Teacher Education Program

Grinnell College has a state-approved Teacher 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 take a course in each of the following areas as part of a general education requirement: mathematics, humanities, American history or government, and the natural sciences.

For all areas of licensure, the Professional Education Core courses are EDU 101, one 200-level EDU elective, 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 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 U.S. and in many non-U.S. 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.

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. We strongly encourage students to enter the teacher education program by the end of their second year. This allows students to be assigned an advisor and for the to meet all requirements. However, we accept students through their third year.

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.

  • Completion of 10 hours of field experience, usually completed in EDU 101.
  • 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.

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.


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.

  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. Coursework in the natural sciences.
  4. One (1) course in humanities
  5. First-year Tutorial, its equivalent, or a designated writing course.
  • 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. Note: All endorsement documents are PDFs.

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

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.


If you are interested in teaching:

  • at the college level,
  • for the Peace Corps,
  • in 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.

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.

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