Teacher Education

Professional Competencies

The term, professional competencies, refers to all the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that teachers need to develop and master. In the University of Northern Iowa Teacher Education Program, we use the INTASC (2011) (.pdf) as the key professional competencies we expect all students to acquire. In addition, the state of Iowa requires that beginning teachers develop competencies related to human relations, working with diverse learners and using instructional technology effectively. Secondary and K-12 teaching majors must also develop competencies related to teaching reading within their respective content areas.

On occasion, students fail to demonstrate one or more important professional competencies within these basic areas:

  • Skills (speaking, writing, reading, listening, computation, etc.)
  • Content Knowledge (factual accuracy, conceptual understanding, procedural understanding, problem solving, critical thinking, etc.)
  • Pedagogy or Performance (rapport with students, instructional strategies, managing transitions and classrooms, responses to diversity, confidence, etc.)
  • Dispositions (attendance, respect, responsibility, initiative, judgment, attire in clinical settings, honesty, collaboration skills, emotional coping strategies, reflection and self-awareness, etc.)

This creates a Professional Competencies Situation; a professor, advisor, administrator, or support staff member recognizes that you are not exhibiting the expected professional competencies.  If this happens, there are consequences.

  1. A  Notification of Concern form is filed with the Office of Teacher Education.
  2. You will receive an email alerting you to that fact and you must respond to the notification within five days. Failure to response will trigger a second email.
  3. A “flag” appears on your UNITED records screen to show all those vested in your success that you are demonstrating a problem that could keep you from progressing in the program.
  4. You must take the initiative to correct the problem.
  5. When you correct the problem (with assistance as needed), the “flag” is removed.
  6. If you do not take care of the problem OR if you acquire 3 “flags,” OR if an individual problem is serious enough, then a Teacher Candidate Professional Review Committee will be asked to consider your suspension for a minimum of one year from the teacher education program. There is no guarantee that you will be readmitted to the program after completion of the suspension period.
  7. The appropriate teacher education program coordinator enacts a suspension from the Teacher Education Program upon the recommendation of the Teacher Candidate Professional Review Committee.
  8. Our intent is to assist you in developing the positive attributes of a professional teacher or to assist you in seeking an alternative career goal.
  9. Suspended students have the right to appeal the process by which the Teacher Candidate Professional Review Committee determined suspension was warranted.