Students interested in attending teaching schools in Iowa have many from which to choose. With 29,518 enrolled students, the University of Iowa is the state’s largest public school. The next three largest schools are Iowa State University, with 28,682 enrolled students, the University of Northern Iowa, with 13,201, and Upper Iowa University, a private institution with 5,741.
Having said that, not every college or university in Iowa, no matter the size, offers the same teaching programs. Student teachers in the Hawkeye State must obtain endorsements from specific schools depending on their field of study. Refer to the state’s Board of Education endorsement chart to determine if the school of interest endorses a specific program.
Founded in 1847, the University of Iowa is the Hawkeye State’s premier school, ranking 71 on U.S. News & World Report‘s 2012 list of the top universities in the U.S. Its College of Education has 490 full-time students and 184 part-time students. To be accepted into the college, students must have already successfully completed 30 college hours, 10 hours of teacher volunteer field experience, and have a GPA of at least 2.7. Additional requirements are in place for students who want to teach specific courses. Refer to the school’s teacher education program for further information.
Ranking 97 on the 2012 U.S. News & World Report‘s list, Iowa State University was founded in 1858. For undergraduates interested in teaching, there are three main options. A degree in early childhood education allows graduates to teach either pre-K students (endorsement 262) or pre-K to third grade students (endorsement 100). The elementary education program prepares graduates to teach kindergarten through sixth grade. Finally, to gain an Iowa teaching license in secondary school, graduates must major in the area in which they wish to teach, such as history or math. They must also complete a teacher preparation program, which includes classes in curriculum and instruction as well as field experience.
The University of Northern Iowa, founded in 1876, is a popular school for teachers: 17% of its student body is involved in Iowa teacher certification. Its College of Education offers innovative teacher education programs. Within the college itself are seven separate departments: Curriculum & Instruction; Educational Leadership & Postsecondary Education; Educational Psychology & Foundations; School of Health, Physical Education, & Leisure Services; Educational Opportunity Programs & Special Community Services; Department of Teaching; and Special Education. The school recently announced that it is closing the health education major and converting it into a minor. This school provides high quality Iowa teacher education.
The only private institution out of the four largest teaching schools in Iowa, Upper Iowa University was founded in 1857. Since it is a smaller school, its acceptance rate, at 61%, is more selective than the others. Students pursuing their Iowa teacher license account for 7% of the population. To complete the school’s program, students must pass Foundations of American Education with at least a “C,” maintain an overall GPA of at least 2.7, have two recommendations from professors or instructors, and pass the College Basic Academic Skills Exam (C-BASE) in reading and literature, writing, and mathematics.