School of Education (SOE)

Director: Marcie Wycoff-Horn (Interim)
145 Graff Main Hall; 608.785.8134

Office of Field Experience: Sheila Wirkus
Assessment Coordinator: Katie Hosley
Minority Recruiter/Adviser: Xiong Vang

Assistant to the Dean (CLS)/Certification Officer - Sandra Keller
Assistants to the Dean (SAH) - Guy Herling, Carla Burkhardt


- Higher Learning Commission (North Central Association)
- Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction since 1937


The School of Education (SOE) at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse (UW-L) represents a collection of teacher education programs housed in a variety of departments and colleges across campus. Approximately 800 students are enrolled in teacher education programs at UW-L. Students enrolled in teacher education programs benefit from the numerous PK-12 school partnerships, which aim to promote best practices in teaching and learning.


The mission of the School of Education is to develop within its graduates a commitment to the teaching profession, a profound respect for the dignity of all learners, and the professional competencies that enable them to be effective teachers and responsible citizens in a diverse and dynamic world.


Vision. The School of Education as UW-La Crosse strives to become a leader in the preparation of globally responsive teachers through a university-wide commitment to teacher education.

Definition. The globally responsive teacher believes that all learners can learn at high levels and persists in helping all learners achieve success. The teacher appreciates and values human diversity, shows respect for learners’ varied talents and perspectives, and commits to the pursuit of excellence for all learners. Globally responsive teaching includes infusion of a strong academic curriculum linked to world events, geography, world cultures, and diverse perspectives. Globally responsive teachers act to make the world a healthy and more sustainable and just environment.

A Globally responsive professional education program includes the following:

Teacher candidates gain understanding of contemporary content issues from a variety of perspectives.
Teacher candidates learn how to employ discipline-specific skills in their analyses of global issues.
Teacher candidates design integrated curricular units so their students will have a greater understanding of the world.
Teacher candidates are encouraged and supported to engage in international study abroad programs.
Teacher candidates develop model lessons that infuse global awareness into their curriculum.
Teacher candidates develop enrichment of cultural, environmental, and/or civic issues.
Teacher candidates consider content issues, both local and global, using technology, and utilizing community resources to enhance learning and expand their resource networks.


Standard 1: The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for pupils.

Standard 2: The teacher understands how children with broad ranges of ability learn and provides instruction that supports their intellectual, social and personal development.

Standard 3: The teacher understands how pupils differ in their approaches to learning and the barriers that impede learning and can adapt instruction to meet the diverse needs of pupils, including those with disabilities and exceptionalities.

Standard 4: The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies, including the use of technology to encourage children’s development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.

Standard 5: The teacher uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning and self-motivation.

Standard 6: The teacher uses effective verbal and nonverbal communication techniques as well as instructional media and technology to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.

Standard 7: The teacher organizes and plans systematic instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, pupils, the community, and curriculum goals.

Standard 8: The teacher understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social and physical development of the pupil.

Standard 9: The teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effect of his or her choices and actions on pupils, parents, professionals in the learning community and others and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally.

Standard 10: The teacher fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support pupil learning and well-being and who acts with integrity, fairness and in an ethical manner.


Several resources for education students, university faculty, and area teachers are provided through the School of Education.

Alice Hagar Curriculum Resource Center
— contains many teacher education materials and references for teaching all grade levels
— located on the upper floor of Murphy Library

Center for Cultural Diversity and Community Renewal
— created in response to our commitment to the value of diversity, need to recruit and retain students of color in teacher education programs
— Center works to establish positive relationships with communities of color in La Crosse and Milwaukee
— encourages young people to come to UW-L to pursue a career in teacher education

Rhea Pederson Reading Center
— provides reading resources for UW-L students and area teachers


As the primary policy-making body for professional education programs at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, the Teacher Education Governing Council oversees the professional education unit. It consists of representatives from teacher education programs across campus and faculty from departments in liberal studies and sciences. Public school professionals and students in professional education programs are also members.


