College of Education

College Requirements

Learn more about the requirements set forth in the College of Education.

Selection, Admission, Retention, and Teacher Licensure

The College of Education (COE) has selective admission, retention, and graduation requirements for the completion of a program at The University of Akron.

For all students applying to a College of Education teacher preparation program, the admission and degree requirements outlined in the current UA Undergraduate Bulletin will be used to determine admission (or readmission) and degree requirements for all programs.

From admission through graduation, all decisions are made following the College’s or department’s approved criteria. Prior to admission to a program, Ohio requires all colleges and universities preparing teachers and educational personnel to assess students in the areas of verbal communication and academic achievement. Letters of recommendation are also required. The University of Akron’s College of Education admission procedures are designed to establish admission criteria, provide for assessments, allow for skills enhancement, reassessment and reapplication where appropriate.

General Education Requirements: To be admitted to the College of Education, all students must be able to meet the following criteria: A student must have completed at least 29 semester hours of coursework. This coursework must include three (3) semester hours in each of the required courses in mathematics, natural science, social science, and public/oral communications, six (6) semester hours in English composition and one (1) semester hour of physical education. Appropriate General Education equivalencies for transfer students will be determined by the University College Dean’s Office. The remaining 10 semester hours must consist of general education coursework that meets the requirements of the University and the admission requirements of the department’s program studies area.

Grade-Point Average: For admission, a student must have an overall GPA of 2.50. Also, students must have a GPA of 2.50 in their department’s specified pre-admission coursework (29-31 credits).

Post-Baccalaureate Grade-Point Average: Upon review of previous coursework and experience, post-baccalaureate students seeking admission to a COE teacher education program who have an overall GPA less than 2.50 but greater than 2.20 may elect to complete appropriate post-baccalaureate coursework as would be specified by a departmental advisor sufficient to raise the overall GPA to 2.50 for admission.

Basic Computer Literacy: Students must demonstrate basic computer literacy by mastery of hands-on computer skills on a test in the Education Resource Center computer laboratory. The student with no previous computer background/skill is advised to take a basic computer literacy course.

Academic Achievement: Competency in math skills as evidenced by: a composite score of 22 or higher on the ACT; 1050 (Math and Verbal) on the SAT; a grade of “B” or better in a General Education approved Mathematics course, a grade of “B” or better in 3450:140 (Early Childhood only); or by the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST), scoring at least 172 in mathematics is required. Competency in reading comprehension and writing as evidenced by: a composite score of 22 or higher on the ACT; 1050 (Math and Verbal) on the SAT; grade of “B” or better in 3300:111 English Composition I; or by the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST), scoring at least 173 in reading comprehension and at least 172 in writing is required.

Speech and Hearing: All education students are required to take a speech and hearing test through a licensed professional and/or approved clinic.

Bureau of Criminal Investigation Clearance: Student must provide evidence of a current Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation (BCII/FBI) for admission to any teacher education licensure program. A BCII/FBI clearance is valid for 12 months from date of issue. Students will find it necessary to update the BCII/FBI annually, to meet the school district requirements for field placements. If the BCII/FBI clearance has expired when application for an Ohio teacher’s license is submitted, an updated BCI/FBI clearance will be required. 

College of Education Application: All students must complete a College of Education application form.

Admission Timeline: Admission to a College of Education teacher preparation program is in effect for five years from the date of admission. All criteria and procedures regarding selective admission and retention are available in the Office of Student Services Advisement Center, Zook Hall 207, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325, phone (330) 972-7750.

Application for Admission to Professional Education Programs

All students are required to have completed the application process no less than six weeks prior to the semester in which they wish to begin coursework in the College of Education. Applications are available in the Office of Student Services, Zook 207.

References: Students are required to obtain references from two individuals, not related to them, but who know them well, to complete a reference form attesting to their interpersonal skills and motivation level related to success as a career professional.

