Commonly Asked Questions About Student Teaching and Internships

Where are applications for student teaching and internships obtained?
Applications for student teaching may be obtained here on the Office of Field Experience website.

When are the completed student teaching and internship applications due?
Completed applications must be turned in by early October for a fall semester placement and by early March for a spring semester placement. If timelines are not strictly adhered to, students cannot be assured of a placement. Meanwhile, you are always welcome to stop by our office in 145 Graff Main Hall with any questions. Please note: Intern Pool applications are due by February 15 for Fall semester opportunities and by September 15 for Spring semester oportunities. 

How can I obtain a copy of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Teacher Education Program Fieldwork Handbook?
Two sections of the Fieldwork Handbook are available for your use. You may print a copy whenever you wish. The more familiar you are with its contents, the more prepared you will be for student/intern teaching and in understanding and using its policies and procedures. The available sections include:

How can you be admitted to student teaching?
To be eligible for student teaching, you must have a GPA of 2.75, as well as a 2.75 in your major, minor concentration, and professional sequence. You must meet prerequisites specified for ECE 400, 401; EDS 493, 494, and/or 495; SHE 493, 494, and/or 495; SPE 483/583, 484/584, 784. At the time of application to student teach or intern, students must declare the major(s), minor(s), and/or concentrations for which they are seeking certification. An application packet must be completed and submitted for admission to student teaching in February for the following Spring semester and in October for the following Fall semester.

Can a student contact a school for a student teaching placement?
Under no circumstances should a student contact a school to arrange his or her own placement. Cooperating school personnel and many other individuals are involved in the assignment process. Because of this, any contacts you make could lead to denial of your application for student teaching, as well as refusal by a cooperating school.

What is the workload of a student teacher or intern?
State regulations require that the student teaching assignment extend the length of the local school district calendar. Fall semester assignments start in late August or early September and end in mid- to late-January. Spring semester assignments typically begin later in January and conclude in early June. Students should consider these dates as they affect housing, budget, employment, etc. Student teachers will observe the daily and holiday schedules of the school district, not those of the University. Some evening hours may also be required. The rigor of the student teaching assignment generally precludes additional course work and employment.

Can a student teacher substitute teach while student teaching?
Wisconsin Statute 118.19 and Chapter Pl 3.01 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code state that substitute teachers must possess a bachelor's degree and license to teach; therefore, student teachers may not serve as substitute teachers. This is a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse policy and is intended to protect the cooperating school system and its students, as well as the student teacher. Even though the student may participate in the graduation ceremony before the end of the student teaching experience, the student is NOT certified to teach.

Can an intern substitute teach?
An intern may serve as a substitute teacher only for a cooperating team teacher for a limited period of time, if the principal of the school specifically authorizes this and it meets with the approval of the intern and other team members. Under no circumstances will an intern serve as a substitute teacher for other teachers in the school system. The intern should, except in case of an unforeseen emergency, be notified at least one day in advance of the responsibility of serving as a temporary substitute teacher.

When can a student teacher contact their assigned cooperating teacher?
As soon as you receive your placement, you should contact your cooperating teacher(s). In this initial meeting to introduce yourself, you should find out when you are to start your first day of school and ask for any policies and procedures that are necessary in learning about the rules of the school.

What limitations occur in making placements?
We do not place student teachers and interns in schools they attended. We also do not place student teachers and interns in schools where immediate family relatives (including first relatives and step relatives) are employed. Student teaching assignments will be made within an approximately 50-mile radius of La Crosse. Most often assignments will be made as close to La Crosse as possible to allow for the most efficient use of the supervisors' time and travel funds. All assignments must be made with verified cooperating teachers and must comply with all applicable DPI, UW-La Crosse, and program requirements.

What is an Internship program, and who can apply for this program?
Internships are assignments in which student teachers are given temporary certification and partial contracts. Internship requests originate from school districts to meet various needs, such as staff development or temporary staff shortages. The Wisconsin Improvement Program (WIP), University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and the school district sponsor the internship. Internship positions can be posted anytime. All students in good standing who have a 3.0 GPA are eligible to apply. Applications are due by February 15 for Fall semester opportunities and by September 15 for Spring semester opportunities. Acceptance into the program is based on: 1) evidence of teaching potential and professional commitment, 2) scholastic record, 3) three letters of recommendation, 4) personal interview, 5) number and type of internship positions available. We cannot guarantee an intern placement; however, we assure you that all applications will be fully considered and fairly handled. Those who do not secure an intern placement will be placed as student teachers.

Can student teachers/interns be employed during the student teaching/intern experience?
Student teachers and 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.

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

How and when do I take the TB test and receive the Hepatitis B immunization? 
Before you can student teach, you must have recorded in the Office of Field Experience [145 Graff Main Hall, 1725 State Street, La Crosse WI 54601; fax (608)785-8926], official proof that you have taken a tuberculosis test (and are free of TB) and that you have taken or started the Hepatitis B immunization series. You may attend to these procedures at the UW-L Health Center at (608)785-8558, at the La Crosse County Health Department, or with your family physician.

Within 90 days before student teaching begins, you must have completed a two-part TB test. You must go on two separate days, two days apart. Turn in your test result to the Office of Field Experience by the first Friday of January for a Spring semester placement and by the first Friday of August for a Fall semester placement.

The Hepatitis B immunization is given as a series of three injections over a 16- to 24-week period. For full-time students, each injection is about $25 at the UW-L Health Center. 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 by the first Friday of January for a Spring semester placement and by the first Friday of August for a Fall semester placement.

When do I complete the required national criminal background check, and where do I locate information on and directions for it? At sometime during the month prior to your Student Teaching Orientation Day, you will go online to complete a national criminal background check. You will find links to the informational memo from the Director of Field Experience, as well as the CertifiedBackground.com instructions, under “Policies for Student Teaching and Internships” at http://www.uwlax.edu/soe/field/sti/index.html. Please note that the package code (NI71) is a capital N, capital I, number 7, and number 1. If you have problems with the website, please contact CertifiedBackground.com directly at their toll-free number listed at the bottom of the Student Instructions sheet.