All students must be admitted to Teacher Education in order to enroll in professional education courses. Application and admission requirements vary by program. Students are encouraged to work closely with their academic adviser to ensure completion of the application requirements in effect for their program of study. Meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee admission into the Teacher Education Program. Resources available limit the number of students admitted.

Any student who has been convicted of a criminal offense must contact the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to discuss eligibility for teacher licensure. A copy of the DPI Conduct and Competency Code is available in the certification office in 260 Thomas Morris Hall.


All teacher candidates seeking certification must successfully complete procedures related to program admission, progression, and exit criteria. The teacher candidate’s progress toward competencies in the Wisconsin Teacher Standards is monitored while completing requirements in the respective teacher education program. Teacher candidates must earn and maintain the required cumulative, major, and minor grade point averages required by their respective program of study. Course and field experience assessments are designed to monitor professional growth in the 10 Wisconsin Teacher Education Standards. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) requires that each candidate who prepares for a teaching career must have a portfolio of evidence documenting that the standards required for a teaching license have been met (PI 34.13). Specific program details can be found on the School of Education Web site at


Candidates may be retained in the Teacher Education Program as long as they maintain a 2.75 combined cumulative, major, and minor GPA’s (3.00 for graduate candidates), show proficiency in oral and written communication, fulfill additional assessment criteria (e.g., portfolio) required by the candidate’s program, and are otherwise in good standing with the university and the School of Education.


Policy Statement

The faculty and staff (including clinical and student teaching personnel) of the School of Education recognize that all individuals seeking certification may not meet certain minimal professional standards; therefore, a procedure has been established to identify and to counsel candidates in need of directed guidance. Additional measures may be taken if deemed necessary. The referral process may lead to the candidate's removal from the teacher education program(s).
The School of Education's Teacher Candidate Progress Review Committee is charged to oversee the development and assessment of knowledge, skills, and dispositions among teacher candidates as assessed by the multiple measures of the Teacher Education Assessment System. Academic and non-academic misconduct (plagiarism, cheating, etc.) are referred directly to the Office of Student Life as outlined in the University's handbook:
If issues related to the progress of candidates are identified, a referral is initiated using the Teacher Candidate Progress Review Referral Form, and the candidate receives a copy of the referral. The Director of the School of Education will forward a copy to the candidate's advisor, the Academic Assistant to the Dean / Certification Officer, Department Chair, and the Content Liaison, where appropriate. There are three types of referrals: 1) notice of concern, 2) automatic referral and, 3) program referral.

Notice of Concern

•   A concerned faculty or staff member completes a written notice of concern. The candidate is required to schedule an appointment to review the content of the notice of concern form. A minimum of 2 faculty or staff members will discuss the referral with the candidate and provide him/her with a copy of the referral form. After the content of the referral form is discussed the candidate signs the referral form acknowledging receipt.
•   The faculty or staff member submits the signed referral form to the Office of the Director of the School of Education; copies of the form are sent to the appropriate individuals (see third paragraph above) and placed in the candidate's permanent file.
•   If two notices of concern are received, the candidate is automatically referred to the Committee by the    Director of the School of Education.Candidates enrolled in pupil services certification programs (School Psychology): each notice of concern will be sent to the program director. The program will work with the candidate to develop an action plan.

Automatic Referral(s) to the Teacher Candidate Progress Review Committee

• Automatic referrals include, but are not limited to, concerns needing immediate intervention related to the candidate’s knowledge, skills, and/or dispositions OR candidate G.P.A. (Cumulative, major, minor, concentrations, core).

Non-G.P.A.-related automatic referrals                                                       
• An issue needing immediate intervention related to the candidate's knowledge, skills, and/or dispositions is identified, and an automatic referral form is completed. The candidate is required to schedule an appointment to review the content of the automatic referral form. A minimum of 2 faculty or staff members will discuss the referral with the candidate and provide him/her with a copy of the referral form. After the content of the referral form is discussed the candidate signs the referral form acknowledging receipt.                                                                                                                           
• The faculty or staff member submits the signed referral form to the Office of the Director of the School of Education; copies of the form are sent to the appropriate individuals (see third paragraph above), and placed in the candidate's permanent file.
• The candidate is automatically referred to the Committee by the Director of the School of Education and will be required to appear at the next Committee meeting to address the concerns cited in the automatic referral. When the candidate meets with the Committee the concerns are reviewed and the candidate addresses these concerns. After the candidate has met with the Committee, the Committee recommends further action (following the link below, review “Action 2”). If the candidate fails to meet with the committee, s/he will be unable to continue in his/her program of study.