Program Area of Study: All students are expected to comply with requirements specified by the program to which they are applying. These are available in the department.

Advisement: All students will be assigned an advisor and will need to complete an individualized Program Course Distribution (PCD) with their advisor or other approved program designee. This PCD needs to be completed during the first semester of admission. Students are encouraged to see their program advisor as frequently as necessary to assure they are maintaining progress in their program.

Retention: Retention of students in each program will be evaluation based. Students will have opportunities to upgrade their skills and achievement in areas where such needs may exist. Completion of program requirements will be reviewed by the student and advisor. Approval to student teach is contingent on the student’s progress through the program of study with satisfactory grades. Graduation is contingent on completion of coursework, student teaching, GPA of 2.50 overall, 2.50 in education classes, and 2.50 in the student’s major.

Licensure: After graduation, students may apply for licensure through the Office of Student Services. The State of Ohio requires all applicants for licensure to submit a current BCII/FBI Clearance. A BCII/FBI clearance is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. Ohio also requires all applicants for licensure to pass appropriate examination(s) for intended area(s) of licensure. Information about specific licenses can be obtained from the Office of Student Services Licensure Coordinator.

Coursework: Coursework more than 10 years old may not be applicable for licensure. Check with your advisor regarding specific departmental policies.

Transfer Students: Transfer students will be expected to meet the same admission standards as University of Akron students.

Post-Baccalaureate Students: Qualified post-baccalaureate students seeking licensure will be admitted to the College of Education and to the appropriate program once they meet all requirements.

Bachelor’s Degrees

The Professional Education Program prepares students to teach in one or more of the following areas/fields: early childhood (age 3 through grade 3); middle childhood (grades 4 through 9); the conventional academic fields found in programs for adolescent to young adult students (grades 7 through 12); in special education as an intervention specialist for early childhood (P-3 mild/moderate/intensive); mild/moderate (K-12); or moderate/intensive (K-12); the vocational field of family consumer sciences (grades 4 and beyond); and multi-age (grades PK through 12). A minimum of 120 credits with a grade-point average of 2.50 overall, 2.50 in education classes, and 2.50 in the student’s major must be completed to qualify for the bachelor’s degree.

The specific subjects required for degrees in certain fields are set forth in subsequent pages. In all cases, the requirements include courses in general education, professional education and content areas.

The Bachelor of Arts in Education degree is granted to those whose major is in one of the academic fields. The Bachelor of Science in Education is granted to those whose major is in the other special fields or in early childhood or middle childhood education.

The Bachelor of Science in Teaching and Training Technical Professionals (TNT) is awarded to those who complete the requirements of that program.

Teacher Education Program

The conceptual framework theme, “Educator as Decision Maker,” is central to The University of Akron’s Teacher Education Program. This was chosen because the complexity of teaching is increasing and the professional knowledge base is growing. Decision-making is stressed in the standards-based programs that prepare teachers and other school personnel for professional practice. Initial teacher preparation programs are aligned with the Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession, and Specialized Professional Association Standards. Advanced Programs for practicing teachers are aligned with the Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession. For more complete information about the teacher education program, consult the College of Education Office of Student Services at (330)972-6970.

Students must complete appropriate professional education courses with grades of ‘C’ or better before being allowed to progress to the next phase of professional education preparation.

Professional Preparation

Built on a foundation of general studies that begins prior to admission, the Teacher Education Program is organized into four phases that reflect how teachers can learn to make good decisions.

  • Phase I. Learning About Learners, “How can I use information about myself and others to understand decisions about students and learners?”
  • Phase II. Learning About Teaching, “How do I use principles of learning to make instructional decisions?”
  • Phase III. Learning to Apply the Principles of Teaching, “How do I make instructional decisions for specific groups of students?”
  • Phase IV. Learning to Teach, “How do I make the best decisions for students?”

