Field experiences are a critical component of the USAO Teacher Education Program. Prior to the minimum 60 days of the professional trimester, at least 60 hours are spent at various school sites in a variety of activities.
Candidates are placed into the classroom early in their college careers so that they know almost immediately whether they are suited to a teaching career. Teacher Education candidates are required to spend a minimum of 20 clock hours in Level I field experiences, and a minimum of 25 clock hours in Level II field experiences, working in an instructional environment in direct contact with public school students under the supervision of certified teachers. Each of the field experiences takes place at a different school, providing a good mix of communities, teaching styles, and grade levels.
Candidates have further opportunities to participate in field experiences through various specialty courses and by enrolling in the Paraprofessional course offered during the Independent Study period each May. A description of specialty area experiences can be found in course syllabi. The paraprofessional experience is described in the Independent Study schedule each year.
Field Experience placement requests are reviewed to ensure that teacher education candidates have meaningful instructional experiences:
1. with culturally and economically diverse student populations;
2. with students of different age and grade levels; and
3. at different school districts.
NOTE: All field experience candidates, including professional trimester candidates, are expected to become familiar with the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession and to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. Failure to do so may result in candidates being given a grade of either "W" (withdraw) or "NP" (Not Passing).
For further information, contact Dr. Nancy Hector, Coordinator of Field-Based Experiences.