Policies and Procedures for Student Teaching and Internships Introduction

Checklist for Student Teaching
Application and Internships
Intern-Specific Checklist
Minimum Standards for Admission
Important Notes
Responsibilities of Student Teachers/Interns
Workload of a Student/Intern
TB Test and Hepatitis B Immunization
Required Meetings
Alternative Placements
    -Milwaukee Student Teaching
    -Placements for Health and Physical Education Students
Criminal Background Check Memo from Director
Criminal Background Check Instructions


Please be professional; your application is sometimes shown to teachers, principals and others involved in placing you. Applications cannot be accepted after the deadlines stated in the Important Dates notice on the bulletin board outside the Office of Field Experience, 145 Graff Main Hall. For further details and other pertinent information, please see the Student Teaching Handbook.

Please read all pages of the packet before making your response. Make two copies of the page titled "Application for Student Teaching or Practicum Experience." Turn in the copies along with your picture of self, signed agreement, consent for release of information, resume, student-issued transcript, questionnaire sheet, criminal background check release form, and the credit check form at the Application Day session. Two copies of an additional application form are also required for PETE, Early Childhood and Special Education students.

Checklist for Student Teaching/Practicum/Internship Experiences

All of the following items are required.

Picture of Self

Student Teaching/Internship/Practicum Agreement - A signed statement that you understand and agree with policies, procedures and responsibilities of student teachers/interns.

Consent for Release of Information - Required only for students requesting an out-of-area placement

Student Teaching Application - This form will be available in September and February. Please attend a mandatory Information Session in September or February prior to filling out this form. Two copies are required.

Additional Application ECE / PETE / SPE - These forms will be available in September and February. Please attend a mandatory Information Session in September or February prior to filling them out. Two copies are required. These forms are for Early Childhood minors preparing to complete their PK and K fieldwork, for PE majors, and for Special Education majors and minors preparing for their SPE fieldwork.

Resume - Two copies are required.

Student-issued Transcript - One copy required; two copies, if also applying for the Intern Pool

Medical Documents - A TB test reading and a Hepatitis B immunization record must be turned into the Office of Field Experience prior to Orientation. If we do not have these records on file, you are not allowed to be in the school and will be required to leave until the records are on file. 

  • TB Test - Before student teaching/internships begin, you must test negative for TB within 90 days of the student teaching/intern/practicum start date. We recommend you have the test in December for Spring semester placements and in July for Fall semester placements. Turn in the results by the first Friday of January for Spring placements and by the first Friday of August for Fall placements. 
  • Hepatitis B - Before student teaching/practicum/internship placements begin, your Hepatitis B immunization series (three shots) must be completed or at least started. Hepatitis B immunizations are permanent, and we accept copies of signed, official immunization records. If you need to start the series, the Student Health Center and the County Health Department administer the shots (~$30 each). Evidence of immunity blood draws are also accepted. Turn in your record by the first Friday of January for Spring placements and by the first Friday of August for Fall placements.

Questionnaire - For admission to student teaching/internship or practicum programs

Criminal Background Check (CBC) - In order to student teach or intern, all students must pass a national criminal background check. The online criminal background check fee is $24 or more. Turn in your release form with your application packet.

Credit Check Form – This form is given to to the Assistant to the Dean to verify that you meet program and degree requirements to student teach (and fulfill licensure requirements). You MUST record all majors and minors you want to certify. Please know and understand your program and degree requirements, which need to be fulfilled in order to be eligible to participate in a student teaching/practicum/internship experience.

$100 Registration Deposit - This must be paid by mid-April (for Fall placements) and by mid-October (for Spring placements) before the Office of Field Experience will register you for student teaching or intern credits. If you cannot meet this deadline, please contact the Director of Field Experience at (608)785-8127. 

Intern-Specific Application Checklist

Students wishing to be in the Intern Pool apply by February 15  for a Fall semester opportunity and by September 15 for a Spring semester opportunity.

Intern Application - This form will be available in February and September. Two copies are required.  
Student Teaching or Practicum Experience Application - Two copies are required.
Resume - Two copies are required. 
Picture of Self
Letters of Recommendation - Three separate letters are required.
Student-issued Transcript
Credit Check Form
CBC Release
Consent for Release of Info

Minimum Standards for Admission to Student Teaching

The student teaching experience is completed during a person's final semester at UW-
La Crosse.

A student teaching applicant must:

  1. Have and maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA, as well as in each of the major(s), minor(s), concentrations and/or professional core of courses.
  2. Meet prerequisites for whichever applies to you: ECE 400, 401; EDS 493, 494, and/or 495; SHE 493,494, and/or 495; SPE 483/583, 484/584, 784.
  3. Declare the major(s), minor(s), and/or concentrations for which she or he is seeking licenses at the time of application.

Important Notes

Do not contact a school administrator or cooperating teacher to arrange a placement. Only the Director of Field Experience and the cooperating school administration arrange placements. Your placement is confirmed either by letter to you or when you are notified at Orientation.

