Grinnell College has a state-approved Practitioner Preparation Education Program. Through this program, students may be licensed (this is the official word Iowa uses instead of certified) to teach in Iowa, as secondary (5-12) teachers.

Students seeking licensure should consult members of the department about these requirements as early as possible. Requirements for each license are listed under endorsements.

Students seeking licensure must have taken a course in mathematics, in humanities, in American history or government, and coursework in both a biological and physical science.

For all areas of licensure, the Professional Education Core, courses are EDU 101, EDU 221, EDU 250, and EDU 34X. Most require observation or research in public schools, an experience that aims to integrate theory and practice. In the upper-level courses, students apply theory and methods of instruction to specific disciplines. Each licensure sequence includes EDU 469 - Student Teaching Internship, a 14-week experience in student teaching, which may be done in nearby public schools, or through a program that provides locations throughout the US and in many non-US locations, and EDU 460 Seminar in Teaching the Young Adult.

For students planning to teach in some state other than Iowa, most states will grant at least a temporary license on the strength of the Iowa license.

Applying to the Teacher Education Program

Applications to the Teacher Education Program are accepted each year by the second Friday in February. Most students apply in the February of their second year while concurrently enrolled in Educational Psychology (EDU 221), though applying in the third or first years is possible. No matter when you apply it is useful to talk with an Education faculty member about your interest in a teacher license as soon as you can, ideally in the first year. This is because requirements for different content areas (history, math, English, etc.) each require specific classes. So for the purpose of planning your courses each semester you should be aware of the requirements for the subject area(s) you are interested in.
To apply the the Teacher Education Program apply on line at
Spring 2017 Application to the Teacher Education Program

Requirements for Acceptance to the Teacher Education Program

  • Completion of 10 hours of field experience, usually completed in EDU 101.
  • Reading and writing proficiency, demonstrated by a score of 290 or better on the English section of the College BASE (Basic Academic Subject Examination) and a grade of C or better in the first-year tutorial or a designated writing course.
  • Mathematics proficiency, demonstrated by a score of 290 or better on the math section from the College BASE.
  • Basic computer literacy, demonstrated by completion of the tutorial.
  • Ability to handle college-level work, demonstrated by being in good academic standing and a faculty recommendation.
  • Good citizenship in the college community, demonstrated by maintaining appropriate personal conduct and academic honesty.
  • Interest in working with children or adolescents, demonstrated by student’s personal statement and faculty recommendation.

The College Basic Academic Subject Examination (BASE)

The College BASE is a test of basic skills in the areas of English and mathematics. Students need a minimum score of 235 out of 500 in each area to be accepted into the Teacher Education Program. The College BASE is given each year at the start of the second semester. There is a fee for the exam. Preparation materials are available through the Steiner office. Students should try to take the exam in their second year. If they are entitled to accommodations in their Grinnell classes, similar accommodations can be made on the College BASE. If necessary, students may retake the exam after consultation with an education faculty member.

Faculty Advising

Once you have been accepted into the Teacher Education Program, you will be assigned an education adviser in addition to your primary (major) adviser. As long as you remain in the program, you will need to get registration approval from both faculty members.

Licensure Requirements

If you are in the Teacher Education Program and are seeking licensure you must apply to the Licensure Program. Application to Student Teaching is due the third Friday in February.

All practitioner candidates must successfully complete the following requirements.

General Education Requirements for Secondary Licensure

  1. One (1) course in American history or American government, 3 or 4 credit, or AP credit if awarded college credit.
  2. One (1) course in mathematics, 3 or 4 credit, or AP credit if awarded college credit.
  3. Course work in both biological and physical sciences. This requirement may be met by one of the following:
    • one (1) course in biology and one (1) course in chemistry, physics, or geology; or
    • one (1) course in environmental science (approved by Education Department) and one (1) course in physical science; or
    • ANT-104, plus one (1) course in physical science; or
    • PSY-113, plus one (1) course in physical science; or
    • SOC-260, plus one (1) course in physical science.
  4. One (1) course in Humanities
  5. First-year Tutorial, its equivalent or a designated writing course.

Teacher Education Program Core Courses Required for Licensure

  • EDU 101: Educational Principles in a Pluralistic Society (4 credits)
  • EDU 21x: One course at the 210-218 series (4 credits)
  • EDU 221: Educational Psychology (4 credits)
  • EDU 250: Differentiating Instruction for All Learners (4 credits)
  • EDU 340: Research, Methods in Teaching the Young Adult (4 credits)
  • EDU 341-346: Discipline Specific Methods (2 credits)

For all secondary licensure, at least one subject area endorsement is required. There are specific requirements for each endorsement that may differ from the requirements for a major. Some areas may require a course that is offered only every other year or as a special independent course, so careful planning is imperative. Consult with an education department faculty member for assistance in planning.


In order for students to obtain licensure from the state of Iowa students must fulfill state and college requirements of specialization within a field outside the education department. Students can receive endorsement in any of the following areas.

Listed below are the endorsement requirements for each area.

English as a Second Language (K-12)

Endorsement No. 104

English/Language Arts - ELA- (5-12)

Endorsement No. 120

Chinese (5-12)

Endorsement No. 122

French (5-12)

Endorsement No. 124

German (5-12)

Endorsement No. 126

Latin (5-12)

Endorsement No. 130

Russian (5-12)

Endorsement No. 132

Spanish (5-12)

Endorsement No. 134

Mathematics (5-12)

Endorsement No. 143

Biological Science (5-12)

Endorsement No. 151

Chemistry (5-12)

Endorsement No. 152

Physics (5-12)

Endorsement No. 156

American Government (5-12)

Endorsement No. 157

American History (5-12)

Endorsement No. 158

Anthropology (5-12)

Endorsement No. 159

Economics (5-12)

Endorsement No. 160

Psychology (5-12)

Endorsement No. 163

Sociology (5-12)

Endorsement No. 165

World History (5-12)

Endorsement No. 166

Non-Licensure Options

Options for Those Not Seeking Licensure

If you are not sure that you want to earn a teaching license at Grinnell College, but are interested in teaching in some other venue or are interested in other education-based careers, such as school psychology, educational philosophy, policy, or law, you have several options open to you through our education department. We offer several courses of interest to the general student at Grinnell. Our introductory course, Educational Principles in a Pluralistic Society (EDU 101) addresses current topics in education using a philosophical and historical frame. At the 200 level, we offer several policy/philosophy courses that may interest you:


Students interested in education can participate in school-based internships or internships that introduce one to the policy/administrative aspects of education. In recent years, students have conducted internships in curricular reform, after-school programs, drop-out prevention, museum education and place-based pedagogy. If you are interested in an education focused internship, you should contact either an education department faculty member or someone in the Career Development Office to discuss your ideas.

Other Teaching Options

If you are interested in teaching at the college level, for the Peace Corps, Teach For America, or in areas such as environmental education, you could prepare yourself by taking a methods course in your discipline. The methods courses are theory based courses that help students make a theory to practice connection through peer teaching and a short teaching experience in the schools. To enroll in any of our methods courses, you will need to have taken at least EDU 101 and EDU 221: Educational Psychology.

Research Options

Students who are interested in graduate work in education should consider participating in an independent study or Mentored Advanced Project with an education professor. Sometimes, a semester of independent study can lead to a good MAP project. In recent years, students have worked with Professors Michaels, Hutchison and Ketter on a variety of projects. In many cases, students have presented their MAP research at regional or national conferences, and such an experience is invaluable for anyone contemplating graduate work in education or other related disciplines.