The responsibility of the Office of Field Experiences is to provide quality field experiences for students enrolled in the teacher education program at UW-Stevens Point. These experiences, such as student teaching, involve our students and instructors in practical activities with cooperating teachers and administrators in actual schools and educational agencies.
UWSP Office of Field Experiences policies are described in the current UWSP Catalog and are approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Applications for student teaching are made in the first month of the semester preceding student teaching. Attendance is required at an Application Meeting at which the process is explained and important information presented. These meetings are announced by email, and you must register to attend. Those who register for an Application Meeting will be given access to a Canvas course containing all application materials. Dates and deadlines surrounding this process are critical to assure the success of securing appropriate placements.
All students must be enrolled in a student teaching seminar during their student teaching/internship experience. Attendance at on-campus meetings is required, and a final capstone presentation will be required at the last seminar.
Cooperating teachers play a vital role in the development of future teachers. They are an integral part of the Student Teaching Triad (along with the student teacher and university supervisor). The Handbook for Student Teaching (updated Fall 2021) provides guidelines for this collaboration.
The Office of Field Experiences extends our gratitude for the contribution of cooperating teachers and will express it with our support in every possible way.
University supervisors play a vital role in the development of future teachers. They are an integral part of the Student Teaching Triad (along with the student teacher and cooperating teacher). The Handbook for Student Teaching (updated Fall 2021) provides guidelines for this collaboration.
University supervisors provide continuous oversight of the student teacher and offer regular feedback during this capstone learning experience. In addition, the university supervisor serves as an important resource to the cooperating teacher in the classroom.
The final seminar day consists of…
Level I (Up to 20 hours): The primary duty is to observe instructional program in progress. These observations may involve limited participation, such as preparing materials or tutoring students. Participation must be under the direct supervision of a host teacher, preferably in a classroom setting. Documentation of hours by the host teacher is required.
Level II (Typically 20-40 hours): Practicum students may assume further responsibilities, such as instructing small groups or large groups for all or parts of lessons. Lesson content and materials may be prepared by the practicum student along with beginning experience with assessment of student work, subject to approval and guidance by the host teacher. Participation must be under the direct supervision of a host teacher. Documentation of hours by the host teacher is required.
Level III (As determined by the program): Practicum students will, over time, at the discretion of the host teacher, assume additional responsibilities including planning for, instructing, and assessing student learning. Participation must be under the direct supervision of a host teacher in prekindergarten through grade 12 school settings. Evaluation based upon observations by the host teacher, or a university supervisor of practicum student performance is required.
Note: Clinical Experience consists of Student Teaching. The Office of Field Experiences will send out requests for each student teaching placement at that time.
A Practicum Fair is held by the School of Education at the start of every semester. You are encouraged to attend and sign up with teachers in Stevens Point, and the surrounding area. Your course instructor will provide you with the dates of the fair. They will also be posted in the School of Education Newsletter.
If you are seeking practicuml experiences outside of the Stevens Point area, you will need approval from your course instructor, the building administrator, and the teacher. Please use the Request for Practicum Experience Form when seeking this type of practicum.
Some schools or districts may require additional forms. Contact the UWSP Office of Field Experience to make sure you are following each district’s requirements.
A meeting is held in the first month of the semester preceding the one when you plan to student teach to go over the application process. Applications will be due to the Office of Field Experiences (OFE) one week after this meeting. Watch for announced dates and places. In the meantime, you are welcome to stop by our office at 464 CPS with your questions.
To apply for student teaching, you must have a GPA of at least 2.75 in every program for which you are seeking certification (some majors/minors may require a higher GPA). To student teach for initial certification, you must have completed 100% of the courses in your major, 100% of the courses in any minor (or minors) for which you plan to apply for certification, as well as have passing grades in all state–required content exams (Ex: ACTFL/ Foundations of Reading). For adding endorsements to an existing license, rules vary depending upon program area.
You must also demonstrate content knowledge by either 1) obtaining a 3.00 or higher in each teaching major and teaching minor or 2) submit passing scores on the required Praxis Subject Assessment exam(s). Students must meet one of the above requirements for teacher licensure.
NOTE: Any student seeking a teaching license in French, German or Spanish are required to pass the ACTFL OPIC and WPT exams, regardless of their major/minor GPA.
You must student teach in your major in order to graduate and obtain initial certification, in most cases. If you have completed all requirements for a certifiable minor, you may choose to pursue certification in the additional subject area by requesting either a split placement during a single student teaching semester, or an additional placement before or after full-semester student teaching. For full-semester student teaching for initial certification, you may request a split placement; however, such placements are sometimes difficult to obtain and complete.
**The OFE does not guarantee the availability of initial student teaching placements beyond the minimum range of grade levels in your major. For minors or extended ranges of grade-level, you have choices, not obligations for initial certification. As you explore various options, please bear in mind that quantity of experiences does not replace quality of experience. For all student teachers, one or two good experiences are better than many mediocre ones
In your Student Teaching Application, you will provide the OFE with three school district preferences. The OFE will then follow your first preferred district’s procedure for requesting student teaching placements. If a school is unable to provide a placement, the OFE will move the request to another school within that same district. If a placement is denied by the district, then the OFE will move on to the second district preference you provided. In order to keep the request process moving, you will not be notified of any denied requests unless additional district preferences are needed.
Under no circumstances does UWSP condone actively seeking a student teaching placement through unwelcome contacts with cooperating school administrators, teachers, or staff. If you do not appropriately meet with cooperating professionals, any contacts you pursue by such so–called “lobbying” could lead to denial of your application for student teaching as well as refusal by a cooperating school or agency, not only of your application but those of others.
Teacher candidates may not be assigned in cooperating schools and classrooms where the following conflicts occur, unless agreed upon by the host district: the teacher candidate has a child in that school building; the teacher candidate has a direct relative in that school building in a teaching or administrative capacity, or a direct relative in that school district in an administrative capacity; the school district has explicitly stated a policy regarding former students of that district’s schools returning as teacher candidates. The OFE may terminate any student teaching placement in which a conflict of interest is found to occur.
Internships are placements in which student teachers are given temporary certification from the WI DPI and partial contracts from the sponsoring school district. Interns may be placed in independent teaching situations for up to 50% of their day. Following guidelines established by the Wisconsin Improvement Program, internship requests originate from school districts to meet various needs. As such, they may be posted anytime. Nomination of candidates may be taken anytime by the OFE from program areas. If you wish to apply for an internship, you must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0; upon applying, you will have an interview with the Director of Field Experiences before your application materials are forwarded to postings identified by you. There are many uncertainties about internships. We at the OFE cannot be sure of the content and timing of any such assignment but will make every effort to assure you that your application will be fully considered and fairly handled.
Successful teacher candidates enter the student teaching semester understanding the complexnature of teaching and working as an integral part of a school community. They also understand the expectations for a successful evaluation. The Handbook for Student Teaching provides information and resources to assist in preparing for the experience. Especially recommended are a thorough understanding of the Wisconsin Teaching Standards (Appendix E) and the Teacher Candidate Dispositions (Appendix J).
Teacher candidates should be aware that the semester of student teaching follows the calendar of the host school district. This means that you will start before the UWSP semester and/or extend beyond it, depending upon the semester of your experience. Wisconsin school district calendars typically require teachers to report during the last week in August. The end of the school year is usually in early June. Teacher candidates must be in attendance for all teacher workdays. Vacation days also follow the host school district calendar. Do not plan personal events that cause conflicts with this requirement.
Teacher candidates must attend required seminars on campus scheduled during the semester,regardless of the location of the placement.