Secondary Education

If you strive to reach beyond basic knowledge and skills and instead spark exploration, discovery, confidence, and potential, you belong in our Educator Preparation Program. The impact you can have on the life of a student is big and multi-generational. We approach your professional education in the exact same way.

At SAU, we'll prepare you to educate tomorrow's leaders, help them meet the challenge, and become exceptional learners in the classroom.

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

Ambrose Advantages

  • Service Learning Opportunities
  • Individual Faculty Mentors
  • Various Educational Settings In a Bi-State Area

students in class

Tanya Volkova in front of class

student in beehive

Education leads to empowerment. That's why we merge the Ambrose Core Curriculum, strong professional training, and in-classroom experiences to create caring and qualified teachers. St. Ambrose has a reputation for graduating exceptional educators who are effective from the first day in the classroom. You'll graduate with the confidence and creativity to be a guiding, empowering force in the lives of youth.

Read Our Secondary Education Program Fact Sheet (pdf)

Shaping the World
Rich Cushman '00

Rick Cushman wanted to discover how he could shape the world, so he chose St. Ambrose. Today, he carries what he learned and lived at SAU into his own classroom every day. As an educator and an Ambrosian, he plans to spark never-ending curiosity and exploration in the next generation, and give them the tools to succeed.

Read Rick's Story

More Information on the Secondary Education Program

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.

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.

The types of endorsements you can pursue with this degree are listed below.

What unique learning opportunities are available?

You'll enjoy a low student-teacher ratio and be assigned a faculty mentor to guide you throughout your education and student teaching.

You will begin working with children early in your college career through completing 40 hours of classroom observation, including lesson planning, classroom management, and teaching techniques. Your observation and student teaching hours can be completed in a variety of educational settings due to this unique, bi-state area: public and private schools; urban and rural communities; and students from low-income and privileged households

We make sure you have all the physical resources you need for your classroom through our well-equipped Curriculum Library: educational material, instructional resources, teaching aids, and more.

Service is fundamental to who we are as a university. At SAU, you can see the world through the eyes of a refugee by helping one acclimate to life in the U.S. You can give a few hours to help campus neighbors prepare their homes for winter, clean litter from an iconic river, stand with your peers to advance social justice, and get a hug from a parent who deeply appreciates your participation in SAU Dance Marathon. Service expands your vision and understanding of the world, your community, and yourself. It also helps you become a more effective teacher.

Want to continue serving after college? Learn about the Peace Corps and courses you can take at SAU for a Peace Corps Prep certificate.

What have alumni of this program done?

Chloe Gunn '19 is teaching 9th grade English at the American School of San Salvador. Read how the supportive education she got at SAU helped her reach - and exceed - her goals.

Meredith (Tangen) Schwartzlose '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.

Education Department

Faculty and Staff

Dale Blesz, PhD, Director
Trish Zinger, Administrative Assistant
Melissa Judd, Curriculum Library Administrative Assistant
Jessica Davis, Assessment Administrative Assistant

Gene Bechen, PhD, Professor
Brenda Boleyn, PhD, Professor
Stephanie Erps, MEd, Assessment Coordinator, Lecturer
Mike Kiss, MA, Lecturer
Sherri Moler, MA, Instructor
Angela Rekers-Power, PhD, Associate Professor
Tracy Schuster-Matlock, PhD, Professor
Deanna Stoube, PhD, Professor
Edwin Ubeda, PhD, Assoc. Professor
Tanya Volkova, PhD, Professor

School of Education Admission Steps

The School of Education at St. Ambrose University includes areas of study necessary to prepare highly-qualified, professional classroom teachers and enables the student to receive an initial license to teach in Iowa agencies and schools.

The program is approved by the Iowa Department of Education. Through agreements with other states, graduates may apply for certification after receiving an Iowa license.

There is some planning involved before you apply, so follow the steps below.

Steps to Apply for Admission to the School of Education

Step One:

Complete these general education courses:

ENGL 101 Written Communications
PSYC 105 Introduction to Psychology
One course in American History or American Government
One Biology and Non-biological Science (only ECE/Elem. majors)
COMM 110 Basic Human Communication

Step Two:

Enroll in EDUC 205 or EDUC 207. Prerequisites: Complete (or transfer) 12 credit hours. GPA must be at least 2.7.

Step Three:

While enrolled in either EDUC 205 or EDUC 207, apply for admission to the School of Education while making sure you satisfy these GPA and ACT requirements below.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

a.  Complete 40 field hours in EDUC 205 or provide verification through EDUC 207.
b.  Two professional rating forms (EDUC 205 or 207 instructor, and cooperating teacher's evaluation) which show applicant earned an average rating of at least Developing (3) in the three separate dispositional categories and recommended by both course instructor and cooperating teacher to continue on into the program.
c.  Receive a grade of "B" or above in EDUC 205 or 207.
d.  A completed application for admission to teacher education program form (including statement of fraud section and necessary signatures).
e. Complete EDUC 282 and EDUC 284 with at least a B average

GPA Requirements

Overall GPA for entrance to the School of Education and maintenance of status within the School shall be calculated by using only the credits transferred into St. Ambrose University plus the credits earned at SAU.

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Education GPA of 3.0
  • Content GPA (if applicable) of 3.0

When should I apply to the Educator Preparation Program?