Placement sites (schools) fall within an approximately 50-mile radius of La Crosse. Student teachers should not automatically expect to be assigned to a requested school or system.

After you receive notification of your placement, immediately contact your cooperating teacher to discuss district policies, procedures, and philosophy. For most student teachers, the starting date of your assignment will be the first day teachers are required to be in the school for the semester. Your last day is the last day your cooperating teacher is expected to be in the school for the semester. Think of yourself as an employee and follow the school's schedule. You do not follow the University’s semester schedule.

"Student teachers/interns may be employed as assistants in extracurricular activities; however, the student teaching experience is the top priority for the semester and any other commitment is secondary. Any involvement in extracurricular activities must be approved by the Director of Field Experience prior to accepting that responsibility." (The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Teacher Education Program Fieldwork Handbook, p.6.4.)

Employment of any type during student teaching or interning is strongly discouraged and should not be scheduled.

Responsibilities of Student Teachers/Interns

 1.   Dress, act, speak, and promote yourself as a professional both in school and in the community.

 2.   Familiarize yourself with the school district including, but not limited to, teaching and assessment philosophies, structure, materials, administration, and the surrounding neighborhood.

 3.   Prior to beginning your student teaching placement, read the school district/school handbook, student handbook, and parent handbook.

 4.   Understand and follow the cooperating school’s policies as applied to regularly employed staff.

  • Arrival and departure times

  • Reporting absences

  • Dress code

  • Parking

  • Use of teacher's lounge and/or workroom

  • School-wide discipline plan

  • Computer usage

  • Lesson plan deadlines

  • Rapport and interactions with students

  • In-service sessions

  • Faculty meetings

  • Parent/teacher conferences

 5.   If you are ill and cannot attend school, notify your cooperating teacher, school office, and student teaching supervisor of your absence prior to the start of the school day. If you are ill, please make arrangements to get your lesson plans to your cooperating teacher prior to the start of the school day. (For example, send as an email attachment to the cooperating teacher, have someone else drop your lesson plans off at the school, etc.)

 6.   In accordance with P-I 34, attend full days for the entire school district quarter and/or semester. Excessive absences or tardiness for any reason will result in a failed student teaching placement.

 7.   Follow the calendar, vacation dates, and building policies of the school where you have been placed.

 8.   Maintain ethical conduct in all relations with the staff, student body, parents and guardians, the administrators, and other student teachers/interns.

 9.   Maintain confidentiality with respect to information given by parents and families, faculty, administrators, or supervisors. This includes information derived from student performance, pupil data records, personnel records, or faculty meetings.

10.  Teach only the curricula approved by the school and the district where you have been placed. The cooperating teacher(s), in conjunction with the student teacher/intern, will determine the programs or units to be taught.

11.  Assess pupil growth resulting from the student teacher/intern’s efforts. This may or may not include the determination of final grades for a reporting period in the school. The cooperating teacher is responsible for making a final judgment.

12.  Plan all lessons and assignments thoroughly. Submit individual lesson plans to the cooperating teacher at least two days prior to the class presentation.

13.  Apply the principles of effective teaching of lessons by practicing and observing effective classroom management.

14.  Work on the development of both technical competencies and “reflective teaching.”

15.  Play an active role in bringing about an understanding of individual differences relating to race, class, gender, and ability.

16.  Assist with co-curricular activities.

17.  Become familiar with the following:

  • School media center

  • Health services

  • Guidance services

  • Co-curricular activities

  • Technology resources

  • Use of duplicating materials

  • Grading materials

  • Emergency procedures

  • Fire and tornado drill procedures

  • Student referral procedures

  • Rules of conduct in assemblies, on playgrounds, etc.

18.  Attend school functions that occur in the building. It is most desirable to attend faculty or departmental meetings and to participate in Parent-Teacher Organization meetings.

19.  Be receptive and open to suggestions and constructive criticism. Constructive feedback from the cooperating teacher and university supervisor is essential for growth as a professional educator.

20.  Ask for advice and suggestions from cooperating teachers and supervisors.

21.  Maintain continual communication with the cooperating teacher by setting regular weekly meetings to discuss concerns, plans, and lessons in progress.

22.  Complete all written assignments related to student teaching course requirements.

23.  Attend Student Teaching/Intern Orientation Day and Teacher Employment Seminar at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus, and complete the online Teacher Education Program Evaluation.

Workload of a Student Teacher/Intern

State of Wisconsin regulations require that the student teaching/intern assignment extend the length of the local school district calendar semester. Fall semester assignments start in late August or early September and usually end in mid-January. Spring semester assignments typically begin later in January and conclude in early June. Student teachers and interns will observe the daily and holiday schedules of the school district, not those of the University.

TB Test and Hepatitis B Immunization

Before you can student teach or intern, you must have official medical records filed in the Office of Field Experience (145 Graff Main Hall) showing proof that you have taken a tuberculosis test (and are free of TB) and that you have completed or started the Hepatitis B immunization. You may attend to these procedures at the UW-L Student Health Center at (608)785-8558, at the La Crosse County Health Department, or with your family physician.

