The Education Pathway
“The teacher education program at Grace College has provided me with unparalleled purpose and skill. This program is both challenging and fulfilling. The Education Department is skilled at scaffolding each pre-service teacher so that they grow continuously. I have always felt challenged, yet I always had the resources and the training to meet each task well. The faculty in this program truly practice what they preach! Even as they are teaching us a new skill, they are subtly modeling it for us–it’s truly amazing to learn about and experience. The teacher education program is also imbued with passion. Each professor is a master teacher who has a heart for learners!”
~Jennifer Dannemiller, 2020-2021 English Education Graduate
Students pursuing a degree in elementary, special, or secondary education must be officially admitted as a “candidate” to a School of Education in order to complete a teacher education program. A candidate is one who has met the candidacy requirements of the Teacher Preparation Program.
Steps Prior to Candidacy
DECLARE THE MAJOR. To declare Education as a major, the following must be completed as early in one’s college career as possible:
- Complete the Declaration of Curriculum in the Registrar’s office. Once a major is declared, an academic advisor will be assigned.
- Compete the School of Education Declaration form
REGISTER FOR SED 1000. The introductory class, Teaching School in America, must be completed with a minimum grade of B- or better.
- If the course is not completed with a minimum grade of B-, Basic Skills competency must be displayed and a plan for success must be developed with the instructor.
- If these criteria are met, you may repeat SED 1000. (SED 1000 may be repeated only one time.)
DISPLAY BASIC SKILLS COMPETENCY. All prospective Indiana teachers must demonstrate basic skills competency prior to admission to an Indiana educator preparation program. Prospective candidates may either pass the Praxis Core or qualify through an alternative assessment route. (see below).
The Praxis includes 3 subtests:
- Praxis- Reading
- Praxis- Math
- Praxis- Writing
Complete information about the Praxis Core is available on the website: ets.org/praxis
Alternative basic skills assessment routes include the following:
- ACT with a score of at least 24 based on Math, Reading, Grammar, and Science
- SAT with a score of at least 1170 (post-March 1, 2016 test date) based on Critical Reading and Math (See note below)
Notes: ACT and SAT scores do not include writing. Anyone with a Master’s Degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution is exempt from this requirement.
AVAILABLE COURSES. The following courses may be taken after completing SED 1000 (with B- or better) and before applying for and receiving candidacy:
- SED 1110 (minimum grade of B- in SED 1000)
- SED 2200 (minimum grade of B- in SED 1000 and before SED 2600)
- SED 2400 (minimum grade of B- in SED 1000)
- SED 2500 (minimum grade of B- in SED 1000)
- SED 2600 (minimum grade of B- in SED 1000 and minimum grade of C in SED 2200)
- SED 2410 (minimum grade of B- in SED 1000 and minimum grade of C in SED 2400)
- SED 2420 (minimum grade of B- in SED 1000 and minimum grade of C in SED 2400 & 2410)
REQUIRED GPA. A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better must be earned before applying for candidacy status.
TRANSFER STUDENTS. A letter of good standing must be completed by the Teacher Education administration of the school previously attended. This letter must be submitted to the School of Education before candidacy. Transfer students must meet with the Dean of the School of Education within two weeks of declaring an education major. Critical information about the program will be discussed in this meeting.
FORMAL ADMISSION. Students must be formally admitted to the School of Education teacher preparation program. Students will receive notification when they are to apply for candidacy status in the School of Education. Upon receiving notification, students will complete a candidacy packet containing the following prior to scheduling a candidacy interview:
- A disposition form completed by a non-School of Education faculty or staff member at Grace College.
- Two letters of recommendation, based on academic ability and character, completed by someone who is or is not associated with Grace College (for example, a high school teacher, other professional in an educational setting, or a non-education professor who is familiar with your work).
Once the candidacy packet is submitted, students schedule an interview in the School of Education as the final step in the admission process.
MAINTAINING CANDIDACY. In order to remain in the School of Education, a candidate must do the following:
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher
- Earn a minimum grade of C in the remaining SED courses. Education courses may be retaken only once.
- Successfully complete all field and clinical experiences.
- Display character, competence, and service in and outside the classroom.
- Complete COM 1100, Public Speaking, with a minimum grade of B-.
- Complete ENG 1100, Effective Writing, with a minimum grade of B-.
Practical classroom experience is an important component of our teacher preparation program and involves observation and/or participation in public- and/or private-school settings. Students participate in practical field experience in the very first School of Education course (Teaching School in America) and have frequent opportunities for classroom experience throughout the program. Many School of Education classes include a field/clinical experience* (practical) component and involve
- Helping candidates decide if teaching should be their chosen career
- Assisting candidates in making decisions about preferred grade levels and content area
- Providing candidates with knowledge about the profession of teaching
- Assisting candidates in moving from knowledge and understanding to practice and implementation
- Providing a necessary foundation for student teaching
*Field experience generally occurs early in the program and involves observation and some participation. Once the candidate begins to teach some lessons, and thus impact student learning, practical experience is then classified as “clinical experience.”
