Comprehensive Field Experiences
All programs require comprehensive clinical field experience. The opportunity to observe and begin working with qualified teachers on various aspects of the teaching-learning process begins during the freshman year, and is required throughout the program. Field placements are aligned with coursework, include specific assignments and responsibilities, and are completed in three phases:
- Phase 1: Pre-Student Teaching Field Experience - Candidates begin pre-service (Learn and Serve) in area schools as freshmen, minimally 20 hours each semester across five semesters. Transportation is provided to students as needed. And placements are arranged by the university in accordance with education/professional coursework and the area(s) of certification. Candidates are expected to complete all required field experience to be eligible for their teaching assistantship, establishing a comprehensive clinical experience.
- Phase 2: Teaching Assistantship - Aligned with the methods (400-level pedagogy) courses, candidates complete two placements resulting in a minimum of 60 hours in a classroom. Candidates in this phase are expected to continue to develop the competencies set forth by the program standards and to have experiences with various methodological approaches as relate to actual classroom practice and address student learning across content field and grade-level curriculum expectations.
- Phase 3: Student Teaching - Student Teaching is a culminating experience that is required of all candidates for completion of the program and teacher certification. Students will spend a total of 14 weeks student teaching (two full-time seven-week placements, one in each area of certification). The Student Teaching Handbook outlines all candidate expectations, which include planning, teaching and assessing instructional units, aligned to the curriculum and addressing student needs.
It is the mission of the College of Education to prepare educational leaders and clinical professions, who demonstrate the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to serve others and who further the values and practices of their respective professions in a global society. We seek to inspire our candidates in the Vincentian tradition and to foster core values of professional commitment and responsibility, professional relationships and critical thinking, and reflective practice.