
Note: State and national educator organizations often have funds & scholarships available for continuing education (e.g. Ed.D.). Check the website and ask about opportunities.
Educational Leadership Events in Oklahoma
Educational Leadership Conferences
- OAESP Mid-Winter Conference: This annual one-day conference in early February is aimed at building-level principals, assistant principals, leadership teams, and elementary education directors.
- OASA Legislative Conference: Join Oklahoma’s education leaders as they promote the CCOSA Legislative Agenda for the upcoming legislative session. Members of the Oklahoma Legislature participate in panel discussions covering education policy and funding. It’s a day-long event in January.
- OASCD Spring Conference: OASCD’s one-day conference focuses on areas surrounding curriculum development and educational leadership challenges.
- OASFAA Annual Conference: This three-day event for Oklahoma student financial aid administrators typically takes place in early April.
- OASSP & OMLEA Conference: This combined two-day event in February is split into two areas of interest: the first day focuses on secondary leadership and the second day focuses on middle school best practices.
- ODSS Best Practices Conference: This day-long October conference attracts Oklahoma special education administrators, related service providers, and teachers of children with disabilities.
- OKASBO Conferences: OKASBO hosts two major events for Oklahoma school business officials: a two-day Fall Conference in September and a two-day Spring Conference in April.
- OSSBA Education Leadership Conference: OSSBA’s large and popular conference takes place over four days in August. It includes pre-conference workshops, breakout sessions, networking events, and more.
- CCOSA Women in School Leadership Forum: CCOSA’s leadership conference for women educational leaders includes a number of guest presenters. It occurs over two days in March.
- CCOSA School Leadership Summer Conference: CCOSA’s annual two-day conference brings together public school administrators from each association under the CCOSA umbrella (OASA, OAESP, OASSP, OMLEA, and ODSS). It’s held in June.
- School Law for Administrators: This day-long educational event, held at various times in the year, focuses on superintendent issues and board agendas.
Educational Leadership Training
- Assistant Principal Seminar: Sponsored by OAESP, OMLEA, and OASSP, this one-day workshop is designed for Oklahoma assistant principals, deans, instructional coaches, administrative interns, or aspiring administrators. Each session is offered in December at an OKC or Tulsa location.
- CCOSA New Administrator Training: CCOSA’s programs for current Oklahoma administrators include McREL New Administrator Training and Tulsa Model New Administrator Training.
- CCOSA Education Leaders Webinars: Each month, award-winning administrators share best practices for instructional leadership, administrative management, leading change, and other education leadership takeaways during 30-minute sessions.
- CCOSA/OSSBA Emerging Leaders Academy: This year-long program is designed to help prepare a select group of Oklahoma education leaders for the superintendency. It’s open to practicing Oklahoma public school administrators with a valid superintendent certificate.
- CCOSA Finance Professional Development Programs: CCOSA organizes a range of programs centered on financial matters, including the Advanced School Finance Workshop and Financial Boot Camps.
- CCOSA New Principals Assistance Program: This mentoring program provides new principals with a “support group” in the early critical years of their careers.
- ODSS First-Year Directors Project: New first-year special education directors are eligible to participate in this free, year-long training program—a joint effort of ODSS/CCOSA and the OSDE’s Special Education Services section.
- OSSBA Webinars for Board Members and Administrators: OSSBA’s live lunchtime webinars offer school board members and administrators a convenient option for learning new information and receiving required training.
4 Schools Found
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
College of Education, Health and Aviation
Oral Roberts University
College of Education
Southern Nazarene University
Professional and Graduate Studies
University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies