As one of only 4 programs in Iowa accredited by CAEP, 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 freshmen year 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 (see STEP 3) hours required of students who enrolled in the Teacher Education Program—so you know what's ahead.
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're well-suited to a teaching career (you may have completed the form in EDU102 or EDU206; your instructor will also complete a disposition evaluation of you).
- 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 (we recommend you take EDU227: Instructional Technology because the course includes creating a template for your Entrance Portfolio).
- Register to take and pass the C-BASE test (College Basic Academic Subjects Examination).
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 advisor so he or she can help make sure you've met all the requirements necessary before student-teaching:
- Meet with your advisor 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 (see STEP 3) hours 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, login into MyNWC, then choose Academics > Degree Information > Field Hours.
- We are transitioning from the 100-multicultural-hour requirement* to 50-hour badges: diversity, service, leadership, STEM, professional, tutoring. Currently there is also "Special Topics: Holocaust" badge available. Two badges must be completed before you student teach: the diversity badge and at least one other of your choosing. All of your earned multicultural hours will be transferable to the diversity badge, and most will be transferable to the service badge depending on the work completed. *We are transitioning to badges to make this requirement more flexibly meet student needs and interests. We also want to provide more accurate and appropriate documentation of the work you do outside the classroom. Badges are used in other organizations to show experience and expertise, and we expect our new badges approach will offer more opportunities for you to highlight the beneficial distinctives of your "Teacher as Servant" education at Northwestern. To recognize students who exceed our badge expectations, we will honor graduates who earn 5 or more badges with a blue cord at commencement. We will be adding to the badges listed above; special topics badges will change year-to-year. All transfer of hours from the 100-multicultural-hour requirement to badges must take place during the 2016-17 school year. If you have questions about the badges, contact Prof. Chris Nonhof.
- Consider your student-teaching options before deciding which placement is best for you.
- Complete the Student-Teaching Application by Feb. 1 of the academic year PRIOR to the one in which you plan to student-teach.
- If you are student-teaching overseas or through the Denver Urban Semester or Chicago Semester, complete the application to 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.
- Complete edTPA (Teacher Performance Assessment) during your student teaching experience.
- Determine which Praxis II content test you need to take, register and meet the State of Iowa passing requirements.
- Attend a student-teaching seminar to learn about the background check and fingerprinting required for licensure.
- Complete the Application for Licensure.
- Complete the criminal background check.
- Complete Teacher Education Program exit procedures.
Congratulations, teacher! You're ready for your own classroom.