Iowa Council for the Social Studies


Proposed Change in BOEE Rules Jan 2020.pdf

The Executive Board of the Iowa Council for the Social Studies (ICSS) became aware on October 24, 2019, of a discussion by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE) regarding reductions to endorsements for the grades 5-12 All Social Studies, All Sciences, and All English-Language Arts endorsements. 

As the Iowa Council for the Social Studies is the only statewide organization representing social studies, the Board feels compelled to respond to the discussion involving social studies.

The BOEE discussion would reduce the required number of hours to earn the All Social Sciences endorsement from the current level of 51 to a proposed 24 credit hours.  According to the BOEE document, the discussion is a result of stakeholder input. Details about the discussion may be found on the BOEE website at. The information regarding these proposed changes begin on p. 31 of the document.

The discussion for the All Social Sciences (5-12) endorsement is focused on decreasing the number of semester credit hours from 51 to 24 to include:

  • 6 hours in American History
  • 3 hours in World History
  • 3 hours in American Government
  • 3 hours in Economics
  • 3 hours in Psychology
  • 3 hours in Geography
  • 3 hours in Sociology

The ICSS voices its opposition to the proposed reduction. Such a reduction would cut in half the content knowledge of prospective Social Studies teachers. Fewer hours also signify a marginalization of Social Studies at a time when our new Iowa Social Studies Standards expect greater competency of our teachers. To ICSS, the proposal indicates that teachers only need introductory or survey courses in order to teach Social Studies.


As the current (51 hour) endorsement stands now, 9 hours each in American History, American Government and World History barely provide the content and disciplinary thinking necessary for the teachers to teach these subjects effectively. How can a teacher who has taken just one class in a given area provide support for high quality inquiry learning? 


At this point, the proposal is at the discussion stage for the BOEE. An open comment period will be available and ICSS will notify members when that comment period opens. If you would like to voice your opinion now, contact your state legislators. You can find legislator contact information here.



Mission Statement
ICSS promotes, supports and provides leadership to improve social studies education.

Vision Statement
​Our vision is to be the premier organization of Iowa Social Studies professionals, ensuring that all students have a high quality Social Studies education.

Why Join ICSS?

  • ICSS Newsletter shared electronically each month during the school year, provides timely information regarding ICSS, lesson ideas, tips and opportunties for Iowa social studies teachers.
  • ICSS Annual Conference provides professional development in Social Studies curriculum and instruction
  • To represent the social studies profession.  
  • Advocacy tips
  • Questions?? Contact Chad Christopher at icssonline@gmail.com 
Join us



ICSS has been recognized as a Gold Star Council by the National Council for Social Studies based on the following criteria:

  1. Have democratic procedures for the election of officers.

  2. Have demonstrated professional activity, such as workshops, conferences, and generally, programs that promote the social studies within their region.

  3. Have actively participated in NCSS programs, such as brokering, submitting nominations for NCSS awards, attendance at the Summer Leadership Institute and legislative networking .

  4. Have actively participated in social studies legislative advocacy efforts at state and/or at Federal level by: responding to NCSS legislative advocacy calls, disseminating calls to council members, building relationships with legislators, having an active legislative liaison, and developing a legislative advocacy plan.

  5. Have contributed to NCSS fundraising efforts, such as the First Timer Scholarship Fund for the NCSS Annual Conference, the Fund for the Advancement of Social Studies Education, or the Christa McAuliffe "Reach for the Stars" Award Fund

  6. Have 100% NCSS membership of council officers.

  7. Have a specific plan for increasing NCSS membership in their state and underrepresented groups in their council.

  8. Have shown an increase in the number of joint members.

  9. Submit affiliation materials by deadline.


ICSS Executive Board members Catherine Mein and Todd Hospodarsky accept the Iowa Council for the Social Studies reward as an NCSS Gold Star Council.

The Iowa Council for the Social Studies is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

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