The purpose of field experiences is to allow students and teacher candidates to observe and interact with teachers, students, principals, and other supporting personnel at all public and private schools who partner with us, as well as our Professional Development Schools. Students and teacher candidates enrolled in our Teacher Preparation Program gain extensive knowledge and experience through structured field experience observations. Those observations and experiences help a candidate intentionally and meaningfully transition from learning about educational theory to applying it in the classroom.
All teacher certification majors are required to complete Level I, Level II, and Level III of field experiences.
Level I Early Field Experience is initiated in EDFL 106-Introduction to Education. This course is required for all students during the first semester as a teacher certification major and requires 30 hours of field experiences. Level I field experiences are completed during the freshman and sophomore years prior to entrance into the Teacher Preparation Program. Therefore, Level I is the first of a graduated series of field-based experiences through which students, prior to becoming candidates, are introduced into the world of teaching. The overall goal of Level I field experiences is to assist students to begin thinking of themselves as professional educators. Level I Field Experiences are observations.
Level II Field Experience is Professional Education Teacher Methods and begins when students are formally admitted into the Teacher Preparation Program and now referred to as candidates. In the Early Childhood and Elementary School Programs, Level II field experiences are structured through methods courses in Block I, Block II, and Block III. Level II field experiences in the Middle School Program include Block I and Block II. Each methods course requires a field experience consistent with course content, state and national content standards, and state certification requirements. Level II field experiences require that candidates develop lessons and assume a measure of responsibility for teaching. Throughout the experiences, candidates reflect on and assess their personal strengths and limitations under the guidance of the university professor. Level II Field Experiences include observation and participation.
Level III Clinical Field Experience (student teaching) occurs when candidates become teacher interns. Through Clinical Field Experiences, candidates practice the full role and meaning of teaching. Level III Field Experiences include observation, participation, and teaching.