Northwestern's teacher education program is both rigorous and rewarding. There are boxes to check and tests to pass. We'll help you, and when you've met all the requirements listed below, you'll be ready for school—as a teacher.
In order to apply to the teacher education program, you must meet these requirements (they are typically completed during your first year of college or the first half of your sophomore year):
- Maintain a 2.5 GPA, cumulatively and in your major. (This requirement must be met before your application to the program will be reviewed by the teacher education committee; you must also maintain this minimum GPA throughout your enrollment in the teacher education program.)
- Complete EDU102: Foundations of Education and EDU206: Survey of Exceptional Individuals with a grade of a "C" or better.
- Read the teacher education program policy manual and familiarize yourself with the education department policies. (You'll have an opportunity to complete the questionnaire in EDU102.)
- We recommend you complete EDU202: Early Field Experience with a positive evaluation from your cooperating teacher before you apply to the teacher education program.
- Review the arranged, field experience and multicultural/badge hours (see STEP 3) required of students who are enrolled in the teacher education program—so you know what's ahead.
- No CBAs (courses by arrangement) will be allowed without approval of the teacher education committee.
When you have checked everything on the list in STEP 1, then you're ready to apply to the teacher education program.
Teacher education program applications are typically submitted during your sophomore year and are due October 15 if you want to begin the program during the spring semester of your sophomore year or March 1 if you plan to begin the fall semester of your junior year. To apply:
- Complete the Application for Admission to the Teacher Education Program.
- Complete a Disposition Self-evaluation to help you and us determine whether you are well suited for a teaching career. You will complete a similar disposition in some of your education classes, but this needs to be completed now for the entrance process.
- If you are a secondary education major, your major department must complete a recommendation for you (the education department will request this on your behalf).
- Complete an Entrance Portfolio and meet with an assigned education faculty member to review the portfolio. (We recommend you take EDU227: Instructional Technology because the course includes creating a template for your Entrance Portfolio.)
- Meet competency requirements for reading, writing, and math as determined by the Department.
After the items in STEP 2 are completed, the teacher education committee will review your application. Applications received by Oct. 15 will be reviewed by Nov. 1; applications received between Oct. 15 and March 1 will be reviewed by April 1. If everything is satisfactory, you will receive a letter congratulating you on your acceptance into the Northwestern College teacher education program.
As you progress through the teacher education program, build a relationship with your adviser so he or she can help make sure you've met all the requirements necessary before student-teaching:
- Meet with your adviser to ensure you've completed or are on track to complete all your required education courses.
- Ensure you have completed or will complete your arranged, field experience and multicultural/badge hours (see No. 3 in STEP 3) by April 1 if you are student-teaching during the fall semester and by Nov. 1 if you are student-teaching during the spring semester. To review your recorded field hours, log into MyNWC, then choose Academics > Degree Information > Field Hours.
- In addition to 100 field hours, all teacher candidates must complete 2 badges before they are approved for student teaching. Each badge requires a 50-hour commitment. The Diversity Badge is compulsory, but you have your choice on which others to complete: Service, Leadership, Professional, STE(A)M, Tutoring or a Special Topics Badge, which is offered on occasion. While the field hours and the 100 badge hours are two separate requirements, the 20 required hours from Human Relations (EDU340) will be the only allowed "double-dipping." Badges are used in other organizations to showcase experience and expertise. These badge options are intended to provide you with flexibility and opportunity to live out our "Teacher as Servant" ideal. Badges also help us celebrate with you and honor you as more licensure requirements are completed. With that in mind, special recognition will be awarded to graduates who earn 5 or more badges. Paperwork and further details are available online and in the education common space. If you have questions about the badges, contact education professor Chris Nonhof.
- Consider your student-teaching options before deciding which placement is best for you.
- Complete the Student-Teaching Application (available November 1) by Feb. 1 of the academic year PRIOR to the one in which you plan to student-teach. If you submit the Student Teaching Application after Feb. 1, a late fee of $100 will be assessed, and you will not be guaranteed a placement.
- If you are student-teaching overseas or through the Denver Urban Semester or Chicago Semester, complete the application for the off-campus program you are participating in and review our department's out-of-area student-teaching requirements.
When you have checked everything on the list in STEP 3, you will receive student-teaching approval and your student-teaching assignment.
You are just one or two semesters away from being in your own classroom! To prepare for starting your teaching career, complete these requirements:
- Attend a student-teaching orientation meeting and review the Student-Teaching Handbook.
- Attend all student-teaching seminars.
- Submit your EXIT portfolio.
- Submit your pink sheet.
- Submit all student-teaching paperwork.
- Determine which Praxis II content test and PLT test you need to take.
- Register and meet the State of Iowa passing requirements for both the Praxis II content and PLT tests ( testing dates).