The Teacher Education Program

Admission to Teacher Education

Teacher Candidates are admitted to study at Valley City State University based on academic and personal qualifications, consistent with the admissions policies established for all public colleges and universities in the state. The admittance and continuance requirements of the Teacher Education Program go beyond those of the institution. Teacher Candidates are typically admitted into teacher education during their sophomore year or the beginning of the junior year. While enrolled in EDUC 250 Introduction to Education, the introductory course to Teacher Education, the VCSU Teacher Education Program Handbook is reviewed online. Enrollees are given application forms to complete and submit to the School of Education Dean (SOE) and the Teacher Education Committee.

Criteria for Admission to Teacher Education

The teacher candidate who intends to pursue a program in teacher education must apply to the Teacher Education Committee and be approved for admission to the program. The teacher candidate must meet the following criteria to be considered for admission:

  1. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75.
    A teacher candidate seeking admission to Teacher Education with a cumulative GPA between 2.50 and 2.74 may appeal (see appeal procedure and policy in the Teacher Education Handbook).
  2. Satisfactory academic performance with a “C” or higher in Comp I: ENG 110, 210, or equivalent
  3. Satisfactory academic performance with a “C” or higher in Comp II: ENG 120, 125, or equivalent.
  4. Satisfactory academic performance with a “C” or higher in EDUC 250: Introduction to Education.
  5. Successful completion of a speech screening test.
  6. Written recommendation from the advisor,
  7. Written recommendations from two School of Education faculty.
  8. Evidence of Basic Skill Requirements in Reading, Writing , and Mathematics.

    A teacher candidate seeking admission to Teacher Education who has not met the ND Education and ESPB requirements can apply for the Basic Skills PRAXIS CORE or ACT Appeal. Students must have three attempts in PRAXIS CORE or ACT + Writing exams prior to appeal.

9.  Demonstrate proper dispositions necessary to teach for learning and completion of required field experience.

The Teacher Education Committee will review the documentation and make a recommendation to the School of Education (SOE) Dean to accept or deny the application for admission to the program. If the teacher candidate is denied admission due to a condition that can be corrected, the teacher candidate may reapply when the deficiency is removed.

Continuance in Teacher Education

To continue in the Teacher Education program, the teacher candidate must:

  1. Continue to maintain cumulative grade point average requirements set forth in Criteria for Admission to Teacher Education.
  2. Demonstrate proper disposition and evidence of good conduct, physical and mental health (Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to her or his community.); and
  3. Continue to obtain satisfactory recommendations from faculty, staff, and field-based experience supervisors.

If requirements for continuance are not maintained, the Teacher Education Committee may recommend suspension from the program. The Committee will forward its recommendation to the SOE Dean who will make the final decision. Any such action would be reflected in a letter from the SOE Dean to the teacher candidate and the advisor.

Student Teaching

Student teaching is the culminating experience of the Teacher Education Program. During this time, Teacher Candidates apply what they have learned about theory and methodology through their university coursework and earlier field experiences. Student teaching provides an opportunity to plan and implement interesting, relevant lessons, as well as use a variety of assessment techniques to determine both the effectiveness of instructional strategies and the level of student learning.

Teacher candidates will utilize the Teaching for Learning Capstone (TLC) unit model to plan, implement, evaluate, and reflect on one unit of instruction during their student teaching experience. Student teaching experiences allow for application of the VCSU conceptual framework, adaptations for diversity, appropriate uses of technology, assessment of student learning, and reflection on teaching practice. Skills in decision making, various instructional strategies, classroom management procedures, and questioning are further enhanced.

Student Teaching requires at least 12 full-time consecutive weeks. VCSU promotes co-teaching strategies to make optimal use of teacher candidate and cooperating teacher efforts to enhance student learning opportunities in the classroom.

Criteria for Admission to Student Teaching

A student must meet the following criteria to be considered for admission to student teaching:

  1. Senior standing with continued satisfactory performance on all criteria for admission and retention in the teacher education program. Recommendations by a representative of Student Affairs and the appropriate department/school chair will be reviewed.
  2. Completion of all required field experiences including annual criteria for substitute teaching. 
  3. Completion of the professional education sequence before student teaching. The Director of Student Teaching in consultation with the School of Education Dean may make exceptions to this criterion if circumstances warrant.
  4. Submission of student teaching application to the Director of Student Teaching during the semester preceding the semester of student teaching.

