Getting hands-on in the classroom

As you’ll discover, your path to becoming a teacher includes everything from:

  • Getting admitted to UNI
  • Initial coursework and your first forays into classrooms 
  • Admission to the Teacher Education program
  • Final coursework and more immersion in classrooms
  • Student teaching
  • Receiving your degree — then licensure! 

Your field experiences are a critical part of your journey — and a major part of how we, the Department of Teaching, can help. 

Building a Successful Experience

Our Role in Getting You Placed

Getting hands-on is something you’ll experience early and often as part of Teacher Education. The teaching team plays a critical role in ensuring a quality process and experience that supports your future success. We secure and maintain agreements and relationships with school districts and partnering teachers across Iowa, regionally and — in non-COVID times — even internationally. 

Our professional, full-time field experience coordinators also:

  • Supervise Level 1 and Level 2 field experiences
  • Supervise Level 4 (student teaching) 

Wondering about Level 3? You’ll find supervision for Level 3 experiences are more department-based. For example, Curriculum & Instruction oversees the elementary education Level 3 experiences, just as Science Education supervises Level 3 science education placements. 

How We Work with You

You can count on our team to guide your progress and growth through these carefully sequenced field experiences. We’ll engage with you through: 

  • On-site visits
  • Debriefing conferences
  • On-campus seminars and courses
  • Teaching and feedback on lesson planning
  • Guidance on future coursework 
  • Career planning
  • Growth assessments and evaluations
  • Helping you link theory with practice 
  • Strong international student teaching placement (post-COVID)

Requirements

  • be fully admitted to the Teacher Education Program
  • meet ALL grade point average requirements for student teaching:
    • a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or higher on work at all colleges and universities a UNI GPA of 2.50 or higher
    • a 2.50 GPA in my academic department (major)
    • a 2.50 or higher cumulative GPA and a grade of C- (1.67) or higher in each Professional Education Sequence course (effective January 1, 2009)
  • all methods courses listed as prerequisites for student teaching with a grade of C (2.00) or higher as well as other departmental requirements
  • NOTE: Check for specific department requirements when more than one professional methods course is required. Early childhood, elementary, middle school/junior high school majors and special education minors are required to have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher and not lower than a C (2.00) in methods courses that are required prerequisites for student teaching
  • completed the High Risk Behaviors/Substance Abuse seminar
  • met all other departmental requirements
  • NOTE: Health education minors and physical education majors are required to have current first aid and CPR certification prior to student teaching
  • retained an acceptable professional disposition
  • U-bill is current (NO PAST DUE CHARGES) 

Resources

The following resources are available in your online Student Teacher Handbook

  • Forms for before teaching
  • Forms for during student teaching
  • Notice of concern process
  • Licensure information
  • Additional resources

Student Teaching Coordinators

Student teaching coordinators living in the following regional centers in Iowa work with you and more than 275 school districts in Iowa and beyond to ensure successful placements. 

Greater Cedar Valley (Cedar Falls/Waterloo area): Beth Harris and Mary Beth Rygh
Corridor (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City): Leasha Henriksen
Greater Des Moines: Melanie Hill
North Central (Mason City/Charles City): Kady Korbel
 

Central (Marshalltown area): Steve VanderPol
Northeast Iowa: Neil Mullen ‌
Southeast Iowa (Quad Cities/Burlington): Kelly Rohlf
Northwest Iowa: Sheryl Larson
West Iowa and Omaha: Cindy Cone

Located on the UNI campus is the coordinator of the Out-of-State/International program: Carrie Elser

Go to this page for a full listing of the school districts within these regional centers.