A collaboration for excellence

From University of Northern Iowa’s beginnings as the Iowa State Normal School to today, UNI has been at the forefront of preparing tomorrow’s leaders in the classroom for Iowa and beyond.

UNI Teacher Education represents more than 20 undergraduate teaching majors offered through a distinctive partnership of all four undergraduate colleges.

  • About 1 in 4 students at UNI are teaching majors. 
  • About 1 in 8 UNI students are elementary education majors in the College of Education.
  • The College of Humanities, Arts & Sciences alone supports more than 15 secondary teaching majors.
  • Multiple majors, including business teaching in the College of Business and history teaching in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, annually supply the greatest number of graduates in their fields across Iowa.

Today, more than 40,000 living alumni proudly call themselves UNI teachers, continuing a legacy that reaches back for generations. 

Pinning at teacher education convocation
Getting pinned at the Teacher Education Convocation and Celebration
Spring 2022 Convocation

Convocation Celebration

For 30 years, the UNI Teacher Education Induction and Celebration has honored thousands of UNI teaching candidates’ commitment to the profession and their acceptance into UNI Teacher Education.

This special celebration – unique to UNI in its scope – reflects the legacy of generations of graduates. From student recognition to awarding of a commemorative lapel pin and remarks by honored guest speakers, the event heralds a milestone for our students.

A convocation ceremony for our transfer program students will be held March 23 in Des Moines. The next full teacher education convocation is set for October 5, 2024 during Family Weekend. 

Leadership & Collaboration

UNI Teacher Education is defined as:

  • all undergraduate academic programs in educator preparation involved in the instruction of strategies and methods for teaching;
  • the core professional sequence;
  • content knowledge, associated with majors and minors that lead to licensure in specific teaching endorsements;
  • the supervision of field experiences required for licensure to practice in PreK-12 school settings.

The College of Education supports all teacher education students by: 

  • leading the core professional sequence
  • coordinating the majority of practicum and student teaching placements
  • guiding students on their path to licensure 

The Educator Preparation Program, which also encompasses graduate level education programs requiring licensure, provides administrative oversight. 

Teacher preparation at UNI is a collaboration of the four academic colleges. UNI Teacher Education students graduate from the individual colleges with undergraduate degrees offered by each:

Schindler Education Center

College of Education 

  • Early childhood education
  • Elementary education
    • On campus BA
    • Online transfer program BA
    • Online Purple Pathway for Paraeducators BA
  • Middle level education dual major

Communications Arts Center

College of Humanities, Arts & Sciences

  • Art education 
  • Biology teaching
  • Chemistry teaching
  • Communication-theatre teaching
  • Comprehensive secondary science education
  • Earth science teaching
  • English teaching
  • Mathematics teaching
  • Middle level science teaching
  • Music education
  • Physics teaching
  • Spanish teaching
  • Technology and engineering education
  • TESOL teaching
  • TESOL/Spanish teaching

Sabin Hall

College of Social & Behavioral Sciences 

  • History teaching
  • Physical education teaching
  • Social sciences teaching (Generalist, specialist, basic) 
Fall commencement

Our Legacy

The University of Northern Iowa was founded in 1876 as Iowa State Normal School to provide a school for the special instruction and training of teachers for the common schools of the state, located on grounds which previously served as a home for the orphans of Civil War soldiers in Iowa. 

In 1909, the school became Iowa State Teachers College, and in 1961, the State College of Iowa. In 1967, the Iowa Legislature changed UNI’s status to that of a university with its present name. 

While UNI’s mission and programming have expanded greatly,  at its heart, educator preparation remains a campuswide endeavor and commitment.