Students should not assume that a major in a discipline will automatically earn a teaching license in that area or discipline. Ideally, a student interested in earning a license should begin coursework and consult with a member of the education department in the first year.
Education 101 Educational Principles in a Pluralistic Society is the department's introductory course and is prerequisite to all other Education courses. This general education course examines the ways in which ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality influence an individual's construction of identity and the ways in which society responds to such differences with an emphasis on educational institutions' responses to student difference. Students study educational philosophies that undergird traditional teaching practices as well as current ideologies that challenge these practices in order to make schools more inclusive.
Although Grinnell does not offer a major in Education, the department offers many courses that are open to and of interest to all students, including EDU 101 and the EDU 210-218 series of courses. Students interested in school psychology, the Peace Corps or Grinnell Corps, or other related education careers would benefit from taking EDU 221: Educational Psychology and a methods course. Nearly all education courses include opportunities to observe and interact with students and teachers in the area public schools.
Students also can opt to take part in the Teacher Education Program to earn a license. Interested students should talk with a member of the Education Department as early as possible in their college career to discuss options and obtain the specific requirements for the area(s) of certification in which they are interested. Interested students should apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program prior to preregistration for their fifth semester.
The schedule of study for earning a license would include EDU 101 in the first or second year, a course from the EDU 210-217 series and EDU 221 in the second or third year, and EDU 250 and the required methods course in the third and fourth years. In addition, teacher certification includes general education requirements: coursework in biological and physical science and a course in mathematics, the humanities, and American history or government.
Students seeking licensure at Grinnell College can complete the student teaching internship in either the seventh or the ninth semester. Both options require that the student enroll in an 8 credit student teaching internship and a 4 credit seminar. For those who opt for the 7th semester, ALL requirements for licensure must be completed before the professional semester is undertaken, and participation in athletics or other significant time commitments during the 7th semester is highly discouraged.
Students returning for a ninth semester pay a $2,500 fee. As with the 7th semester, students are strongly discouraged from working part-time or taking on other commitments. Student teaching is a demanding, full-time experience.