Introduction

There is no better preparation for a career as an educator than a liberal arts degree that combines a major in your subject area for in-depth knowledge with education courses that provide professional knowledge and skills. To that end, the Mielke Family Department of Education at Lawrence offers certification for licensure to teach at the elementary and secondary levels. The department also offers a minor in education studies for the bachelor of arts or bachelor of music degree. Lawrence's liberal arts approach prepares students to be effective and reflective K-12 classroom teachers or to pursue graduate study or work in education-related fields.


Teacher certification

Students interested in teacher certification can pick up an application and Teacher Certification Handbook from the education department’s administrative assistant in Briggs Hall 117 or from the music education administrative assistant in the conservatory.

Teacher certification is available to Lawrence students, alumni, and graduates from other colleges and universities. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to be certified for licensure in all fifty states, and our alumni are employed as elementary and secondary school teachers in public and private schools around the world.

Lawrence offers certification in elementary/middle school (grades K-9); secondary English language arts, social studies, science, mathematics, and computer science (grades 4-12); and all-levels art, music, theater, English as a second language, and world languages (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish) (grades PK-12). Music certification is offered through the conservatory only.

Students pursuing teacher certification complete the Lawrence major in their primary academic area along with teacher education courses and practicums that satisfy requirements for licensure. A second certification area may be added through completion of a minor or second major (see the director of teacher education for details).


Post-graduate teacher certification

Students who have graduated from Lawrence or another college or university may be certified for licensure through Lawrence’s teacher education program. Elementary/middle school certification (K-9) typically takes two years, while secondary (4-12) or all-levels (PK-12) certification in specific subject areas typically takes one-and-a-half years, including student teaching. Program length may vary depending on undergraduate major and coursework.

To be admitted, graduates must demonstrate a 3.000 major GPA in their subject area or attain a qualifying score on the relevant subject area test (Praxis II or ACTFL). A minimum of ten courses in the major subject or seven courses in the minor may be accepted in lieu of the official Lawrence major or minor. Graduates must also have completed (or complete) the equivalent of Lawrence’s general education requirements.

Interested graduates should consult the director of teacher education for requirements and tuition, which is lower than the undergraduate tuition rate.


Program standards

As they complete certification requirements, candidates demonstrate proficiency in the following Lawrence University teacher education program standards, which are based on the Wisconsin state standards for licensure.

Content Knowledge

1. Understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structure(s) of the discipline and its connections with the various liberal arts and sciences.

Pedagogical Practice

2. Plans, organizes, and presents systematic instruction that makes the above aspects of the subject meaningful for students.

3. Uses a variety of instructional strategies, including instructional media and technology, to promote understanding.

4. Uses a variety of formal and informal assessment techniques to evaluate learning and adapt instruction.

Student Engagement

5. Uses effective verbal and nonverbal communication to foster active inquiry and engagement in learning.

6. Creates a supportive, productive learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, collaboration, and self-motivation.

Adaptive Expertise

7. Understands how children and adolescents learn and are motivated, individually and in groups, and teaches accordingly.

8. Matches instruction to differences in prior learning, ability, and exceptionality.

9. Demonstrates awareness of differences that arise from cultural background, gender, socio-economic status, or community context, and adapts instruction accordingly.

Professional Conduct

10. Acts in an ethical, professional manner and exhibits fairness, respect, and care in dealing with students.

11. Establishes positive relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community.

12. Demonstrates the ability to be self-critical and to use feedback to improve teaching practice.

Educational Mission

13. Understands the role of education in a democracy and the relationship between school and society.

Progress toward the standards is assessed in the pre-student teaching portfolio, and proficiency is confirmed in the final teaching portfolio submitted at the completion of student teaching.


Required for teacher certification

Certification requirements are subject to change by the Wisconsin legislature and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as well as by Lawrence’s teacher education program. Students must satisfy the requirements in force at the time of program completion in order to be certified for licensure. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm requirements with the education department or with music education in the conservatory.