Program Referral(s) to the Teacher Candidate Progress Review Committee

Faculty and staff (including clinical and student teaching personnel) who have concerns about a candidate's knowledge, skills, and/or dispositions as described within the Teacher Education's Programs Standards, shall document and initiate the referral process by completing the appropriate Teacher Candidate Progress Review Referral Form. For the purpose of facilitating the referral process, the following procedures are followed:
• The faculty or staff discuss the referral with the candidate and provides him/her with a copy of the referral form.
• The faculty or staff member delivers the Referral Form to the appropriate program director or department chair. The faculty involved decide if the referral form is to be sent to the Teacher Candidate Progress Review Committee or remediated within the program. The candidate is notified regarding the decision within two weeks regarding action or remediation plan. If the remediation plan is unacceptable to the candidate, he/she may appeal the plan to the Committee.
• If so deemed, referral forms, and the referred student's academic record(s) and performance, are reviewed by the Committee at the next monthly meeting in which they are received.


The student teaching experience is generally completed during the final semester in residence. Applications for student teaching may be obtained at Completed applications must be returned to that office by the deadlines posted on the Web site for a fall or spring semester placement.

Candidates student teach for a full semester as calculated according to the calendar of the cooperating school. Most cooperating schools are located approximately within a 50-mile radius of La Crosse.

To be eligible for student teaching, candidates must:

  1. have and maintain 2.75 combined cumulative, major, minor, concentration, and professional sequence grade point averages
  2.  meet prerequisites specified for ECE 400, ECE 401, EDS 493, EDS 494, SHE 494, SPE 483, or SPE 484, including an official Praxis II content test score report documenting passing scores on Praxis II content tests in the appropriate certification area/discipline
  3.  declare the major(s), minor(s), and/or concentrations for which they are seeking certification at the time of admission to student teaching.


To be eligible to apply, candidates must be formally admitted to teacher education, and must possess and maintain through graduation, a combined cumulative grade point average of 3.00. Interns are assigned for an entire semester to schools that are part of the Wisconsin Improvement Program. The Intern Selection Committee admits students to the internship program. Applications for internships may be obtained at The completed application is due by the dates posted on the Web site for placement during the fall or spring semester of the subsequent year.


Candidates must maintain a 2.75 combined cumulative grade point average and a 2.75 grade point average in all certifiable majors and minors, concentrations and professional education courses. The completion of a Reflective Practice Portfolio also is required. An official Praxis II content test score report documenting passing scores on Praxis II content tests in the appropriate certification area/discipline must be on file in the certification office, 275 Morris Hall.

Candidates who complete all university requirements and all teacher education requirements for student teaching/internship, but who fail to successfully complete the student teaching/internship experience, may be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree without certification. This degree will not earn Department of Public Instruction endorsement for licensure. (See the Academic Assistant to the Dean for details.)


All teacher candidates must complete the designated criminal background checks prior to entering the schools for their first clinical field experience at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. This is a requirement of the school placement sites and it is the teacher candidate’s responsibility to follow the instructions and complete the process by the dates specified. Teacher candidates are responsible for all costs associated with the criminal background checks. Policies and procedures must be followed for teacher candidates to receive a placement.
Prior to student teaching, teacher candidates must complete a second designated criminal background check if more than one year has passed since their last criminal background check. Additional criminal background checks may be required for teacher candidates if the time period between criminal background checks exceeds two years. The Office of Field Experience will record the criminal background checks conducted each semester.


