How to Become a Teacher in Iowa

When it comes to the Hawkeye State, Iowa has its sights set on the future, investing heavily in education. This dedication begins with its statewide voluntary preschool program for four-year-olds, complete with a strong set of standards. Iowa also makes sure that all of its K-12 educators are given proper professional development in the core areas: math, science, English/language arts (ELA), and social students. Becoming a teacher in Iowa is a rewarding and fulfilling profession, one that any college graduate can be proud of.

Education Requirements

Receiving an Iowa teaching certificate is a process similar to that of many other states. The first step is to be awarded a B.A. or B.S. from an accredited four-year college or university, either from online teaching schools in Iowa or from more traditional schools.

At the secondary level, a teacher’s degree ideally should be granted in the discipline that they would like to teach in school, like math or science or English. This means that anthropology or sociology majors should have a degree in something else to teach if they want to be a teacher. An approved teacher preparation program must also be completed; these often include student teaching practicums and a human relations component.

Iowa Teaching Certification

Prospective Iowa teachers must be certified to teach any and all grade levels. The requirements for licensure depend on experience, education level, and other conditions. First-time teachers seeking the initial teacher license must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university; complete an approved teacher preparation program; complete an approved human relations component; complete all requirements for a teaching endorsement, and meet the recency requirement of less than 160 days of teaching experience during the last five years.

Required Tests

One of the last steps in completing a teacher education program and qualifying for certification is taking and passing the two required tests. One exam measures pedagogy and the other tests your knowledge of at least one content area. Prospective Iowa teachers must take one or more Praxis II tests, depending on your specific licensure area.

State Certification Reciprocity

According to the Iowa Licensure Handbook, Iowa does not have reciprocity with any state. Iowa educators who are seeking employment in another state should contact the new state’s licensing agency to see if their teaching license and credentials will be recognized. In many cases, additional competency testing will be required.

Helpful Resources

Briar Cliff University

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3303 Rebecca Street
Sioux City, IA 51104
(712) 279-5321

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Masters

Buena Vista University

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610 W 4th St
Storm Lake, IA 50588
(712) 749-2400

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Masters

Accrediting Agency:

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Central College

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812 University
Pella, IA 50219
(877) 462-3687

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors

Clarke University

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1550 Clarke Dr
Dubuque, IA 52001-3198
(563) 588-6300

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Masters

Cornell College

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600 First St. SW
Mount Vernon, IA 52314-1098
(319) 895-4000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors

Accrediting Agency:

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Dordt College

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498 4th Ave NE
Sioux Center, IA 51250-1697
(712) 722-6000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Masters

Drake University

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2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311-4505
(515) 271-2011

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Masters

Emmaus Bible College

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2570 Asbury Rd
Dubuque, IA 52001-3096
(563) 588-8000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Certificate

Accrediting Agency:

  • Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation

Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary

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1900 NW 4th St
Ankeny, IA 50023-2152
(515) 964-0601

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Masters

Accrediting Agency:

  • Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation

Graceland University-Lamoni

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1 University Place
Lamoni, IA 50140
(641) 784-5000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Masters

Grand View University

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1200 Grandview Ave
Des Moines, IA 50316
(515) 263-2800

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors

Indian Hills Community College

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525 Grandview Ave
Ottumwa, IA 52501
(641) 683-5111

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 2-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Certificate

Iowa State University

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3410 Beardshear Hall
Ames, IA 50011-2030
(515) 294-5836

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

Iowa Wesleyan College

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601 N Main Street
Mount Pleasant, IA 52641
(319) 385-8021

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors

Loras College

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1450 Alta Vista
Dubuque, IA 52004-0178
(563) 588-7100

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Masters

Accrediting Agency:

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Morningside College

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1501 Morningside Ave
Sioux City, IA 51106-1751
(712) 274-5000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Masters

Mount Mercy University

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1330 Elmhurst Dr NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4797
(319) 363-8213

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Masters

Northwestern College

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101 Seventh St SW
Orange City, IA 51041
(712) 707-7000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Certificate

Saint Ambrose University

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518 W Locust St
Davenport, IA 52803-2898
(563) 333-6000

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Masters

Simpson College

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701 North C St
Indianola, IA 50125
(515) 961-6251 Ext: 1517

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
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