To be certified for licensure, students must be admitted to the teacher education program; complete teacher education courses and practicums, any required tests, and student teaching; and meet GPA and other standards for licensure. The following steps are required:

  1. Be admitted to the teacher education program. A student may apply for admission after completing one teacher education course with a practicum. To be admitted, a student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.750 or higher. The application for admission is available from the education department or music education office.
  2. Complete course requirements:
    1. A major in the certification area. For elementary/middle school, students may complete any major in the college or conservatory. For other areas, students complete a major (or the teaching ESL minor) in the subject they will teach. Some areas have additional course requirements as described below.
    2. Teacher education courses with practicums. Students must pass the required education studies and teaching methods courses, each of which has a practicum in a school classroom.
    3. General education requirements. Students must complete Lawrence’s general education requirements. Graduates of other colleges must complete (or have completed) the equivalent.
  3. Qualify for student teaching. To qualify for student teaching, a student must:
    1. demonstrate content knowledge by achieving the required major GPA or a qualifying score on the standardized test for that certification area;
    2. demonstrate practical preparation by completing at least 100 school practicum hours with positive evaluations and by receiving satisfactory grades in teaching methods courses; and
    3. submit a pre-student teaching portfolio documenting progress toward the teacher education program standards.
  4. Student teach for a full elementary or secondary school semester.
    • For elementary/middle school certification: complete a fall-semester teaching apprenticeship in an Appleton Area School District school with additional methods instruction provided by Appleton master teachers.
    • For secondary and all-levels certification: complete a fall or spring semester of student teaching in the vicinity of Lawrence, in Chicago (through our affiliation with the Chicago Center), or internationally (with nine weeks near Lawrence and nine weeks abroad).
  5. Submit a final teaching portfolio and have it approved. The final portfolio includes a performance assessment completed during student teaching (edTPA), student teaching evaluations from the cooperating teacher and university supervisor, and a reflective essay.
  6. Complete any other requirements as specified for the certification area.

To be certified for licensure, candidates must complete all requirements, have a final cumulative GPA of 2.750 or higher, receive satisfactory evaluations during student teaching, and achieve a passing score on the edTPA.

At every stage of teacher education and certification, candidates must demonstrate that they are mentally and physically able to carry out the duties and responsibilities of a classroom teacher.  This includes:

  • consistent attendance and satisfactory performance in university courses and education practicums;
  • ability to establish positive working relationships with peers, mentors, supervisors, and K-12 students;
  • sensitivity and responsiveness to the needs of diverse students, including students with disabilities; and
  • appropriate conduct and professionalism.

A candidate who does not meet these expectations may be removed from the program or denied certification for licensure.


Elementary/Middle School (K-9)

Students can complete any major in the college or conservatory. Elementary/middle school certification also requires one course in environmental studies; ENST 150 is recommended and satisfies the B.A. general education requirement for a laboratory course in the natural sciences.

Students must achieve a qualifying score on the Praxis II Middle School: Content Knowledge (5146) test to begin student teaching. Candidates must also pass the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test (FoRT) to be certified for licensure.

The following teacher education courses are required:

Courses

Lawrence course credit, in units

Certification semester hours

EDST 180: Psychology of Learning

6

4

EDST 350: Ethnicity, Cultural Diversity, and Education

6

4

EDST 412: Foundations of Literacy in a Diverse Society

6

4

EDST 440: Sociology of Education

6

4

EDUC 430: Educating All Learners

6

4

EDUC 555: Methods in Elementary Teaching*

6

4

EDUC 575: Elementary Content Area Methods**

3

3

EDUC 665: Advanced Methods in Teaching-Elementary**

3

3

EDUC 675: Student Teaching Apprenticeship-Elementary**

18

12

*EDUC 555 is taken in the year prior to student teaching; it’s normally offered in the spring term.
**EDUC 575, 665, and 675 are taken concurrently during the fall semester of student teaching.


English Language Arts (4-12)

Students complete the English major and must demonstrate familiarity with contemporary literature of world scope and coursework in composition, linguistics or history of the English language, literature of ethnic/racial minority groups in America, and theatre arts. A course in literature for adolescents is recommended. Experience in journalism (such as writing for The Lawrentian) is also recommended.

If their major GPA is less than 3.000, students must achieve a qualifying score on the Praxis II English Language Arts: Content Knowledge (5038) test to begin student teaching.