Requirements to Student Teach

  1. Agreement to provide evidence of personal liability insurance by joining the Student North Dakota United (SNDU) or by a private insurance policy, with the minimum requirement of $1,000,000 or greater per cooperating school. The student will present proof of such insurance on or prior to the first day of the semester of student teaching.
  2. A criminal background investigation through Education Standards and Practice Board (ESPB) that includes the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation must be completed prior to student teaching.
  3. Submission of Praxis II test scores or a confirmation number of registration for the Praxis II tests (content and Principles of Teaching & Learning [PLT]). See for test requirements.
  4. Meet state standards on North Dakota required tests to measure prospective teacher’s content knowledge in reading, writing, and mathematics.
  5. During student teaching, students will not be allowed to take any semester hours of credit during the 12 weeks of student teaching without approval of the Director of Student Teaching. Students who request to take more than three semester hours of credit during the 12 weeks of student teaching, will need approval from the SOE Dean. Any requests for exceptions must be presented in writing to the Director of Student Teaching. Classes cannot be taken during the daily full-time student teaching assignment block.

Valley City State University reserves the right to have the student meet additional requirements that the School of Education may establish. The Teacher Education Committee will review the application and recommend to the Dean to approve or deny the application for admission to student teaching.

Criteria for Licensure Recommendation

In order to be recommended for Teacher Licensure, a student must meet the following requirements:

  1. Satisfactory completion of all program requirements, as described in the University Catalog and the Teacher Education Program Handbook.
  2. Successful student teaching experience.
  3. Successful completion of TLC unit.
  4. Successful completion of all licensure requirements.

The School of Education responds to requests for information from the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board for issuance of a teaching license.

Out-of-State Licensure

Valley City State University’s nationally accredited education programs meet requirements for North Dakota teacher licensure. Although most states accept our teacher education program graduates for licensure, VCSU cannot confirm nor advise that education programs meet requirements for every state. Students seeking licensure in states other than North Dakota should contact the appropriate licensing board in the state in which they are pursuing licensure.


GPA Appeal 

  • A teacher candidate seeking admission to Teacher Education with a cumulative GPA between 2.50 and 2.74 may appeal to be considered for approval to Teacher Education by the Teacher Education Committee. The candidate must have a 2.75 GPA in the candidate’s education major(s) or a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 in the past two semesters. The teacher candidate must also have acceptable dispositions and field experience evaluations. 

Basic Skills ACT or PRAXIS CORE Exam Appeal 

  • VCSU teacher candidates demonstrate basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics for admission to the Teacher Education Program by meeting the required scores on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators or the ACT + Writing exam. The passing score requirements are determined by the ND Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB) and followed by VCSU. 
  • A Basic Skills or Praxis Core appeal process for an alternative path into the Teacher Education Program may be initiated after a teacher candidate has tried at least three times to meet the state licensure expectations for the Praxis I Core or ACT exam. The appeal process provides a teacher candidate with an opportunity to communicate evidence of basic skills knowledge as a potential alternative to the standardized Praxis I Core or ACT exam. 

Teaching for Learning Capstone or Portfolio Appeal

  • All teacher education graduates must complete an approved TLC Unit or digital portfolio to be recommended for certification. Any student with an unapproved TLC unit or digital portfolio will have his/her file reviewed by an ad hoc appeal committee consisting of faculty selected by the School of Education Dean.

Appeal Regulations for Teacher Education Admission

  • Teacher candidates seeking an exception to policies, regulations, or academic requirements of the Teacher Education Program may submit a written petition requesting exemption to the Teacher Education Appeals Committee. Items which teacher candidates may appeal, include requirements regarding the grade point average and/or record of good conduct OR Basic Skills ACT or PRAXIS CORE, and Teaching for Learning Capstone or Portfolio.
  • The Teacher Education Appeals Committee, comprised of three faculty members from the Teacher Education Program, will consider the evidence and make a recommendation in the matter. All recommendations and actions of this committee are advisory in nature to the School of Education Dean who will render a final decision in a timely manner.
  • Teacher candidates wishing to appeal any recommendation of the Teacher Education Appeals Committee, or a decision of the School of Education Dean should consult the Student Handbook, which details final appeals procedures under the University Hearings and Appeals Board.

Methods Course Appeal

Admittance into the Teacher Education program is required prior to registering for content area or program area methods courses. Criteria for admission into the Teacher Education Program includes academic achievement, disposition performance, and meeting the ND Praxis or ACT test requirements. 

A one semester methods course appeal waiver of meeting GPA program admission requirements or the ND Praxis/ACT exam testing requirement may be considered under the following conditions: 

  1. Recommendation from advisor
  2. Student has attempted and made progress in completing Praxis requirements 
  3. Student demonstrates a future plan of utilizing support resources for successfully completing Praxis requirements 
  4. Recommendation will be reviewed and approved or denied in writing by the SOE Dean 
    1. Consideration for secondary education major students would include one content methods course 
    2. Consideration for elementary education major students would include two content methods courses