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College of Education and Allied Professions

Office of Field Experiences (OFE)

Welcome to the Office of Field Experiences! The Office of Field Experience is part of Suite 201 Student Support Center in the College of Education & Allied Professions.  We work with our school partners to arrange placement opportunities for our WCU teacher education candidates to complete course assignments, field experiences, and internship in public schools. We seek to support our students through their application processes, administer criminal background check reporting, oversee time requirement documentation, and insure that all our of students have diverse experiences.  Our office also provides supervision and mentoring to our candidates during their internship, and if needed we work with WCU and P-12 faculty and administrators to resolve placement issues.


Block Applications Due

By Friday, April 5th

Early Field Experience Hours Complete - Logged with QR Code

& Experience Evaluations Due in Tk20

By Friday, April 19th

Outstanding Prospective Teachers’ Awards Ceremony

Friday, May 10th

Resources for Students and Partners

Contact Information

Amanda Chapman, Director of the Office of Field Experiences Killian 201 K
Monica Miller, Lead Field Supervisor & Instructor Killian 201 M
Christy Baird, Early Field Experience Placement Coordinator & Intstructor Killian 201 H
Deb Henry, Advisor, OFE Support  Killian 201 N

Our Placement Region For Residential Programs

OFE Placement Districts

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.

Background check policies

Student Population

Initial Background Check Requirement

Recheck Requirement

Payment for Background checks

Undergraduate Residential TEP

With Early Field Experience Application (EDCI 201, PSY 323, SPED 339)

With Internship Application

Included in course fees

Birth-Kindergarten (All Tracks)

With Online Orientation

With Action Research/

Internship Application*


Included in course fees

(Exception: BK RALC students must self-pay for  required check)

SPED Graduate Certification and MAT

With Online Orientation

With Practicum Application*


MAT (Social Sciences, English, Biology, & Art)

TEP Admission (required during first semester of enrollment)

With Internship Application*


* Students who are completing internship/action research requirement within the setting that they are currently employed are not required to complete the Background Recheck.  However, employer will be required to verify that the school/school system has a background check on file via the Site Supervisor form.


Statement on Professional Liability of Interns and Student Teachers

School personnel are responsible for ensuring the safety and protection of students at all times. Teacher education candidates completing field experiences and clinical practice are legally viewed as school employees and may be personally charged with negligence if accident or injury occurs to a student in their care. Neither the State of North Carolina nor Western Carolina University will be responsible for providing legal defense for any professional education candidate or for paying for any judgment which may be entered against the accused; therefore, beginning in the Fall 2018, the College of Education and Allied Professions will require that all professional education candidates purchase professional liability insurance prior to beginning their internship. 

Many professional organizations offer professional liability coverage as a benefit of membership. Examples of such organizations include, but are not limited to, the following:

Student Chapter North Carolina Association of Educators (SNCAE)

Professional Educators of North Carolina (PENC)

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

Kappa Delta Pi (KDP)

National Education Association (NEA)

Information on obtaining private liability insurance can be obtained from the North Carolina Association of Insurance Agents.

Note: Some districts require all teacher candidates to have liability insurance for any field experience placement in the district.


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.

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 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.


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)



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).


Clinical Educators for Internship

Forms & Information: 

Specific Program Information - See Program Specific Requirements under Student Materials section.

FIELD Supervisors

The field supervisor is responsible for communicating university expectations to the WCU student and clinical educator. The field supervisor supports the development of the student by observing, providing feedback, and maintaining open communication with the student, clinical educator, academic supervisor, liaison, principal, and Director of Field Experiences as needed.Field supervisors generally visit students three to four times during Internship I and five to six times during Internship II. When considered necessary, additional visits must be pre-approved 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.



Minimum qualifications for serving as a Field Supervisor:

1.) Doctoral or master’s degree from an accredited institution in the teaching field.

2.) Strong classroom experience within K-12.

3.) Strong reputation as an educator and/or classroom teacher.

4.) NC licensure (or eligibility) in applicable area.

5.) Ability to use technology in the performance of responsibilities.


If you are interested in becoming a Field Supervisor, please apply here.  You will need:

  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Transcripts
  • Teaching License
  • Reference List


Block Practicum

Videotaping Permission Form for Early Field Experiences & Block - please distribute and collect these from students within the first two weeks in Block placement.

Internship Application Materials

Health Form

Resume Template


Program Specific Requirements

Art Education (K-12)



Elementary Education (K-6)



Health & Physical Education (K-12)



Inclusive Education (K-6)



Middle Grades (6-9)



Music Education (K-12)



Secondary Programs










Social Sciences








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