Education Department

Education Department Mission 

The mission of the Teacher Education Department is to prepare qualified, caring, and effective teachers, with a foundation based on four components:


The mission of the Teacher Education Program is to prepare qualified, caring, and effective teachers. This mission is based on a conceptual framework with four components:

  1. Knowledge of Learning and Learners
  2. Knowledge of Content
  3. Knowledge of Pedagogy
  4. Professional Dispositions & Competency

These four components are synchronized to provide the conceptual framework for the program. The framework takes into account that learning to teach effectively occurs within professional learning communities found in the college classroom, school-based settings, and in student teaching. Our program also integrates education-related service to the learning community experience, thus supporting the unique mission of the University.

1. Knowledge of learning and Learners means that the practitioner candidate understands theories of development and how students learn, This includes adapting teaching strategies to each learner’s strengths and planning differentiated instruction for diverse learners with cultural or language difference and other exceptionalities. It also includes creating classroom environments that support all students to thrive.

2. Content knowledge is defined as a thorough understanding of the content required to teach a lesson or unit of study. The University’s liberal arts focus and its general education core curriculum, in conjunction with the teacher education required curriculum which includes secondary subject content courses, provide a solid foundation of general education courses to successfully equip our practitioner candidates with a breadth of content knowledge to assure learner mastery of content.

3. Knowledge of pedagogy includes the general principles of teaching and an understanding of instruction and classroom management. The program’s professional education and content core courses provide the knowledge of effective strategies and techniques to engage all students in learning. These courses focus on planning and delivering meaningful lessons, providing feedback, gathering formative and summative assessment.

4. Professional dispositions & competency are guided by the Iowa Code of Ethics to ensure that our practitioner candidates are morally fit and ethically centered. Ongoing self-reflection and self-renewal require regular critical examination of teaching to demonstrate competency in all professional standards and program goals, which are aligned with InTASC principles, the Iowa state core, the Iowa teacher preparation standards, and Iowa licensing regulations.

Successfully completing the Teacher Education Program prepares our practitioner candidates to be qualified, caring, and effective teachers.  Program graduates who have met satisfactory levels of teaching competence and have demonstrated professional dispositions are then ready to begin the formal process required by the state to be licensed as a professional teacher.

Teacher Education Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

The Teacher Education Program seeks to improve the quality of education in America by producing teachers who have demonstrated competency in the skills necessary for effective teaching through a well-designed program of study. The four department goals and the student learning outcomes addressing the Learner & Learning, Content, Instructional Practice, and Professional Responsibility, are aligned with the InTASC (Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium) Principles and the Iowa Standards for Teacher Preparation. The Teacher Education Program has established the following goals and student learning outcomes, which are assessed throughout the Teacher Education Program.

Education Program Goals

Goal I. Develop teacher candidates who understand that learning and developmental patterns vary among individuals, that learners bring unique individual differences to the  learning process, and that learners need supportive and safe learning environments to thrive.

Goal II. Develop teacher candidates who have a deep and flexible understanding of their content areas and be able to draw upon content knowledge as they work with learners to access information, apply knowledge in real world settings, and address meaningful issues to assure learner mastery of the content.

Goal III. Develop teacher candidates who understand and integrate assessment, planning, and instructional strategies in coordinated and engaging ways.

Goal IV. Develop teacher candidates who engage in meaningful and intensive professional learning and self-renewal by regularly examining practice through ongoing study, self-reflection, and collaboration.

Education Program Student Learning Outcomes (InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards)

Standard #1: Learner Development
The teacher understands how learners grow and develop recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

Standard #2: Learning DifferencesThe teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.

Standard #3: Learning EnvironmentsThe teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

Standard #4: Content KnowledgeThe teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.

Standard #5: Application of ContentThe teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

Standard #6: AssessmentThe teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.

Standard #7: Planning for Instruction
The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.

Standard #8: Instructional Strategies
The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

Standard #9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice
The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Standard #10: Leadership and Collaboration
The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

Admission to the Teacher Education Program

Admission to Teacher Education is a formal process, representing the initial step towards becoming eligible for recommendation for an Iowa teaching license. Applications are electronic and may be requested from the Teacher Education Secretary at 307 Smith Hall.  Applicants should note that admission to Teacher Education does not guarantee subsequent approval for Student Teaching.  Approval for Student Teaching is a process separate from admission to Teacher Education.  It is recommended that students complete the process for Admission to Teacher Education by the second term of their sophomore year.  The Teacher Education Admissions Committee, made up of Education faculty, meets in December and May.  Application deadlines are December 1 and May 1.  Students may be granted provisional admission on a limited basis, i.e. failure to pass the CAAP in one area or who have a limited time to apply due to transfer status. Students will be allowed a maximum of one term only of provisional admission into the Teacher Education Program.  At the end of the provisional term, the student will either be fully admitted or have the option to re-apply to Teacher Education at a later date. It is the responsibility of the student to complete an application if they choose to reapply at a future date.

  1. Pass the CAAP exam
  2. Earn a GPA of 2.75 or higher
  3. No grade below C
  4. You may not have taken any course leading to graduation or licensure more than 2 times (only 1 retake of a course)
  5. Submit online application form (request the form from the Teacher Education Secretary at 307 Smith Hall)
  6. Submit formal essay (see below)
  7. Complete at least 10 hours of education related service (mandatory beginning in Fall 2011)
  8. Complete at least 20 hours of school-based experience
  9. Have an excellent disposition to teach.  This includes an average of 2.0 or higher on the UD Disposition Evaluation Assessment (as recommended by the State of Iowa) as well as written evaluations from education course instructors.  Students who display behaviors, including academic dishonesty, that are in opposition to the University of Dubuque Mission Statement or values associated with the UD Wendt Character Initiative may not be accepted into the Program.