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    Jun 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

School of Education and Leadership

Teacher Education Program

Teaching is one of the most satisfying and rewarding professions for those who enjoy working with young people. It is also one of the most important and challenging professions. Teachers carry a tremendous responsibility as they work to prepare students for their lives beyond P-12 classrooms.

Hamline has served the needs of new teachers since the 1850s. This legacy continues today as we work to prepare teachers who can meet the demands of the teaching profession in the 21st century. To that end, Hamline’s Teacher Education Program is committed to “developing reflective practice in an urban, multicultural context.” As an integral part of the Hamline School of Education and Leadership, the program also works within the larger conceptual framework which acknowledges the importance of 1) promoting equity, justice, and antiracism in schools and society; 2) building and sustaining supportive and inclusive communities of teachers and learners; 3) co-constructing knowledge through learner-centered classrooms and practices; and 4) practicing thoughtful inquiry and critical reflection. Throughout the program, students are placed in several diverse school settings where they develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions essential to effective teaching. The Teacher Education program believes that future teachers educated in this context will be better prepared to teach in urban, rural, suburban, and global educational environments.

Hamline students have the option to earn a major, co-major, or minor in education. An education major is available with concentrations in education studies, elementary education, English as a second language, or special education. The education studies concentration is available for students who are interested in education as a general field of study, but do not want to specialize in an area of teaching. For an educational studies concentration, students must complete the core education requirements and 20 additional credits closely linked to education. These courses must be selected in close consultation with an education advisor, working with the student to design a major plan that is coherent, appropriately rigorous, and aligns with the student’s interests and future plans.

The STEM education major is available for students interested in teaching biology/life science, chemistry, mathematics, or physics at the middle or secondary level. Students interested in other areas of education (such as communication arts and literature or social studies) pursue an education co-major paired with a primary major that aligns with their area of teaching.

Education students are also encouraged to pursue a Minnesota teaching license, but this is not required to complete the undergraduate degree. Completion of the license within a four-year time frame requires very careful planning. Please seek early advising from the Teacher Education program faculty if you are trying to complete licensure along with your undergraduate degree. Education students may also pursue the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) pathway. The MAT pathway includes licensure and allows for a smooth transition to completing a masters degree after graduation.

Examples of Unique Program Opportunities

English as a Second Language

Growing immigration to the United States has increased the need for English instruction for those who are learning English as a second language. In collaboration with the faculty of the Second Language Teaching and Learning program, the teacher education department offers a K-12 license in English as a Second Language to interested undergraduates with any major. In addition to the K-12 courses, eight courses in ESL are required. Because of this considerable amount of required coursework, careful planning is required. Please consult with a departmental advisor for the list of required ESL courses.

Hamline Overseas Student Teaching (HOST)

The HOST program in partnership with Educators Abroad is an experience that provides a student teaching opportunity in another cultural and geographical setting. HOST is available only to education students who have completed all required coursework and are eligible for a regular student teaching placement. Interested students should contact the School of Education and Leadership department chair for specific details.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

The TEFL Certificate prepares individuals to become effective teachers of English to speakers of foreign languages. Our faculty follow an interactive and hands-on approach through which students learn valuable and practical teaching techniques. Students apply what they learn as they work together to plan and teach lessons with a class of non-native English speakers. TEFL Certificate completers have taught in over 50 countries around the world.

Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors Projects (DHPs) are a rigorous and fulfilling way of pursuing a long-term research project in your major. DHPs may emerge out of sophomore- and junior-year courses, study-abroad experiences, collaborative research projects, or students’ intellectual passions. Students usually begin formal work on DHPs in the spring of junior year, and complete the DHP in the spring of the senior year. To learn more about DHPs in your department, consult your advisor and your department chair.

Initial Teacher Licensure and Pathway to the Master of Arts in Teaching

Education students are eligible to apply their licensure credits toward Hamline’s Master of Arts in Teaching program. This program allows for a seamless transition from undergraduate to graduate study. For more details about the benefits of this program and the requirements for admission, please contact the School of Education and Leadership at

Admission to the Education Program

Interested students will apply for admission to the education program during EDU 1150 - Schools and Society.

Applicants must satisfy the following criteria for admission to the program:

  1. Completion of EDU 1150 - Schools  and Society & Lab with a C- or better
  2. Completion of EDU 1250 - Educational Psychology with a C- or better
  3. Education GPA of 3.0 or higher; 2.5-2.9 considered for provisional admission
  4. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; 2.5-2.9 considered for provisional admission
  5. Favorable cooperating teacher evaluation from EDU 1150 - Schools and Society LAB
  6. Intake (initial advising) meeting with faculty or staff advisor
  7. Registration/completion of 0-credit Lab course, GED 7801 - Intro to Advanced Teacher Thinking

Admission to Student Teaching

Application for admission to student teaching must be made at the beginning of the term preceding student teaching. Students should complete the application process during a student teaching intake meeting as scheduled by the department and the School of Education and Leadership Office of Clinical Experience. Completing coursework does not guarantee licensure or program completion. Students must meet all of the outlined criteria specified in the bulletin and program handbook, as well as receive approval from the teacher education faculty, to progress into the student teaching semester.

