Secondary Education

If your goal is to educate tomorrow's leaders, to help them grow in knowledge, skill and independence, SAU will prepare you to meet the challenge and be exceptional in the classroom.

Our graduates work at Brandon Valley School District, South Dakota; Davenport Community School District; Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency; and Rock Island School District, Illinois.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Enriching Learning Environment
  • Faculty Mentors
  • Nationally Accredited Program

students in class

Tanya Volkova in front of class

student in class

We merge the liberal arts, strong professional training, and in-classroom experiences to create caring, qualified, and competent teachers. St. Ambrose has a reputation for graduating exceptional educators who are effective from the first day in the classroom, which helps you achieve your career goals.

Read Our Secondary Education Program Fact Sheet (pdf)

More Information on the Secondary Education Program

When should I apply to the Teacher Education Program?

Students interested in secondary education should apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program during the semester enrolled in EDUC 205 or 207.

A secondary teaching license in Iowa allows the license holder to teach in the 5th through 12th grades. Each secondary license also includes an endorsement teaching area. For example, an individual may hold a secondary license with an endorsement to teach mathematics.

Bachelor of Education candidates need at least three semesters to complete professional core courses for a license; major/endorsement areas may require further preparation.

Areas of Endorsement

  • Art (K-12)
  • Biology
  • Business: all
  • Chemistry
  • English language arts
  • French
  • German
  • History (American and World)
  • Mathematics
  • Middle School (5th-8th)
  • Music
  • Reading
  • Spanish
  • Speech Communication/Theatre
What will I learn?

The Secondary Education program prepares you to receive an initial license to teach grades 5-12 in Iowa agencies and schools. Our program is approved by the Iowa Department of Education and nationally accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).

Teacher education courses include child and adolescent development, history and philosophy of education, educational psychology, educational technology, language arts and reading, physical sciences, inclusion strategies, and testing methods.

You will also choose an area for a content endorsement, which can include biology, general business, chemistry, English, French, general science, German, American and world history, mathematics, Spanish, speech/communication/theatre, physics, reading, and middle school.

What unique learning opportunities are available?

Our Teacher Education Program focuses on you, and we offer unmatched real-world experience and learning resources.

Not only will you enjoy a low student-teacher ratio, you will be assigned a faculty mentor to guide you throughout your education.

SAU makes field work a high priority, and you will begin working with youth early in your college career. We have strong, established relationships with Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency, Rock Island County Regional Office of Education, 150 public and private schools, and other agencies that serve a diverse population of children and settings.

We also make sure you have all the resources you need. The SAU School of Education's Curriculum Library has educational material, instructional resources, and teaching aids that will help prepare you to be a teacher.

What are some possible job outcomes?

Our education graduates not only teach in classrooms but, with additional study, also are employed as school librarians, reading specialists, curriculum specialists, school administrators, and guidance counselors.

If you decide to continue your education, St. Ambrose offers a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and a Master of Education in Educational Administration. The programs allow you to continue working with professors you have come to know, and know you, too.

What have alumni of this program done?

Meredith (McAfoos) Tangen '08, '10 MBA, was recognized by the Iowa Association for Career and Technical Education for her "significant contributions toward innovative and unique career and technical education programs" during her tenure as a math teacher at Davenport West High School. She continues to teach Business Education, but moved to Davenport North where she also coaches track and field.

Emma Folland '08, '14 MEdT is a middle and high school librarian for the Clinton Community School District.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education

Requirements for an Endorsement in Secondary Education

Students interested in secondary education should apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program during the semester enrolled in EDUC 205 or 207.

Bachelor of Education candidates need at least three semesters to complete professional core courses for a license; major/endorsement areas may require further preparation.

EDUC 205 Introduction to the Teaching Profession OR 207 Orientation to Teaching
EDUC 282 (music majors are exempt) Educational Technology
+EDUC 284 Child and Adolescent Development
EDUC 300 The Pluralistic Classroom
EDUC 301 History and Philosophy of Education
EDUC 305 (art and music majors are exempt) Secondary Methods
EDUC 309 Educational Psychology: Tests and Measurements
EDUC 340-346 (choose one from your major; art, math, and music majors are exempt unless seeking another endorsement)
SPED 310 Inclusion Strategies for Students with Special Needs
One course in U.S. History or Government

Choose one that corresponds to your major:
EDUC 419, 430, 432, or 433

Requirements for an Endorsement in Secondary Education - Reading (5-12)

EDUC 336 Content Reading
EDUC 368 Literature for the Young Adult OR EDUC 369 Child and Adolescent Literature
EDUC 372 Language Arts and Reading in the Elementary Schools: Grades 4-8
EDUC 452/552 Diagnostic and Prescriptive Techniques of Teaching Reading
EDUC 453 Reading Clinic: Advanced Teaching Practicum
EDUC 456 Teaching and Reading to Adolescents
ENGL 101 English Composition
ENGL 216 Persuasive Writing
ENGL 313 Linguistics: Language and Learning
ENGL 316 Expository Writing Workshop
COMM 325 Introduction to Speech Pathology

Choose one:
+COMM 203 Interpersonal Communication
+COMM 228 Argumentation and Advocacy
+COMM 329 Business and Professional Speaking

+ Applicable toward general education requirements

Primary Advisors

The primary advisor for a student in secondary education is a faculty member in that student's major, such as history or mathematics. Faculty members of the Education Department serve as supplemental advisors.

Dr. Cathy Daters: Business
Dr. Richard Robertson: Biology, Chemistry, Communication/Theatre, Foreign Languages, General Science, Physics, Psychology, Sociology
Dr. Richard Hanzelka: English, Mathematics
Dr. Rachel Serianz: Music

Specific course information, State of Iowa competencies, and class listings can be found in the Course Catalog.

Student Teaching

Student teaching is usually in the last semester before graduation and the placement is all day, every day, for one semester.

Guidelines for Admission to Student Teaching

The applicant must meet the following requirements for admission to student teaching and graduation:

1. Admission to the Teacher Education Program. Completion of a proposed sequence of courses leading to licensure.
2. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.70 with 3.00 GPAs in education and major/endorsement courses. All grades must be C or above in education and major/endorsement courses. D or F grades are unacceptable.

Note: If you do not meet any of the above requirements you may file an appeal. All appeals must be submitted in writing to the Teacher Education Appeals Committee through the Assessment Coordinator of the Teacher Education Program, one semester before the start of the student teaching semester.

Dylan Mitchell '17

Dylan earned his degree with the assistance of a full-tuition St. Ambrose scholarship, promised to him in the months following a tragic family accident. His childhood dream was to become a teacher and a coach, and while the scholarship eased his financial burden, he didn't have an easy path to his degree. Dylan successfully balanced the challenges of work, school, and starting a family, to reach his goal.

Apply Visit Info


Tom Carpenter, PhD, Director

School of Education
Ambrose Hall
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 26 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!