• An all college grade point average of at least a 2.70 by end of junior year.
  • Completion of the Student Teaching application. 
  • Interview with prospective mentor teacher(s). You must be accepted by a mentor teacher.
  • Be in good standing with the Office of Student Affairs - not on probation and be cleared by a criminal background check.

 In accordance with Chapter 79:

281 - 79.14(10)

The student teaching experience for initial licensure meets all of the following:
a. Includes full-time experience for a minimum of 14 consecutive weeks during the student's final year of the practitioner preparation program.
b. Takes place in the classroom of an appropriately licensed cooperating teacher in the subject area and grade level endorsement desired.
c. Consists of interactive experiences that involve college or university personnel, the student teacher, and the cooperating teacher.
d. Includes prescribed minimum expectations and responsibilities, including ethical behavior, for the student teacher.
e. Includes prescribed minimum expectations and responsibilities for cooperating teachers, the school district or accredited nonpublic school, and higher education supervising faculty members.
f. Requires the student teacher to become knowledgeable about the Iowa teaching standards and to experience a mock evaluation performed by the cooperating teacher or a person who holds an Iowa evaluator license (see rule 282-20.51(272) and Iowa Code section 284.10), which shall not be used as an assessment tool by the program.
g. Requires the student teacher to bear primary responsibility for planning and instruction within the classroom for a minimum of two weeks (ten school days).
h. Involves the student teacher in professional meetings and other school-based activities directed toward the improvement of teaching and learning.
i. Involves the student teacher in communication and interaction with parents or guardians of students in the student teacher's classroom.

Fall Student Teaching:
Student teachers will be assigned a mentor teacher during the spring of the junior year before student teaching as a senior. Each Cornell student must make an appointment with her/his mentor teacher before leaving for the summer, arrange for a time to observe class, ask for guidance about summer work to prepare for student teaching, and make additional contact with the mentor teacher during the summer.

Official student teaching responsibilities begin the first day of teacher in-service in each specific district. This date differs among districts. Mentor teachers may request that a student begin work prior to teacher in-service days.

Spring Student Teaching: Students teaching in the spring of their senior year, will be notified in either the spring of their junior year.  Official student teaching responsibilities for Blocks 5-7 begin the first day of school after winter break.  These
dates differ among districts, so refer to your school’s calendar and confirm that date with your mentor. 


Responsibilities of the Student Teacher

A. Student teaching is the student's primary responsibility. All other college and personal activities MUST be secondary and never interfere with teaching responsibilities.

B. Learn school rules (official and unofficial) concerning teacher behavior and dress. The Department expects all Cornell student teachers to dress and conduct themselves in a manner that reflects genuine respect for their students and the teaching profession.

C. At the beginning of student teaching, all student teachers must write a letter to parents/guardians of students to introduce themselves. In the letter, provide necessary contact information, inform them of the beginning and ending dates of your time there, lay out general expectations you have for students, and explain that you are available to discuss issues of concern at any time. Letters may be sent via email with the permission of your mentor teacher.

D. Ask your mentor teacher for responsibilities immediately. Make it clear that student teaching is your top priority. Arrive at school early and stay late.

E. Study the curriculum materials related to your teaching assignments. Take nothing for granted. Become as knowledgeable as possible.

F. Prepare a detailed lesson plan for every lesson you will teach. Have a copy of each lesson plan for your mentor teacher. In addition, you must have a copy for your college supervisor when being observed. Keep all lesson plans in a 3 ring binder and accessible to your supervisor.

** Remember, you are to use the lesson plan format in your methods classes. You are required to keep all of these plans and all other artifacts in order to create your Student Teaching Portfolio in EDU 483 (Senior Seminar). Staying current with your lesson plans is crucial.

G. Keep regular field notes of your teaching observations, reactions, and questions. ** If an insufficient number of lesson plans or substantial field log responses are given to the college supervisor during any three week period, the Chair will consider your possible removal from student teaching and subsequent denial of licensure.

H. Attendance is required for all bi-weekly student teaching seminars held in College Hall. 

I. Arrange a systematic plan for observation and evaluation of your teaching with your college supervisor. **Be sure your supervising professor knows your cooperating teacher’s and your email, the location of your classroom, your building principal's name, and has your classroom teaching schedule.

J. Volunteer to assist your students in their before- and after-school activities. When help is needed for weekend school activities, be sure to offer your assistance.