Applicants must satisfy the following criteria to student teach:

  1. Formal admission to the Teacher Education Department (you will receive a letter from the department chair or authorized designee)
  2. Senior standing at the time of student teaching (graduates may also student teach as MAT students)
  3. Recommendation from the faculty of the student’s major department
  4. Recommendation from the teacher education faculty
  5. Completion of content-major coursework (CLA/HSB)
  6. Completion of licensure coursework (HSEL)
  7. Primary major GPA and licensure coursework GPA are both at 3.0 or above
  8. GED courses for licensure must have a grade of B- or higher
  9. Demonstrate readiness to student teach by meeting all SEPBTs (MN Standards of Effective Practice for Beginning Teachers)
  10. If world language license is sought, a minimum score of Advanced Low on ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) must be attained

Students who do not meet academic GPA or letter-grade standards may have options to request exceptions to academic policies, but must initiate conversations early with their faculty advisors to learn about deadlines and procedures for submitting academic petitions.

A student whose application for student teaching is denied may either reapply when all criteria are satisfactorily met or petition the Office of Clinical Experience to reconsider the decision.

Grade Policy

The cumulative GPA for all education coursework (EDU and GED) must be 3.0 or above. The cumulative GPA for content area coursework (life science, math, etc.) must be 3.0 or above. Grades in GED courses must be B- or better to count toward the licensure program. Exceptions to the grading policy will be considered on a case by case basis.

State of Minnesota Licensure Examination Requirements

All candidates applying for a first-time Minnesota teaching license must complete the appropriate Minnesota Licensure Exams for that license.

Visit the MTLE website ( for further information on testing requirements. 

The cost of MTLE exams may be covered by financial aid. For questions, please contact the Financial Aid Department at 651-523-3000.


Letitia Basford, professor. BA 1995, University of Minnesota; MA 2000, San Francisco State University; PhD 2008, University of Minnesota.

Michelle Benegas, associate professor. BA 2000, University of Saint Thomas; MA 2003, Hamline University; PhD 2015, University of Minnesota.

Patty Born Selly, assistant professor. BA 2001, Metropolitan State University; MA 2005, EdD 2019, Hamline University.

Jennifer Carlson, professor. BS 1991, Winona State University; MS 1998, Minnesota State University-Mankato; PhD 2001, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Suzanne Gikas, professor of practice. BA 1984, University of Essex; MEd 2006, PhD 2013, Kent State University.

Sarah Hick, associate professor. BA 1992, Grinnell College; MES 1996, Yale University; PhD 2008, University of Minnesota.

Joe Lewis, professor, chair. BA 1989, Grinnell College; MA 1999, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; EdD 2006, Columbia University Teachers College.

Rebecca Neal, professor, Sanders Endowed Chair in Teacher Education. BS 1993, Hampton University; MEd 1994, College of William and Mary; PhD 2014, Arizona State University.

Maggie Struck, associate professor. BA 2000, University of St. Thomas; MA 2012, PhD 2017, University of Minnesota.

Linnette Werner, associate professor, associate dean. BS 1995, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; MA 1998, PhD 2001, University of Minnesota.





Teacher Licensure and Pathway to the Master of Arts in Teaching


Para Pathway Bachelor’s Degree Completion in Education

Hamline’s Para Pathway program was created for those working in K-12 settings as paraprofessionals or in other educational support roles. The program allows you to complete your undergraduate degree along with the coursework required for teacher licensure in elementary, English as a second language, or special education. 

Program Highlights

  • Complete your undergraduate degree and licensure completely online* (or choose in-person options if that is more your style)
  • Use your current working context in a K-12 school to complete many or even all of your field experience and student teaching hours
  • Only pay for what you use! No hidden fees for things you won’t use as an online student (like the student workout center or student organizations)
  • Jump right into your education classes – no need to wait until your general courses are completed, we can get you into your major classes right away and help you complete your general courses as you go.
  • Flexibility for your needs – sometimes life happens and you need to step away for a semester or so. That’s okay– we make it easy to pause and come back so that you can work on school when that works for you.

*You must start in the fall to be guaranteed a completely online schedule.

Degree Requirements

Para Pathway students complete Hamline’s core degree requirements, known as the Hamline Plan, along with the education major and their choice of concentration - elementary, English as a second language, or special education. 

A Hamline Bachelor of Arts degree requires a minimum of 128 semester credits and a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0. All students are required to complete at least 56 credits at Hamline. Each major has a set of required courses that must be satisfied either by taking courses through Hamline or transferring in qualifying courses, and at least 16 credits in the major must be taken at Hamline.


Para Pathway Degree Completion