Professionals holding a baccalaureate degree or higher and possessing three years work experience may earn a teaching license in a secondary (5 – 12) content area by completing 15 hours of coursework, followed by successful teaching for one full, paid internship year in an Iowa secondary classroom under an IAC 279 probationary contract. A minimum of 60 hours of field experience prior to the internship year are completed from October through May and may occur in the school in which the internship is to take place. During the internship year, teacher interns complete 6 credit hours of courses/seminars each semester and fully participate in the district mentor program.
While RAPIL candidates may sign a contract with a district anytime after admission to the RAPIL, they must be issued an Intern License from the Iowa BOEE prior to beginning the contract. The internship year counts as the first year of the Initial License. Upon successful completion of the program, the intern will be eligible to apply for the Initial Teaching License and may complete the second year of teaching. Upon successful completion of the second year of teaching, the school administrator may recommend the teacher for the Standard Teaching License.
Intern teachers will be contracted with the district for the internship year and have the same rights and responsibilities as all other contracted probationary teachers within the district. Thus, the intern teacher is expected to be treated the same as all beginning teachers.
The number of hours/periods of teaching per day is determined by the needs of the school, but the intern does need to complete 160 days of service during his/her intern teaching year.
Pre-internship Field Experiences
Candidates will locate pre-intern field experience sites and present a Letter of Introduction from the RAPIL for signature by the principal. Schools agree to provide experiences described in:
Expectations and Requirements from Districts for Intern Success
Once the contract (IAC 279) has been accepted by the intern, the principal will need to:
- Ensure a successful school climate for candidates such as resources, support, and instruction, recognizing that the intern must participate in the final two 3-credit hour courses/seminars during internship year (Tuesdays, 4:30 - 6:00).
- Assign a state approved mentor to the candidate and monitor the candidate's participation in the district's state-approved mentor program.
- Provide supervision of the intern in accordance with your districts supervision/evaluation process for an initially licensed teacher. The building principal will conduct evaluations of the intern to determine whether the intern is progressing toward meeting the Iowa Teaching Standards and will file the reports with the Regents Alternative Pathway to Iowa Licensure (RAPIL) Coordinator. The report form will be provided by RAPIL. The RAPIL program is responsible for making the recommendation for the Initial License in consultation with the evaluating principal.
- Participate in a cooperative, communicative process with the RAPIL faculty, supervisors, and program administrators to ensure the success of the intern candidate throughout the intern year
- Anticipate scheduled visits to the school and candidate by RAPIL supervisors, program coordinator, and program faculty. The district administrator will receive prior notice of an impending visit.
- Provide data to program coordinator upon request.
Expectations and Requirements from RAPIL for Intern Success
The RAPIL field evaluator will:
- Serve as a liaison between RAPIL and the local school district
- Observe the teacher intern four times a semester
- Conference with the teacher intern after each observation
- Complete formative evaluations and review with the teacher intern
- Provide written copies of summative observation feedback form to the teacher intern and the RAPIL office
- Provide advice and support to the teacher intern, based on observations and in concert with the district goals and expectations
- Participate in a three-way conference with teacher intern and building principal
- Serve as a resource to the building administrator if significant performance issues arise
- Keep RAPIL Coordinator advised of intern performance issues
RAPIL Coordinator will:
- Oversee the program monitoring system so that student evaluations and progress are accurately monitored.
- Ensure that candidates who appeal faculty, supervisor, or principal decisions have due process.
- Participate, as requested, in conferences with the candidate, supervisor, and building evaluator.
- Act as a resource to candidates to complete RAPIL requirements.
- Finalize the recommendation of successful candidates for the Iowa Initial Teaching License.
Clarifications Regarding Intern Performance, the District Contract, and the RAPIL Program
- Districts control employment (contracts); RAPIL controls licensure.
- The contract is an agreement between the district and the intern; the RAPIL is not a party to that contract.
- RAPIL grades interns on the quality of their participation in the attendant seminar and denotes passing or failing of performance as teachers in the classroom.
- Districts may move to terminate an intern's contract, using the same procedures as for any first-year probationary teacher. If RAPIL disagrees with the district's decision to terminate the intern and believes the intern has potential to be a successful teacher, RAPIL will help the intern petition the BOEE for an extension to find another position.
- If a district decides to keep an intern who RAPIL believes is not doing well, RAPIL will work with the intern to try to improve performance. Because the contract is between the intern and the district, the RAPIL will not revoke the contract. However, completion of the contract does not assume recommendation for the initial license by the RAPIL.
- Teacher interns are dependent upon RAPIL for a recommendation for initial licensure at the completion of their program. Since the intern license is a one-year non-renewable license, the intern's movement into the profession is ultimately at the discretion of RAPIL. If RAPIL is not satisfied with the intern's performance, as reflected and supported by observations/conferences/grades, RAPIL is not required to recommend the intern for licensure.
- Interns may appeal contractual decisions through the district appeals procedures.
- Interns may appeal program decisions through the RAPIL appeals procedures.