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Teacher candidates must meet all prerequisites specified by their program prior to the field experience semester. Most field experiences require admission to the School of Education and designated courses. Please consult your advisor to determine the best timing of field experiences in your respective program.
A separate electronic field experience application must be completed for each clinical field experience or school experience. The application includes the mandatory forms related to conduct for that particular experience and the electronic signature indicates understanding and agreement to follow the policies. Application procedures will be communicated through field experience information meetings and program advisors prior to registration each semester.
Teacher candidates who are registered for clinical field experience courses will receive an email with the criminal background check instructions prior to the field experience semester. Teacher candidates must complete the designated national criminal background check within the specified time and be cleared by the Office of Field Experience before entering the schools or field experience site. Please see the criminal background check policy for more information.
All clinical field experience placements are arranged through the Office of Field Experience in collaboration with course instructors. Placements will be made with our contracted schools in a 50-mile radius of La Crosse based on school needs and requests each semester. The School of Education has developed partnerships with several local schools and placements for these sites will be honored first. Teacher candidates may not attempt to arrange a placement or contact schools, principals, and teachers to discuss placements according to the agreements between UW-La Crosse School of Education and school districts. Prior to the field experience semester, teacher candidates are encouraged to provide preferences and requests on the field experience application, which will be considered along with other factors in meeting program requirements for certification. Every effort will be made to provide a neutral setting for teacher candidates and placements will generally not be made in schools that teacher candidates attended, or where relatives have worked or attended. More information about placements will be provided on or before the first day of the field experience course each semester. Any questions regarding field experiences or any other school experience should be directed to the Office of Field Experience.
Teacher candidates must wear UW-La Crosse name badges at all times while at schools and clinical field experience sites. Name badges are available in 223 Cartwright to those who are registered for clinical field experiences and other approved experiences. Teacher candidates may be expected to pay for name badges.
Teacher candidates are responsible for providing their own means of transportation to and from schools. Carpooling is encouraged.
Excused absences include personal illness, illness in the family, or death in the family. Absences due to work schedules and student schedules are not acceptable. In rare instances when teacher candidates need to miss an assigned placement time, they must communicate with both the cooperating teacher and the university supervisor immediately to make alternative arrangements. Excessive or repeated absences in either the field experience or related courses may result in removal from the program.
Criminal Background Check
All teacher candidates must complete the designated national criminal background check process prior to entering the schools for their first clinical field experience or any other school experience at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. This is a requirement of the school placement sites, and it is the teacher candidate’s responsibility to follow the instructions and complete the process by the dates specified. Teacher candidates are responsible for all costs associated with the criminal background checks. Policies and procedures must be followed for teacher candidates to receive a placement. Prior to student teaching, teacher candidates must complete a second designated national criminal background check if more than one year has passed since their last criminal background check. The Office of Field Experience will record the criminal background checks conducted each semester.
Clinical Field Experience Information Meetings are generally held in October for the following spring semester and in March for the fall semester. Students will learn about the field experience application process and deadline. The meeting on March 9 will be recorded for students unable to attend. The application will be available after the information meeting. The application deadline is March 23, 2016.
Program Certification Areas
Field Experience Courses
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When should I take my field experiences? Please keep in frequent communication with your advisor to determine the best timing in your respective program. All course prerequisites must be met before students are eligible for any field experience and many are part of other required courses. A Clinical Field Experience Student Information Meeting will be held each semester prior to advising and students are expected to attend this meeting the semester before they expect to participate in a field experience.
When will the Clinical Field Experience Student Information Meeting be held? The meeting will be held prior to advising each semester, in late October for spring semester, and late February for fall semester. The exact dates for each semester are located on the SoE website. Students are responsible for checking the website frequently.
What if I can’t attend the Clinical Field Experience Student Information Meeting? Attendance is highly encouraged. For those not able to attend, the meeting may be recorded, and the link may be located on the SoE website the day after the meeting. Students are expected to either attend the meeting or view the recording, as they are responsible for any information, policies, and procedures provided during the meeting.
How do I apply for clinical field experiences? Students are expected to attend the Clinical Field Experience Student Information Meeting the semester prior to registering for field experiences to receive the most current information regarding the application procedure. All students must complete the electronic application and agree to comply with the terms in order to be placed in a field experience.
What if I have an underage drinking citation or a criminal charge? Students who have received citations or charges are required to disclose this information in the first section of the electronic application, even if they think the charges were dismissed. This information often shows up on the online national criminal background check students are required to complete prior to participating in a field experience.
What if I don’t disclose a criminal charge and something shows up on the national criminal background check? In the event the background check discloses criminal activity or information the teacher candidate has failed to report, the teacher candidate may be required to meet with the Director and/or Assistant Director of the Office of Field Experience to discuss the discrepancy. The result of this discussion may alter or terminate the teacher candidate’s participation in a field experience or student teaching assignment.
