The teacher education program at Northwestern College commits itself to a Christ-centered holistic development of teachers called to serve Christ and society in diverse classroom settings. The model for the program is “Teacher as Servant.” The goal is to serve students in the name of Jesus Christ with the expectation that they, too, will seek to offer themselves in Christian service as they teach others.
In order to serve effectively as teachers, Northwestern College students need a well-formed, whole educational experience. Northwestern emphasizes this wholeness in its liberal arts program by stressing intellectual, physical, spiritual/moral and social/emotional wholeness. Within this context, the teacher education program believes that effective teaching results from foundational knowledge of the profession along with knowledge and skills in learning, teaching and reflection. This body of knowledge and performances, in conjunction with the college’s emphasis on teaching the whole person and developing intercultural competencies, is put into practice in diverse pre-teaching opportunities that students experience in and outside of the P-12 classroom.
The objectives of the professional education unit that reflect the model of “Teacher as Servant” are located in the education department policy manual which may be found at www.nwciowa.edu/education.
The Northwestern College teacher education program is nationally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Iowa Department of Education.
The Northwestern College teacher education department offers the following basic programs leading to licensure:
- Elementary endorsement
- Secondary endorsement that also requires an approved major in secondary education
- Coaching authorization (see kinesiology department for requirements)
Other available specialized programs include:
(all require the completion of the elementary or secondary endorsement)
- A unified early childhood endorsement (combines special education and early childhood education)
- An early childhood education endorsement
- An instructional strategist I elementary endorsement
- An instructional strategist I secondary endorsement
- A reading elementary endorsement
- A middle school endorsement
- A teaching English as a second language endorsement
Admission and retention in the education program
Every student who plans to complete a program at Northwestern College leading to teacher licensure must make formal application. Application for admission to the program is completed through Livetext and notification should be given to the education office as soon as the student knows he/she wants to become a teacher. Transfer students who are classified as juniors or seniors must make formal application during their first semester in residence.
The following specific requirements must be met by all applicants:
- A cumulative grade point average of 2.50; Major GPA of 2.5 for secondary
- Basic skills proficiency as demonstrated through passing scores on the College-BASE (235 for each subset)
- Completion of the entrance portfolio in Livetext (see education department policy manual for requirements)
- A written recommendation from the department of the student’s major subject field. Elementary education majors will be interviewed by a member of the education department.
- Earned grades of C- or higher for EDU102, Foundations of Education, and EDU206, Survey of Exceptional Individuals.
On the basis of these criteria, the teacher education committee will grant the candidate approval, deferment of approval or disapproval. Before the candidate will be permitted to student teach, the candidate must be admitted into the teacher education program and successfully meet established benchmark performances. However, students may take courses in the education department prior to admission into the program. If admission is deferred, the candidate will be notified of specific knowledge, performances or dispositions that must be satisfactorily demonstrated before being approved for entrance into the program. If the application is disapproved, the candidate will be encouraged to consult with the department chairperson for re-planning his/her educational program and major.
A student majoring in elementary education may not enroll in the four restricted courses (EDU 323, 328, 329, 343 and 409) or student teaching until admitted into the teacher education program. A student earning a secondary education endorsement may not enroll in either EDU307 or student teaching until admitted into the program.
The status of a student in the education program is under constant review by the committee. Retention in the program may be revoked if the student’s GPA drops below the required 2.50, the student fails to successfully meet established benchmark performances, or any time the committee feels that a student is not maintaining other qualifications for admission. In reviewing the student’s status, the committee may ask that his/her adviser sit in on the discussions.
In the academic year prior to the year in which a student plans to do his/her student teaching, he/ she must notify the education office to apply for student teaching and provide information for the placement.
Requirements for admission into the student teaching semester require maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 and completion of 100 clock hours of pre-student teaching field experience in school settings. Students will also earn a minimum of 2 professional badges, each of which requires 50 hours of professional development and service. All students will be required to earn the diversity badge and one additional badge. Students will also successfully perform all pre-student teaching performance benchmarks.
A student admitted to student teaching is expected to make satisfactory progress during the teaching phase of this program. If satisfactory progress is not maintained after the student has had adequate notification and opportunity to meet the standards, a committee composed of the cooperating teacher, the college supervisor and other members of the teacher education committee will determine whether or not the student will be allowed to complete student teaching and under what conditions.
Students who wish to appeal academic program decisions or the decisions of a faculty member or an academic department concerning their academic progress must submit to the vice president for academic affairs a written appeal of the decision within 30 days following their notification of the decision. The vice president for academic affairs will provide a written acknowledgment of the appeal within seven days. The vice president for academic affairs will investigate the appeal and provide a decision which will be communicated in writing to the student within 15 days of this acknowledgment. This decision will be final.
Students are typically placed in area schools for a traditional student teaching experience. A non-traditional student teaching assignment is defined as any placement outside of an approximate 60 miles radius from the Northwestern College campus. Any non-traditional assignment may require the student to assist in providing information for the student teaching coordinator in making the placement.
For students seeking non-traditional placements:
If a student desires a non-traditional placement (defined as over 60 miles from campus) the student must make a formal request via an email or letter submission to the Teacher Education Committee by February 1 the academic year prior to the student teaching date. You must state how you meet the required criteria for a non-traditional placement (see below).
Criteria for non-traditional placement as stated in the policy manual:
Students interested in a non-traditional placement must go through an approved program (i.e. Chicago Semester, Denver Urban Semester, CCTECC/overseas). Interested students must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
Appeals for exceptions to the policy must be presented to and approved by the Teacher Education Committee.
Requirements for licensure
- Satisfactory completion of all degree and benchmark performance requirements
- Minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.50. Secondary education majors (grades 5-12) must also have a minimum of 2.50 in their major.
- Exit portfolio approval (see education department policy booklet)