Elliott Johnson (department head)

Teacher Education Programs: K-6 Elementary, 5-12 Secondary, K-12 Music

All completers of the Luther Teacher Education Program are eligible for a license to teach in Iowa. See the Luther College Education website for information regarding licensure in other states. For complete information regarding the education programs and licensure requirements at Luther, consult the Education Department website. Changes in Iowa state requirements appear periodically, so printed material may be out of date; the Education Department endeavors to keep the departmental website updated. Be sure to consult the Teacher Education Program Handbook. All students pursuing licensure in education must be aware that their course selections will have an impact on the length of their programs and their certification. For this reason, it is important that these students maintain regular contact with their education advisors and with the Education Department staff. It is imperative that Elementary, Secondary and Music Education students with advisors in other departments also seek regular consultation with the Education Department staff and faculty.

Important information for all students interested in the teacher education program:

  • Students must be approved for the Teacher Education Program before they are permitted to register for 300-400 level Education courses. Transfer students should see the Education Department Chair.

  • Completed Teacher Education Program applications are due October 1 or March 1 for admission consideration.

  • The Education Department and all program area departments review teacher education candidates.

  • Students may not transfer methods courses at the 300 level or above from another institution.

To be licensed to teach, a student must successfully complete the education program at Luther College. There are three levels of approval within the Teacher Education Program: admission to teacher education, approval for the professional semester, and approval for licensure.

A. Admission to the Teacher Education Program (required before taking any courses at or above the 300-level)

  1. 2.75 minimum overall GPA.

  2. Pass the following courses with a minimum of a "C":

    • EDUC 185 or 215

    • EDUC 220

    • EDUC 221

    • EDUC 222, 252

  3. Three recommendations from faculty (at least one from students' major field of study) and staff.

  4. Approval of the candidate by all program-area departments and the Education Department.

  5. Approval of portfolio submissions is needed to progress in one's coursework or program. Satisfactory completion of the introductory portfolio is required by the deadline set in the department.

  6. Students desiring to teach music must have passed piano proficiency or currently be enrolled in MUS 117 or applied study.

B. Approval for the professional semester (student teaching)

All education majors and minors are required to have various practica that include students from diverse backgrounds. Factors to consider are school size, the percentage of multi-language learners (ELL), culture, race, free and reduced lunch, and school models. All Elementary Education majors, Music Education majors, and Education minors are required to teach for the minimum of a full semester. All those licensed K-12 are required to student teach both at the elementary and secondary grade levels. It is recommended that Elementary majors student teach at a K-2 and 3-6 grade levels. All secondary minors are required to student teach at the [5-8] and [9-12] levels. Additional endorsement areas may require extended student teaching or specific grade levels/ranges. Students seeking licensure in more than one endorsement must meet the requirements for each endorsement.

Requirements for Approval

  1. Approval by all program-area departments, and the Education Department.

  2. A 2.75 cumulative GPA and 2.75 minimum GPA in  program area coursework. (Exceptions include mathematics/biology/chemistry at 2.50). Math Education minors must earn a grade of a "C" or above in MATH 220, 240 and 365. The Education Department incorporates all transfer course grades when calculating the GPA.

    • Elementary Education majors - completion of MATH 123 and satisfactory completion of at least one of the two required lab science courses (life & physical science) plus EDUC 228, 229, 247, 321, 322, 325, 326, 328 and EDUC 329, and all endorsement classes before the student teaching semester. All education and content area courses need to be passed with a "C" or above.

    • Secondary Education minors - completion of methods coursework in their field of study plus 90 percent of their major requirements before the student teaching semester. All education pedagogy courses need to be passed with a "C" or above. Math Education minors seeking a teaching license must earn a grade of "C" or above in MATH 220, 240 and 365.

    • K-12 Music Education majors - completion of methods coursework in their field of study plus 90 percent of their major requirements before the student teaching semester. All MUED and EDUC courses need to be passed with a "C" or above. Piano proficiency must also be passed for MUED.

  3. Attend a professional semester application meeting that is appropriate for your professional semester:

    • A student teacher application meeting is held each fall the year before you plan to student teach whether you begin in fall or spring.

    • Student teacher orientation meeting is held the semester before student teaching begins.

  4. Approval of portfolio submissions is needed to progress to student teaching. Satisfactory completion of the developing portfolio is required by the deadline set in the department.

C. Approval for licensure after completion of the teacher education program, professional semester, and graduation from Luther College.

As an accredited program in the state of Iowa, Luther College prepares students to be eligible for licensure in the state of Iowa; however, Luther students are also eligible to receive a preliminary license in most states. All students must complete the Luther College Education program and meet the Iowa requirements, regardless of the state in which the student plans to eventually teach, in order to be approved for licensure. 

Luther College program completion requirements are:

  1. Completion of Bachelor of Arts degree, which includes the acquisition of a core of liberal arts knowledge, including English composition, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

  2. Achievement of a 2.75 minimum final overall GPA and 2.75 minimum final GPA in all program areas - including Education Department coursework (exceptions include mathematics/biology/chemistry/physics at 2.50).

  3. Courses must be at a "C or above" for all Education or Music Education courses.

  4. Completion of all program requirements in elementary, secondary, or K-12 programs, including successful completion of all required practica.

  5. Required by all states: criminal background check, fingerprinting.

  6. Successful completion of the advanced portfolio.

  7. Approval of your student teaching practicum by your student teaching supervisor, cooperating teacher and the Education Department. When there are concerns, the department chair works with the student's advisor and methods professors to make the final decision. Seminar attendance each week is required during the professional semester.

  8. Check with the state education department in which you wish to teach, as it regulates teacher licensure. The student is responsible for monitoring the requirements for licensure outside of Iowa and needs to discuss requirements with their advisor. These rules change often; therefore, for licensure outside of Iowa, the best source for information is the state department of education website for your preferred state. See the link on our licensure page.

Elementary Education (K-6) Required for a major: EDUC 185/EDUC 215 (Clinical Experience I in the Schools), EDUC 220, 221, 222, 224, 228, 229, 247, 321, 322, 325, 326, 328, 329, 376, 486, 490 or 493, PAID 450 (Making Decisions for U.S. Schools); HIST 111 or 112 and HIST 126; MATH 123; two lab science courses (one life science and one physical science). Writing requirement in the major is completed with EDUC 229. Elementary majors must receive a "C" or better in each required content knowledge course.

The elementary major requires an academic endorsement or a special endorsement. If more than one endorsement is selected, please speak with your advisor regarding the length of student teaching required. A ninth semester and/or an extended student teaching may be necessary for completion of the program.

At least 76 semester hours (19 course equivalents) must be completed outside of the education (EDUC) discipline.

EDUC 325-EDUC 329 should be taken within one year of student teaching.

Secondary Education Minor (in conjunction with an academic major, grades 5-12) Requirements for certification in English,  mathematics, science, and social sciences: EDUC 185/EDUC 215 (Clinical Experience I in the Schools), EDUC 220, 221, 252, 352, EDUC 366, 367, 377, 486; PAID 450 (Making Decisions for U.S. Schools). Students are strongly encouraged, but not yet required, to take the EDUC 382 practicum while student teaching since a practicum in content area reading is required in several states. Students seeking certification in mathematics must earn a C or better in MATH 220, 240, and 365.

Second Teaching Area: In the state of Iowa, students majoring in one subject may take fewer semester hours in another subject and be granted an endorsement to teach that subject. This is not transferable to other states. It only applies to students wishing to teach in the state of Iowa. Please check the Education Department website for specific requirements for second teaching areas.

Students who wish to teach K-12 Music should refer to the Music Education major.