The following teacher education courses are required:

Courses

Lawrence course credit, in units

Certification semester hours

EDST 180: Psychology of Learning

6

4

EDST 350: Ethnicity, Cultural Diversity, and Education

6

4

EDST 412: Foundations of Literacy in a Diverse Society

6

4

EDST 440: Sociology of Education

6

4

EDUC 430: Educating All Learners

6

4

EDUC 560: Methods in Middle and Secondary Teaching*

6

4

EDUC 650 (or 655): Student Teaching**

18

12

EDUC 660: Advanced Methods in Teaching**

3

3

*EDUC 560 is taken in spring term of the year prior to student teaching.
**EDUC 650 (or 655) and 660 are taken concurrently during the student teaching semester (fall or spring).


Social Studies (4-12)

Students complete a major in history, government/political science, economics, or psychology. Students must also complete at least one course in each of history, government/political science, economics, psychology, and anthropology/sociology/ethnic studies, and a second course in two of these fields (outside the major). Non-history majors are strongly urged to take a minimum of two history courses, one in U.S. history and one in global history. A course in environmental studies is required. Instruction in consumer cooperatives and conservation is incorporated into the methods course (EDUC 560).

If their major GPA is less than 3.000, students must achieve a qualifying score on the Praxis II Social Studies: Content Knowledge (5081) test to begin student teaching.

The following teacher education courses are required:

Courses

Lawrence course credit, in units

Certification semester hours

EDST 180: Psychology of Learning

6

4

EDST 350: Ethnicity, Cultural Diversity, and Education

6

4

EDST 440: Sociology of Education

6

4

EDUC 430: Educating All Learners

6

4

EDUC 560: Methods in Middle and Secondary Teaching*

6

4

EDUC 650 (or 655): Student Teaching**

18

12

EDUC 660: Advanced Methods in Teaching**

3

3

*EDUC 560 is taken in spring term of the year prior to student teaching.
**EDUC 650 (or 655) and 660 are taken concurrently during the student teaching semester (fall or spring).


Science (4-12)

Students complete a major in one of the sciences (biology, chemistry, environmental science, geosciences, or physics) and at least one course in each of the remaining sciences.

If their major GPA is less than 3.000, students must achieve a qualifying score on the Praxis II General Science: Content Knowledge (5435) test to begin student teaching.

The following teacher education courses are required:

Courses

Lawrence course credit, in units

Certification semester hours

EDST 180: Psychology of Learning

6

4

EDST 350: Ethnicity, Cultural Diversity, and Education

6

4

EDST 440: Sociology of Education

6

4

EDUC 430: Educating All Learners

6

4

EDUC 560: Methods in Middle and Secondary Teaching*

6

4

EDUC 650 (or 655): Student Teaching**

18

12

EDUC 660: Advanced Methods in Teaching**

3

3

*EDUC 560 is taken in spring term of the year prior to student teaching.
**EDUC 650 (or 655) and 660 are taken concurrently during the student teaching semester (fall or spring).


Mathematics (4-12)

Students complete the major in mathematics.

If their major GPA is less than 3.000, students must achieve a qualifying score on the Praxis II Mathematics: Content Knowledge (5161) test to begin student teaching.

The following teacher education courses are required:

Courses

Lawrence course credit, in units

Certification semester hours

EDST 180: Psychology of Learning

6

4

EDST 350: Ethnicity, Cultural Diversity, and Education

6

4

EDST 440: Sociology of Education

6

4

EDUC 430: Educating All Learners

6

4

EDUC 560: Methods in Middle and Secondary Teaching*

6

4

EDUC 650 (or 655): Student Teaching**

18

12

EDUC 660: Advanced Methods in Teaching**

3

3

*EDUC 560 is taken in spring term of the year prior to student teaching.
**EDUC 650 (or 655) and 660 are taken concurrently during the student teaching semester (fall or spring).


Computer Science (4-12)

Students complete the major in computer science.

If their major GPA is less than 3.000, students must achieve a qualifying score on the Praxis II Computer Science (5652) test to begin student teaching.

The following teacher education courses are required:

Courses

Lawrence course credit, in units

Certification semester hours

EDST 180: Psychology of Learning

6

4

EDST 350: Ethnicity, Cultural Diversity, and Education

6

4

EDST 440: Sociology of Education

6

4

EDUC 430: Educating All Learners

6

4

EDUC 560: Methods in Middle and Secondary Teaching*

6

4

EDUC 650 (or 655): Student Teaching**

18

12

EDUC 660: Advanced Methods in Teaching**

3

3

*EDUC 560 is taken in spring term of the year prior to student teaching.
**EDUC 650 (or 655) and 660 are taken concurrently during the student teaching semester (fall or spring).


