The requirements for teacher certification can seem daunting but are actually quite manageable if you build them in along the way to a Lawrence degree.  This website can help you plan your studies, and any member of the Education Department would be happy to advise you.

Exploring Education

Explore the field of education by taking EDST 180: Psychology of Learning (the only course open to first-year students) or EDST 350: Ethnicity, Cultural Diversity, and Education. Each course includes a 20-hour practicum that will introduce you to the teaching profession and give you experience in a classroom setting.  Each will also satisfy the social science general education requirement.

Gain experience working with children and youth through a Lawrence volunteer program, a community organization, sports coaching, or a summer camp.

Seeking Admission to the Teacher Education Program

After you complete one education studies course with a practicum, stop by the Education Department office (Briggs 117, mornings) or the Music Education office (Conservatory) to pick up a Teacher Certification Handbook and program application.  Plan to meet with an education or music education faculty member to talk about the requirements for your subject area.  When your application is complete, the department will schedule you for an interview.  You can continue taking education studies courses while you apply, but you must be admitted before you can take a methods course or begin student teaching.

Planning Your Studies

All of the required teacher education courses must be completed prior to student teaching.  Education courses may be taken in any order with the following exceptions:

  • Psychology of Learning (EDST 180) must be completed before you take Educating All Learners (EDUC 430 or 431);
  • Teaching Methods (EDUC 555, 560, 563, 565, or 585, or instrumental/choral methods) must be taken Term III (spring) of the year prior to student teaching; and
  • Advanced Methods in Teaching (EDUC 660/665 or MUEP 660) is a weekly seminar taken while student teaching.

Because teacher certification courses include a 20-hour practicum, students are encouraged to take these one at a time.  Plan for about 3 hours of practicum per week, as you would for a science lab.  Be sure to start early if you want to student teach during your senior year; otherwise you can student teach in the fall after graduation (13th term).

Here are some general suggestions for planning.

Freshman Year

Explore education by taking Psychology of Learning (EDST 180), offered every fall and spring.


Sophomore Year

Begin taking teacher education courses (EDST 180 or EDST 350 are good courses to start with).

Pick up the Teacher Certification Handbook and apply to be admitted to the Teacher Education Program.


Junior Year

Continue taking teacher education courses.

If you haven't yet done so, pick up the Teacher Certification Handbook and apply for program admission.


Senior Year

Complete any remaining courses required for certification in your subject area.


Year Prior to Student Teaching

If you want to student teach in Chicago or internationally, submit an application by mid-January.

If your major GPA is less than 3.00, take the subject area test (Praxis II or ACTFL) no later than March.

Enroll in the appropriate methods course in spring term.

Confirm that you will have completed at least 100 hours of practicum experience.

Prepare a Pre-Student Teaching Portfolio and submit it by the end of spring term.

Go to Student Health Services for a TB test.


Although faculty and staff will try to guide you, it is ultimately your responsibility to plan your studies, complete practicum hours, take required tests, turn in paperwork, and submit a Pre-Student Teaching Portfolio so that you can student teach when you want to.  Contacting a member of the department to confirm your certification requirements and study plans will help you stay on track for timely completion.