All individuals interested in completing a School of Education teacher education program at UW-La Crosse matriculate through four benchmarks. The first benchmark starts with the declaration of a major in a teacher education area. The second benchmark is Admission to the School of Education. The third benchmark is Admission to Student Teaching or Internships and the final benchmark is university recommendation for teacher certification.

STEP Admission Policies and Procedures

The STEP Admission Process consists of the following components: Satisfying the STEP program Pre-Application Academic Requirements, identifying two professional references that will complete the Teacher Educator Recommendation Level form on your behalf, submitting a current resume and an Educational Experience Reflection Paper, and participating in a Candidate Interview. See below for additional details regarding each of these components. For questions on the STEP Admission Policy, please contact Dr. Jenn Kosiak (

In addition, The WI Department of Public Instruction (DPI) requires that candidates for admission to a teacher education, administration, or pupil services program successfully pass a criminal background check (CBC) as one criterion for admission. By applying for admission to one of these programs, candidates agree to provide the necessary personal information to UWL in order to initiate their CBC, and to complete their portion of the process prior to the deadline specified in their admission letter.  Teacher candidates are responsible for all costs associated with their criminal background check(s). Admission decisions by programs are contingent upon CBC clearance by the UWL Office of Field Experience.

Application Deadlines for Fall 2021

  • Phase I Pre-Application Admission Form: Complete by Friday, September 17th at 11:59 p.m.
  • Phase II Submission of STEP Application Materials: Complete by Friday, September 24th at 4:00 p.m.

Phase I: Pre-Application Criteria 
STEP Pre-applications are accepted starting on the first day of classes both fall and spring semesters. Students who meet the pre-application criteria below should fill out the online STEP Pre-Application Admission Form. Complete this form by 11:59 p.m. on the Friday of Week 2 of the semester in which you wish to apply.

Phase I Criteria:

  1. Complete ENG 110 or 112 with a grade of "C" or higher.
  2. Complete a minimum of 40 earned credits (including transfer credits).
  3. Complete or be concurrently enrolled in EDS 203 or EDS 206.
  4. Have attained a 2.75 combined cumulative grade point average.
    • Note: the GPA listed on your current academic transcript must be used to satisfy the GPA requirement for admission purposes.
    • A GPA Waiver process exists for students whose current grade point average falls below 2.75. For more details on this process, refer to the Appeal and Reapplication Policy.

In addition, while completing the STEP Phase I Pre-application Survey you will be asked to submit the names and contact information (address, phone, and email) for two professional references. The STEP Admission Committee will send your references a survey link to complete a brief Teacher Candidate Recommendation Form that is designed to assess your qualifications for STEP Admission.

  • Please contact Dr. Kenneth Shonk ( if you have a question on these pre-application benchmarks.

Phase II: STEP Application Materials
After completing the STEP Pre-Application Form, to finish applying for admission into the STEP Program you must also complete the STEP Application - Submission of Phase II Materials survey. In that survey you will be required to upload the following materials by 4:00 p.m. on the Friday of Week 3 of the semester in which you wish to apply.

  • Current Resume (for resume samples visit UWL Career Services)
  • Unofficial Transcript - Upload your unofficial transcript from WINGS.
  • Educational Experience Reflection Paper based on your PHASE I coursework. The STEP Reflection Paper Guidelines will provide you with more information. Upload your Reflection Paper.

Once the application deadline has passed, faculty members within each discipline will review the completed applications. Approximately two weeks following submission of the on-line application materials STEP applicants will be notified of whether or not they will be moving on to the interview portion of the application process. Meeting the minimum eligibility criteria does not guarantee an interview.

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

APPEAL AND REAPPLICATION POLICY: Students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement for admission may request that the committee grant a waiver of this PHASE I criterion. To submit this waiver request, please complete the STEP Application – Submission of Materials survey. In that survey you will be required to upload the following additional documents:

  • Written statement of appeal identifying the reason(s) why the GPA requirement was not satisfied and why the committee should approve a waiver in this case.
  • Two letters of support from faculty/staff or other professionals who can address the issue being appealed.
  • All Phase II documents listed above (Current resume, Unofficial Transcript, and educational experience reflection paper).

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 UWL.

This site was last updated on 8/30/2021.