Office of the Registrar

Common Questions About Teacher Licensure at UNI

 

How Do I Know What to Take at UNI to be Recommended for an Initial Iowa Teaching License?

To be recommended for an Iowa teaching license by the University of Northern Iowa, applicants must complete all requirements of the state approved teacher education program. The options for completing an approved program at UNI are:

  • Bachelor of Arts Degree - Teaching Program:
  • Second Bachelor of Arts Degree - Teaching Program:
    • Declare teaching major
    • Requires evaluation* of all previous coursework, whether completed at UNI or other institution(s). All official transcripts from other institutions must be sent to the UNI Office of Admissions. Only transcripts sent from another institution directly to the UNI Office of Admissions are official.
    • Complete Teacher Education Program requirements
    • Complete BA Degree - Teaching Program requirements
  • Teacher Licensure Program - Either as a Graduate Classified Student or a Post-BA Undergraduate Classified Student:
    • Requires evaluation* of all previous coursework, whether completed at UNI or other institution(s). All official transcripts from other institutions must be sent to the UNI Office of Admissions. Only transcripts sent from another institution directly to the UNI Office of Admissions are official.
    • Complete Teacher Education Program requirements
    • Must include at least 12 hours of course work taken at UNI

*Evaluations are done by a Record Analyst in the Office of the Registrar. You should contact the appropriate Record Analyst based on the subject area for which you want to obtain licensure.


When I Have Completed My Approved Program, How Do I Apply for My Initial Iowa Teaching License?

UNI Recommendation for Teacher Licensure:

Upon completion of an approved program/conferring of the BA Degree in teaching, UNI will recommend a first time applicant to the Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE) for an Iowa teaching license if all of the following are satisfied:

1. Student has applied for their teaching license directly through the BOEE Applitrack system. The following information will be of assistance in completing the Application for Licensure.

  • Applicant's Folder Number

​Your folder number will be assigned when you apply for your license through the Applitrack system. Applicants who already hold a Coaching Authorization, Substitute Authorization, etc. will use the same folder number as listed on the authorization. The folder number is required when applying for a teaching position in Iowa so this is a number you will want to remember.

  • E-mail Address

The BOEE uses e-mail to communicate with applicants. Be sure to use an email address that you will have access to for a long period of time.

  •  License Desired

A first-time applicant for an Iowa teaching license is eligible to apply for either the Initial Educator or Substitute License (see the "What Type of License Should I Apply For?" question and response below).

  • Background Information

It is extremely important that all questions in this section are answered honestly and completely. It is best to disclose any background information if you are unsure whether it is a conviction, felony, etc.

2. Student has no Notifications of Concerns regarding professional competencies

An applicant with a Notification of Concern cannot be recommended for a teaching license. A Notification of Concern can be monitored on the UNI Teacher Education Data (UNITED) system. For all questions regarding the UNITED system, please contact the Office of Teacher Education.

3. Student has acceptable PRAXIS II Scores

  • The BOEE requires that all teacher candidates who graduate or who complete a teaching licensure program from a college/university teacher education program, and are recommended for licensure after January 1, 2013, must attain the qualifying score for the appropriate Praxis II tests.
  • The Iowa Praxis II Testing Requirements webpage on the Teacher Education website provides additional information.
  • An official Praxis II score report must be received by the UNI Office of Teacher Education in order for UNI to recommend teacher education graduates for their Iowa teaching license. UNI does not accept a copy of the test taker's score report.
  • Any questions regarding the application process should be directed to the Office of Teacher Education (319-273-2265).

 

4. Student has completed the High Risk Behaviors (HRB) Certificate

For all questions regarding this requirement, please contact the Office of Teacher Education.


BOEE Issuance of Teaching License:

The Board of Educational Examiners will issue a teaching license when all of the following are satisfied:

1. The student has been recommended by UNI for licensure.

2. The student has completed a Fingerprinting Worksheet/Waiver Form

These forms are completed at an on-campus fingerprinting session or can be picked up at the Office of Teacher Education. The Iowa BOEE requires fingerprinting and criminal history background information on all first-time applicants. The University of Northern Iowa provides on-campus fingerprinting sessions every fall and spring semester. Teacher education students should sign-up to attend a fingerprinting session the semester before student teaching.

Information on fingerprinting sessions can be obtained from the following locations:

Office of Teacher Education
152 Schindler Education Center
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0602
Phone: (319) 273-2265
TeacherEducation@uni.edu

Iowa Board of Educational Examiners
Grimes State Office Building
400 East 14th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0147
Phone: (515) 281-3245
Staff Contacts

3. The student has paid all BOEE required fees

  • Fees are paid with a credit card when you apply online for your Initial Educator (teaching) License.
  • Students who do not have an Iowa Board of Educational Examiners’ Coaching, Substitute or Para-educator Authorization pay $163:
    • $75 FBI fingerprinting fee
    • $85 Iowa initial teaching license
    • $3 credit card fee
  • Students who do have an Iowa Board of Educational Examiners’ Coaching, Substitute or Para-educator Authorization pay $88:
    • $85 Iowa initial teaching license
    • $3 credit card fee
  • Contact the UNI Office of Teacher Education for questions about your fees. The office is located in room 152 Schindler Education Center, and also accessible at 319-273-2265 or TeacherEducation@uni.edu.

