Coaching frequently asked questions

Questions about the coaching authorization and endorsement programs

Both the authorization and endorsement qualify you to be an assistant or head coach for any sport at the middle or high school level. Because an endorsement is added to a teaching license, the endorsement is designed for licensed teachers and must be taken for college credit. The content for the authorization and endorsement is similar, but additional coursework is assigned to those taking the endorsement to earn college credit. No college credit is required to earn a coaching authorization, and therefore Northwestern is able to offer it at a lower cost.

You can register by using the register button on the coaching authorization page when registration opens in February before the next course begins. You will need to pay for the course at the same time you register. The cost includes your textbook that will be mailed to the address you provide.

Step 1

If you have never taken classes at Northwestern College before, please apply for admission. Applying is free.
If you completed a degree or any classes at Northwestern in the past, simply re-enroll here.
If you are a current on-campus or online students, talk with your advisor about registering for the course.

Step 2

Send official transcripts from your bachelor degree institution (no undergraduate transcripts are required of NWC current students or alumni) by mail or as an official e-transcript to the

Northwestern College    
Office of Admissions   
101 7th Street SW   
Orange City, IA 51041

Because the coaching endorsement is 6 credits, you may qualify for a student loan. Complete the FAFSA and contact our financial aid office for more information.

Step 3

Once you've been accepted to Northwestern, you will be given a username and password for accessing  MyNWC to register for classes. (You may register for classes on or after the day registration for the next semester opens, according to the college's academic calendar. We highly recommend online students register as early as possible.)

Step 4

Tuition is due prior to each semester you take classes.

You will learn about anatomy and physiology as it relates to student-athletes, care and prevention of athletic injuries, and theories of coaching. 

Like traditional onsite classes, you’ll read, watch demonstrations (pre-recorded) interact in online class discussions, practice skills, and work on assignments to help you learn. Discussions take place in forums that operate like instant messenger or email. Many people find this style of communication advantageous because they can think through what they want to say before they write and share it. We’re proud of the interesting and rich discussions our students have online! Hands-on practice takes place during the taping unit. You will need a taping mentor to evaluate your taping in person.

The course is 100% online. You will get hands-on practice in the athletic taping unit. You will find a taping mentor in your area (another coach or an athletic trainer) to evaluate your taping in person. 

Any computer you have purchased within the last five years should work fine. Though we have students using both Macs and PCs, if you use a Mac, it's preferable if you're able to save documents in a Microsoft Word compatible format. It is important that you have access to a stable and trustworthy Internet connection. Read more about the technology requirements.

Coaching Authorization materials are included in the registration cost. They will be mailed before the program begins in May to the address you provide with your registration.

Coaching Endorsement books need to be purchased separately from the Northwestern online bookstore or another source. The textbook information will be available when you register for the course. 

For both courses, you will need to purchase athletic tape for the taping unit, which can be found at your local drug store or supercenter for a minimum cost. ($5-10) 

Yes, you may cancel your registration any time before the first day of the class.  On the first day we finalize contracts for our faculty based on the number of students registered, so if you choose to cancel after the first day, no refund will be given.

If you cancel your coaching authorization after the textbook materials have been ordered, you can keep the textbook or re-sell it, but you will not receive a refund from Northwestern for that cost. 

Life happens. We understand that! You may certainly drop the program if you are unable to complete it. Because we hire faculty for this program based on the number of students registered, we cannot refund your registration if you decide to step out of the program.

Your state-issued coaching authorization is valid for five years. After that time has passed, you will need to complete one of the 5 Renewal Activities

Your coaching endorsement is added to a valid teaching license.

No, you are not able to change from authorization to endorsement after the course begins. If you change your mind after you have started or finished the authorization and wish to take the courses for credit, you must re-enroll in a future term. 

After successfully completing the coaching endorsement course:

  1. Request Northwestern transcripts
  2. Add the endorsement to your Iowa teaching license through the BOEE website.

Northwestern College provides the coursework required for the authorization. You will receive a certificate of completion and then you must apply for authorization with the Board of Educational Examiners. The application can be found at the Board of Educational Examiners website.

You are responsible for submitting your application and completing the state's additional requirements, including a background check and payment.