Preparation for Teaching Through Experience

While educators across the country are acknowledging the enormous value of a liberal arts education for future teachers, they also recognize the value of a strong clinical component. 

Experiences in schools begin early with the exploratory EDUC 2011 or DFED 2042 Level 1 Clinical Experiences. Teacher candidates have the opportunity to lead instruction while enrolled in EDUC 3211 or DFED 3042 Level 2 Clinical Experiences. Various Level 3 Clinical Experiences are included in specialty area and upper division professional education classes. All candidates enter Level 4 Clinical Experiences with between 61 and 166 hours of school experience.

The capstone or Level 4 clinical experience takes place during the teacher candidate’s Professional Trimester. For this experience the teacher candidates, mentor teachers, and university supervisors are trained in co-teaching strategies resulting in maximum benefit for the students and heightened preparedness of the teacher candidate. 

For professional trimester approval, an overall average of at least 2.50 on coursework completed is required, with a minimum average of 2.75 in the major area. The professional trimester is the culminating experience in the Teacher Education Program and generally occurs during the second trimester of the senior year. Since the professional trimester experience formally signals entrance into the teaching profession, it should be approached in a professional manner. Prospective teacher candidates should NOT initiate any contact with schools or teachers concerning possible placement.

All professional trimester placement requests must be made through the Coordinator of clinical Experiences, Dr. Nancy Hector.

Minimum requirements for approval to the professional trimester are as follows:

Steps for Approval to the Professional Trimester

Steps involved in applying for approval to the professional trimester are as follows:

All teacher candidates will be notified in writing of the professional trimester orientation meeting that they MUST attend prior to beginning their experience.

Professional Trimester Policies

USAO has established the following policies in regard to the professional trimester:

If these policies are not adhered to, candidates will be withdrawn from the professional trimester.

Professional Ethics

Admission to both the Teacher Education Program and the Professional Trimester at USAO requires that candidates adhere to the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession. Any candidate found to be in violation of this code may be denied entry either into the Teacher Education Program or to Professional Trimester.

Appeals Procedures

If the Teacher Education Committee votes to reject an application to the Teacher Education Program or the professional trimester, the candidate may appeal the decision by pursuing the following steps:

NOTE: If the hearing should fall between any one of the regularly scheduled breaks, the Chair will then schedule the hearing within the first two weeks of the next trimester.

If a satisfactory solution for both parties cannot be reached, the dissatisfied party may proceed as follows: