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Steps to Becoming a Teacher

Admission into the Teacher Education Program

Only candidates who have been admitted into the Teacher Education Program (TEP) may enroll in 3000- or 4000-level Education courses. To complete the program in a timely basis, a candidate should complete all requirements and be admitted into the TEP as soon as possible; usually during sophomore year. After completing all requirements, candidates should make application to the Teacher Education Program. You must be in the TEP for one semester BEFORE you are eligible to apply for Student Teaching. Transfer candidates must earn a minimum of 15 credits on this campus before they will be considered for admission to the Teacher Education Program. Transfer candidates may apply, however, during their first semester on campus.

Steps to becoming a teacher diagram

TEP Application Procedures

  • Achieve a composite ACT score of 23 or higher with a minimum score of 20 on each subset or exceed the following passing scores on the CORE test prior to application for admittance to the Teacher Education Program: Reading 156, Writing 162, and Mathematics 150.

  • Declare your major and your minor through the Office of the Registrar.

  • Pick up an application for admission to the Teacher Education Program from the Education office. Complete this form accurately. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as they have met all requirements. This should be done during the sophomore year to enable the enrollment in 3000-level courses. Submit application form to the Education office.

    NOTE: Acceptance in the TEP is an absolute prerequisite for enrollment in 3000-level courses. No exceptions.

  • Complete and pass the criminal background check.

  • Documentation of satisfactory disposition reviews associated with particular education classes and clinical experience reviews must be submitted to the Education office. These reviews will be kept in your education folder.

  • Candidate records will be checked for satisfactory grade-point average (2.75 overall GPA, which includes all schools attended as well as Carthage); completion of the foundation courses (EDU 1010, 2010), plus the appropriate third course depending upon your major (2720 for Elem Ed, 2570 for Secondary Ed, EXS 2700 for PE, MUS 1180 for Music, or EDU 2150 for ART); and completion of all Heritage/Core courses with a grade of C or better in each course.

  • Obtain and submit three faculty recommendations. At least two should be from full-time Education faculty members.


If all TEP requirements are satisfied, candidates will be notified of admission to the TEP by email and letter. TEP candidates should consider themselves admitted only upon receipt of said email and/or letter.

If any requirements are unsatisfied, Education candidates cannot be admitted into the TEP. An email will be sent indicating failure to be admitted into the TEP and stating the reasons. When all requirements have been met, a student may reapply to the TEP.

Student Teaching

Student teaching is required for all licensure programs (initial and add-on).

In order to be approved for student teaching and later endorsed for licensure, a student must have a minimum grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale for the entire undergraduate program, which includes courses from all institutions of higher learning prior to attending Carthage. In addition, student teaching candidates need to submit a second self-report background check, show an acceptable preliminary edTPA portfolio, pass the appropriate Praxis II content test or earn a 3.0 or higher in the appropriate courses, and pass the FORT (for MC/EA and CCSE majors) by the time that they apply to student teach, and successfully complete an interview. Students must be admitted to the Teacher Education Program at least one term prior to application for student teaching.

Student teachers will earn a grade of P (Pass) or F (Fail). The grade of P (Pass) is equivalent to a grade of a C or higher.

Clinical Experience

The pre-student teaching clinical experiences at Carthage are developmental in scope and sequence and will occur in a variety of settings. To meet the clinical experience requirements, students must register and successfully complete an education course requiring pre-student teaching clinical experience. Students are expected to balance these experiences so that their time is distributed within the content and grade levels in which students seek licensure and in multicultural settings. 

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act

Carthage College conforms to the Buckley Amendment concerning student records in the Education Office and the Placement Office. More commonly referred to as the Buckley Amendment, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 protects the confidentiality of the educational records of students.

Be sure to meet with your advisor at your earliest convenience if you have any questions or concerns about your pre- TEP requirements.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Looking to teach? Count on becoming a familiar face in local schools. Carthage students accumulate 135 hours in local classrooms before their student teaching semester. Make that 450+ for those entering our new urban teacher program.

    • Carthage has been named a top producer of Fulbright Fellows three years running. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $20,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …