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College of Education

FAQs for Prospective Students and Families

Below you will find some common questions from prospective students and parents. 

What is the difference between a teaching license and a degree?

A degree from a university is different from a teaching license that is issued by a state department of education.  When choosing a college, students want to make sure to choose an accredited, highly respected teacher education program that will provide the foundational knowledge needed to apply for a teaching license in the state where they choose to live. Each state will have its own set of testing and other requirements, but the essential piece is graduating from a strong program.

At Butler, there are two degree programs in the College of Education, but many licensure areas. Elementary Education prepares students to be a generalist (all subject areas) in K-6 settings.  This program has an embedded diverse learner minor (English as a New Language and Special Education).

Middle Secondary Education prepares students to be a content specialist (modern foreign language, math, English, social studies and the sciences) in grades 5-12.  In addition, in this degree program also offers a K-12 Physical Education/5-12 Health Education license.  Students in middle secondary take the same rigor of content coursework as a standalone major in that areas.

Butler College of Education also offers minors that can lead to licensure in Special Education, Early Childhood Education and English as a New Language.  Dual licensure is feasible within the four years. 

Is Butler an accredited teacher education program?

YES! Butler's College of Education is fully accredited by NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education) through 2020 and is now affiliated with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the new accrediting body for educator preparation.  All of our licensure programs have received a level of National Recognition through SPA (Specialized Professional Associations).

Field Experiences—how early, how often, and where are they held?

Undergraduates spend between 800-1,500 hours in K-12 classrooms before graduation.  Hours are spent in carefully selected site-based field experiences and begin in the first year, with gradual increase in intensity and expectations throughout the four-year program.

All field experiences and courses in the College of Education allow students to put theory into practice by working alongside exceptional faculty every step of the way.  Teaching assistants or graduate assistants have never been part our instructional model.

Finally, all school-based experiences take place in and around the Indianapolis area. We have outstanding partnerships with many nearby districts, including a unique role with Indianapolis Public Schools. Within IPS, we have two Lab Schools. Shortridge High School: An IB World School and the elementary/middle school focused IPS/Butler Lab School, which is staffed by Butler alumni who bring specific training in the principles of Reggio Emilia to the learning environment.

What is student teaching like at Butler?

One of the most defining experiences of your teacher preparation program is the time you will spend student teaching.  So, it is essential that you examine carefully what kind of experience you will encounter at this critical period.

At Butler, student teaching in the Elementary Degree Program is for one full year – every day, all day.  The year is divided into two placements – one at a primary level, one at an intermediate level.  For students in the Middle Secondary Degree Program, student teaching is one full semester – every day, all day.  The semester is divided into two distinct phases that allows for experiences at both a middle school and high school level.  In both degree programs, students are carefully supervised in schools near the Indianapolis area and attend class one night per week on campus.

What if I am unsure about wanting to become an educator?

Being open to exploring professional options when coming to college is an ideal mindset! We all have perceptions of what it is like to be a teacher because we have been students, but these perceptions need to challenged by exploring the scope of the teaching profession before making a decision.

At Butler, we specifically design curriculum that asks you to explore, reflect and evaluate your decision to become an educator.  This is done beginning in the FIRST semester that you are on campus.  Time is spent in classrooms at all developmental levels as well as community-based educational experiences.  This allows you to truly make a decision that is right for your future professional life.  This early experience, combined with an academic advisor who is a faculty member in the college will help you to feel confident about your undergraduate plan.  We also know that sometimes you change your mind, but the small size of Butler allows us to quickly connect you to resources and exploratory classes in other majors if needed.  

Are there jobs for education majors outside of traditional classroom positions?

Classroom teaching continues to be at the heart of what we do, but we also realize that we must assist students in discovering their optimal work environments.  Alumni from our college also serve in educator positions for museums, hospitals, and other corporate and non-profit businesses.

What are my options for studying abroad?

We are part of a global community and are committed to making sure that our candidates have that lens as they enter into their professional lives.  In addition to study abroad options offered by Butler, the college also hosts two-week courses during summer sessions. 

What is the job placement rate for Butler's College of Education?

Our graduates become your colleagues.  For over 15 years, we have had 100% career-related employment or graduate school enrollment reported by alumni responders in all area of licensure that college offers.

Have more questions? Please contact Assistant Dean, Angela Lupton at