  1. Criminal background check policies and procedures will be shared with teacher candidates at clinical field experience meetings prior to registration each semester, and will also be available on the Office of Field Experience website.
  2. The Office of Field Experience will e-mail the clinical field experience forms and criminal background check instructions to those teacher candidates registered for clinical field experiences prior to the first day of class.
  3. Course instructors will discuss the criminal background check process at the beginning of the course and collect the required clinical field experience paperwork for return to the Office of Field Experience.
  4. The Questionnaire for Admission to Student Teaching, Internship, Practicum, and Clinical Field Experiences self-disclosure form must be completed by teacher candidates each semester they participate in a school observation or clinical field experience. Teacher candidates must notify the Office of Field Experience of any new offenses as soon as possible according to the terms stated on the Authorization, Acknowledgement, and Release Form.                                                         
  5. The Office of Field Experience staff will monitor the criminal background check process and notify course instructors when teacher candidates have been cleared to enter the schools.
  6. In the event the background check discloses criminal activity or information the teacher candidate has failed to report, the teacher candidate may be required to meet with the Director and/or Assistant Director of Field Experience to discuss the discrepancy.  The result of this discussion may alter or terminate the teacher candidate's participation in a field experience or student teaching assignment.               

Instructions for the Criminal Background Check

Please note the Criminal Background Check (CBC) is valid for ONE YEAR. To complete the online criminal background check:                                                              

  1. Go to and click on “Students.”
  2. In the Package Code box, enter package code: NI71. (Capital N and I, and numbers 7 and 1)
  3. Select a method of payment: Visa, MasterCard, or money order.
  4. Print out a copy of your background check for your own file. We do not need your password, as we have a campus password that allows us to view your results once you have completed the process.
  5. Write down and file your password for future reference, in the event you need another copy of your background check.
  6. If you have any questions about the online criminal background check process, please contact Certified Background Inc. directly at 888-723-4263.


Graduates desiring a license to teach in Wisconsin may obtain the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s License Application from the DPI Web site. Upon completion of all items appropriate to the certification desired, the application and a $100 check payable to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction should be returned to the certification office in 275 Morris Hall. When all certification requirements are satisfactorily completed, the certification officer will endorse the application and forward it for approval to the State Department of Public Instruction.


We recommend that graduates seeking certification in other states request application forms and instructions from the Department of Education of the state in which certification is desired. Candidates should seek such information early in the professional preparation program. Most states will require institutional endorsement as Wisconsin does.


Environmental Education and Conservation. Demonstration of knowledge and understanding in environmental education and in the conservation of natural resources is required for licenses in early childhood-middle childhood, middle childhood-early adolescence, science (majors or minors), and social studies (majors or minors). Instruction in environmental education and conservation is required for the completion of these programs.

Cooperatives. Demonstration of knowledge and understanding of cooperative marketing and consumer cooperatives is required for licenses in social studies (majors or minors). Instruction in cooperatives is noted by the major and minor course listings in social studies disciplines.

Exceptional Education. Demonstration of knowledge and understanding of procedures used for assessing and providing education for children with disabilities, including provider roles and responsibilities and curriculum modification.

Human Relations. Demonstration of knowledge and understanding in the areas of “Minority Group Relations” under PI 34 3.15 (4) (c) 1-6 to be certified to teach in the state of Wisconsin.

Reading. Demonstration of knowledge and understanding of teaching reading and language arts including phonics, for licensure in early childhood-middle childhood and middle childhood-early adolescence.

Conflict Resolution. Demonstration of knowledge and understanding in:

  1. resolving conflicts between pupils and between pupils and school staff;
  2. assisting pupils in learning methods of resolving conflicts between pupils and between pupils and school staff, including training in the use of peer mediation to resolve conflicts between pupils; and
  3. dealing with crises, including violent, disruptive, potentially violent or potentially disruptive situations that may arise in school or at activities supervised by a school as a result of conflicts between pupils or between pupils and other persons.


Students take specific courses from General Education to meet statutory requirements in the areas of human relations, environmental education and conservation depending on the certification desired. General Education check sheets listing required courses are available in Morris Hall and on advisement reports. The two-year transfer policy does not exempt students from these requirements. 