K. At all times you are required to respect and follow your local school's calendar, not Cornell's. Since student teaching is a full time fourteen week assignment, you must report before the term begins and teach through block breaks, including the final term in which you student teach. Blocks 5-7 student teachers; you will take your host school’s spring break, not Cornell’s.

L. You are required to attend all professional, administrative, and school-related meetings that are a part of your mentor teacher's duties.

M. You are expected to accept constructive feedback and to engage in self-evaluation and reflection for your own professional improvement.

N. You are expected to be present in your school each day it is in session during your student teaching. If you are ill, or there is a weather emergency, call or email your mentor teacher as soon as possible. In addition, call or email Cindy Postler,, 319-621-4015 and your supervising professor. You may be required to make-up days missed.

O. For your professional development and possible use in your e-portfolio, you will need to arrange to video a class period. 

P. Arrange with your mentor teacher to visit other teachers' classes. Follow your district’s procedure regarding parental consent and/or the Education Department’s consent form in the Handbook.

Q. Should the student teaching experience have to be terminated for any reason other than successful completion of the assignment, the student, the mentor teacher, the college supervisor and/or the building principal will meet and follow the guidelines for withdrawal outlined in this handbook.

R. Grades for student teaching (EDU 410, 420, 430, 440) are either CR or NC. You will receive on-going, specific evaluation of your performance during the course of your student teaching.

S. You must be recommended by Cornell College in order to obtain a teaching license. Student teachers must meet all performance-based criteria before being recommended for licensure. This recommendation is determined in consultation with your cooperating teacher, the college supervisor, the Cornell College licensing official, and the Education Department meeting en banc. Completion of student teaching does not guarantee recommendation for a teaching license.

T. Cornell students are reminded that they are bound by the Iowa Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. (Go to Go to the bottom of the page click on “Chapter 25 – Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics, then click on 282-25.doc in the upper left hand corner.)

U. Always have back-up transportation arrangements to get to your student teaching location. Remember, Iowa winters can be cold enough to render your car useless. Call the Education Department when everything else fails.

V. Complete the required Student Evaluation of College Supervisor form for each supervisor. This will be completed during the last
Seminar for Blocks 1-3 and at the end of the student teaching experience for blocks 5-7.


Supervising Professor Responsibilities and Qualifications

  1. The college supervisor will assure that each mentor teacher has a handbook and is aware of the procedures and responsibilities listed therein. The college supervisor will provide each mentor teacher with his/her email, home and college telephone numbers.
  2. The college supervisor will visit each Cornell student regularly during the student teaching experience. A specific schedule will be established at the beginning of student teaching; altered as needed during the weekly seminars. Weekly visits to each student are the goal.
  3. The college supervisor will read and respond to students' field notes.
  4. The college supervisor is responsible for providing frequent, constructive, and specific evaluation of student teachers' progress. This feedback is to take place as soon as possible after an observation.
  5. The college supervisor is responsible for scheduling mid-term and final evaluation conferences. These conferences shall be three-way sessions with the supervisor, the mentor teacher and the Cornell student.
  6. The college supervisor is responsible for presenting weekly written or verbal reports to Cindy Postler, the Director of Student Teaching, concerning student teacher progress.
  7. Evaluation of the required videotape reflection will be carried out by the college supervising professor working with the student teacher during her/his final term of student teaching.
  8. If the student teaching experience has to be terminated for any reason other than successful completion of the assignment, the college supervisor, the Director of Student Teaching and the Chair of the Education Department must follow the Guidelines for Withdrawal and Due Process Procedures outlined.
  9. The college supervisor will discuss the strengths/weaknesses of the student teacher with the cooperating teacher and arrive at a formal recommendation to the Education Department regarding licensure for the student teacher.


The Chair of the Cornell College Education Department will appoint all supervising professors and guarantee that each meets the following standards.

  • Be a full-time or part-time professor employed by the college or in special circumstances be employed by other colleges or educational institutions and yet meet all of the requirements for employment at Cornell College.
  • Have classroom experience at the grade level of the supervising assignment.
  • Have classroom experience with the subject matter being taught by the student teacher.
  • Be current with the research, methodology, and content relevant to the supervising assignment.
  • Be up-to-date in meeting the 40 hour State Department of Education "team teaching" standard.
  • Meet all of the requirements for an Iowa teaching license.


