College of Education and Allied Professions

Office of Field Experiences (OFE)

Welcome to the Office of Field Experiences. Our office arranges placement opportunities for WCU teacher education students to complete course assignments in public schools. We administer the application process, criminal background check reporting, time logs, diversity experiences and university supervision of internships/student teaching. We update the Internship/Student Teaching Handbook and work with WCU and P-12 faculty and administrators to resolve placement issues. 


Upcoming Applications & Due Dates

ALL Early Field Experience Placement Applications OPEN Monday, August 21st
ALL EFX Applications DUE Friday, September 8th
Spring 2018 Internship Applications DUE Friday, September 22nd
Block Applications OPEN Monday, October 23rd
Block Applications DUE Friday, November 17th
Early Field Experience Time Sheets Need to be submitted to Tk20
Friday, December 1st

Resources for Students and Partners

Contact Information

Dr. Chenà Flood, Director Killian 201E ctflood@wcu.edu
Amanda Chapman, Lead University Supervisor Killian 201C abchapman@wcu.edu
Monica Miller, Early Field Experience Placement Coordinator Killian 201B mbmiller@wcu.edu
Deb Henry, Advisor, OFE Support  Killian 201D dchenry@wcu.edu

Current Students

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 Tk20. It is the candidate's responsibility to attend to due dates and to check catamount email regularly for placement notifications, updates and announcements.

Early Field 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, elementary and middle grades methods courses, and EDCI 607,609, & 616.  Methods courses may also require that candidates plan and implement lessons.  Candidates are required to document from 5 to 24 hours in the classroom depending on the course.  

  • Applications for early field experiences open the first day of each semester.
  • EDCI 201, PSY 323 and SPED 339 require a time sheet which are to be submitted on Tk20.  
  • Documentation of field experiences for other courses is at the discretion of the individual course instructor.
  • Early Field Experience Time Sheet

Block Practicum Experience

The "Block" Practicum Experience for students taking either ELMG 390 or EDMG 411 in the elementary, middle grades, and inclusive education programs and is generally completed the semester prior to Internship. 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 course registration the semester prior.
  • Placement information is generally given to the students around the second week of the semester by the Block course instructor.

Internship

Internship is a two-semester experience. 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 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 Clinical Practice Handbook is available with detailed expectations and is updated each summer for the following academic year. 

Diverse Settings for Field Experiences

The College of Education and Allied Professions at Western Carolina University subscribes to a definition of diversity inclusive of the following attributes: age, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, geographic region, giftedness, language, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and school performance. WCU candidates should experience a range of school settings and interact with a variety of students. Candidates who have not been placed in a diverse setting prior to the Internship experience will be placed in a diverse setting for Internship (as allowable).

If a diverse placement in a public-school setting cannot be arranged, candidates will be allowed to complete an experience of at least 10 hours (across a full semester) with an after-school or community program that provides academic services in a structured environment for diverse students.

 Diverse experiences are approved by the Office of Field Experiences. The following factors are used to determine the diversity of a school setting:

  • School enrollment based on the following student populations: English Learners (EL), race/ethnicity, student socioeconomic status (based on free and reduced lunch program enrollment), and students with disabilities
  • Geographic location of the school (i.e., rural, urban, or suburban)
  • Type of class (e.g., EC, AIG, etc.)
  • Type of school (e.g., public, charter, early college, or child care center)
  • School performance (as determined by the state)

In order to ensure that candidates experience a range of school settings and interact with a variety of students, the following attributes must be met in one or more placements over the course of the teacher education program.

REQUIRED:

Placement in a diverse setting with student populations of color greater than or equal to 20%.


In addition, a placement in a school(s) that meet 2 of the following 5 attributes must also be met upon completion of internship:

  1. 5% or more of the student population identified as ELs OR
  2. 60% or more of the student population identified as low SES OR
  3. Low-performing school OR
  4. Urban or suburban school setting OR
  5. Alternative Class Type (e.g., early college, charter, AIG, child care center)

 

Cooperating Teachers

Block/Practicum Experience

For Elementary, Middle Grades, & Inclusive Education students.

For our “Block” placement, students are required to be with their host teacher one day per week (or 8 hours if their class schedule requires that they split between 2 days) over 10 weeks for observation.  During their time with the host teacher they will be conducting observations, assisting the teacher, and teaching several mini-lessons.

More detailed explanation of requirements and expectations are provided by the course instructor(s).

Cooperating Teachers for Internship and Student Teaching

Forms & Information: 

Specific Licensure Program Information - Contact programs directly for more information

University Supervisors

The university supervisor is responsible for communicating university expectations to the WCU student and cooperating teacher. The university supervisor supports the development of the student by observing, providing feedback, and maintaining open communication with the student, cooperating teacher, academic supervisor, liaison, principal, and Director of Field Experiences as needed.

University supervisors generally visit students three times during Internship I and five times during Internship II or student teaching. When considered necessary, additional visits must be preapproved by the Director of Field Experiences.

For distance and online candidates, these observations are conducted via the streaming of live video or other technology-mediated instruction from the placement site while the intern is engaged in teaching. Interactions between the university supervisor and the cooperating teacher are accomplished via telephone, email, and/or video conference.


Travel

Travel Reimbursement Template (submitted monthly)

If you are interested in supervising interns or student teachers, please contact us at ofe@wcu.edu.

Forms and Checklists

Block Practicum

Internship Application Materials

Program Specific Requirements

Intern I

Intern II/Student Teaching

 

Action Plan

edTPA

Tk20

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