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CLINICAL- Overview (Student Teaching)

The clinical experience (student teaching) is the culminating experience for teacher candidates. Clinical practice allows for full immersion in the learning community so that candidates are able to demonstrate competence in the professional roles for which they are preparing.The Teacher Education Program and its school partners collaboratively design and implement clinical experiences, share the responsibility for candidate learning and assessment, and select and prepare clinical faculty to mentor and supervise teacher candidates. Candidates are expected to study and practice in a variety of school settings that allow them to participate as teachers and learners. Accountability for clinical practice includes:

  1. the application of entry and exit requirements;candidates' demonstration of content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge aligned with standards;candidates' application of the skills, knowledge, and dispositions defined by the Teacher Education Program;candidates' capacity to have a positive effect on student learning including students from diverse populations, students with exceptionalities, and students of different ages; and
  2. candidates' demonstration of the skills necessary to work effectively with colleagues, parents, families, and communities.

The student teaching semester provides direct teaching experience in an actual public school situation.  Each student must complete a minimum of 12 s.h. (12 weeks) of student teaching to meet graduation requirements  Some programs necessitate split assignments in two fields or at two grade levels; these programs require 16 s.h. (16  A maximum of 12 s.h. of student teaching may be included in the minimum total of 120 s.h. required for graduation. Candidates are expected to be in attendance each day that their school is in session. Candidates should expect to devote out-of-school time to lesson planning, review and evaluation of student assignments, and participation in school and community activities. A reasonable amount of time should be allotted during the school day for candidates to prepare instructional materials, meet with their mentor teacher, and become familiar with the school's programs and services. Although the assignment and daily teaching schedule is the responsibility of the school and the mentor teacher, both are subject to review and approval by the Supervision Field Specialist. During the student teaching semester, the candidate will have opportunities to observe his/her mentor teacher and other experienced teachers, and to be involved in long range, unit, and daily lesson planning; and finally, to take responsibility for classroom teaching. Western Illinois University, through its Student Teaching Program, places and supervises student teachers in the following regions:

  • REGION A  Chicago Suburbs (North, West and South) Candidates wishing to student teach in the suburban Chicago area should be advised that a minimum GPA of 3.0 is necessary.  Questions should be directed to Mrs. Jackie Richmond in Horrabin 91, 298-2117.
  • REGION B  Chicago Public Schools (City of Chicago)
  • REGION C Quad Cities (including Bettendorf/Davenport IA)
  • REGION D Western/Central Illinois (Quincy, Peoria, Macomb)

Under no circumstances should student teachers attempt to arrange their own student teaching assignment or commit themselves to any school building or teacher. Housing arrangements during the student teaching semester are the responsibility of each student teacher. Any student requesting an assignment outside the approved regions listed above must appeal in writing to the Field and Clinical Experience Review Committee. ONLY DOCUMENTED CASES FOR EXCEPTIONALITY WILL BE CONSIDERED. Appeal forms may be obtained in the CPEP/ Advising Center Office.It is the responsibility of the student to apply for a student teaching assignment one year in advance of the anticipated student teaching semester.  A student teaching application meeting will be held in the fall (typically October) for those requesting student teaching assignments the following fall semester  Similarly, a meeting will be held in the spring (typically Feb.) for those persons eligible to student teach in the spring of the following spring semester.  Specific dates will be announced  No summer session student teaching program is available.   Feel free to contact your academic advisor if you have any questions about these requirements.