Passing scores on the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) in reading (175), mathematics (173), and writing (174) is required of all candidates in teacher preparation programs. In addition, an official Praxis II content test score report documenting passing scores on Praxis II content tests in the appropriate certification area/discipline is required prior to enrolling in the student teaching/internship semester and to be recommended for licensure by the certification officer. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction determines passing scores.

NOTICE: Students should be aware that the Department of Public Instruction is specific in its requirements about the content of both general education and professional education; therefore, prospective teacher education candidates should work closely with an adviser from the outset of their studies at the university. Completion of Department of Public Instruction requirements for licensure may take longer than four academic years. 

Early Childhood, Elementary and Middle School Teacher Certification
Fine Art and Modern Languages Teacher Certification
Department of Educational Studies
240 Thomas Morris Hall; 608.785.8132

The Department is committed to preparing teachers who can teach all students in all schools - rural, urban or suburban.The faculty in the Department of Educational Studies take seriously our commitment to excellence in teacher education and offer programs leading to licensure in Early Childhood-Middle Childhood, Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence, and Early Childhood-Adolescence.

Programs within the Department of Educational Studies


Early Childhood-Middle Childhood Major (ages birth-11)
– Requires completion of the Early Childhood Education minor

Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence Major (ages 6-12 or 13)
– Requires completion of a certifiable minor: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Science, Economics, English, French, General Science, Geography, German Studies, History, Mathematics, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, School Health Education, Social Studies, Sociology, Spanish, Special Education, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Art--Early Childhood-Adolescence (ages birth-21)

French*--Early Childhood-Adolescence (ages birth-21)

German Studies*--Early Childhood-Adolescence (ages birth-21)

Music-General--Early Childhood-Adolescence (ages birth-21)

Music-Choral--Early Childhood-Adolescence (ages birth-21)

Music-Instrumental--Early Childhood-Adolescence (ages birth-21)

Spanish*--Early Childhood-Adolescence (ages birth-21)

*Minors in French, German Studies, and Spanish are certifiable at the early adolescence-adolescence developmental range only, unless another language is completed as a major. If a language major and language minor are completed, both languages may be certifiable at the early childhood-adolescence range.

Admission to Department of Educational Studies Teacher Education Programs
Eligibility Criteria for Application
Prior to submitting an application for admission to the EC-MC: Early Childhood-Middle Childhood (ages birth-11), with a minor in ECE; MC-EA: Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence (ages 6-13), with a certifiable minor; and EC-A: Early Childhood-Early Adolescence programs (ages birth-21), with a major in Art, Music, French, German, or Spanish, students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST)-The PPST is to be taken during the first semester on campus. Students must earn passing scores in Reading (175), Mathematics (173), and Writing (174), to be eligible for program application. Passing scores are set by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
  2. Preliminary Course Work-Candidates seeking licensure in EC-MC & MC-EA must have a minimum of 24 earned credits. Candidates seeking licensure in EC-A must have a minimum of 40 earned credits (includes transfer credit).   
  3. Cumulative Grade Point Average-Candidates must have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 in all academic work taken prior to applying for admission. This includes transfer grade points averaged with residence grade points.  

Application Procedures
Students who meet the criteria described above may obtain additional information on the application from the School of Education. Students must be accepted into the program prior to registration for certain education courses. One copy of the application must be submitted by 4:00 pm on the Friday of the third week of the semester. Although students apply after 24 course credits are earned, students can only be officially admitted to the School of Education after the completion of 40 credits.

Physical Education Teacher Certification
Department of Exercise and Sport Science
210 Mitchell Hall; 608.785.6527

UW-La Crosse has been a state and national leader in preparing physical education teachers for decades. Our graduates, certifiable to teach kindergarten through high school, teach in all 50 states and several foreign countries. Study is broad based, with emphasis on motor skills, fitness, scientific principles, teaching strategies, and program development. The UW-L program balances traditional, individual and fitness activities with non-traditional physical education activities such as backpacking, ropes courses, and rock climbing. This balance provides students with numerous experiences to enhance their professional development. Because of its exceptional quality, the UW System has identified this program as a Center of Excellence, a designation reserved for high quality undergraduate programs.

