Iowa Teaching Certification

iowa

Learn how to become a teacher in Iowa (or administrator). Choose the description of certification you are most interested in or situation that best describes you:

Iowa Education Statistics

Avg. Elem. Teacher Salary $44,040
Avg. Sec. Teacher Salary $44,080
Teacher Retention (?) 95%
Average Admin. Salary $84,120
Vacation Wks/Yr 15

Getting Involved...

Investing in our future is vitally important and strangely difficult. In order to fight oppression from the greedy and power-hungry elite, to better our ways of life with advancing technology, and to increase our country's overall views toward the concept of acceptance, we need education to be a priority. Learn how you can be a spoke in this terribly important wheel. See how Iowa measures up to the rest of the country by viewing the percentage of state revenue going toward education in each state. (see State Education Spending vs. Overall State Revenue).

Learn AboutYour Governor'sTrack Record
Learn about your Governor's views and voting record with regard to education. (see Iowa Governor's website).
Give YourKnowledge PowerBy Voting
Hold your public servants accountable. It is our duty as residents of Iowa.
Help Make Education A Priority 

 

Initial Iowa Teaching Certification

The Governor of Iowa is proposing sweeping education reforms in the state, to change the way Iowa students learn and boost student achievement. Called the “education blueprint,” some of the proposed reforms include providing more alternative pathways for teacher licensure in the state, competency-based education and the incorporation of online learning into the Iowa public school curriculum. If all of them were put into practice, this proposal would mean a $25 million investment in the Iowa public school system. Find schools offering teaching certification programs in Iowa.

education

Education Requirements

Expedite this process -- Click Here to learn more about USC's online Masters and PhD programs.

If you want to become a licensed teacher in Iowa, under the rules of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners (515-281-3245), you must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and be a graduate of a state-approved Iowa teacher preparation program. While a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is necessary for teacher licensure in Iowa, some of these programs lead to a master’s or doctoral degree. Additionally, you must complete an approved human relations course, which covers both interpersonal and intergroup relations, examining the values, beliefs, attitudes, and lifestyles of individuals in various groups; as well as an exceptional learner course focusing on the education of both students with disabilities as well as gifted/talented students.

Did you attend a teacher preparation program in a state other than Iowa? The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners will still accept your credits as long as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) has accredited the program.

Graduates of teacher preparation programs outside of the United States must have their academic credits evaluated by an approved credential evaluation agency. These agencies are listed here.

Licensing Options
You must complete the educational requirements pursuant to the teaching endorsement you wish to have on your teaching license. In addition to these endorsements, there are various types of licensing options offered based upon the prerequisites you meet:

  • Initial License: The most common type of license earned by graduates of Iowa-approved teacher preparation programs. Valid for two years to those who fulfill educational, experience and examination requirements.
  • Standard License: Valid for five years, the standard license is earned after completing an Iowa-approved mentoring and induction program and teaching for two years in an Iowa public school, or three years in an Iowa private or out-of-state K-12 school.
  • Master Educator’s License: Valid for five years, this license may be earned if you have a Standard License, five years of teaching experience, and have completed a master’s degree program in a recognized endorsement area or in curriculum/instruction.
  • Teacher Intern License: This license authorizes teacher interns to teach in grades 7 through 12. To qualify you’ll need a bachelor’s degree with a total GPA of at least 2.5, three years of work experience, a passing score on a basic skills exam at your college or university, and completion of a teacher intern program.
  • Class A License: If you have completed the teacher preparation program but have not yet completed one of the following requirements, you may be issued a Class A license, which is valid for one year and not renewable:
    • Human relations component
    • Professional core competency requirements (see requirements here)
    • Recency requirement (less than 160 days of teaching experience in the past five years OR less than six semester hours of college credit in the past five years)
    • Your Class A or Class B teaching license has expired
    • The school district recommends you complete a third year of mentoring and induction under your Initial License
  • Class B License: This type of license, which is valid for two years and not renewable, may be issued if you meet one of the following requirements:
    • You have an Initial, Class A, Class B, Standard, or Master Educator license and at least one endorsement but are in the process of obtaining another endorsement
    • You are in the midst of obtaining a special education endorsement
    • A school district administrator has requested an exception be made for you with regard to meeting the minimum content requirements of an endorsement based on the need of the school
exam

Examinations

Visit the Praxis website for an overview of Iowa’s testing requirements for educators.

