Field Experience and Clinical Pract

006.1 Working Agreements with Field Experience, Clinical Practice, and Internship Partners

It is the policy of the School of Education to establish written working agreements with all educational institutions and practicum and internship partners in which SED candidates are regularly and recurrently placed for field experiences, clinical practice, and/or internships. 

In the case of a candidate placement at an educational institution or practicum or internship partner in which there are not regular recurring candidate field experience, clinical practice, and/or internship placements, an individual written agreement between the SED and the educational institution or practicum or internship partner on behalf of that candidate may be used. 

006.2 Diversity in Field Experience Settings

Because the SED is committed to preparing diverse candidates to serve in diverse schools and communities, the settings for field experiences, clinical practice, and student teaching are selected to enhance experiences with diversity and the education of exceptional populations.  Placement procedures ensure that all candidates are exposed to students and settings that are diverse.

006.3 Candidate Entry to Field Experience and Clinical Practice

Each SED program is responsible to develop, assess, and maintain its own requirements for candidate entry into field experiences and clinical practice.  These requirements, which are aligned with the SED Conceptual Framework and relevant professional standards for each program, are detailed in the respective program and internship handbooks (Teacher Education Program Handbook, Curriculum and Instruction Program Handbook, Special Education Program Handbook, School Psychology Program HandbookSchool Counseling Program Handbook, K-12 Educational Administration Program Handbook).  Some specific field experience and clinical practice policies related to each program are listed below.

006.4 Candidate Completion of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice

The requirements for candidate completion of field experiences and clinical practice are aligned with the SED Conceptual Framework and relevant professional standards for each program.  These requirements are detailed in the respective program and internship handbooks (Teacher Education Program Handbook, Curriculum and Instruction Program Handbook, Special Education Program Handbook, School Psychology Program Handbook, School Counseling Program Handbook, K-12 Educational Administration Program Handbook).  Some specific field experience and clinical practice policies related to each program are listed below.

006.5 Teacher Education Field Experience and Clinical Practice Policies

Policies on field experiences and clinical practice in the Teacher Education program are detailed in the current Teacher Education Program Handbook.

Criminal Background Check

The School of Education at Andrews University requires that each candidate who will participate in a field placement (First Days of School and student teaching), affirm and/or certify that he/she does not have a criminal history or conviction pending that will disqualify him/her from certification as an educator or administrator in the public schools and agencies of Michigan.  Candidates must initiate the Criminal Background Investigation by getting fingerprinted before they will be allowed to participate in First Days of School field experiences or student teaching.

Early Field Experiences

Elementary candidates must complete 150 hours of early field experiences (observations, unit teaching practice, etc.), which take place as specific assignments in required and/or optional courses. Secondary candidates must complete 75 hours of early field experiences. Specific prerequisites and/or requirements are listed in relevant course syllabi.  School and classroom placements for these early field experiences are made by the course instructors with input from classroom teachers and administrators of partner schools.

Application for Student Teaching

Candidates must make formal application for Student Teaching by the end of November of the year prior to the intended student teaching semester.  Requirements for admission to student teaching are listed in the Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum section of the current Andrews University Bulletin.

First Days of School Experience (EDTE480)

Before candidates can enter student teaching, they must take EDTE480 First Days of School Experience.  This three-week intensive course, offered every August, helps pre-service teachers to develop skills and practices that will prepare them to set up a well-managed learning environment.

Student Teaching Placement of Candidates

Though candidates may request certain school and/or classroom placements for their student teaching, final determination of placement will be made through a cooperative arrangement between the Director of Student Teaching and K-12 school administrators and teachers of partner schools, being mindful of requests made by the student teacher candidate. Candidates will participate in a student teaching placement interview with the K-12 school administrator and the classroom teacher of the partner school.

Professional Conduct in Field Experiences and Student Teaching

Candidates shall dress and conduct themselves professionally and appropriately while completing their field experience hours and student teaching.

Student Teaching Documentation (Schedules)

It is the responsibility of the student teacher to complete and submit weekly schedules during student teaching to document completion of at least 12 weeks of student teaching.

Employment and Outside Activities During First Days of School (EDTE480) and Student Teaching (EDTE488, EDTE588)

It is expected that the student teacher will not participate in any employment, activity, or university functions which interfere with the responsibilities and requirements of the First Days of School Experience or student teaching.

