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School of Education

Frequently asked field experience questions

Student Teaching
When should I student teach?

Please keep in frequent communication with your academic advisor to plan your program completion. Student teaching occurs during the final semester of study. All course, program, and testing requirements must be successfully completed before candidates are eligible for student teaching. 

How do I apply for student teaching?

Candidates will receive an email with an electronic application to complete.  For application window dates, please see SOE Dates and Deadlines.  Candidates should apply through this application two semesters prior to their student teaching experience. All candidates must complete the application and agree to comply with the terms stated in the application in order to be placed for student teaching. All course, program, and testing requirements must be successfully completed prior to student teaching. 

In the case of an extenuating circumstance, students may request an extension to a benchmark or application window. To make a request, the student should make a request by completing this linked survey. The survey will ask you to provide the following information:

  • Indicate the request
  • Provide an explanation of the extenuating circumstance
  • Provide an explanation of why the application was not able to be submitted within the submission window
  • Identify a UWL faculty member who can speak to the extenuating circumstance
What if I want to take a class during student teaching?

Candidates are expected to have all course, program, and testing requirements successfully completed prior to student teaching. Permission may be granted under extenuating circumstances by the Dean.  These exceptions are rare.

What if I have an underage drinking citation or a criminal charge?

Candidates who have received citations or charges are required to disclose this information even if they think the charges were dismissed. This information is often reported on the online national criminal background check candidates are required to complete prior to participating in a field experience. Candidates are expected to report citations and charges consistently when completing the forms as required throughout the program of study.

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 that you have failed to report, you will be required to meet with the Office of Field Experience to discuss the discrepancy. The result of this discussion may or may not alter or terminate your participation in a field experience or student teaching assignment, depending on the activity.

When do I complete the online criminal background check?

Criminal Background Check (CBC) Policy

Effective Spring 2019
All teacher candidates must complete the designated national criminal background check process upon admission to the School of Education, Professional & Continuing Education. In compliance with WI PI 34.0182(2), all license preparation programs with admissions processes have incorporated a CBC as part of the admissions requirement.  CBCs performed for another institution or agency cannot be accepted, including those for graduate programs leading to certification.

All CBCs ordered by EPC will be good for five years (for EPC purposes) for every EPC undergraduate and graduate student.   Any CBCs done prior to 1/28/19 are still subject to expiration policies (CBC is good for two years for field experiences and within one year for student teaching).  Additional CBCs may also be required by specific placement sites and programs (i.e. EC-MC requires a CBC by Department of Children and Families prior to beginning the ECE Block placements).  

Any teacher candidate who completed a CBC as part of a pre-admission field experience will still need to complete a CBC at the time of admission.

For those admitted prior to Spring semester 2019, a CBC is required prior to entering the schools for their first clinical field experience or any other school experience at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse.  Prior to student teaching, teacher candidates must complete a second designated national CBC if more than one year has passed since their last CBC.

Any teacher candidate previously admitted to a teacher certification program at UWL prior to Spring 2019, who has a current CBC on file through admission or a field experience, and is adding another certification or is changing programs (i.e. new admission), does not need a new CBC unless their old one has expired or is required by the placement site or program. 

Teacher candidates will be notified by email if they are required to complete or update a background check and are responsible for all costs associated with the criminal background checks.  It is the teacher candidate’s responsibility to follow the instructions and complete the process by the dates specified.

Teacher candidates who have had an international address in the last seven years need to contact their designated field experience coordinator prior to initiating the online criminal background check.

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.  

Procedures for the Criminal Background Check                        
Criminal background check policies and procedures will be shared with teacher candidates upon admission to EPC, or prior to any field experience (for those admitted prior to Spring 2019), and will also be available on the Office of Field Experience website.

If a teacher candidate has not yet completed a criminal background check (or needs it updated), the Office of Field Experience will email the criminal background check instructions to those teacher candidates needing a CBC.  Any new or updated CBC completed after 1/28/19 is now usable (for EPC purposes) for five years, so teacher candidates will only be notified if their CBC was last completed prior to that date.  The Office of Field Experience will record the CBCs conducted each semester.

What do I do if I receive a citation or criminal charge after completing my student teaching application or during my student teaching/intern experience?

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 student teaching or intern placement, 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 or student teaching placements.