Within 90 days prior to student teaching/interning, you must have completed a two-part TB test. You must go on two separate days, several days apart. This test is approximately $10.00.

The Hepatitis B immunization is given as a series of three injections over a 16- to 24-week period. At the Student Health Center, each injection is about $30. The cost is about the same at the County Health Department. A physician usually charges more. An official record of your having taken or having started this series is due in the Office of Field Experience prior to your Orientation; otherwise, you will not be able to student teach or intern.

Turn in your medical records by the first Friday of January for Spring placements or by the first Friday of August for Fall placements.

Required Meetings

Orientation: This all-day meeting is held just before the beginning of your student teaching or intern experience. School procedures and policies are covered, as is information on placement, liability, illness, work stoppage, certification, licensing, and so forth.

Seminars: Six late afternoon seminars are designed to support you during student teaching.

Teacher Employment Seminar: Come to campus to help secure your place in the ranks of paid teachers! Learn about licensure application procedures. Attend if you will graduate this semester.

Teacher Education Program Evaluation: Near the end of student teaching, complete an online evaluation to tell us what to do better and to help us keep in touch with you in the future! Complete the online evaluation if you will graduate this semester.

Alternative Placements

Please contact the Office of Field Experience for more information on alternative placements.


A Teaching Internship is a licensed, full-semester assignment in a school. The Wisconsin Improvement Program, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and the school system itself sponsor interns. The school district pays each intern a stipend ($4500 for 2011-12). Internships are often located in schools well away from La Crosse, and interns may be required to relocate. Students in good standing who have a cumulative overall GPA of 3.0 are eligible to apply. Currently UW-L does not allow students to complete Early Childhood or Special Education internships. Applications are due by February 15 for the Fall semester and by September 15 for the Spring semester. Acceptance into the Intern Pool is based on:

  1. Evidence of teaching potential; 
  2. Scholastic record;
  3. Recommendations of three professors; and 
  4. Interview with the Director of Field Experience.

Once accepted into the Intern Pool, candidates directly apply for internships with school districts. The number and types of internships available vary by semester. Both the school district and the intern candidate must reach an agreement. Neither the school districts nor the intern candidates are under any obligation to fill a particular internship. Once an internship position is proffered and accepted, a written agreement is highly recommended. The intern must obtain a password from the Office of Field Experience in 145 Graff Main Hall in order to apply online for an intern license. Internships can be terminated for non-performance.

Milwaukee Student Teaching

UW-La Crosse student teachers are offered the possibility of teaching in urban, culturally diverse settings with the Milwaukee Public Schools. Candidates must apply and be screened and interviewed. Acceptance is also based on scholastic record, evidence of teaching potential, and professional commitment. Interested students must attend a mandatory Information Session held each semester.

Placements for Physical Education and School Health Education

A few "out-of-La Crosse-area" student teaching sites may be available to Physical Education and School Health Education student teachers. The Director of Field Experience works with UW-La Crosse departmental faculty to place student teachers. Your request for these sites should be noted on your application forms.

Criminal Background Check Memo from the Director

TO:                Fall 2012 Student Teaching/Practicum/Internship Candidates
FROM:           Sheila Wirkus, Director of Field Experience


I want to personally congratulate you on beginning your student teaching, practicum, or internship experience and for all of your accomplishments in your academic classes and clinical field experiences.

As you are probably aware, student teaching/practicum/internship candidates are required to have national criminal background checks. This is a requirement of the school sites at which you are placed for your student teaching, practicum, or internship experience. 

We use a private company, Certified Background Inc, to perform these criminal background checks. It will be your responsibility to have the background check completed in July 2012.  This is a simple process to complete and only involves filling out a form on the web and supplying a credit/debit card number. Please note the package number NI71 (capitals N and I, and numbers 7 and 1). This package has been arranged specifically for UW-La Crosse School of Education student teaching/practicum/internship candidates, and you will need it to complete the process. The cost will be approximately $24 and could be more, depending on the number of states in which you have lived. 


Between July 1-31, 2012, you must:

1.  Go to www.certifiedbackground.com and follow the instructions.

2.  Supply the package number.

3.  You will receive a password when you have completed the process.

4.  Print out a copy of your background check for your own file.

5. Write down and file your password for future reference, in the event you need another copy of your background check..


Your signed release form submitted with your student teaching application packet allows us to access your records. We have a campus/department password for the site; therefore, it is not necessary to provide your password to our office.


If you have any questions about the criminal background check process, please contact Certified Background Inc directly at (888)723-4263, or contact Laurie Magnusson at (608)785-8126 or lmagnusson@uwlax.edu. Best wishes for a wonderful semester and student teaching, practicum, or internship experience.


Office of Field Experience, 145 Graff Main Hall, 1725 State Street, La Crosse WI  54601

Phone: (608)785-8126 / Fax: (608)785-8926

For any of these policies, procedures and their outcomes, an Appeals Board is available through an Assistant to the Dean in the School of Education or the College of Science and Health.