Getting a Teaching License

Grinnell students can earn a teaching license through the Education Department’s Teacher Education Program.  Students who complete the program earn an Iowa teaching license and are able to teach in just about any US state by transferring the license to that state.  Interested students should talk with a faculty member in the Education Department to discuss the requirements for the program (summarized below) and the specific requirements for the subject(s) they would teach. Students generally apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program early in the spring semester of their second year after having taken one or two Education classes.

The schedule of study for earning a teaching license includes EDU 101 in the first or second year, one course from the EDU 210-217 series and EDU 221 in the second or third year, and EDU 250 and the required teaching methods courses (EDU340-346) in the third and fourth years. In addition, Iowa teacher certification requires the following general education course requirements: coursework in both biological and physical sciences, and a course in each of the following: mathematics, the humanities, and US history or US government.

The culminating experience of the licensure program is a semester spent student teaching.  Student teachers are in a classroom full time for 14 weeks and take on the full responsibilities of a regular classroom teacher for a portion of that time.  Students can complete their student teaching in either the seventh or the ninth semester. The majority of students take advantage of Grinnell’s ninth semester option.  Students graduate at the end of their eighth semester as usual and then return in the fall to complete student teaching.  (Off campus domestic and international student teaching options are also available.)  Ninth semester student teaching allows students to take full advantage of the broad liberal arts experience of Grinnell while also receiving a teaching license.  Students returning for the ninth semester pay a $2,500 fee rather than full tuition.  For those who opt for the seventh semester all requirements for licensure must be completed before the student teaching semester is undertaken, and participation in athletics or other significant time commitments during the 7th semester is not allowed.  Seventh semester students pay regular tuition and receive their normal financial aid package. 

Education studies as a field of scholarly inquiry

Many Grinnell students are interested in understanding the role and impact of education within a society.  While there is not a major or concentration in Education, many courses are interesting and useful to students with these interests.  In particular the introductory course (EDU 101) and the EDU 210-218 series of courses focus on these issues and many students take them because of their interest in understanding education.

Students with interests in education as a field of scholarly inquiry are also encouraged to join the Careers in the Education Professions Program.  This program provides access to visiting scholars and occasional off-campus co-curricular opportunities.  Regular meetings of program participants provide a forum for discussion of issues of interest. 

Another possible avenue for students interested in education as a field of academic inquiry is a Mentored Advanced Project (MAP) with an Education Department faculty member.  Those are most commonly done during the junior or senior year or the summer between them.

Interested in teaching but don’t want to get a teaching license?

Students interested in things like school psychology, the Peace Corps or Grinnell Corps, or similar post-graduate teaching experiences can benefit from taking Educational Psychology (EDU 221) and a teaching methods course (EDU 340-346). Nearly all education courses include opportunities to observe and interact with students and teachers in public schools which is good experience for students considering teaching.  Additionally, the Careers in the Education Professions Program, described above, is an excellent program for such students.  The Center for Careers, Life, and Service provides guidance for students regarding education related externships, internships, and post-grad teaching/licensure opportunities.