Teacher Education Program 

Why should you choose teaching as a career?

Upper Iowa University’s Teacher Education Advisory members – teachers, pre-service educators, school administrators – share the following reasons that they and other educators have selected teaching as a career.  Teaching is one of the few careers where every day is different and what you put into that day makes a difference, where you can see and help students grow, where you can have an opportunity to help shape lives, where you can help others unlock the door, reap rewards every day and be a support system for students to succeed. 

As a student in the Teacher Education Program, you will choose a major:

  • Elementary Education
  • Prekindergarten - Grade 3
  • Prekindergarten - Grade 3 including Special Education
  • Physical Education, Health and Coaching K-12
  • Art K-12

Or one of the following content area majors:

  • 5-12 All Business
  • 5-12 English
  • 5-12 Life Science (Biology)
  • 5-12 Mathematics
  • 5-12 Reading
  • 5-12 Social Science (must complete at least 15 hours in one or more of the following areas: American History, American Government, Economics, Sociology or Psychology)
  • 5-12 All Social Science (authorizes the holder to teach all social sciences in grades 5-12 in the state of Iowa: (Economics, American Government, Psychology, American History, World History, Sociology, and Geography)
  • All Science 5-12 (authorizes the holder to teach all sciences in grades 9-12 in the state of Iowa)
  • 5-12 Industrial Technology (partnership with Northeast Iowa Community College)

For those seeking to teach 5th through 12th grade students, additional 5-12 and K-12 endorsements are available.

Individuals interested in a major in Elementary Education have a passion to work with kindergarten through sixth graders. Along with the major, interested pre-service educators must obtain at least one endorsement:

  • Teacher-Prekindergarten-Grade 3 with Special Ed (Unified)
  • Teacher Prekindergarten Kindergarten
  • Teacher-Prekindergarten-Grade 3 (birth-grade 3)
  • Art K-8
  • English/Language Arts K-8
  • English as a Second Language ESL K-12
  • Foreign Language Spanish K-8
  • Health K-8
  • Mathematics K-8
  • Physical Education K-8
  • Reading K-8
  • Science Basic K-8
  • Social Science Social Studies K-8
  • Instructional Strategist I Mild/Moderate K-8
  • Instructional Strategist II Behavior Disorders/Learning Disabilities K-12
  • Instructional Strategist II Intellectual Disabilities K-12
  • Work Experience Coordinator 5-12


The focus of Upper Iowa University’s Teacher Education Program are the children in the
PreK-12 schools. With the children as the focus, the program prepares well those who will be their teachers. A UIU’s pre-service educator is ready to hit the ground running when he/she obtains a teaching position.

Upper Iowa University’s Teacher Education Program has partnerships with many community colleges and PreK-12 schools. Many pre-service educators come from community colleges with which UIU’s Teacher Education Program has partnerships. A number of additional opportunities exist for pre-service educators in the Program with PreK-12 schools including a student teaching partnership with the Aldine Independent School District on the north side of Houston, Texas.

The standards of the Teacher Education Program are based on the work of the Renaissance Partnership for Improving Teacher Quality. They are aligned with the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) principles and the Iowa Teaching Standards. Pre-service educators are assessed on their Teacher Work Sample. Seven standards frame the Teacher Education program:

  1. Pre-service educators use information about the learning-teaching context and student individual differences to set learning outcomes and plan instruction and assessment.
  2. Pre-service educators set significant, challenging, varied and appropriate learning outcomes.
  3. Pre-service educators use multiple assessment modes and approaches aligned with learning outcomes to assess student learning before, during, and after instruction.
  4. Pre-service educators design instruction for specific learning outcomes, student characteristics and needs.
  5. Pre-service educators use ongoing analysis of student learning to make instructional decisions.
  6. Pre-service educators use assessment data to profile student learning and communicate information about student progress and achievement.
  7. Pre-service educators analyze the relationship between instruction and student learning in order to improve teaching practice.

Job outlook (2012-22)

  • Preschool Teachers*
    • Job outlook: 17% increase
    • Wages: The median annual salary for a preschool teacher was $27,130 in 2012 or $13.04 per hour.  
    • View similar occupations.
  • Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers*
    • Job outlook: 12% increase
    • Wages: The median annual salary for a kindergarten and elementary school teacher was $53,090 in 2012.
    • View similar occupations.
  • Middle School Teachers*
    • Job outlook: 12% increase
    • Wages: The median annual salary for a middle school teacher was $53,430 in 2012.
    • View similar occupations.
  • High School Teachers*
    • Job outlook: 6% increase
    • Wages: The median annual salary for a high school teacher was $55,050 in 2012.
    • View similar occupations.
  • Special Education Teachers*
    • Job outlook: 6% increase
    • Wages: The median annual salary for a special education teacher was $55,060 in 2012.
    • View similar occupations.

*Taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Teacher Education Program is offered at the following Upper Iowa University locations:

  • Fayette campus
  • Des Moines Center
  • Quad Cities Center
  • Waterloo Center