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Welcome to UNI Teacher Education

Teaching Program Overview

Teaching Program Overview

At present, the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) is a large, comprehensive, doctoral granting institution that offers more than 110 undergraduate majors, more than 40 master’s degree programs, and two doctoral degree programs. The university is organized into five academic colleges (Business Administration; Education; Humanities and Fine Arts; Natural Sciences; and Social and Behavioral Sciences). As an institution, UNI is unique within Iowa. It is the third largest not-for-profit institution of higher education, has its own distinct mission, and is one of only three public universities in the state.

Historical Context

The University of Northern Iowa was founded in 1876 as Iowa State Normal School for the purpose of providing “a school for the special instruction and training of teachers for the common schools of the state.” (1999 and 2003 Institutional Reports). Prior to its founding, the grounds on which UNI stands 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, it became the State College of Iowa. Throughout this period, the central purpose of the institution was the preparation of teachers for Iowa schools. In 1967, the Iowa Legislature acted to change UNI’s status to that of a university with its present name.

Organization of Teacher Education

The main governing structure for Teacher Education at the University of Northern Iowa consists of an Executive Council, two Senates (one Elementary and one Secondary) , and two Coordinators of Teacher Education (one
Elementary and one Secondary). Here is graphic representation of our structure: Governance.


UNI students participate in a minimum of four different experiences while bridging theory and content and applied in PreK-12 classrooms.

žLevel I Courses (Taken before admission to the Teacher Education Program)

EDPSYCH 2030 Dynamics of Human Development
Introduction to behavioral characteristics of individual development; basic developmental principles, age-stage characteristics; and provisions community, family, and school make in the development of children and youth.

TEACH 2017 Exploring Teaching  (FIELD EXPERIENCE) (minimum 30 hours)
The purpose of the field experience is to help the students familiarize themselves with the roles, responsibilities, and professional relationships of teachers. This is the first of a graduated series of field-based experiences. The focus is on experiences common to all teachers, not on methodology or specific content areas. It is through this experience that the students come to understand more realistically the demands of teaching, and whether their abilities, needs and interests are consistent with the profession. More information at:

INSTTECH 1020 or 1031 Educational Technology and Design (Can be taken before/after admission to Teacher Education)
Design and production of media and the operation of hardware and software

SPED 3150 Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners (EDPSYCH 2030 is a prerequisite) (Can be taken before/after admission to Teacher Education)
Introduction to pedagogical, curricular, and social considerations involved in educating diverse learners in the general education classroom

žLevel II Courses (Must be fully admitted to Teacher Education to register)

—EDPSYCH 3148 Learning and Instruction in Classroom Contexts
Examination of the influence of cognitive, motivational, and sociocultural factors on students' learning in classroom contexts, with an emphasis on implications for classroom instruction and improved student achievement.

—MEASRES 3150 Classroom Assessment
Introduction to classroom assessment. Topics include: principles of preparation and appropriate use of teacher-constructed assessment instruments; methods of reporting assessment information; and purposes and interpretation of standardized test scores.

—TEACH 3128 Teacher as Change Agent (FIELD EXPERIENCE) (minimum 25 hours)
The purpose of this field experience is to provide direct experiences to increase understanding of learning process and apply skills for facilitating the process. Motivation, classroom management, and teaching strategies are the focus areas of the experience. More information at:  

Level III Courses (Methods)

Methods (FIELD EXPERIENCE) (minimum 25 hours)

Elementary, Middle Level, Social Science/History and English majors do a  40-hour, immersive full-week experience. Other majors the format varies.

SOCFOUND 3119 Schools in American Society

Relationship of schools and American society from sociological, historical, philosophical, political, and economic perspectives. Focus on central characteristics of the educational system and influence of these on teachers as professionals and teaching as a profession.


TEACHING 4170 Human Relations can be taken after admission to Teacher Education.

Development of awareness of various societal subgroups, recognizing and dealing with dehumanizing biases, and learning to relate effective to various groups in order to foster respect for human diversity. Emphasis on self-awareness in human relations issues and how this awareness can be translated into positive relationships with others and integrated into one's professional responsibilities

Level IV (Student Teaching)

Provides the student the opportunity to experience, in depth, the full role and meaning of teaching in a school setting. Experiences include planning and organizing for instruction, developing classroom teaching competencies and skills, evaluating pupil progress, participating in extra-class activities, working with special school personnel, and utilizing school and community resources in the instructional program. 16 weeks, full time; Two different placements; Out of state and overseas placements possible. More information can be found at this website: Student Teaching