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Drake University Unveils New Teacher Intern Program

Friday, April 12th, 2024

Program allows candidates to secure paid teaching role in one year while earning a master’s degree

Drake University’s School of Education announced today the introduction of a new Teacher Intern Program. The program will allow individuals with a bachelor’s degree in another field and three years of post-bachelor work experience to complete coursework toward teacher licensure for middle school or high school subject areas in an accelerated format. The program will be one of only three similar offerings in the State of Iowa—the only one based full time in Central Iowa.

Eligible candidates can complete all the necessary classroom coursework within one academic year by taking nine credits in the fall, spring, and summer semesters, respectively. At the end of that year, they obtain an intern teaching license, which allows the individual to be hired by a partnered school district and receive full salary and benefits while completing a year-long internship and simultaneously earning an additional 10 credit hours without further coursework. At the end of the one-year teacher internship, participants earn their Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree.

“This innovative program allows individuals to completely transform their career path with only a year of classroom coursework,” says Ryan Wise, Dean of Drake’s School of Education. “Our goal is to help passionate, qualified candidates transition into teaching quickly so they can begin making a difference in the lives of students and our community.”

The Iowa State Board of Education unanimously approved Drake’s proposal for the Teacher Intern Program, which is embedded within the current MAT program offered by the University. While other programs allow those without a traditional education degree to work toward teaching licensure, they are often a longer commitment and don’t allow candidates to be compensated during the student teaching portion of the program.

With recently passed legislation in Iowa raising the minimum pay for first-year teachers, teaching has become an even more attractive and viable career option for individuals in other fields. After completing the first paid year of teaching and earning a Master’s, many graduates can expect a substantial salary increase.

The Teacher Intern Program is set to partner with Central Iowa school districts, including Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS), starting in Fall 2024.

“Drake’s new teacher intern program is not only one more step in the long relationship between our two institutions, but also a deepening of our mutual commitment to serving the educational needs of our city and state,” says Dr. Ian Roberts, DMPS Superintendent. “DMPS is dedicated to encouraging and supporting the next generation of educators. Thanks to this new opportunity through Drake University, it will help open the door to the classroom for a new generation of teachers.”

To learn more about the Teacher Intern Preparation Program and how to apply, visit

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