I tried to register for my student teaching/intern experience and it won't let me register. Why not?

Candidates will be registered for student teaching/ internship and seminar courses by the School of Education. Candidates need to ensure they have no holds on their accounts in order to be registered for the student teaching semester(s).

When will I receive my student teaching placement?

Placements are typically completed by week 12 of the semester prior to the candidate's student teaching experience.  Occasionally placements may change due to unforeseen circumstances. Candidates will be notified of confirmed placements via your UWL email by the Office of Field Experience.

Where will I be placed for student teaching?

Candidates are generally placed in schools within a 50-mile radius of La Crosse. Candidates are asked to provide specific information, preferences, and special considerations on the application, which are considered when arranging placements with schools requesting student teachers that particular semester.  Candidates are NOT permitted to arrange their own placements in any way - to do so is a direct violation of SoE policy and could result in dismissal from the program.

Are there other (Out of Area) placement options?

Out of Area Student Teaching Placements

There are many opportunities for out of area student teaching placements.  These opportunities include, but are not limited to, Notre Dame School of Milwaukee, Institute for Urban Education, Educators Abroad, and Wisconsin Improvement Program Internships. 

Please visit the Field Experience Handbook for more information regarding out of area placements including the selection process. 

 

 

 

What if I want to be placed with a specific teacher or school?

Please indicate your preferences on the application so that requests may be considered. Candidates are not allowed to arrange their own placements in any way, and policies prohibit candidates 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.  Ignoring this policy could result in dismissal from the School of Education.

What if I don't have a car?

Candidates are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from schools. The Office of Field Experience will strive to facilitate carpooling for those candidates who do not have transportation. Limited placements may be possible within walking distance or on the bus line.

May I work, volunteer, or participate in other extracurricular activities during student teaching?

Student teaching is considered a full-time commitment and the top priority for the semester. Due to the rigor and intensity of the student teaching experience, it is expected that student teachers limit other employment and extracurricular activities for successful completion of student teaching expectations and responsibilities. Part-time employment and other extracurricular activities (see definition below) are not permitted to interfere with the placement site calendar or evening student teaching seminars. Participation in collegiate sports is generally not possible during student teaching and requires written permission by the field experience coordinator prior to the student teaching semester. Based on state statute, student teachers may not miss any school day/school time to participate in extracurricular activities and must follow contracted teacher hours (not student hours) for assigned placement district.

"Extracurricular activities" may include (but are not limited to): volunteer positions, tutoring, before and after school programs, employment/part time jobs, nanny/childcare duties, coaching (assistant only), club/intramural sports, campus clubs and organizations, and collegiate sports (generally not approved).

May I be placed in the same school as my children or other family members

No, candidates generally benefit most from being placed in a neutral setting and the policy is to place candidates 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 attended, from which I graduated, or was employed?

The Office of Field Experience is required to provide neutral settings and diverse learning experiences for all teacher candidates. Candidates will generally be placed in a different school than the ones they attended or were employed.

When will I start my student teaching/intern experience?

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) stipulates that all student teachers and interns must student teach or intern full days for a full semester according to the placement school calendar  in order to be certified in Wisconsin. Candidates are expected to follow the same schedule and calendar as the cooperating teacher they are placed with, including all in service days at the beginning of the semester and any other meetings. Teacher candidates are also encouraged to meet their cooperating teachers before the semester and assist with room set-up and preparation prior to the semester.

How do I know when my school begins the semester?

As soon as you receive your placement, please access the school calendar on the district website and make note of all important dates. Your next step is to contact your cooperating teacher with your introductory letter, and inquire about inservice dates and a time to meet prior to the student teaching experience.

Am I finished student teaching after commencement?

No, the university calendar does not coincide with host school calendars, and teacher candidates/interns are required to complete the semester of the host school. School calendars vary, although the fall semester usually ends the third week of January and spring semester usually ends in early to mid-June, depending on school vacations, snow days, and other factors. Degrees are not awarded during the University commencement ceremony.

What if my school has added days to the end of the semester due to weather closures?

In accordance with P-I 34, student teachers must attend full days for the entire school district quarter and/or semester.  Any days added to the end of the semester due to weather related school closures are considered part of the school district calendar; therefore, student teachers are required to attend any additional days that have been added to a quarter and/or semester.