Admission to physical education
All majors in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science have admission standards and retention and advancement standards. Students are advised to become aware of the application criteria for their major and may refer to program Web sites for the most detailed information regarding these criteria and procedures. Meeting minimum criteria does not guarantee admission, as the department programs have competitive admission processes.

Admission to the physical education teacher education (PETE) program is competitive and successful completion of application requirements does not guarantee admission into the PETE program. Students who wish to be considered for acceptance into the program will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  1. physical fitness assessment reflection,
  2. grade point average in foundation courses (ESS 112, 118, 225, BIO 103 or 105 or MIC 100, HPR 105),
  3. 2.75 combined cumulative GPA (including transfer grade points),
  4. passage of all parts of the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST),
  5. K-12 leadership involvement and reflection,
  6. a satisfactory interview with PETE admission committee members, and
  7. a background check.

Students are allowed to apply for PETE admission twice during their academic career at UW-L. Course substitutions may be authorized by the program director. Curriculum changes may result in a revision of courses and other criteria used as admission requirements.

Retention and Advancement

Students admitted into the PETE program must maintain a 2.75 grade point average, and must successfully complete portfolio requirements. In order to enroll in student teaching and clinical courses, students must have earned and maintained a 2.75 combined cumulative GPA and a 2.75 GPA in the major, minor, concentration and professional course work. Passing scores for the PRAXIS II Subject Assessment are required in each certification area prior to entering student teaching.

School Health Education Teacher Certification
Department of Health Education and Health Promotion
205 Mitchell Hall; 608.785.8162

A one-of-a-kind program in Wisconsin, the school health education major is nationally recognized for excellence in preparing certified school health education professionals. Eight faculty, all with doctorates in the field, lead students in assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating school health education programs through classroom and field experiences. Graduates are certified to teach kindergarten through high school, prepared to coordinate school health education curricula, and experienced in developing health promotion activities for students and faculty. Courses in curriculum development, effective teaching behaviors, stress management, nutrition, physical fitness, human sexuality, alcohol and other drugs, and health promotion are offered. Graduates become professionals who assist others in developing a healthy, active lifestyle primarily within the school setting.

Admission to School Health Education

  1. Students transferring into the health education program must have a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or higher at the time of transfer.
  2. Students must follow the course sequence set up by the department.
  3. Students must attain an overall 2.50 grade point average including all 100- and 200-level required courses before being admitted to the 300-level courses in health education.
  4. Students must earn a grade of “C” or better in all required health education courses and the following courses: BIO 103 or 105; HPR 105; ESS 205 and 206 or BIO 312 and 313; CHM 100 or 103 (Community Health Education majors only).

School Health Education majors and minors must meet the following additional requirements:
(a) apply for admission to teacher education;
(b) achieve a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA to be admitted to teacher education;
(c) successfully complete the PPST by achieving the following minimum scores; Reading 175, Math 173, Writing 174;
(d) achieve a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA and a 2.75 GPA in professional preparation courses, major or minor course sequence to student teach;
(e) achieve a cumulative 2.75 GPA; and
(f) successful completion of departmental exit portfolio reviewed by school health education faculty to be licensed by the state to teach.

Secondary Teacher Education Preparation (STEP) Teacher Certification
(Early Adolescence-Adolescence)
Program Coordinator: Jennifer Kosiak

College of Science and Health; 124 Graff Main Hall;608.785.8156
College of Liberal Studies; 240 Thomas Morris Hall; 608.785.5454

The Secondary Teacher Education Preparation (STEP) Program is a university-wide School of Education program committed to preparing knowledgeable, skillful and professional middle and high school teachers who have the content and pedagogical knowledge to meet the needs of students in a variety of settings. STEP is a collaborative program leading to licensure in Early Adolescence-Adolescence in which teacher candidates earn a bachelors degree in an appropriate content major combined with professional education coursework and multiple field experiences. At UW-L, EA-A programs leading to licensure include the following content majors of Biology, General (Broad Field) Science, Broad Field Social Studies, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geography, English, Mathematics, Physics, Political Science, and Sociology. Several content minors are also available for EA-A licensure.                  
All STEP teacher education candidates must complete one or more teacher certification majors to be eligible for licensure to teach students from 10-21 years of age. In addition to a major, students may choose to complete one or more minors for additional certifications.  

