What can you do with a degree in education?
What if I want to teach in a state other than Iowa?
Most education graduates obtain an Iowa teaching license, and find teaching positions within a year of graduation. Some graduates want to teach in states other than Iowa, and usually only have to take additional standardized tests to become licensed in these states. Although some teachers enter the profession after receiving a Masters degree in Teaching, the more typical pattern is for a teacher to complete a graduate program in a teaching-related field while teaching. Recent graduates have obtained masters degrees in educational administration, school counseling, educational leadership, as well as in specific subject areas. Some education graduates enter full time graduate programs immediately following their graduation from Coe in such programs as school psychology, school counseling, art therapy, and educational psychology.
So you think you want to be a teacher?
Coe offers courses leading to licensure in elementary education (K-6, all subjects) and secondary education (5-12 in over 20 subjects). Elementary education is a major that requires a minimum of 12 education courses plus student teaching. Secondary education is a minor, and requires six education courses in addition to student teaching and a major in a licensable subject (e.g., English, history, physical education).
If you think that you would like to be an elementary education teacher, you should start taking education courses in your first year at Coe, and should meet with an education advisor by the spring of your first year. Almost all elementary education majors also take the courses to get a K-8 Reading Endorsement, and all are encouraged to add other endorsements to their license. Click here to see a sample 4-year plan for completing the Elementary Education major and the Reading Endorsement.
If you think that you would like to teach a subject at the high school level, you don’t have to be in a hurry to take education courses, since only six are required. You should begin taking courses in your major, and speak to an education advisor when you are in your first or second year to maximize your chance of increasing the number of subjects you can get licensed to teach.
If you aren’t sure about the grade level(s) you wish to teach, but have a general interest in teaching, you should take one or more of the four education courses that are required for both elementary and secondary education. These courses are Educational Foundations, Exceptional Learners, Human Relations and Educational Psychology.
How will you know if teaching is for you?
At Coe, you will have the chance to spend a lot of time in real classrooms. In your Educational Foundations class, you will conduct focused observations in elementary, middle and senior high schools. During these observations, you will be thinking and learning about classroom management, social status, teaching style and other factors that influence how students learn.
In your Human Relations class, you will spend up to 10 hours in a local school with a diverse population of students and you will be asked to observe the influences of social class, ethnicity and gender on student learning.
In your Education Practicum class, you will spend 60 hours in one classroom over the course of the term, where you will take on increasingly complex teaching tasks. Our students report to us that they are pretty certain of their decision to become a teacher, one way or the other, after this course!
We frequently receive comments like these from our alumni:
“Spending time in the classroom helped me confirm my decision to be a teacher.”
“We had a lot of time in the classroom which was really beneficial leading up to student teaching. I also liked the small class sizes and individualized attention I received.”
“They get you great experiences in actual classroom settings. Faculty is very knowledgeable.”
“I had many off-campus experiences in numerous schools in Cedar Rapids community. I completed over 100 hours in elementary schools before student teaching which helped me gain experience and confidence in teaching different age groups of students.”
“I had practicums, tutoring sessions, and field experiences at very different schools in the Cedar Rapids area. This was very rewarding because I was able to see various ideas and teaching styles that I could use in my future classroom.”
“I am very grateful that I had so many different experiences in the classroom. Coe does an excellent job of getting students into the class very early on – this is an exceptional quality.”
How will you know if a college’s education program is the right one for you?
To be sure that you will receive the best possible support in your teacher education program, you should ask department faculty some of these questions: Are your secondary methods classes subject-specific? What kind of relationship does the education department have with the liberal arts departments on your campus? How often will I be visited by a supervisor during student teaching? Will someone help me to get multiple endorsements, if I wish to? Who does the student teaching supervision? What is the K-12 teaching experience of the faculty? What emphasis does the program put on using technology in teaching? How available will the faculty be if I have a question?
What do you have to do to get started in Teacher Education at Coe?
When you decide that you would like to pursue Teacher Education as either a major (elementary) or a minor (secondary), you must take the C-BASE test before applying for admission to the Teacher Education Program. This is a basic skills test that is required by the state of Iowa Department of Education, and is given four times a year at Coe. Once you have completed two education classes and obtained a passing score on the C-BASE test, you can apply for admission to the program. At this time, you will register for Education Practicum for either elementary or secondary education. To see all of the specific requirements for admission to the Teacher Education Program, click here.