During each phase of the program, teacher candidates take a combination of core courses, field experiences, and courses in their program studies area. Students should note the sequence of core and program courses. The core courses cover the knowledge base that is common for all teachers, regardless of their teaching field. The field experiences provide teacher candidates with experience in schools from the beginning of their program. Additionally during their field and clinical experiences, teacher candidates learn to apply what they are learning in courses.

Program studies area courses are related to teacher candidates’ intended area of licensure. In addition, teacher candidates have an advisor to help plan what to study and to review what has been accomplished.

The culminating experience for teacher candidates is student teaching. Under the supervision of a team of college faculty and a classroom teacher, each student teacher begins to put newly-developed competencies into practice.

For candidates seeking to graduate without licensure, substitute courses for this culminating experience of student teaching and colloquium will be determined with approval of the advisor to assure that candidates meet an equivalent number of hours for the program. Candidates must meet all other program requirements. If the student wishes to seek licensure after graduation, the student would need to apply to be admitted to the appropriate program. The student will be required to complete all necessary requirements for licensure in place at that time.

Clinical and Field-Based Experiences

All teacher candidates are required to participate satisfactorily in clinical and field-based experiences prior to recommendation for licensure to teach in Ohio. These clinical and field-based experiences are designed to provide teacher candidates with the opportunity to apply theory and skills related to their areas of licensure in diverse clinical and field-based settings. Clinical experiences are those planned activities in which teacher education students apply the principles of the field of teaching to individual case studies, speakers and other classroom activities.


Students admitted to the College of Education teacher preparation program will complete a student portfolio. Specific portfolio assignments are often completed as part of a course, clinical experience, or field experience and must be judged acceptable by the instructor before credit is awarded for the experience connected to that particular portfolio entry. The portfolio must be submitted for acceptance before student teaching and again prior to program completion.

Student Teaching

Student teaching is an all-day, full-time experience in an approved public or private school for either 12 (adolescent to young adult licenses) or 16 (early, middle childhood, multi-age, intervention specialists, and speech-language pathology licenses) weeks. Placements are made in appropriate sites by the Office of Student Teaching and Field Experiences.

All teacher candidates must have an approved application to be placed for student teaching. As part of the application process, the teacher candidate must submit evidence of a passing score or scores on the appropriate subject area test or tests, and evidence of approval of his/her portfolio. Student teaching is a planned teaching experience in schools selected and supervised by the Office of Student Teaching and Field Experiences in collaboration with school districts and faculty.

To qualify for student teaching, teacher candidates must have a 2.50 average overall, a “C” or better in professional education classes, a minimum of a 2.50 and/or a “C” or better in the teacher candidate’s major, and in methods courses as defined by departments. Satisfactory completion of field and pre-clinical experience is also required before student teaching.

Note: Music majors, before assignment for student teaching, are required to pass the General Musicianship Examination described in the music section of the College of Creative and Professional Arts. To avoid possible delay in graduation, it is necessary for the teacher candidate to take the examination six months prior to the anticipated assignment for student teaching. Teacher candidates in the P-12 Foreign Language programs must achieve the minimum levels of Advanced Low on the Oral Proficiency Test (OPT) and Advanced Low on the Written Proficiency Test (WPT) prior to student teaching.


Every teacher in Ohio public schools is required to have a teaching license covering the fields in which teaching is being done. This license is issued by the Ohio Department of Education upon recommendation of the Dean of the College. The teacher candidate must provide evidence of a current BCII/FBI Clearance, must pass appropriate examination(s) required in Ohio, complete the appropriate program requirements successfully, and be recommended for a teaching license. Information on how to apply for Ohio Department of Education licensure upon completion of a program may be obtained from the Office of Student Services, College of Education, Zook Hall 207; (330) 972-7750. 

Ohio Licensure Examination Pass-Rate Data

The most recent pass-rates for students who completed teacher education preparation programs at The University of Akron and took Praxis II licensure examination(s) required for Ohio teaching licensure can be found on the College of Education Web site.

Programs of InstructionPrograms of Instruction