The OFE arranges opportunities for teacher licensure candidates to experience public school classrooms in a variety of grade levels and school settings. Candidates reflect on teaching and learning as they observe, assist, tutor or plan and teach lessons. The required activities associated with these experiences are assigned and evaluated by course instructors. Applications for each field experience are submitted online through TaskStream. It is the candidate's responsibility to attend to due dates and to check catamount email regularly for placement notifications, updates and announcements.


Types and Expectations of Experiences:


Early Field Experiences generally involve focused observation, interviews and assisting the classroom teacher.  Courses requiring these experiences include EDCI 201, PSY 323, SPED 339 and elementary and middle grades methods courses.  Methods courses may also require that candidates plan and implement lessons.  Candidates are required to document from 5 to16 hours in the classroom depending on the course.  Applications for early field experiences open the first day of the semester.

The "Block" Practicum Experience for students taking either ELMG 390 or EDMG 411 in the  elementary, middle grades, and inclusive education programs.  This experience requires candidates to plan and implement several lessons and work in the classroom one day per week (or two half days) for 10 weeks.  Applications for the "Block" practicum experience open at registration the preceding semester.

Internship/Student Teaching is a one or two-semester experience depending on the licensure program. Candidates gradually assume the responsibilities of the classroom teacher for planning, implementing and assessing lessons, managing student behavior and carrying out non-instructional duties. The goal is for candidates to develop the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions necessary for successful teaching. Internship I is three half days for HPE majors and two full days for all other majors.  Internship II/Student Teaching is 40 hours per week following the host school calendar and continuing through the end of the WCU semester.  For undergraduates, no additional classes can be taken during the final semester without prior approval.  Internship/student teaching applications open the first day of the preceding semester and close the 2nd Friday of September or February as applicable.  An online Handbook for Internship and Student Teaching is available with detailed expectations and is updated each summer for the following academic year.


Policies and Procedures:


Professional expectations in dress, communication, and behavior are expected at all times when interacting with school personnel, students and parents.  Proper use of standard spelling and grammar is required in all written communication, including e-mail.  

Participants in Field Experiences are responsible for providing their own transportation to placement locations and for arranging carpools if necessary.

Most participants are arranged in schools within a specific group of school systems in our western North Carolina region

Liability Insurance is recommended for all participants.

The Office of Field Experience monitors a Criminal Background Check Policy that includes background checks and the requirement that any arrests be reported to the Director of Field Experience with 72 hours. 

The OFE monitors the Culturally Diverse Experience required of undergraduates in the School of Teaching and Learning.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns at 828-227-7314 or



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