Student Teaching: Where Content Knowledge and Clinical Practice Converge…
The single most important component of the School of Education program is a successful student teaching experience.
STUDENT TEACHING SEMESTER. Student Teaching is a sixteen-week period during which the student teacher is in one or more classrooms in a public or Christian school in the local area on a full-time basis, putting into practice all that has been learned prior to this final semester. During this time, the student teacher is under the supervision of an experienced master teacher, referred to as the classroom supervisor, and is being supervised by one or more college supervisors.
Student teachers are informed of their placements during the spring before their student teaching semester and are required to visit their classroom supervisors at the school of their assignment before leaving for summer break. Fall student teachers begin their pre-service, professional semester on the first day of school of the school corporation to which they are assigned. Spring student teachers are required to be in the classroom during the first week of school in the fall to get that start-up of the school year experience. As the weeks pass, student teachers progress from observing to having complete supervision of the class using a co-teaching model. During this time, the student teacher is observed and counseled by the college supervisors. Classroom supervisors, in collaboration with college supervisors, complete an initial, mid-term, and final evaluation.
Because the student teaching semester is so important and demanding, the candidate is encouraged to reduce outside activities to a minimum. For most, it will mean not working and having very limited involvement in extra-curricular activities. Students are not permitted to enroll in any other academic courses during this semester unless permission is granted by the School of Education faculty.
Transportation to and from the student teaching location is the responsibility of the candidate. The School of Education does try to place student teachers so that transportation will not be a problem.
ALTERNATIVE STUDENT TEACHING PLACEMENT. Candidates, other than those completing the TAL (Teaching all Learners) dual licensure program, have the option of completing a portion of the student teaching semester in an alternative placement. The following rules apply:
- The intent to teach in an alternative placement must be approved in advance by the Director of Student Teaching and included on the student teaching application.
- The placement must be in a setting that cannot be duplicated locally.
- The School of Education faculty will approve or deny the placement, based on the candidate’s academic and dispositional records. The placement can be overturned if the candidate displays areas of concern after approval for student teaching.
- The alternative placement comes only after a successful local placement (at least B-) and a successful senior project (at least C).
- The placement will consist of ten weeks locally and six weeks in an alternative setting.
The Indiana Educator License…
In order to teach in the public school, a teacher must hold a valid teaching license. This document asserts that the holder has met certain legal minimum standards as specified by the state. It also indicates the subject(s) and grade level(s) the teacher is qualified to teach.
The School of Education prepares graduates for professional licensure. Upon completion of all degree and program coursework, the Licensing Advisor approves the online license application for our graduates based on GPA, passage of professional test(s), CPR/AED/Heimlich certification, and Suicide Prevention training. The Initial Practitioner License issued to beginning teachers is valid for two years from the date of licensing. After receiving an Initial Practitioner License, beginning teachers commence working toward the Practitioner License (a 5-yr. license) through either the Professional Growth Plan (PGP) route or the Indiana Mentoring and Assessment Program (IMAP).
Indiana Licensure Exams…
As of September 1, 2021, all applicants for initial instructional licenses must take and pass the Praxis® Pedagogy and the Content Knowledge/Subject Assessment(s) specific to the licensure area and developmental level of the license they are seeking.
PRAXIS® PEDAGOGY ASSESSMENTS. As of September 1, 2021, all applicants for initial instructional licenses must take and pass the Praxis® Principles of Learning and Teaching Pedagogy Assessment (PLT) for the developmental level of the license they are seeking. The purpose of the Praxis® PLT series (Early Childhood, Grades K-6, Grades PreK-12, Grades 7-12) is to assess a new teacher’s knowledge and understanding of educational practices foundational to beginning a career as a professional educator. The test is designed to reflect the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) Model Core Teaching Standards. The test content assesses key indicators of the beginning educator’s knowledge of topics such as human development, learning processes, instructional processes, diverse learners, educational psychology, and professional issues. Examinees taking Praxis® PLTwill typically have completed, or will have nearly completed, an undergraduate education program. Each test includes questions that apply specifically to the stated grade range of the test as well as some that are universal to all grade levels.
PRAXIS® SUBJECT/CONTENT KNOWLEDGE ASSESSMENTS. The Praxis® Subject Tests are important components of Indiana’s licensure and certification process and measure knowledge of specific subjects that K-12 educators will teach. Praxis® Subject Assessments include over 90 different tests for specific licensure areas, ranging from Mathematics to World Languages.
Additional Licensing Requirements…
CPR Certification. Per Indiana Code 20-28-5-3(c), applicants applying for an initial teaching license (and at the time of conversion or renewal of any kind) must have successfully completed training in:
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation that includes a test demonstration on a mannequin,
- Removing a foreign body causing an obstruction in an airway, and the Heimlich Maneuver;
- Beginning July 1, 2011, the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED); and
- Hold a valid certification in each of these procedures from either the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association or other providers as approved by the department.
An initial teaching license is the first license issued to an applicant, regardless of content area or setting. Effective July 1, 2012, the requirements listed above must be met for the following initial license and permit renewals:
- Current Indiana educators must show proof of valid CPR/AED/Heimlich certification.