Mentor Teacher Responsibilities and Qualifications

  1. Conduct an orientation session for the student teacher. This orientation should include:
    • an exchange of personal and emergency phone number
    • an introduction to faculty, principal and staff
    • a tour of the school buildings and grounds
    • a copy of school rules and regulations (handbook)
    • a list of media resources available
    • a copy of school schedules and calendars
    • directions for requisitioning supplies
    • a community background briefing
    • the location of student records
    • information on special needs students (LD, Chapter I, TAG, medical requirements etc.)
    • directions for classroom and emergency procedures
    • expectations regarding proper dress
    • policies and directions concerning copy and reproduction machines
  2. Daily communication with student teacher is essential (written and oral). Maintain a notebook of suggestions and comments. Be an attentive listener and give constructive criticism.
  3. Make available to the student teacher grade level curriculum materials, school philosophies, resource materials, K-12 scope and sequence.
  4. Model teaching methods and techniques, appearance, attitude, work habits and professionalism.
  5. Acquaint the student teacher with student and faculty evaluation policies and procedures.
  6. Explain expectations and standards clearly. This includes anything not addressed in the Cornell College Student Teacher Packet and may exceed the expectations of the Cornell College Education Department.
  7. Introduce the student teacher to professional and school organizations.
  8. Supervise the student teacher's development of an age appropriate teaching unit if desired.
  9. Discuss lesson plans before implementation of lessons.
  10. Foster individualism and collaboration (assisting with teaching, solo teaching, team teaching).
  11. Avoid intercession when the student teacher is teaching, unless:
    • a potentially dangerous disciplinary situation is developing;
    • the student teacher has lost control;
    • the student teacher is seeking your help;
    • inaccurate information is being conveyed and extensive reteaching would result;
    • the student teacher has departed from the lesson with no apparent educational purpose.
  12. Help the student become a creative teacher by encouraging the use of innovative approaches or techniques, newly researched concepts, and by encouraging professional interaction with other faculty members.
  13. Contact the college supervisor if difficulties become apparent.
  14. If the student teaching experience has to be terminated for any reason other than successful completion of the assignment, the student, the college supervisor, the mentor teacher, and the building principal will meet and follow the Guidelines for Withdrawal outlined.
  15. Suggested teaching schedule for the student teacher for 14 weeks:
    • Observation and assistance (1 week)
    • Lesson development and individual lesson teaching (1-2 weeks)
    • Half-time to full-time teaching responsibility (9-10 weeks -- with a minimum of 2 weeks of full-time teaching)
    • Gradually reduce teaching time (1 week)
    The details of this schedule should be discussed with the College supervisor.
  16. Suggested teaching schedule for the student teacher who is student teaching in two 8 week assignments:
  • Observation and assistance (1 week)
  • Beginning lessons
  • individual lesson teaching (2 weeks)
  • Half-time leading to full-time teaching responsibility (4-5 weeks with a minimum of 2 weeks of full-time teaching i.e. Halftime teaching mornings (1 week); Halftime teaching afternoons (1 week) full-time teaching (2 weeks)
  • Gradually reduce teaching time (last week of student teaching experience)
  • Allow time for student teacher to observe other classrooms

The details of this schedule should be discussed with the college supervisor.

18. Conduct State of Iowa's required mock evaluation with the student teacher at the close of the student teaching experience. The purpose of this evaluation is to benefit the student as part of his/her professional development. The evaluation need not be given to the supervising professor or the Education Department.


Mentor Teachers for Cornell College student teachers must:

  1. possess a current Iowa teaching license and appropriate endorsements. This will be certified by the principal and/or central office personnel and is so stated in the contract agreed to between Cornell and the local school districts.
  2. have successful teaching experience (three years preferred) in the license area of the assigned student teacher. This will be certified by the school principal and/or central office personnel.
  3. demonstrate enthusiasm for serving as a mentor teacher.
  4. have completed advanced academic study; a Master's Degree is preferred.
  5. be familiar with the Cornell Education Program. Attendance at the annual one day workshop is encouraged.

These guidelines are mailed to school principals and central office personnel.


The Developmental Process of Student Teaching

Student teaching is a developmental process. Each student teacher brings her/his personal strengths and weaknesses to the experience. It is the position of the Cornel College Teacher Preparation Program that a drafting of "distinguished" would be unlikely at the midterm evaluation. It has been our experience that the growth and development of skills by the final evaluation may provide the opportunity for the student teacher to receive some "distinguished" ratings.

It is the letter of recommendation by the mentor teacher that is the most important and public document in the student teacher's credential file. Identifying specific areas in which your student teacher may be "distinguished" will be very beneficial in the letter of recommendation.

