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Broadfield Social Studies Admissions Process

A page within Secondary Teacher Education Preparation (STEP)

Recent growth in the number of Broadfield Social Studies (BFSS) majors, coupled with limited space for Field placements has necessitated a more competitive process for admission into the Secondary Teacher Education Preparation (STEP) Program for BFSS teacher candidates. Beginning in Fall 2022, admission to STEP for BFSS majors will be required to adhere to additional the specific requirements and processes listed below. Limited space within the program and more stringent admissions criteria means that students that meet the minimum requirements may not be granted admission to STEP. Questions regarding this process can be directed to 
The Process
The application process will comprise of two parts: the Pre-Screen and the Interview, and will be conducted in fall and in spring. Application materials must be submitted to SOE by 4 PM on the 3rd Friday of the semester. Incomplete or late dossiers will not be considered. Each aspect of the application process will be assessed by a panel of UWL faculty and will utilize scoring rubrics. 
  • Application: Teacher Candidates (TCs) will submit to the School of Education through the SOE Application for Admission survey a dossier of application materials, including: 1) an unofficial transcript; 2) contact information for two references who will submit recommendations via Qualtrics surveys —one of which must be a UWL faculty member; 3) a resume; 4) two 1-2-page essays related to pedagogy and teaching philosophy. 
  • Student data will also be retrieved from WINGS based on STEP admissions criteria regarding GPA*, credits completed, and grades in required courses (ENG 110/112, EDS 203, EDS 206)  
  • Members of the Admissions Taskforce will screen the materials independently and assign a point value based on the rubrics. 
  • Interview Selection: Upon creating these scores, the Admissions Taskforce will determine which TCs will be interviewed. The number of TCs interviewed will be based on the number of available field placements provided to the Admissions Taskforce by the School of Education. 
  • TCs selected for an interview will be notified by the Chair of the Admissions Taskforce approximately two weeks after the close of the application survey. 
  • TCs not selected for an interview will be notified of the negative admission decision by the School of Education no later than Friday of the 8th week of the semester. 

*Students may request admission with a GPA waiver following the processes outlined for STEP admissions

The Interview 

  • The Interview: TCs advanced to this stage will be asked to take part in an interview with at least two members of the Admissions Taskforce. TCs will be provided with the questions prior to the interview—such is an attempt to create fairness in the process and will enable the Taskforce to assess a student’s preparation and disposition. The Admissions Taskforce will utilize a rubric to assess and score each applicant. 

Post-Interview Process 

  • The Decision Process: Following the interviews, the Taskforce will discuss results from the interviews and will discuss which TCs should be admitted. The decisions of the Taskforce will be communicated to the School of Education no later than 4 PM on the Friday of the 7th week of the semester. The School of Education will distribute letters indicating admission decisions no later than 4 PM on the Friday of the 8th week of the semester.

The Application Dossier Explained 

  1. Unofficial Transcript: this will be utilized to verify GPA and time to graduation. 
  2. Recommendations: these will be utilized to help determine a TC’s professionalism and readiness for the field experience. 
  3. Resume: this will be utilized to assess a TC’s experiences that may indicate readiness for the field experience. 
  4. Essays: these will be utilized to assess a TC’s intellectual commitment to educational practice and theory. 
  5. The Interview: this will provide the TC an opportunity to discuss their educational goals and reasons for becoming a social studies teacher, as well as to expand or explain written responses from their essays. 


  1. Need help with your essays? UWL Writing Center
  2. Need help with your resume, interview prep, or essay development? Career Services
  3. SOE Admissions Web Page
  4. STEP Admissions Web Page
  5. Need accommodations for the application process? UWL ACCESS Center

Students may reapply to the STEP Program during any semester of their academic career at UWL as long as they meet minimum admission requirements. 

Students who have been admitted to the School of Education but are changing their major to a different teacher education program must reapply for admission to the new program. 


STEP Admission Reflection Paper Guidelines 

Submit your answers to the following prompts (1-2-page limit for each prompt, size 12, Times font) as one combined document. Be certain that you answer all facets of the questions. Please include citations (MLA or Chicago format) for any readings to which you refer. 

  1. Reflect on how your decision to pursue a teaching career has been affected by your classroom experiences as a learner. How has this decision been informed by readings and theories encountered in your Foundations Courses?
  2. Submit a teaching philosophy that highlights your perspective on teaching with regards to social studies education. How has your philosophy been informed by readings and theories encountered in your Foundations Courses?

STEP Admissions Reflection Paper Guidelines PDF