4. When the license is processed, students will receive an email directly from the BOEE with a link to their license.


What Type of License Should I Apply For?

First-time applicants for an Iowa teaching license are eligible for either the Initial Educator License or the Substitute License. Most first-time applicants should apply for the Initial Educator License.

Specific information regarding requirements for and the renewal of Iowa teaching licenses can be found on the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners website.


Should I Apply for My Iowa License Upon Completion of My BA Degree/Teacher Licensure Program?

It is strongly recommended that you apply for an Iowa teaching license upon completion of your approved program, even if you do not intend to teach in Iowa. Application for and receipt of an Iowa license validates completion of UNI's current approved program, which is on file and accredited by the Iowa Department of Education. If you do not receive your Iowa teaching license upon completion of your approved program, as programs or licensure requirements change, you may eventually become ineligible for the initial Iowa license. It is easier to renew a license than to meet a new set of program requirements. It also may be a benefit to hold a valid Iowa license when applying for licensure in another state.


When Will I Receive My Teaching License?

For applicants who have applied for an Iowa teaching license, recommendations for an initial Iowa license are entered through the BOEE Applitrack system. The BOEE no longer prints and mails licenses. The BOEE website provides information for accessing and printing a license. When the license is processed, students will receive an email directly from the BOEE with a link to their license.


How Can I Add Endorsements to My Teaching License?

Practitioners who hold an Iowa teaching license can add endorsements to their license by either completing an institution's current approved program requirements OR by satisfying the State of Iowa minimum requirements. The main differences between these two options are:

UNI's Approved Program

Iowa Minimum Requirements

Requires completion of a teaching major or minor at UNI.

Requires courses that meet the State of Iowa minimum requirements.

Carries UNI institutional recommendation.

Does not carry UNI’s institutional recommendation.

May be accepted out-of-state.

Usually recognized only in the State of Iowa.

UNI's Approved Program Requirements:

A program evaluation is required for a practitioner who wishes to obtain an additional endorsement based on the completion of UNI's approved program requirements.

  • If you are a previous UNI student, you will need to complete an Application for Admission (Application for Admission - Returning User or Graduate Student Application for Admission). The admission process will require you to provide your UNI student number, your contact information, and official transcripts from ALL institution(s) you have attended since your last enrollment at UNI.
  • If you are NOT a previous UNI student, you will need to complete an Application for Admission (Application for Admission - First Time User or Graduate Student Application for Admission). The admission process will require you to submit official transcripts from ALL institution(s) attended. The appropriate Record Analyst will be notified when the admission process is complete and will proceed with a program evaluation.
  • When the program evaluation has been completed, the Record Analyst will send the evaluation to you. An evaluation may take 4-6 weeks depending on receipt of ALL transcripts.
  • When you have completed all requirements of your endorsement program, you are eligible to add the endorsement to your teaching license.
  • The process to apply for an endorsement is available on the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners website. UNI will be notified electronically by the BOEE to provide institutional recommendation for the added endorsement.

Iowa Minimum Requirements:

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners does allow Iowa four-year institutions to do minimum requirement endorsement evaluations. However, not all Iowa four-year institutions have chosen to do minimum requirement evaluations. UNI can complete a minimum requirement evaluation if:

  • a student has graduated from UNI
  • the program is offered at UNI (university catalog)
  • all coursework pertaining to the endorsement has been taken at UNI or posted on UNI's transcript.

All other requests for a minimum requirement evaluation should be requested directly from the Iowa BOEE.

UNI graduates who wish to obtain an evaluation for an endorsement based on BOEE minimum requirements need to contact the appropriate Record Analyst to request an evaluation. You should contact the appropriate Record Analyst based on the subject area for which you want to obtain licensure.


How Do I Apply for an Out-of-State Teaching License?

Practitioners who are contemplating teaching in a state other than Iowa will need to apply for licensure in that specific state. Information and application forms for applying for a teaching license in a specific state can usually be found on the state's website.

Out-of-state licensure/certification applications may contain a section that requires an institutional recommendation to be signed by the “Registrar, Dean, or Certification Official”. UNI is the "Recommending Institution" that grants an institutional recommendation for applicants who have completed UNI's state approved teacher education program. Out-of-state applications that require an institutional recommendation should be submitted to the following for processing:

Office of the Registrar
115 Gilchrist Hall
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0006
registrar.recanalyst@uni.edu