When do I complete the online criminal background check? All teacher candidates must complete the designated criminal background checks prior to entering the schools for their first clinical field experience or other school experience. This is a requirement of the school placement sites, and it is the teacher candidate’s responsibility to follow the instructions and complete the process by the dates specified. Teacher candidates are responsible for all costs associated with the criminal background checks. Prior to student teaching, teacher candidates must complete a second designated criminal background check if more than one year has passed since their last criminal background check. Instructions will be sent by email to those who are scheduled to complete the background check during the month prior to the beginning of the first day of classes.
Do I have to complete another criminal background check if I have had one done somewhere else? Yes, teacher candidates must complete the designated online criminal background check, as these records cannot be shared and the Office of Field Experience is required to keep these records on file.
What do I do if I receive a citation or criminal charge after completing the application or during a field experience? Teacher candidates are required to notify the Office of Field Experience as soon as possible, but no later than the next day they are expected to attend the field experience, when they have received any new charges or citations, or are being investigated by any governmental agency for any act or offense. Failure to do so may result in termination from participation in field experience placements.
I tried to register for my field experience and it won’t let me register. Why not? Most field experience courses are blocked and students will be registered by the School of Education based on the field experience electronic application process. Students need to ensure they have paid their registration deposits and have no holds on their accounts in order to be registered.
When will I receive my field experience placement? Clinical field experience placements begin at different times, depending on the program and level of field experience. Placements in Professional Development Schools (PDS) are generally completed first, and these field experiences often begin during the first week of the semester. Course instructors will communicate with students regarding their placements and other requirements. Placement beginning dates are determined by school needs and schedules, and once students receive their placements, they are expected to commit to the same times throughout the semester. Most traditional field experience placements begin during the first month of the semester and students will receive their placements as soon as possible during the first month of the semester. Placements are subject to change.
How much time do I need to allow in my schedule for the field experience? Teacher candidates are expected to reserve a minimum of 3-4 consistent half days throughout the semester for participation in the field experience, either from 7:30-11:30 am, or 11:30-3:30 pm. Some experiences will require students to be at the school during specific days and times. More information will be provided at the Clinical Field Experience Student Information Meeting each semester.
What if I have a schedule change after completing the electronic survey? Please notify the Office of Field Experience as soon as possible with any schedule changes. Please allow large blocks of time to facilitate the placement process.
Where will I be placed? Placement locations vary by field experience and we have several partnerships established with local schools in connection with specific courses. Students are generally placed in schools within a 50-mile radius of La Crosse. Students are asked to provide specific information and special considerations on the electronic application, which are then used in making placements.
What if I want to be placed with a specific teacher or school? Please indicate your preferences on the electronic application and requests will be considered, along with many other factors. Students are not allowed to arrange their own placements in any way and policies prohibit students from contacting schools, principals, or teachers in an effort to obtain a placement. All placement contacts must be made through the Office of Field Experience.
What if I don’t have a car? Teacher candidates are responsible for providing their own means of transportation to and from schools. The Office of Field Experience will strive to facilitate carpooling for those students who do not have transportation. Limited placements may be possible within walking distance or on the bus line.
What if I have a job and my field experience conflicts with my work hours? Schools and cooperating teachers depend on clinical field experience teacher candidates to be there to assist in meeting the needs of the P-12 learners. Teacher candidates are expected to be available consistently for 3-4 half days throughout the semester and the Office of Field Experience will strive to match students with cooperating teachers based on the 3-4 half days identified by the student. Some field experiences have additional times and/or requirements that are non-negotiable. Students need to commit to the specific requirements of the field experience in order to participate, which may mean limiting or adjusting their work hours, or taking the field experience another semester.
May I be placed in the same school as my children or other family members? No, teacher candidates generally benefit most from being placed in a neutral setting and the policy is to place students in settings where they are free to learn and do not have any additional advantage or disadvantage that may come from connections to family members.
May I be placed at a school that I graduated, attended, or worked? No, the Office of Field Experience is required to provide neutral settings and diverse learning experiences for all teacher candidates. Students will be placed in a different school than those where they graduated, attended, or worked.
Clinical Field Experience Sign In Sheet
inTasc SIPs Evaluation Rubric
inTasc SIPs Observation Form
Student Teaching Information Meeting
This information session is intended for teacher candidates who will be student teaching in fall 2016. The information meeting will cover the application process, required documentation and out-of-area student teaching programs. Applications for fall 2016 student teaching will be due on November 19, 2015.
Teacher Candidates interested in student teaching in fall 2016 must submit all application materials on application day. Students will meet individually with a School of Education staff member or university supervisor who will review application materials and answer questions. Students can turn in their application at any time between noon and 4:00 pm. No appointments are needed. There may be longer wait times at class period end times.
Please complete and print the following materials for application day.
Additional items that must be provided on application day are listed on the checklist and include a picture of yourself, resume and unofficial transcript.
Student Teaching: Out-of-Area Experiences Application