Iowa Requirements

Please remember, Graceland University teacher candidates are attending an Iowa university, so their initial teaching license will be issued from Iowa. Candidates are governed by Iowa teaching requirements, and the current Iowa law does not allow candidates to be paid during student teaching, even if they are completing their student teaching in another state.  

Student Teaching Requirement

All education students must complete a practicum before they are eligible to student teach.  Check with your advisor if you are unsure which practicum to apply for. The student teaching semester is the capstone experience for the Teacher Education Program. Depending on your endorsement area(s), student teaching placements are 14 weeks in length, or may be divided into 6, 7, or 8 week segments. This experience provides the opportunity for you to sharpen your professional skills as a caring, reflective, collaborative leader through daily practice and with frequent feedback from the classroom teacher and the supervising Graceland faculty. Most teacher candidates will be placed in a district within 40 miles of the Graceland Campus.  
You must complete the Distance Application if you would like a placement beyond the 40-mile radius from Graceland University.  If you are in secondary education, you will not be placed in the high school you attended.
Placements are arranged by the Field Office. Please do not contact districts yourself.  That can complicate placements for other education students. Once placements have been made, they are not subject to change at the request of the candidate.
Work with your advisor to determine the type of placement(s) you will need for your endorsement area(s).

Student Teaching Courses

  • EDUC4400 Elementary Student Teaching (K-6)
  • EDUC4420 Secondary Student Teaching (7-12)
  • EDUC4440 Early Childhood Student Teaching
  • EDUC4450 Combination K-6 and 7-12 Student Teaching
  • EDUC4460 Elementary and Mild/Moderate Student Teaching
  • EDUC4470 Secondary and Mild/Moderate Student Teaching
  • EDUC4480 Elementary and Secondary Mild/Moderate Student Teaching

Diverse Experiences

GSOE Diverse experience definition and priority schools lists:   


Definition:  Candidates must have a depth and breadth of clinical experiences working with diverse populations within priority schools.  Priority schools are defined as those with 2 or more subgroups above the state average as reported annually in the Iowa School Performance Profile. Data from the Iowa School Performance Profile will be reviewed annually.   

    1. Candidates must have a minimum of 2 different experiences within priority schools or schools meeting the criteria of a priority school.   
    2. Priority Schools within the Lamoni Campus region include:  Lamoni Community School District, Central Decatur Community School District, Mount Ayr Community School District 
    3. Priority Schools within the Independence Campus region include:  Fort Osage R-1 School District, Independence (048077) School District, Raytown C-2 School District, North Kansas (74) School District, Liberty (53) Public School 
    4. Priority Schools within the Trenton (NCMC) Campus region include:  Spickard R-2 School District, Grundy R-5 School District, Gilman City R-4 School District, Chillicothe R-2 School District, South Harrison R-2 School District, Trenton R-IX School District 

Acceptance BEFORE Application

You must be accepted into the Teacher Education program before applying for or being placed in a Student Teaching experience.
To check on your acceptance status, choose Enrollment Checklist from the Student tab in My Graceland.  Once all requirements are met, your name will automatically go before the Teacher Education Committee at their next meeting. You will receive a letter after the meeting explaining your acceptance status.
Contact your advisor or Garnet Coulthard ( if you have questions about your acceptance status.

Program Handbook for Teacher Education

The Program Handbook for Teacher Education spans the entire program starting with the Entry Workshop through student teaching and licensure. The handbook has been produced as .pdf and is available to download to your device. Forms and rubrics are included as links and video tutorials are included throughout the book whenever a Chalk and Wire task is described.  You also have the ability to highlight text or add your own bookmarks and notes within the book.  Please read the Handbook FAQ first before you get started to help you understand how to navigate and find what you need.  

Handbooks, by nature, are subject to change.  It might be something as simple as fixing broken links. 

Be sure to remove any previous handbooks you may have previously downloaded .


Before You Apply for Student Teaching

Apply to Graduate

You should submit the Apply to Graduate application BEFORE submitting the application for student teaching. You should apply to graduate approximately six months or more before your intended graduation date.   When you apply to graduate, the Registrar's Office will send you and your advisor a Graduation Audit to determine additional coursework that might be needed to graduate.  Your advisor will need this audit before he/she can approve your student teaching application.

Candidates preparing for student teaching need to meet with their education advisor first and complete the Student Teaching Checklist to be sure that they have completed all of the preliminary requirements.  For Student Teaching, you will also need to create and be ready to share your field experience portfolio you created in Chalk and Wire.  Here is a sample of what a field experience portfolio looks like. 


Sample Field Experience Portfolio


If you need assistance with your portfolio, complete instructions can be found here:


Field Experience Portfolio Guidelines and Instructions



Your professional portfolio will be shared with the school district when the Graceland Field Office requests a student teaching placement for you. This is your professional introduction to the school and should demonstrate that you can effectively communicate information about yourself both through carefully constructed documents and by using other visually appealing media.


Most education students will create this portfolio during the semester before the application is due.  Teacher candidates will continue to revise and improve it until they are ready to apply for student teaching. If you have not started your field experience portfolio, follow the instructions above or contact the field office. One very important step is making sure your professional portfolio is complete and meets the expected quality levels so that you make a great first impression. 


Before you begin the student teaching application, make sure you have  the link (URL) for your Field Experience Portfolio available to attach to your application. This portfolio will be sent  as your introduction to the school district(s) you have chosen in the application.  Regardless of the where you are in the process of creating your Field Experience Portfolio, (meaning even if it is not complete), you can still create and share the URL to include in your student teaching application. The field office will work with you on polishing up your portfolio before they begin making placement requests.

For teacher candidates desiring to student teach beyond 40 miles from their home campus, an additional form needs to be completed and submitted to the field office. It will assist the field office in securing your placement. Distance Placement Form