Degrees & Programs

Graduate Community of Teachers

Prepare for initial teacher licensing by taking part in an ongoing teacher education seminar. The Community of Teachers (CoT) program offers an alternative to standard teacher education and licensing course work. Rather than completing a specific slate of courses, you will work to complete a portfolio of 16 competencies that are based on national standards set forth in the Interstate New Teacher Assessment Standards Consortium (INTASC).

CoT includes both undergraduate and graduate students preparing for careers at the secondary level, as well as experienced teachers returning to school to pursue license additions and continuing education.


The program includes both professional education courses and subject area requirements. The seminar, with its accompanying field experience, is the cornerstone of the program. Through the seminar and field experience, you will develop a portfolio through which you can demonstrate your knowledge and experience. Students stay in the same seminar throughout the program.

As a CoT participant, you'll join a cohort of 15–18 students from a variety of content fields and at different stages in their educations. Once a week, you'll meet to explore issues in secondary education. Seminar content is dictated by participants under the guidance of a faculty coordinator.

To become a participant, you must first be interviewed by current CoT members to ensure the program is a good fit for your personal and educational goals.

CoT participants may also be interested in the Transition to Teaching program. This accelerated teacher education program enables aspiring teachers with bachelor's degrees in certain fields earn their licensure in just twelve months.

Community of Teachers Program

The time it takes to complete all of the program requirements will vary based on your background and teaching experience. To complete the program, you must satisfy the 16 Program Expectations, complete the required course work, and the student teaching. 

Depending on your prior experience and teaching experience, the following professional credit load is typical:

  • Two to five semesters of the Seminar (8 - 20 credit hours)
  • Methods course(s) (3 - 8 credit hours)
  • Reading methods course (3 credit hours)
  • Student teaching (10 - 16 credit hours)
  • Total (24 - 47 credit hours) 

All CoT participants will take part in the following courses.

General Course Work
  • S500 Field-Based Seminar (3 cr.). This course replaces many traditional teacher education courses. A minimum of two semesters of S500 is required, but participants frequently take three or four semesters. You will be expected to complete 16 portfolio expectations before certification.
  • L517 Advanced Study of Content Reading and Literacy (3 cr.)
  • Subject Methods Course II (3 cr.). The course number may vary by subject.
  • M550 Practicum (10 weeks, 10 cr.)
Admissions Process

Admission to the Indiana University is a separate process from admission to CoT. The University's admission process requires submission of official transcripts from all prior academic work. Once transcripts are received, admission can be granted in several days.

Candidates may enter CoT in August or January. Placements occur on a first-accepted, first-placed basis with more advanced students receiving priority.

Application is a four-step process.
  • Apply to CoT by completing the online application or by submitting a paper application. You may contact the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and request a paper application.
  • Apply through the Office of Graduate Studies if you seek a master's degree in education or wish to pursue a "license only".
  • Arrange a half-hour interview with CoT students and faculty. Applicants will be informed of available interview times.
  • Visit the seminar groups and state a preference for one group. The program does its best to honor these preferences.
Content Areas

Participants will complete additional content area course work based on their professional goals.

Content Area Requirements

We make important choices when we decide the kind of school for which we will prepare teachers. If, through the values we display, the processes in which we engage, and the places in which the preparation occurs, we prepare teachers only for schools in which teachers have little say over programs that are course-, textbook-, and classroom-bound, we can presume that they will fit comfortably into those schools, and perhaps only those schools. We can expect our teacher candidates to be fairly satisfied and unquestioning of the schools we now have. And we can presume that, should they eventually be moved to alter that environment, it will not have been of our doing. We believe that we will achieve the schools to which we aspire much more quickly if the young teachers who enter the profession have experienced and come to value community, democracy, individual empowerment, flexibility, diversity, and learning that is connected to real life.

One of many ways in which CoT attempts to practice what it preaches is its democratic governance process. Any CoT member can propose a change in the program's rules of operation. CoTers have developed a process for considering these proposals and subsequently voting on them. Every member of the community has a vote in determining how the program will evolve to meet new challenges. Sixty percent of the community must approve a proposed change for it to become a new rule of operation for the program.

A special case of the governance process is Words to Live By, a document that functions as CoT's covenant. Every new member of the community is asked to comply with its contents. Because of that condition, WTLB is a document for which we demand a consensus. Periodically, the document is reconsidered by the entire community and every CoTer must agree with the inclusion of every statement in it, or the statement must be removed from the document.


For detailed information about Community of Teachers, please contact:

Dr. Gretchen Butera, CoT Director
W.W. Wright Education Building, Rm. 3211
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-1006
Phone: (812) 856-8153