The state should ensure that its alternate routes provide streamlined preparation that is relevant to the immediate needs of new teachers.
Iowa does not ensure that its alternate route candidates will receive streamlined preparation that meets the immediate needs of new teachers.
Since the 2009 edition of the Yearbook, Iowa has increased the number of credit hours it requires. Teachers participating in the Iowa Teacher Intern License Pathway (ITILP) must complete 24 credit hours of coursework. Eighteen credit hours must be completed prior to the first year teaching, and six credits hours are taken during the internship year. Additional coursework to secure a content endorsement may also be required. The pre-internship coursework includes foundations of education, educational psychology, working with special needs children, curriculum and content methods, assessment, and classroom management and instruction.
ITILP candidates must complete 60 hours of field experience prior to their internship year. All of this classroom contact time occurs during the fall and spring when a candidate is most typically employed in a non-education field. During the internship year the new teacher is assigned a mentor.
ITILP is a two-year program. Individuals may apply for a standard initial teaching license upon program completion.
http://iowateacherintern.org/#internship_experience IAC 282 Chapter 13.9(4)
Ensure that coursework meets the immediate needs of new teachers.
While requiring some preparation prior to entering the classroom is important, Iowa requires alternate route candidates to take a considerable amount of coursework before they begin teaching, much of which is more typically associated with a traditional preparation program. All coursework requirements should be manageable for career changers and other nontraditional candidates and contribute to the immediate needs of new teachers. Appropriate coursework should include grade-level or subject-level seminars, methodology in the content area, classroom management, assessment and scientifically based early reading instruction.
Strengthen the induction experience for new teachers.
Although Iowa is commended for requiring all new teachers to work with a mentor, there are insufficient guidelines indicating that the mentoring program is structured for new teacher success. Effective induction strategies include practice teaching prior to teaching in the classroom, intensive mentoring with full classroom support in the first few weeks or months of school, a reduced teaching load and release time to allow new teachers to observe experienced teachers during each school day.
Iowa recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.