Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

How Long Do Student Teachers Train In Classrooms Before Earning Licenses?

    Average In-Classroom Time,
    Student Teachers
    All Programs 503.45 hours
    – Regular Certification 541.23 hours
    – Alternative Certification 468.18 hours

    How long do Indiana student teachers have to spend leading a classroom before earning their licenses? Anywhere from 0 to 900 hours.

    We got to thinking about the standards to which Indiana’s education colleges hold prospective teachers after our Monday post (you know, the one where the right-leaning think tank lambasted educators for setting the bar too low). It turns out few states have a wider range of standards than Indiana — at least in terms the amount of time educators-in-training spend in the classroom student teaching.

    Getting a teaching license in Indiana is a lot like getting a drivers license: A student teacher doesn’t need to spend a certain amount of time “behind the wheel” of a classroom to earn a license, he or she only has to earn a degree from an accredited teacher preparation program and pass proficiency tests.

    In effect, that means the Indiana Department of Education has passed the buck on to colleges to set the standards in their evaluations of prospective teachers.

    Least Classroom Time Required
    For Student Teachers
    Butler University – Alt 0 hours
    Purdue University North Central – Alt 0 hours
    IUPUI – Alt 140 hours
    Taylor University – Alt 300 hours
    Wabash College – Alt 300 hours
    Most Classroom Time Required
    For Student Teachers
    Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College 640 hours
    University of Evansville 640 hours
    University of Indianapolis 640 hours
    University of Indianapolis – Alt 680 hours
    Butler University 900 hours

    The National Council on Teacher Quality, a non-partisan research organization, argues there isn’t a “right” amount of time student teachers should spend in the classroom, but…

    In too many areas, anything goes. Programs must adhere to their state requirements and standards, and many also meet accreditation standards. Yet these criteria, when applied to evaluate the design and sequencing of field work, result in approval of programs with wildly disparate field work requirements in most states.

    Federal data about the state’s accredited teacher preparation programs analyzed by StateImpact show that most Indiana colleges offer both traditional certification programs as well as “alternative” certification programs.

    Alternative certification programs allow those who hold at least a bachelors’ degree in anything but education to obtain a teaching license. Alternative programs typically involve less in-classroom student teaching than traditional programs — some alternative programs, such as those at Butler University, don’t require any student teaching time to earn a certificate.

    Ironically enough, Butler University’s traditional certification program requires the most student teaching time of any program in the state: 900 hours (a full school year in grades K-6).

    While we’re at it… Here’s a spreadsheet of all the student teaching requirements at Indiana colleges.


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