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.

Faculty and Staff

Tom Carpenter, Professor; Director, School of Education
Sallee Beneke, Assoc. Professor, MECE Director
Bill Thiessen, Instructor, MEA Director 
Administrative Assistants: Jennet JewellTeri McDonald, Trish Zinger

Gene Bechen, Professor
Dale Blesz, Assoc. Professor
Brenda Boleyn, Professor
Cathy Daters, Professor
Kate Degner, Asst. Professor
Becky Furlong, Instructor
Nancy Gardner, Instructor
Laurie Jeans, Asst. Professor
Dick Robertson, Assoc. Professor
Rachel Serianz, Professor
Deanna Stoube, Professor
Edwin Ubeda, Asst. Professor
Tanya Volkova, Assoc. Professor
Barbara Wiese, Professor

Teacher Education Program Admission Steps

The Teacher Education Program 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 Teacher Education Program

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 Teacher Education Program while making sure you satisfy these GPA and ACT requirements below.

Admission Requirements

GPA and ACT Requirements

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

1. For applicants to the program during 2016-2018 acceptance requires:

a.     ACT score of 21 (or whatever score is in the top 50% nationally at that time)
b.     Cumulative GPA of 3.0
c.     Education GPA of 3.0
d.     Content GPA (if applicable) of 3.0  

2. For applicants to the program during 2018-2020 acceptance requires:

a.     ACT score of 22 (or whatever score is in the top 40% nationally at that time)
b.     Cumulative GPA of 3.0
c.     Education GPA of 3.0
d.     Content GPA (if applicable) of 3.0  

3. For applicants to the program 2020 and beyond acceptance requires:

a.     ACT score of 23 (or whatever score is in the top 33% nationally at that time)
b.     Cumulative GPA of 3.0
c.     Education GPA of 3.0
d.     Content GPA (if applicable) of 3.0  

Requirements for all years of entry:

a.   Pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Exam.
   i. Reading - score of 156
   ii. Writing - score of 162
   iii. Math - score of 150
b.   Complete 50 field hours in EDUC 205 or provide verification through EDUC 207.
c.   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.
d.   Receive a grade of "B" or above in EDUC 205 or 207.
e.   A completed application for admission to teacher education program form (including statement of fraud section and necessary signatures). 

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.


Scholarships and Grants

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

Institutional scholarships (2018-19)

To receive an institutional grant or scholarship students must meet specific criteria, and some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible. There is no need to apply for these; students automatically are eligible if they meet the criteria.

The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Ambrose Scholar
For First Year, on-campus residents only. Straight As on high school transcript and a minimum 30 ACT score. Applicants who meet Ambrose Scholar criteria will be invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship for $@{17-18-Tuition}.

Trustee Scholar
$22,000/year - For First-year, on-campus residents only. Unweighted 3.8 GPA, 28+ACT. May be offset by state and/or federal aid if eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$14,000-17,000/year - Based on GPA and ACT/SAT score

University Grant
$12,000/year - Based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT score

Additional Awards

If you want to apply for any of the scholarships below, contact the Admissions Office.

Fine Arts Scholarships
Award based on performance and ability in art, music, or theatre. Includes the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required.

Athletics Scholarships
Award varies. Based on performance and ability. Marching Band scholarships available. See below.

Freeman Pollard Minority Scholarship
$1,000 for on-campus students; $500 for off-campus. For accepted minority students.

Diocese of Davenport Catholic Parish Scholarship
Award varies. For First Year students only who are recommended by their parish pastor in the Diocese of Davenport. Recommendation to be completed by your pastor available here (pdf).

Father Welch Alumni Scholarship
$1,000/year. For on-campus students only whose parent is a St. Ambrose graduate.

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student athletes. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2018-19 academic year. For questions about any of the awards below, give our friendly Financial Aid Office a call at 563-333-5775.

Guaranteed Minimum Scholarship Award 

based on GPA (Grade Point Average)
3.5-4.00 GPA: $12,000 per year scholarship award
3.0-3.49 GPA: $11,000 per year scholarship award
2.5-2.99 GPA: $10,000 per year scholarship award
2.0-2.49 GPA: $8,000 per year scholarship award


Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society

Based on Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society membership. Award is $12,500 per year for new transfer students.

Awards are renewable each year up to a maximum eight semesters, including transfer hours. Scholarships awarded for fall and spring semesters only. GPA is based on 4.0 scale.

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 Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.

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!