As a department, we believe that student teaching should be evaluated in a holistic manner. For this reason, at Cornell College the student teaching experience does not receive a letter grade. Cornell students receive "credit" or "no credit" for student teaching.



Guidelines for Withdrawal from the Student Teaching Assignment Prior to Successful Completion

When the Cornell student teacher, the college supervisor, the mentor teacher, and/or the principal request the removal of a Cornell student teacher from a student teaching assignment, the following procedures will be followed:

 A.  The college supervisor will meet with the mentor teacher, the principal and student teacher to clearly articulate the reason(s) for seeking withdrawal prior to the conclusion of the assignment.  These reasons must be in writing, written by the person requesting withdrawal, and available for all to consider.  The purpose is to seek resolution, if possible, instead of the removal of the student teacher.

 B.  If a resolution of the problem is not possible and the Cornell student teacher is withdrawn, the college supervisor will consult with the Chair of the Department of Education to determine if the Cornell student teacher should:

  1. be reassigned to another placement.
  2. be recommended for a withdrawal (W on transcript) which might allow student teaching at another time.
  3. be immediately removed from student teaching (NC on transcript) and NOT recommended for licensure.  This action must be the result of one or more of the following:
  • Unsatisfactory ratings on the midterm Student Teaching Assessment Form or on weekly observation reports
  • a founded ethical and/or legal violation
  • a voluntary request for withdrawal.

C.  All final recommendations for withdrawal from student teaching are to be articulated in writing by the college supervisor with a rationale that is in accordance with the evaluation/assessment forms being used in student teaching.  The Chair of the Education Department makes the final decision concerning withdrawal.  A written statement from the Chair of the Education Department confirming withdrawal and the reasons for it are sent to the following persons:

  1.  the student teacher
  2.  the mentor teacher and principal
  3. the academic advisor of the student teacher
  4. the Registrar of Cornell College

In every case, the Chair of the Education Department will include in the statement of withdrawal the student's right to appeal and the procedures to follow.

D.  If a Cornell student wishes to appeal the withdrawal decision, the Due Process Appeal Procedures must be followed.

Due Process

A Cornell student objecting to any decision made by the Cornell College Education Department, including denial of admission to any phase of the Teacher Education Program, denial of recommendation for licensure, or withdrawal from student teaching, may appeal the decision in the following manner.

A. A letter from the student outlining the objection must be sent to the Chair of the Education Department within five class days of notification.

B. The letter is then transmitted to the Education Department Faculty for review and decision. The student may be present for the review, make an oral and/or written statement to the Department and choose another faculty member to meet with the department in making the decision. The decision is then communicated by the Chair to the student, the student's academic advisor, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs who is also the Dean of the College.

C. If the student rejects the decision of the Education Faculty, the student may, within five days, appeal in writing to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Out of Area Student Teaching

Cornell students must request an out of area student teaching assignment during January of their junior year; if the request is for the ACM Urban Education or the IU Global Gateway for Teachers, the request must meet the deadline established in the catalogue (February 1st of the junior year). If the request is for a city outside the Cornell/Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area but not with the Chicago Center, the following guidelines will be followed.

  1. The request must be made before February 1st of the student's junior year.
  2. The student must make this request in writing and state the pedagogical as well as practical reasons for the request.
  3. The student is required to suggest a school and mentor teacher. Normally, the request will be denied unless a member of the education faculty is personally aware of the teaching conditions present in the suggested school. The Cornell education faculty must know the supervisors involved or become convinced that the school personnel in question are qualified and willing to abide by Cornell's policies. There must be both a mentor and supervising teacher to work with the Cornell student teacher.
  4. By college policy, there is no reduction in tuition or room costs for those who student teach in this manner. It is possible to petition the Dean of Students for relief in this area.
  5. All other catalogue and Education Department regulations apply. The education faculty, speaking through the Department Chair, approves or disapproves all requests for out-of-the-area student teaching assignments. Requests are not encouraged and only extraordinary circumstances will be considered.
  6. When off-campus student teaching is approved (other than through the ACM Urban Education or the UI GLobal Gateway for Teachers), there will be an additional cost to the student. Normally, the exact increased cost to the college will be determined and added to the student's college bill, this could be approximately $1000.00.

The Cornell-Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Area, the ACM Urban Education and the UI Global Gateway for Teachers provide a wide variety of school experiences for student teachers. Teaching in these areas places the student teacher under the direct supervision of Cornell, ACM IU Global Gateway for Teachers faculty. The Education Department believes these conditions best serve Cornell students and only under exceptional circumstances will alternatives be approved.