Field Experiences and Teacher Preparation
Field experience is required as an integral part of teacher preparation. All teacher candidates seeking to be assigned for student teaching must have completed a minimum of 100 hours of experience in school settings. The exact number of required field experience hours varies by program. These hours are assigned with coursework to provide integration of theory with practice in the context of reflection.
Assignments for field experience are made by the coordinator of field experience and the course instructor, who follow procedures established by partner schools to recognize issues of efficiency, safety and the integrity of the academic experience of their students. Individual assignments are not made; they are designed to be common experiences supervised by the instructor and providing the variety of experience mandated by the University and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This variety of experience is essential for several reasons, including: confidence that our graduates are prepared to succeed in any teaching environment, reduction in stereotypes about learning environments, commitment to the mission of the University, fairness to all candidates, adherence to state standards, and coherence and consistency in terms of experiential preparation in our program.
Procedures for field experience provide for feedback from faculty, staff, candidates and partner schools. Any exceptions to assigned schools must be approved by the instructor and forwarded by him/her to the coordinator. Notification of confirmed placements is made to the instructor who disseminates that information to candidates. Candidates are to follow established procedures requested by partner schools and are not permitted to set up their own field experience.
Important information about field experience requirements:
- Most field experiences take place during traditional school days and times
- State of Illinois regulations stipulate that, under some circumstances, certified practicing teachers may do field experience in their own classroom. However, University policy and NCATE practice is to guarantee that candidates in our program have a variety of experience; therefore, all candidates in initial certification programs must do all of their field experience outside of their own classroom
- General practice is that not more than 60 percent of field experience hours can be done in a school where a candidate is employed full-time; if a candidate student teaches in a private school setting, 60 percent of field experience should be in a public school setting
- If required field experience hours are not documented for the correlating class, the candidate will fail the class
- Criminal background checks are required before candidates will be admitted for field
Note: A $60 background check fee will be implemented for students enrolled in EDU 300 or EDUG 470, effective spring 2011
- Assignments are made with due diligence as soon as possible; however, the process can be lengthy for some schools
- Candidates are expected to dress and act professionally for all field experiences
Policy for Field Experiences in Initial Certification Programs
The Teacher Education Council has adopted the following policies to allow for efficient, timely and effective placement of candidates in appropriate school sites, and to assure the continued development of the knowledge, skills and dispositions of our candidates. These policies are designed to provide a structure in which the supervision of the field experience by the course instructors is facilitated, and to respect, honor and preserve the professional relationships we establish with partner schools, modeling a spirit of professionalism, scholarship and service for all constituents.
- Field experiences are designed, sites selected and classroom teachers designated with input from course instructors, the coordinator of field experience (CFE) and the administrators of our partner schools. Candidates will not have the option of selecting other schools; only clinical hours arranged for by the CFE will be accepted
- The number of field experience hours is determined by the candidate's program, with a minimum of 100 clock hours. The SXU online catalog, educational plans or advisors can be consulted for the exact number of hours required in each course and in each program. All field experience hours shall be completed at the appropriate grade level(s) required by the course and for the certificate being earned
- No compensation can be received for field experience hours
- Candidates who hold full-time employment in local area schools and desire to complete
their field experience component of their coursework in their school or school district
shall follow the following guidelines. No field experience hours can be completed
during time for which the candidate is being compensated, and all field experiences
shall be completed at the appropriate grade level(s) required by the course and for
the certificate being earned:
- Candidates who hold full-time positions in public schools may complete up to 60 percent of field experiences in their own school or school district, but not in their own classroom. Permission requires the approval of the course instructor and the CFE, and is dependent on the course instructor being able to provide the required supervision at that site; at least 40 percent of field experiences shall be completed in another school district
- Candidates who hold full-time positions in private schools may complete up to 40 percent of field experience in their own or other private schools, but not in their own classroom. Permission requires the approval of the course instructor and the CFE, and is dependent on the course instructor being able to provide the required supervision at that site; at least 60 percent of field experience shall be completed in public schools
- In order to complete any field experience clock hours in their own school or school district, candidates shall provide written verification of their full-time employment. The written verification shall be submitted to the CFE on official school letterhead, signed by the school administrator, and also verify that the school administration gives their approval for the candidate to complete a field experience in the candidate's own school or school district
- In order to student teach in a private school, candidates are required to complete a minimum of 60 percent of field experiences in public school settings
- No candidate will be allowed to participate in field experiences until the Criminal Background Investigation process is completed
- Candidates shall dress and conduct themselves professionally and appropriately while completing their field experience hours
- Once the field experience has been completed, instructors will collect the record of field experiences logs from the candidates and verify that the information is accurate before signing the form. Falsifying any part of the record of field experiences log may lead to dismissal from the program. The instructors will submit the entire class' forms to the CFE within one week of completing the course
Cooperation is the key to successful placements. Flexibility is the key to successful experiences. We strive to provide a field experience component in our program that reflects the diversity of our learning community, the challenge of experiences in social responsibility and best practice, and the opportunity to work with our committed colleagues in the teaching profession.
Records substantiating a candidate's field experiences are a critical component of the program completion process. A candidate's involvement in and documentation of the clinical experience is part of the course assessment process and is necessary for acceptance by the teacher education program.
The teacher candidate must complete the record of field experiences log completely and accurately before the professor signs and submits it to the coordinator of field experience.
Any artifacts associated with the field experience may be used by the instructor as part of the assessment process and/or by the candidate for inclusion in the professional portfolio.
View a sample copy of the Record of Field Experiences (PDF) log.
You may register online for a field experience site if you are currently registered for a course that requires field experience.