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Common Questions About Teacher Licensure at UNI

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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 appropriate approved 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)
    • 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:

*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 teaching licensure.

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

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

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.

Fingerprinting Session

 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 location:

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

Fee Information

 A $160 check or money order, payable to the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, will need to be provided at the fingerprinting session. The $160 covers the required fees of $75 for the criminal background check and the $85 license fee. If an applicant currently holds a Coaching or Substitute Authorization, the background fee may not be required. The applicant should verify this with the UNI Office of Teacher Education (319-273-2265).

Application for Licensure

 The following  information will be of assistance in completing items on Section I of the Application:

 Applicant's Folder Number

 The Office of Teacher Education will tell you what your folder number is. 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.

 E-Mail Address

The Board of Education uses e-mail to communicate with applicants.   Clearly print a current e-mail address (i.e., hyphen versus underscore; zero versus the letter O, etc.). 

 License Desired

 A first-time applicant for an Iowa teaching license is eligible to apply for either the Initial or Substitute License (see the "What 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.

 Sign and Date the Application

 Do not submit the Application to the BOEE. Instead, submit your application to:

Office of Teacher Education
152 Schindler Education Center
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA  50614-0602

Acceptable Professional Dispositions

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.

  • Log onto your MyUNIverse account.
  • Click on the "Academics" tab.
  • Look for "Performance Assessment System" and click on it.
  • Re-enter your credentials.
  • Click "UNITED" and then "View My Progress."

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 New 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 either the Office of Teacher Education (319-273-2265).

What Type of License Should I Apply For?

First-time applicants for an Iowa teaching license are eligible to be recommended for either the Initial License or the Substitute License. Most first-time applicants should apply for the Initial 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 an Iowa License validates completion of UNI's current approved program, which is on file and accredited by the Iowa Department of Education. 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?

Licensure recommendations for an initial Iowa license are sent to the BOEE by a Web process for applicants who have applied for an Iowa teaching license. The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners no longer print and mail licenses. The BOEE website provides information for accessing and printing a license.


How Can I Add Endorsements on 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 ProgramIowa Minimum Requirements
Requires completion of specific UNI courses.Coursework may be taken from any accredited institution.
Carries UNI institutional recommendation.Does not carry institutional recommendation.
May be accepted out-of-state.Usually recognized only in the State of Iowa.


UNI's Approved Program Requirements:

 A transcript 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 (Post Baccalaureate Application for Admission - Previous UNI Student) or a (Graduate Student Application for Admission). The admission process will require you to provide your UNI student number, your contact information, and official transcripts from any institution(s) you have attended since your last enrollment at UNI.
  • If you never have attended UNI, you will need to complete an Application for Admission (Post Baccalaureate Application for Admission - New to UNI Studentor a (Graduate Student Application for Admission) to the Office of Admissions. 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 transcript evaluation.
  • When the evaluation has been completed, the Record Analyst will send it to you. An evaluation may take 4-6 weeks.
  • When you have completed all requirements of your endorsement program, you are eligible to add the endorsement on to your teaching license.
  • The process for Adding an Endorsement is available online 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 does do minimum requirement evaluations, but only for graduates of UNI. Students who are not UNI graduates can obtain an evaluation from another Iowa four-year college. If a college or university will not provide an evaluation, and if the applicant believes the Iowa requirements have been satisfied, the applicant may file for a transcript analysis 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.

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. Click here for more information.

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 approved practitioner pre-preparation 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


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