What are some resources to help me build a resume?

Once your student teacher application is processed, you will be invited to a Canvas Course that includes assignments required of all student teachers.  One of the assignments is to submit a resume.  Please check the information in the following links for assistance in building your resume:

Student Teacher Resume Video
UWL Teacher Education Resume Guide
Student Teacher Sample Resume

Who should I contact if I have more questions about student teaching experiences?

Rebecah Neitzel | Field Experience Administrative Assistant |
274 Morris Hall | 608.785.8126 | soefieldexp@uwlax.edu 

Cindy Duley | Field Experience Coordinator 
263 Morris Hall | 608.785.8736 | cduley@uwlax.edu

Katie Rutenbar | Field Experience Coordinator 
276 Morris Hall | 608.785.5034 | krutenbar@uwlax.edu

Pre-Student Teaching Field Experience
When should I apply for my pre-student teaching field experiences?

Please keep in frequent communication with your advisor to determine the best time to apply for each of your pre-student teaching field experiences. All field course prerequisites must be met before you are eligible for any field experience, and many are taken concurrently with courses that carry their own pre-requisites.  Field II experience should be taken the semester prior to Student Teaching.  Field I experience is typically taken one to two semesters prior to Field II experience. 

How do I apply for pre-student teaching field experiences?

Early in the semester, you will receive information on pre-student teaching field experiences, including a link to the pre-student teaching electronic application by email. You must complete the electronic application, complete appropriate course/program pre-requisites, and be in good standing in order to be eligible for pre-student teaching field experiences. 

In the case of an extenuating circumstance, students may request an extension to a benchmark or application window. Requests for an extension should be made prior to the deadline whenever possible. To make a request, the student should make a request by completing this linked survey. The survey will ask you to provide the following information:

  • Indicate the request
  • Provide an explanation of the extenuating circumstance
  • Provide an explanation of why the application was not able to be submitted within the submission window
  • Identify a UWL faculty member who can speak to the extenuating circumstance
When should I enroll in my pre-student teaching field experiences?

Once your application has been submitted, your eligibility and enrollment will be confirmed by the Office of Field Experience.  Registration for your pre-student teaching field experience and any concurrent methods courses will be completed for you.  You will need to register for your remaining (non-field) classes in WINGS.

I tried to register for my pre-student teaching field experience and it won’t let me register. Why not?

You will be automatically registered for your pre-student teaching field experience course if you have completed the pre-student teaching Field Experience Application survey and have been found to be eligible to be enrolled. Your registration for your pre-student teaching field experience and any concurrent methods courses will be completed for you. You will need to register for your remaining classes in WINGS. 

Please be sure that there are no holds on your account in order to be registered for your field experience.

When will I receive my pre-student teaching field experience placement?

Pre-student teaching field experience placements will be sent out shortly before or during the start of the semester of the placement.

How much time do I need to allow in my schedule for the pre-student teaching field experience?

You should plan to reserve a minimum of 3 mornings or 3 afternoons throughout the semester for participation in your pre-student teaching field experience. Specific times and days depend on the program and school site.  Your pre-student teaching field experience instructor will share specific information with you.  You should also meet with your advisor, who will be able to share more details about the time requirements for your program.

What if I have a schedule change after completing the electronic survey?

Please notify the Office of Field Experience (soefieldexp@uwlax.edu) as soon as possible with any schedule changes. The Field Office will be in contact with you if necessary to make adjustments.

In what school will I be placed?

Placement locations vary by program, pre-student teaching field experience level, and availability. Teacher candidates are generally placed in schools within a 50-mile radius of La Crosse. You will be asked to provide specific information and special considerations on the electronic application, including access to transportation.  This information is 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, although not guaranteed. Teacher candidates may not arrange their own placements, or contact schools, principals, or teachers in an effort to obtain a placement.

What if I don’t have a car?

You are responsible for providing your own means of transportation to and from schools. The Office of Field Experience will strive to facilitate carpooling for those teacher candidates 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 pre-student teaching field experience conflicts with my work hours?

Please be sure to enter your work hour information in the electronic application. While the Office of Field Experience will endeavor to accommodate your needs, accommodations cannot be guaranteed. Pre-student teaching field experiences and student teaching are one of the most important parts of your journey to becoming a teacher. These experiences prepare you for your future role as an educator. As such, these experiences are expected to be prioritized.