In addition, candidates must fulfill the requirements of the Professional Education Core (35 total credits). Additional DPI Statutory Requirements may be required. Candidates must maintain a 2.75 combined cumulative grade point average in all certifiable majors, minors, and professional education courses to be eligible for STEP admissions, retention, student teaching, and certification. A combined cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required for an internship.

College of Liberal Studies - Early Adolescence-Adolescence (ages 10-21) Certifiable Majors and Minors

MAJORS: English, History, Political Science, Social Studies (Broad Field - Option A or Option B), Sociology
MINORS: Economics, English, French, German Studies, History, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, Special Education, Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL)
Note: For all social studies majors and minors EFN 200 and GEO 200 (4 credits) are DPI statutory requirements.

College of Science and Health - Early Adolescence-Adolescence (ages 10-21) Certifiable Majors and Minors

MAJORS: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, General Science (Broad Field - second major only), Geography, Mathematics, Physics  
MINORS: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geography, Earth Science, Mathematics, Physics, School Health Education
Note: For all science majors and minors GEO 200 (3 credits) is a DPI statutory requirement.

Admission to Secondary Teacher Education Preparation (STEP): (

Prior to submitting an application to STEP candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Complete or concurrent enrollment in EFN 205 (or SOC 225 or WGS 230 or ERS 100 or equivalent) , EDS 303 (or EDS 310 or equivalent), and PSY 212 (or equivalent).
  • Complete ENG 110 or 112 with a grade of "C" or higher.
  • Complete a minimum of 40 earned credits (including transfer credits) with a 2.75 combined cumulative grade point average.
  • Pass the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) with the following scores - Math (173), Reading (175), and Writing (174). UW-L must receive an
  • official score report sent from ETS to the university.

Submit an electronic application containing the following materials to the STEP Admission Committee by the Monday of Week 4 by 4:30 p.m. each semester.

  • Current Resume
  • Teacher Candidate Recommendation References: Submit the names and contact information of two professional references. (The STEP Admission
  • Committee will send your references a Teacher Candidate Recommendation Checklist. The Checklist is designed to assess your qualifications for
  • STEP admission.)
  • Unofficial Transcript
  • Educational Experience Reflection Paper based on your PHASE I coursework.

Approximately two weeks following submission of the on-line application materials STEP candidates meeting PHASE I AND II criteria will be contacted via e-mail to arrange the interview portion of the application process. Meeting the minimum eligibility criteria does not guarantee an interview.

Resources available limit the number of students admitted. Not all students completing the application process are admitted to STEP. Admission decisions will be sent to students via e-mail within one month following the application deadline.  

Students who do not meet either the minimum GPA or PPST requirements (but not both) may appeal PHASE I. A student must submit an appeal packet at least 30 days before the application deadline to the STEP Admission Committee containing:

  1. Written statement of appeal identifying the requirement being appealed, reason(s) why the requirement was not satisfied, and why the committee should approve a waiver in this case.
  2. Two letters of support from faculty/staff or other professionals who can address the issue being appealed.

Students who are not admitted may appeal the admission decision by submitting a letter of appeal to the STEP Admission Committee by November 1 for fall applicants and April 1 for spring applicants. The student may be asked to meet with the STEP Admission Committee as part of the appeal process.  

Students will be notified of the appeal decision in a timely manner. The appeal decision is final.  Students may reapply to the STEP Program at any time during their academic career at UW-L.  

35 Credits Required

    Courses Required for Admission into STEP: EFN 205, PSY 212, and EDS 303

    Additional Courses Required for STEP: EDS 309, EDS 319, and PSY 370

    Courses Requiring Admission to STEP: EDS 351, SPE 401, EDS 492, and EDS 494 or 495