Removal from Student Teaching

A candidate may be removed from a student teaching placement at the discretion of the Director of Student Teaching, the partner school administrator, and/or the mentor teacher.  If the candidate was removed due to unethical conduct, criminal activity, or extreme incompetence in performing the requirements of the experience, the candidate may be denied a second opportunity.

Repeating of Student Teaching

A candidate who does not successfully complete or pass student teaching for any reason may be permitted to repeat the student teaching experience only once.  If the candidate desires to repeat student teaching because he or she received an unsatisfactory grade or withdrew from the course, he or she must first meet all recommended interventions as determined by the Director of Student Teaching.

Completion of Student Teaching

Each candidate must complete at least 12 weeks of full-time observation, participation, and teaching under supervision in an elementary or secondary school.  Successful completion of the student teaching semester is documented by receiving satisfactory observation reports by university supervisors, receiving passing midterm and final evaluations by the mentor teacher, and completing assigments from Student Teaching Seminar (EDTE487).

006.6 Curriculum and Instruction Field Experience Policies

Candidates in the Curriculum and Instruction program gain field experience by taking one of the required courses EDCI696 Project Implementation (MA), EDCI799 Advanced Project (EdS), or EDCI889 Doctoral Seminar (EdD and PhD).  In these courses candidates are expected to make practical application of educational theory through practical implementation and supervision of an instruction and/or curriculum project.  Candidates are expected to collect field-based data related to such functions, and, with such data, revise the original project.  These projects and other artifacts in the portfolio document candidate implementation of learning and impact on their students' learning.

006.7 Special Education Field Experience and Clinical Practice Policies

Policies on field experiences and clinical practice in the Special Education program are detailed in the current Special Education Program Handbook.

Candidates have a variety of field experiences throughout their coursework in the program, including classroom observation, tutoring, and evaluating of students.  Required field experience hours are set by the course instructors.

The MS in Special Education internship has the following entrance requirements: no deferred grades (DG) or incompletes on coursework taken, minimum overall grade point average in the program of 3.0, overall satisfactory evaluation by ECP faculty, completion of all requirements for certification with overall satisfactory rating, completion of all core and specialty classes and SPED617 Developmentally Appropriate Instruction with grades of B- or higher, completion of a Special Education professional conference project, and completion of a criminal background check.

The State of Michigan requires a minimum of eight weeks of student teaching (internship). Should the candidate not evidence competency within that period, additional time may be requested, at the discretion of the university supervisor.

006.8 K-12 Educational Administration Field Experience and Clinical Practice Policies

K-12 Educational Administration Internship policies and procedures are detailed in the current K-12 Educational Administration Internship Handbook.

K-12 Educational Administration internship entrance requirements are as follows:

  • Candidates must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.2 to be allowed to begin an internship.
  • Candidates must submit a formal application for the internship.
  • Candidates must register for EDAL680 Internship or LEAD886 Advanced Internship.
  • To ensure the safety of candidates and the children with whom they work, each candidate is required to have a Life Span Finger Print Check and background check prior to beginning the internship. 

The K-12 Educational Administration internship consists of 225 clock hours over at least one semester.

006.9 School Psychology Field Experience and Clinical Practice Policies

Policies on field experience and clinical practice in the School Psychology program are detailed in the current School Psychology program handbook.

School Psychology candidates must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.2 to be allowed to begin an internship.

School Psychology candidates must successfully complete 165 hours of practicum before beginning an internship.

All candidates must satisfactorily complete 1200 clock hours of internship in an approved clinic or school setting, 600 of which must be in a school setting.

To ensure the safety of candidates and the children with whom they work, each candidate is required to have a Life Span Finger Print Check and background check prior to doing any fieldwork, including all early fieldwork experiences (practicum) and the internship.

006.10 School Counseling Field Experience and Clinical Practice Policies

Policies on field experience and clinical practice in the School Counseling program are detailed in the current School Counseling program handbook.

Each candidate must participate in a minimum of eight weekly personal counseling sessions at the Andrews University Counseling and Testing Center before starting practicum.

During their practicum experience, candidates are expected to complete a minimum of 100 clock hours of clinical experience, 40 hours of which must be accumulated in direct client contact.

School Counseling candidates must successfully complete a minimum of 100 hours of practicum before beginning an internship.

After candidates have successfully completed their counseling practicum, they then must complete a counseling internship of 600 clock hours in a school counseling setting.  Of the 600 clock hours required, a minimum of 240 clock hours must be in direct service work (face-to-face interaction with clients).

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