You should apply for admission to the Educator Preparation Program during the semester you are enrolled in EDUC 205 or 207.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education

Students interested in secondary education should apply for admission to the Educator Preparation 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.

Secondary practitioner candidates must fulfill endorsement requirements in a teaching major (listed below).

Degree requirements can also be found in the SAU Course Catalog.

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 336 Content Reading
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

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

Endorsement – Reading (5-12)

EDUC 336 Content Reading
EDUC 368 Literature for the Young Adult
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 199 Creative Forms
ENGL 313 Linguistics: Language and Learning
ENGL 316 Expository Writing Workshop
EDCOMM 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

Additional Endorsement Areas

The Educator Preparation Program offers the following endorsements that can be added on to other approved teaching majors: Middle School Endorsement and English as a Second Language-ESL/ELL (K-12).

Questions regarding Illinois should be directed to the Illinois State Board of Education.

Middle School Endorsement


EDUC 455 and EDUC 461 and either EDUC 372 or 336

Students who plan to apply for the Iowa Middle School Endorsement need to complete 2 areas of concentration:

  • Language Arts (EDUC 368, EDCOMM 325, ENGL 313, 316 & 345)
  • Mathematics (Math 220 or MATH 290 and 9 credits of mathematics electives)
  • Science (BIOL 101, 199, 200 or a 4 credit BIOL elective & NSCI 105, PHYS 203, CHEM 103 or CHEM 105 & ASTR 201 & EDGEOG 201)
  • Social Studies (HIST 211, 212, 213, 215, 216 or 217 & PSCI 101, 104, 110 or 120 & HIST 201, 202 & EDGEOG 201)

English as a Second Language, ESL/ELL (K-12) Endorsement


  • EDUC 302, 311, and 401
  • EDENGL 230, 380, and 381
  • ENGL 313

Can only be added to an approved Elementary major with another endorsement area or an approved Secondary major.

Student Teaching

Student teaching is completed in your 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 Educator Preparation Program. Completion of a proposed sequence of courses leading to licensure.
2. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.70 with 3.00 GPA 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 Educator Preparation Appeals Committee through the Assessment Coordinator of the Educator Preparation Program, one semester before the start of the student teaching semester.

Scholarships and Grants


St. Ambrose offers excellent scholarships and grants, work-study and other financial aid options! Full-time students may be eligible based on your strong academic performance in college, your talent in fine arts or athletics or your demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code for the FAFSA is 001889.

First-Year Scholarships and Institutional Aid 2024-2025

Merit-Based Scholarships

4.0 GPA: $24,000
3.75-3.99 GPA: $22,000
3.0-3.749 GPA: $20,000
2.5-2.99 GPA: $18,000
2.0-2.49 GPA: $14,000
If GPA is 2.0-2.49, additional documents and review required for admission.

Merit-Based Scholarships

4.o GPA: $17,000
3.75-3.99 GPA: $16,000
3.0-3.749 GPA: $15,000
2.5-2.99 GPA: $14,000
2.0-2.49 GPA: $13,000
If GPA is 2.0-2.49, additional documents and review required for admission.


Ambrose Advantage Full-Tuition Scholarship
Pell-eligible Iowa residents, learn more here

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarship: $500 per year
Parent is a St. Ambrose graduate

Catholic Traditions Scholarship: $1,000 per year
Students with Catholic religious denomination or plans to graduate from Catholic high school 

Minority Scholarship: $500 per year
Ethnically diverse student

Athletic Scholarships: varies
Performance and ability

Fine Arts Scholarships: varies
Performance and ability in music, art and theatre

Faith Learning Justice Campus Ministry Scholarships: $2,000 per year
Recognition of involvement in church and community service and interest in strengthening faith and growing as a leader in campus ministry

Scholarships are determined by unweighted GPA, and are renewable for four years of undergraduate student. Increases in scholarship awards due to change in GPA will be reviewed until March 1.

State and Federal Grants, Work Study

Grants are money that you don't repay, and they can come from government or private sources. SAU receives all financial aid funds directly - including loans and grants - then applies them to your account: once in the fall term and once in the spring term. Grants can be used to cover your tuition, books, and housing costs. You must apply for grants each academic year. If you have any loan funds in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. For all of these grants, you must complete the Free Application Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as it is available.

Iowa Tuition Grant
To be eligible for the Iowa Tuition Grant, you must be a resident of Iowa as defined by the State Board of Regents and currently enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate degree program at an eligible Iowa college or university (SAU is eligible). Iowa College Aid administers need-based college financial aid for Iowans, such as the Iowa Tuition Grant.
Award: $7,500 maximum

Federal Pell Grant
Awarded to students of the highest need based on how much your family can contribute to your education. The U.S. Department of Education sets a threshold. Then, when you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it computes where you land within that threshold and determines if you qualify for the grant and for how much.
Award: $6,895 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
You must file a FAFSA to qualify for a Pell Grant. This grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to students who have submitted all required documents for review and in time for the review to be complete. If you are eligible for a Pell Grant or SEOG, the awards will appear on your financial aid award letter.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Must secure campus employment.
Award: $2,560

Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant 
Provides aid to students intending to teach in a high-need field at a school that serves low-income families (as determined by the U.S. Department of Education or a state education agency). Review criteria and all details here.
Award: up to $4,000

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Student Financial Services where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.

Apply Visit Info


Dale Blesz, PhD, Director

School of Education
Ambrose Hall 205
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

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