Iowa Alternative Teacher Certification

Jan 02, 2019

Many states offer alternative certification for individuals who want to become an educator, but do not meet all of the requirements to obtain the standard educator licensure of their state. Below is information on this option in the state of Iowa.

The Iowa Department of Education created a non-traditional path for individuals to earn and obtain teaching licensure within the state of Iowa. This alternative teaching licensure is known as the Teacher Intern License, which allows individuals with a bachelor's degree an opportunity to become an educator. The alternative license is only valid to teach or substitute teach for grades 7-12.

Iowa Alternative Educator Certification Requirements

Average Salary for Education Professionals in Iowa $51,140 (Kindergarten)
$53,710 (Elementary School)
$55,560 (Middle School)
$54,490 (Secondary School)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Any
Testing Requirements Praxis Core Exam

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Teacher Intern Program Information

The Teaching Intern program requires that applicants complete introductory pedagogy coursework, which must include at least fifty contact hours with students. After the completion of the coursework, the program coordinator will be able to recommend the applicant for the intern license. The applicant will still have to complete the Intern Teaching License application on the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners online portal.

Eligibility Requirements

In order for an applicant to qualify for a license there are four primary requirements. The applicant must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5. They must also meet the requirements for a secondary teaching endorsements, specifically for the subject matter coursework. The applicant must also have completed the introductory teacher intern program at an accredited university that was approved the State Board of Education. They must also have at least three years of work experience gained after they've earned their bachelor's degree.

RAPIL Program

The University of Northern Iowa, The University of Iowa and Iowa State University, the three major universities within the state of Iowa, collaborated to design the Regents Alternative Pathway to Iowa Licensure (RAPIL) program. This program was created to provide individuals an alternative path to gain licensure to teach. The program allows the individual to be a temporary, fully salaried teacher for one year. Once this year is completed and other program requirements are completed, the individual may be recommended for their initial license.

The program also requires that the applicant complete the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Combined exam #5751. The RAPIL program requires that applicants score a minimum of 150 in mathematics, 156 in reading, and 162 in writing. If the applicant has completed the Graduate Record Examinations, they can provide a copy of those results in lieu of the Praxis Core Exam. In order to be eligible, the applicant must have a total score of 1080 for verbal and quantitative reasoning on the general test or a 300 on the revised test. They must also score a minimum on 3.0 on the analytical writing portion of the exam.

Secondary Endorsement

The secondary endorsement is the area in which the applicant would be licensed to teach in the state of Iowa. There are many options, but the requirements to receive the endorsement remain the same. The applicant must complete the required content semester hours for each endorsement area they wish to be licensed in. From here, the applicant's transcripts must go through the endorsement analysis. Once this is reviewed, the applicant will be informed of what courses will be needed to complete the endorsement. Upon completion of the secondary endorsement, they will be able to complete the Teaching Intern program.

After Teacher Program Information

Once the licensure has been approved, the applicant can complete a one year internship as a teacher of record in a high school. They can also obtain support with a post-secondary institution that works with the intern's employing district. Once they have said support, they will be closely monitored and able participate in an approved mentoring and induction program. Before the intern can obtain their initial teaching license, they must complete the teacher intern seminar during their internship as teacher of record. This includes an extension of the courses from the introductory program, once these have been completed they can obtain their initial teaching license.

Resources for Iowa Educators Interested in Alternative Certification

Below are resources that can be used by Iowa professionals interested in pursuing alternative certification. The links below lead to courses that can provide more information.

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