Art (PK-12)

Students complete the major in studio art.

If their major GPA is less than 3.000, students must achieve a qualifying score on the Praxis II Art: Content Knowledge (5134) test to begin student teaching.

The following teacher education courses are required:

Courses

Lawrence course credit, in units

Certification semester hours

EDST 180: Psychology of Learning

6

4

EDST 350: Ethnicity, Cultural Diversity, and Education

6

4

EDST 440: Sociology of Education

6

4

EDUC 430: Educating All Learners

6

4

EDUC 560: Methods in Middle and Secondary Teaching*

6

4

EDUC 585: Art in the Elementary and Secondary Schools*

2

2

EDUC 650 (or 655): Student Teaching**

18

12

EDUC 660: Advanced Methods in Teaching**

3

3

*EDUC 560 and 585 are taken concurrently in spring term of the year prior to student teaching.
**EDUC 650 (or 655) and 660 are taken concurrently during the student teaching semester (fall or spring).


Music (PK-12)

Certification is available only through the conservatory of music. Students complete the major in music education, which includes teacher education courses and student teaching.

If their major GPA is less than 3.000, students must achieve a qualifying score on the Praxis II Music: Content Knowledge (5113) test to begin student teaching.


Theatre (PK-12)

Students complete the major in theatre arts. A course in theatre techniques for educators (EDUC/THAR 253) is recommended.

If their major GPA is less than 3.000, students must achieve a qualifying score on the Praxis II Theatre (5641) test to begin student teaching.

The following teacher education courses are required:

Courses

Lawrence course credit, in units

Certification semester hours

EDST 180: Psychology of Learning

6

4

EDST 350: Ethnicity, Cultural Diversity, and Education

6

4

EDST 440: Sociology of Education

6

4

EDUC 430: Educating All Learners

6

4

EDUC 560: Methods in Middle and Secondary Teaching*

6

4

EDUC 650 (or 655): Student Teaching**

18

12

EDUC 660: Advanced Methods in Teaching**

3

3

*EDUC 560 is taken in spring term of the year prior to student teaching.
**EDUC 650 (or 655) and 660 are taken concurrently during the student teaching semester (fall or spring).


World Languages (PK-12)

Certification is available to teach Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish. Students complete the major in the language and must spend a term studying the language in a country where it is natively spoken.

If their major GPA is less than 3.000, students must pass the ACTFL oral and writing proficiency tests to begin student teaching.

The following teacher education courses are required:

Courses

Lawrence course credit, in units

Certification semester hours

EDST 180: Psychology of Learning

6

4

EDST 350: Ethnicity, Cultural Diversity, and Education

6

4

EDST 440: Sociology of Education

6

4

EDUC 430: Educating All Learners

6

4

EDUC 560: Methods in Middle and Secondary Teaching*

6

4

EDUC 563: Elementary and Secondary World Language Methods*

2

2

EDUC 650 (or 655): Student Teaching**

18

12

EDUC 660: Advanced Methods in Teaching**

3

3

*EDUC 560 and 563 are taken concurrently in spring term of the year prior to student teaching.
**EDUC 650 (or 655) and 660 are taken concurrently during the student teaching semester (fall or spring).


English as a Second Language (PK-12)

Students complete the teaching ESL minor in linguistics.

If their major GPA is less than 3.000, students must achieve a qualifying score on the Praxis II English to Speakers of Other Languages (5362) test to begin student teaching.

The following teacher education courses are required:

Courses

Lawrence course credit, in units

Certification semester hours

EDST 180: Psychology of Learning

6

4

EDST 350: Ethnicity, Cultural Diversity, and Education

6

4

EDST 440: Sociology of Education

6

4

EDUC 430: Educating All Learners

6

4

EDUC 560: Methods in Middle and Secondary Teaching*

6

4

EDUC 565: Methods in Teaching English Learners*

6

4

EDUC 650 (or 655): Student Teaching**

18

12

EDUC 660: Advanced Methods in Teaching**

3

3

*EDUC 560 and 565 are taken concurrently in spring term of the year prior to student teaching.
**EDUC 650 (or 655) and 660 are taken concurrently during the student teaching semester (fall or spring).