- In state program completers applying for initial licensure must show proof of valid CPR/AED/Heimlich certification.
Suicide Prevention Training. Effective July 1, 2013, the department may not issue an initial teaching license (includes instructional, student services and administrative licenses) at any grade level to an applicant for an initial teaching license unless the applicant shows evidence that the applicant has successfully completed education and training on the prevention of child suicide and the recognition of signs that a student may be considering suicide.
Teaching Out of State…
The Licensing Advisor for the School of Education works with prospective teachers and graduates to answer questions about the in-state and out-of-state licensing process. Graduates planning to teach outside of Indiana are encouraged to explore the website for the Department of Education for the state(s) of interest regarding educator certification. In some cases, the graduate will be required to pass different professional tests, and often a reciprocal license will be issued while state requirements are being met. NOTE: It is recommended that prospective teachers contact additional state(s) of interest early in the college experience to obtain specific licensing requirements. It is also recommended that the Indiana license be obtained before applying for a license in another state.
The Association of Christian Schools International…
Grace College Teacher Education Program is approved by the Association of Christian Schools International, making ACSI Certification available to graduates.
ABOUT THE ACSI CERTIFICATE. Christian schools and other private schools may or may not require a teacher to hold a state teaching license. The School of Education at Grace College is approved by ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International), and all education graduates qualify for an ACSI educator certificate. The School of Education provides information for the candidate to apply for ACSI certification during the Moral Practitioner class.
Grace College School of Education Pre-licensure Disclosure
Indiana is currently in an Interstate Agreement with 49 other states and territories through the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC), which outlines specific state regulations in terms of education and experience requirements for teacher licensure. Although most states provide guidelines for and participate in some type of reciprocity for educator licensing, interstate reciprocity is not a guarantee. Most states are members of the (NASDTEC) and participate in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement.
The following is taken from the NASDTEC website, https://www.nasdtec.net:
The NASDTEC Interstate Agreement facilitates the mobility of educators among the states and other jurisdictions that are members of NASDTEC and have signed the Agreement. Although there may be conditions applicable to individual jurisdictions, the Agreement makes it possible for an educator who completed an approved program and/or who holds a certificate or license in one jurisdiction to earn a certificate or license in another state or jurisdiction. For example, a teacher who completed an approved teacher preparation program in Alabama generally will be able to earn a certificate in Georgia. Receiving states may impose certain special requirements which must be met in a reasonable period of time.
What it is:
The interstate agreement, arranged by NASDTEC, is a collection of over 50 individual agreements by states and Canadian provinces. Each individual “agreement” is a statement by that state or jurisdiction outlining which other states’ educator certificates will be accepted by that state. Specifically, the agreement outlines which particular types of educator certificates (teachers, administrators, service personnel, or career/technical), and which particular styles of certifications (titles, fields, etc.) will be accepted.
Such an “acceptance” agreement means that the “receiving” state will issue some form of authorization allowing the inbound certificate holder to legally teach or provide service in the receiving state, provided the license issued by the “sending” state is acceptable under the agreement. This authorization may be limited in time by the receiving state, and the receiving state may impose additional requirements which need to be accomplished before the educator can teach or practice after the end of the time limit.
What it is not:
It is not a collection of 2-way agreements of reciprocal acceptance. For example, although Georgia affirms with its agreement that it will accept certificates from Connecticut, this acceptance in no way implies that Connecticut will accept Georgia certificates.
It is not a guarantee that all certificate titles will be accepted by a receiving state. For example, in the “sending” state you may hold a “temporary” or “provisional” certificate which is excluded from the agreement signed by the “receiving” state. In such a case, the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement provides no help toward your receipt of a certificate in the “receiving” state.
It is not necessarily “full” reciprocity. The educator may have to complete additional requirements, such as coursework, assessments, or classroom experience, before receiving a full professional certificate in the new state.
Grace College School of Education program completers who plan to pursue licensure in a state other than Indiana, can expect the receiving state to assign additional licensure requirements, verify completion of an approved program, conduct a transcript and credential review, and/or require additional testing.
IMPORTANT NOTE TO PROSPECTIVE TEACHER CANDIDATES: Each state is responsible for its own certification/licensure requirements, which may change without notice to NASDTEC or your university’s certification officers or your state’s office of certification. You must contact the office of certification in any state to which you may be relocating to get the most accurate information on certification requirements. The Websites of Jurisdictions directory map will help you locate the main web page for the entity in each state that is responsible for educator certification. To see each state’s reciprocity requirements at a basic level, visit the following Information for Out-Of-State Applicants interactive map.
One important guideline is that reciprocity is always easier if you first complete the certification requirements and obtain your teaching credential in Indiana.
**This disclosure is applicable to the following licensure programs:
- Elementary Education
- Mild Intervention
- Intense Intervention
- Social Studies Education
- Life Science Education
- Math Education
- English Education
- Foreign Language Education
- Business Education
Please note that jurisdiction licensure or certification requirements may be affected by other factors such as teaching experience, testing requirements, and coursework.