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If You Want to Be a Teacher… and Are Working on Your BA


A “traditional” route through our BA program takes roughly 8 total semesters (or 4 years). While an increasing number of our students do take this traditional route, many of our students are returning to college, transferring in from a different institution, and/or working full-time, which can mean that their route to the BA takes longer than 4 years.

The logic of our program is that you build an intellectual foundation, then deepen your expertise in the English language arts, and synthesize it all by expanding and refining your repertoire as an educator of young people.

Click here to see a visualization of the four-year timeline for the Teaching English BA.

We model how you might sequence your classes over the course of four years. Pay particular attention to the final three semesters, which is when you are considered a member of the Teacher Education unit. Those final three semesters are called “blocks,” because you take a particular “block” of classes each semester. In Block 1, you’re in schools for at least 100 hours during the semester. In Block 2, you’re in schools for at least 150 hours during the semester. The Block 2 placement is often where you will also do your student teaching, which helps you to get to know your mentor teacher, the students, and your wider school community over time.

Click here to view a four-year map of classes.

When to apply to TE & professional year

You apply to the Teacher Education unit, which has its home in the College of Education. Teacher Education offers several classes you take during your “Blocks” and organizes all of your field experiences in local schools. You apply to Teacher Education early in the semester before your final three semesters as an undergraduate. Traditionally, this means you would apply early in the first semester of your Junior year.

  • If you want to begin Block 1 in a Fall semester, then your deadline to submit your application is the first Friday of February.
  • If you want to begin Block 1 in a Spring semester, then your deadline to submit your application is the third Friday in September.

Click here to view what the blocks traditionally look like.

How do I know when I’m ready to apply?

Here are four questions to ask yourself, to find out if you’re ready to apply. Click here to view these questions in infographic form.

4 questions to ask yourself before applying

Four Questions to Ask Before Applying to Teacher Education at Boise State

#01: Completed/Current Courses

Have I completed the appropriate English courses so far?

When you apply, you should have completed or be enrolled in the following courses:

  • ENGL: 101, 102, 275, two 200-level or higher writing courses, three ENGL electives (one or more 300/400 level electives)
  • LING: 305, one LING elective higher than 305
  • ED-CIFS 201 and ED-TECH 202

#02: Remaining Courses

Am I lined up to finish my English degree upper-division elective requirement in the next two semesters?

Consider the following:

  • The English department requires 18 credits of ENGL/LING electives, and 15 of those must be at the 300/400 level.
  • After entering the TE program, you will have three semesters remaining to complete your degree. In Block 1, you will have room for one possible elective. In Block 2, you might take two electives. In Block 3, you won’t have time for electives, as you’ll be a full-time student teacher.
  • In order to teach in Idaho, your transcript must reflect that you have taken at least one American Literature course and one British Literature course.

#03: GPA

How well have I performed in my courses?

  • TE requires all applicants to maintain a 3.0 Overall GPA.
  • TE also requires all applicants to maintain a 3.0 English GPA.

If you do not meet the GPA requirement, you can still apply. If you are denied acceptance into the program, you may appeal the decision to the TE Appeals Committee.

#04: Purpose

Do I know why I want to teach secondary students the English language arts?

  • How might this program help me work toward my personal, professional, and civic goals?
  • How might I contribute to the program and strengthen it?
  • Why do I want to teach ELA (reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and language) to young people in secondary schools?

What do information do I need to collect for my application?

Click here to see this information in an infographic.

Application Materials

CheckmarkLetter of Application to the TE Program Admissions Committee

  • Include your professional experiences related to school teaching program.
  • Include your career goals. (Why do you want to be an English Language Arts teacher of young people in secondary schools?)
  • Include your reasons of interest — including your strengths, your perspectives, and the contributions you hope to make for colleagues in your courses and young people in your classes.

CheckmarkCurrent Resume

  • Strong resumes help the audience understand how your experiences, skills, and interests match the audience’s needs and hopes.
  • See Boise State’s Career Center for examples:

CheckmarkTwo Boise State Faculty Names

  • Provide the names of two Boise state faculty who agree to support your application.
  • If you are new to Boise State, please contact English Education faculty prior to submitting your application for help with this requirement.

CheckmarkTwo Professional References

  • Submit the names and email addresses of two professional references.
  • TE will contact your two references with the appropriate form for them to complete online.

Steps to Follow

1Submit Application Materials to Teacher Education via Taskstream

  • The Teacher Education Application Information page is the home for all application information and updates. You will submit your application on an online system called Taskstream. This system is one you will use throughout your Teacher Education experience. When you are preparing your application, you will receive a Taskstream code from Teacher Education so that you can set-up your account.
  • For Fall admission to TE, application deadline is the first Friday of February.
  • For Spring admission to TE, application deadline is third Friday in September.

Find more information here:

After you submit your application and it is reviewed by members of the Teacher Education unit, you will then participate in a couple of interviews with English Education faculty. The English Education interview process is different than other Teacher Education programs. Many other programs will ask applicants to prepare and deliver a brief and formal presentation to a panel of faculty. The English Education program, however, has a different two-step interview process.

2Participate in an English Education Small Group Interview

  • After all applications are reviewed for program requirements (this takes 1-2 weeks), you will meet with English Education faculty, Teacher Education faculty, and a small group of peers for a group interview.
  • You meet with all the other applicants for 60-90 minutes. During this time, English Education faculty will preview our program and provide all the applicants some time to meet and work with each other. Since your Block experiences rely heavily on working with each other, we have this group interview time to offer people a chance to work together as we will during the classes – solving problems, sharing different perspectives and experiences, challenging assumptions, asking questions, and generally just thinking together.
  • Unlike other TE programs, you do not need to prepare a presentation. Instead, our small group interview is meant to give you a chance to engage with colleagues — in dialogue and in problem-solving — as you will during your coursework.

3Participate in a Personal Interview with English Education Faculty

  • Within a week of small group interviews, you will meet individually with English Education faculty for 30 minutes.
  • This is a chance for you to get to know the faculty better and for the faculty to know you better. In this part of the process, we preview the semesters ahead and how they may support you and your goals.