May I be placed in the same school as my children or other family members?

No, you may not be placed in the same school as your children or other family members. You must disclose these potential conflicts of interest on your electronic pre-student teaching field experience application.

May I be placed at a school that I graduated from, attended, or have been employed?

No, this is considered to be a conflict of interest for both the school as well as the teacher candidate. You will be placed in a different school than those from which you graduated, attended, or have been employed.

What if I have an underage drinking citation or a criminal charge?

If you have received citations or charges, you are required to disclose this information on the required forms at the end of the electronic application, even if the charges  were dismissed. Previous citations and charges do not automatically exclude you from participating in pre-student teaching field experiences. As this information often shows up on the online national criminal background check, we encourage you to be forthcoming about any potential findings.

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 that you have failed to report, you will be required to meet with the Office of Field Experience to discuss the discrepancy. The result of this discussion may or may not alter or terminate your participation in a field experience or student teaching assignment, depending on the activity.

When do I complete the online criminal background check?

Criminal Background Check (CBC) Policy

Effective Spring 2019
All teacher candidates must complete the designated national criminal background check process upon admission to the School of Education, Professional & Continuing Education. In compliance with WI PI 34.0182(2), all license preparation programs with admissions processes have incorporated a CBC as part of the admissions requirement.  CBCs performed for another institution or agency cannot be accepted, including those for graduate programs leading to certification.

All CBCs ordered by EPC will be good for five years (for EPC purposes) for every EPC undergraduate and graduate student.   Any CBCs done prior to 1/28/19 are still subject to expiration policies (CBC is good for two years for field experiences and within one year for student teaching).  Additional CBCs may also be required by specific placement sites and programs (i.e. EC-MC requires a CBC by Department of Children and Families prior to beginning the ECE Block placements).  

Any teacher candidate who completed a CBC as part of a pre-admission field experience will still need to complete a CBC at the time of admission.

For those admitted prior to Spring semester 2019, a CBC is required prior to entering the schools for their first clinical field experience or any other school experience at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse.  Prior to student teaching, teacher candidates must complete a second designated national CBC if more than one year has passed since their last CBC.

Any teacher candidate previously admitted to a teacher certification program at UWL prior to Spring 2019, who has a current CBC on file through admission or a field experience, and is adding another certification or is changing programs (i.e. new admission), does not need a new CBC unless their old one has expired or is required by the placement site or program. 

Teacher candidates will be notified by email if they are required to complete or update a background check and are responsible for all costs associated with the criminal background checks.  It is the teacher candidate’s responsibility to follow the instructions and complete the process by the dates specified.

Teacher candidates who have had an international address in the last seven years need to contact their designated field experience coordinator prior to initiating the online criminal background check.

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.  

Procedures for the Criminal Background Check                          
Criminal background check policies and procedures will be shared with teacher candidates upon admission to EPC, or prior to any field experience (for those admitted prior to Spring 2019), and will also be available on the Office of Field Experience website.

If a teacher candidate has not yet completed a criminal background check (or needs it updated), the Office of Field Experience will email the criminal background check instructions to those teacher candidates needing a CBC.  Any new or updated CBC completed after 1/28/19 is now usable (for EPC purposes) for five years, so teacher candidates will only be notified if their CBC was last completed prior to that date.  The Office of Field Experience will record the CBCs conducted each semester.

Do I have to complete another criminal background check if I have had one done somewhere else?

Yes. Criminal background records cannot be shared between agencies, or even between school districts. The Office of Field Experience is required to keep each teacher candidate’s records on file.

 

What do I do if I receive a citation or criminal charge after completing the application or during a pre-student teaching field experience?

If you have received any new charges or citations, or are being investigated by any governmental agency for any act or offense, you are required to notify the Office of Field Experience as soon as possible, but no later than the next day that you are expected to be at your school site. Failure to do so may result in removal from your pre-student teaching field experience placement.

Who should I contact if I have more questions about field experiences?

ECE, EME, EME/SPE, and EME/TSL
     Field Experience Coordinator: Christy Wopat

AWLME, PASHE, STEP, Internships and Out of Area
     Field Experience Coordinator: Cindy Duley

Office of Field Experience
260 Morris Hall
email:
soefieldexp@uwlax.edu