Basic skills testing:
Iowa does not require Basic Skills Testing for its teachers, as these tests are usually administered during your Iowa teacher preparation program.

Content area assessment testing:
The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners mandates that teachers in the following areas pass Praxis II content area tests (Middle School and Secondary Teachers do not need to pass content area tests but must instead fulfill educational requirements to receive endorsements in content areas):

  • Endorsement 100: Pre K –Grade 3 (includes Special Education)
  • Endorsement 102: Elementary Classroom K-6
  • Endorsement 106: Pre K-Grade 3 (excludes Special Education)
experience

Experience Requirements

As an applicant for initial teacher licensure in Iowa, you must complete a student teaching practicum/internship while enrolled in their teacher preparation program (or verify three years of teaching experience). The student teaching program is designed to help you apply what you have learned in your teacher preparation program to working with grade-level appropriate students in the classroom. This practical teaching experience will include preparation of lesson plans, leading the class and other duties as assigned by your supervising classroom teacher. You will also spend time observing teachers to learn classroom management skills.

Your classroom supervisor will assess your performance in a student teaching program. The length of your student teaching experience will vary depending upon your institution’s policies.

document application requirements

Document and Application Requirements

Once you have fulfilled all requirements for teacher licensure, you may apply through the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.

  • If you are a graduate of an Iowa teacher preparation program, use the Application for Licensure (Iowa Institution).
    • Complete Section I in its entirety
    • Sign and date the application
    • Attach official, sealed college transcript(s) from all institutions attended, showing course titles and credits
    • Enclose your check/money order with application processing fee
    • Verify all teaching experience
    • Send the entire application packet to the institution where you completed your teacher education program. Instruct them to forward the completed application packet to the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, Grimes State Office Building,
      Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0146.
  • If you are a graduate of an out-of-state teacher preparation program, use the Application for Licensure (Non-Iowa Institution).
    • Complete Section I in its entirety
    • Sign and date the application
    • Attach official, sealed college transcript(s) from all institutions attended, showing course titles and credits
    • Enclose your check/money order with application processing fee
    • Verify all teaching experience
    • Complete the fingerprint packet information (see below) and enclose the proper fee
    • Enclose verification of passing any out-of-state teacher licensure/certification tests
    • Enclose copies of any valid teaching licenses/certificates from other states
    • Send the entire application packet to the institution where you completed your teacher education program. Instruct them to forward the completed application packet to the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, Grimes State Office Building,
      Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0146.
history

Criminal History Background Check

When applying for an initial teaching license in Iowa, you must submit to a criminal history background check. You must submit a fingerprint packet (which is included in the application packet) and send it in with your application and the necessary fingerprint processing fees. This will start a national criminal history background check. In addition, an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation background check will also be performed at this time, and you are responsible for all fees associated with this background check. Contact your local Sherriff’s office or police station to inquire about fingerprinting.

contact

Contact Information

If you would like more information on colleges and universities in Iowa offering teacher preparation programs, contact the Deans or Chairs of the programs listed here.

For more information on teacher licensure in Iowa, contact the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners at 515-281-3245.

**Teacher Retention Sources - U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education, Statistics Schools and Staffing Survey, 1999–2000 (“Public School Teacher Questionnaire,” “Private School Teacher Questionnaire,” and “Public Charter School Teacher Questionnaire”), and 2000–01 Teacher Follow-up Survey (“Questionnaire for Current Teachers” and “Questionnaire for Former Teachers,” Table 1.01). Washington, DC.

State estimations based on analysis by Richard Ingersoll, Professor of Education and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, from the National Center for Education Statistics Student and Staffing Survey, and therefore include a slight margin of error.