Education Department

Education Department Mission 

The mission of the Teacher Education Department is to prepare qualified, caring, and effective teachers.

This mission both supports and reflects the Mission of the University of Dubuque to foster:

  1. Excellence in academic inquiry and professional preparation
  2. Community where diversity is appreciated and Christian love is practiced
  3. Relationships which encourage intellectual, spiritual and moral development
  4. Stewardship of God's human and natural resources
  5. A zeal for life-long learning and service.

The Department provides the training and experience needed to qualify students to teach in public and private schools through a competancy-based program.  The program is centered around a theoretical knowledge base that combines with a liberal arts Core curriculum, specialty content area expertise, and a professional core of education-related courses to develop qualified, effective, and caring teachers.

All students who complete the University of Dubuque's Teacher Education Program are eligible to apply for an Iowa Initial Teacher License. Teaching Licensure is governed by State of Iowa regulations. When changes occur, the requirements mandated by the Iowa State Department of Education take precedence over those published in the University catalog.

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.  All application materials are available 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 during their first semester of their sophomore year, this process is supported in EDU 200, Foundations of Education.  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 semester only of provisional admission into the Teacher Education program.  At the end of the provisional semester, the student will either be fully admitted or have the option to re-apply to Teacher Education at a later 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 application (yellow form)
  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 but not limited to 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.


The Iowa Department of Education requires satisfactory completion of a basic skills test to be admitted to a teacher preparation program in Iowa.  UD has selected the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) test for admission to our program.  This test assesses the basic skills in mathematics, reading and writing (grammar and essay) through four individual tests. Students must pass all the tests and meet the cumulative score to be admitted to the program. Students may elect to take the test in two or more sessions by taking individual test(s) separately so they can concentrate on a particular area(s).  This option will cost more in testing fees. The test and/or individual tests may be taken a total of three times until the student receives a passing score and meets the cumulative score.  Failure to pass the CAAP tests in three tries makes the candidate ineligible for admission to Teacher Education. In this case the student should meet with their advisor for counseling into a new major.

CAAP at a Glance

  1. The CAAP test is given on the campus of the University of Dubuque at least four times a year, twice in the fall semester, twice in the spring semester and once in the summer if a required minimum number of students are registered.
  2. Students sign up for the test in the Teacher Education office, Smith 307.
  3. The cost of the test is $50.00.  Retakes and individual tests are $20.00 or two for $30.00
  4. University of Dubuque Passing scores: Students must attain a cumulative score of 175 to pass the test which includes the following minimum scores for the subtests: Reading-55; Math-55; Writing-60; and Essay-3.25

The Praxis I test will be accepted for admission to the program for students who plan to teach in a state that requires the Praxis I for licensure or if a student has previously taken Praxis I and the scores meet the following criteria: a combined score of 522 with no single score lower than 170 on each test in reading, writing, and math.

Formal Essay

As a measure of the applicant’s ability to express him/herself in writing, a formal essay will be required.  Writing the formal essay is a course assignment in EDU 200, Foundations of Education.  Essays will be evaluated using the Teacher Education Writing Assessment Rubric and for content in congruence with the UD Department of Education mission.  This essay must:

  • Be composed clearly and correctly
  • Contain a statement requesting admission to Teacher Education
  • Be at least four pages in length
  • Include factors influencing your decision to become a teacher
  • Include the topics of diverse learners, dispositions of effective teachers, and theories of learning
  • Include an explanation of previous teaching and related instructional experiences and the specific age groups involved
  • Include a description of individual skills, abilities, and life experiences which showcase your potential to become an effective teacher
  • Include a paragraph stating your personal teaching philosophy

Action by Teacher Education Admissions Committee

The Teacher Education Admissions Committee reviews all admission applications.  Students will be notified in writing regarding their admission status.  If students have any questions or concerns about the status of the application or the admission process, they should contact their advisor or the Education Department Head, Debra Stork at 563 589-3453.

Readmission to the Teacher Education Program

Students whose active status in Teacher Education has lapsed for more than one semester must meet with the Department Head to discuss the readmission process. The Department Head will evaluate the currency of student course work and determine if the student meets the current criteria for admission. The Department Head will present the student’s request to the Teacher Education committee for final determination.

Retention in Teacher Education

A student accepted into the Teacher Education Program is expected to exhibit a level of professionalism that reflects the mission and goals of the Teacher Education Program.  A student’s progress is continually monitored for retention in the Program based upon his/her ability to meet specified criteria which include: 1) Earning a grade of C or higher in required general education and content core classes; 2) Earning a grade of C or higher in professional education classes; 3) Maintaining a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75; 4) Demonstrating the ability or potential to work effectively in an educational setting; 5) Successful demonstration of the competencies required in the Program; 6) Maintaining excellent dispositions as described in number nine of admission criteria. Failure to maintain these criteria will lead to removal of the student from privileges of admitted students and may include withdrawal from required courses until the student meets the requirements once again.

Disclaimer:  Fraudulent or illegal behavior demonstrating poor character including but not limited to inappropriate use of social networking, inappropriate use of alcohol or drugs, use of offensive language, lack of respect to others, or academic dishonesty may result in immediate removal from the Teacher Education Program and/or required courses.

University of Dubuque Program Goals

INTASC Principles/Iowa Standards
University of Dubuque Teacher Education students must show competency in these 11 goals areas in their portfolios.

Goal # 1: The pre-service teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make the subject matter meaningful for students.

Goal # 2: The pre-service teacher understands how students learn and develop, and can provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social, and personal development.

Goal # 3: The pre-service teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.

Goal # 4: The pre-service teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students' development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.

Goal # 5: The pre-service teacher uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning and self-motivation.

Goal # 6: The pre-service teacher uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.

Goal # 7: The pre-service teacher plans instruction based upon knowledge of subject matters, students, the community, and curriculum goals.

Goal # 8: The pre-service teacher understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the learner.

Goal # 9: The pre-service teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seek out opportunities to grow professionally.

Goal # 10: The pre-service teacher fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students' learning and well-being.

Goal # 11: The pre-service teacher utilizes technology related to teaching.

Goal #12: The pre-service teacher displays professional dispositions and ethical behaviors of good character at all times; in the UD classroom, in the K-12 classroom, and within the community.