Field Experience Opportunities at KU

The field experience component of the teacher education programs at KU emphasizes the importance of actual classroom experience as a foundation for professional knowledge.

Field Experience Oportunities

Early field experiences

Opportunity to observe and interact with students in the surrounding public school districts

Student teaching

Culminating field experience after already spending 100-200 hours in a classroom

Graduate practicum

Specialized experiences in a graduate student’s area of study

Internships

Semester-long, hands-on, site-based experiences for non-teacher education majors

Field Experience

KU students leave our initial licensure programs with a clear understanding of the expectations of the teaching profession and with approximately 600-1000 hours of field experience. School of Education and Human Science students in non-teacher education programs also complete field experience requirements (internships and practicum).


A teacher at a white board
Boys playing in a classroom
Students looking at a computer screen

Early Field Experience

Early field experiences are required in most of our undergraduate courses. Once placed, students are notified of their placement and asked to reach out to their clinical supervisor (cooperating teacher) to introduce themselves, offer thanks, and arrange their classroom visits. While every effort is made to keep these placements close to campus, students must be prepared to travel.

Guidelines

  • Arrive at your school at least 10 minutes early to find parking and check in at the office
  • Check in every time you visit the school unless instructed otherwise. Many schools require visitors and guests to wear visitor badges
  • Only cancel your visit in the event of an emergency and do what you can to give the school and teacher ample notice of your absence
  • To ensure a positive learning environment for the students in the classroom, it is inappropriate to talk while the teacher is presenting a lesson
  • Likewise, your phone should be turned off and out of sight
  • Understand that you are a guest in the school. Your behavior should reflect this basic understanding
  • Dress appropriately. Your appearance should reflect a professional attitude
  • Be prepared to briefly describe the course for which you are observing and the purpose and requirements of your visits
  • Thank the teacher for allowing you to visit his/her classroom. You can do this verbally, via email, or by sending a thank you note

Student Teaching

Student teaching is a requirement for all of our initial licensure educator preparation programs. Student teaching must be completed within a 50 mile radius of the main campus in Lawrence, Kansas.

Guidelines

  • Student teachers are not allowed to choose specific districts, schools or teachers; but may choose whether they would like to be placed in an urban, suburban or rural area.
  • Students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75; a 2.5 GPA in the major; and cannot have earned a grade lower than a "C" in any professional education course
  • Students must participate in a Virtual Student Teaching Information Session in the spring semester before the academic year they are expected to student teach
  • Students must return all required student teaching materials to the Field Experience Office on or before the due date provided at the virtual info session

All arrangements for student teaching are made through the Field Experience Office. You may not initiate discussions with school or district personnel about a student teaching assignment. Interference on your part will not only complicate matters; it may result in the district denying your request entirely. You will receive an email when your placement is confirmed with all of the pertinent details included. You should then contact your clinical supervisor to introduce yourself and thank him/her for agreeing to mentor you.

If you are a KU teacher education candidate who is on track to student teach during the 2020-2021 academic year, please view the virtual student teaching information session materials.


Graduate Practicums


Graduate practicums are intense and specialized experiences in a particular student's graduate area of study. These are normally coordinated between the Field Placement Office and the student's graduate faculty advisor. Most graduate practicum experiences require the student to complete a health/TB form (pdf), a background check (pdf), and sign up for personal liability insurance. Consult your faculty advisor or instructor about what paperwork is required.

  • Choose the site and preferred grade level where they would like to complete the graduate practicum. Include the specific district, school and/or teacher in the request;
  • Complete the Graduate Practicum Online Request Form;
  • Email Melissa Robinson, field experience coordinator, at robinsonm@ku.edu to notify her of the completed request form;
  • Complete and submit necessary paperwork to the faculty instructor or Field Experience Office by the due date provided by the graduate practicum instructor; and
  • Once placement is confirmed, the graduate student will receive an email from the Field Experience Office; and the student should contact the clinical supervisor to introduce themselves.
A Classroom
Student and a teacher looking at artwork




Field Experience Handbooks

  • Middle level mathematics (pdf)

    Advanced Teaching Practicum during the fall and a semester-long student teaching experience during the spring of the senior year.

  • Middle level science (pdf)

    Advanced Teaching Practicum during the fall and a semester-long student teaching experience during the spring of the senior year.

  • Elementary education (pdf)

    9-10 weeks of student teaching in the fall semester of the senior year; and an entire semester of student teaching in the spring semester of the senior year.

  • PK-12 foreign language education (pdf)

    Advanced Teaching Practicum during the fall and a semester-long student teaching experience during the spring of the senior year.

  • Secondary history & government (pdf)

    Advanced Teaching Practicum during the fall and a semester-long student teaching experience during the spring of the senior year.

  • Secondary English (pdf)

    Advanced Teaching Practicum during the fall and a semester-long student teaching experience during the spring of the senior year.

  • Unified early childhood (pdf)

    9-10 weeks of student teaching in primary classroom during the fall semester of the senior year; and an entire semester of student teaching in a unified early childhood classroom during the spring semester of the senior year.

  • Physical education plus (pdf)

    Entire semester of student teaching in the spring semester of the senior year: 8 weeks at the elementary level and 8 weeks at the middle/secondary level.

  • STEMTeach KU program

    Entire semester of student teaching during the spring semester of the senior year.

  • Music education

    Entire semester of student teaching in either the fall or the spring semester of the senior year: one 6-week experience and one 12-week experience at the elementary level and the middle/secondary level.

  • Visual art education (pdf)

    Entire semester of student teaching in either the fall or the spring semester of the senior year: one 8-week experience at the elementary-level and one 8-week experience at the middle/secondary level.

  • Early childhood unified (pdf)

    8 weeks of student teaching in a unified preschool or kindergarten experience; and 8 weeks of student teaching in a unified infant/toddler experience (graduate level).

  • High incidence disabilities

    Two 8-week experiences teaching and reflecting with a mentor teacher. Students follow the Practica Gateway procedures to become eligible for the practica (graduate level).

  • Low incidence disabilities (pdf)

    Two 8-week experiences of intense teaching and facilitating instruction in an inclusive environment (graduate level).

  • TESOL education (pdf)

    Minimum of 45 contact hours observing and teaching in an ESL classroom (licensure endorsement).


STAR Summative Evaluation

Assessment is an essential component of our students’ culminating field experiences. Use of assessment tools aligned with Kansas education standards and InTASC standards help our students better understand expectations and set goals for their performance. At the end of these culminating field experiences, the clinical supervisor and university supervisor should submit a STAR Evaluation Form online for the student(s) they supervise. When scoring, supervisors should consider the student’s performance over the entire experience.

STAR Instrument Training

Our accrediting body requires that our clinical and university supervisors be trained on our assessment tool. Therefore, prior to completing the STAR evaluation, please view the training module below. After viewing the module, please watch the teaching video and rate it using the STAR instrument.

Training Module

Classroom Observation

STAR Log-In & Submission Instructions

One-to-two weeks before the end of the field experience, you’ll receive a username, password and unique four-digit passcode via email. You’ll need this information to access the online STAR evaluation. If you haven’t received your log-in credentials by the last week of your student’s experience, please contact Melissa Robinson. After completing the evaluation training and locating your log-in credentials, you can complete the online STAR evaluation. The system will initially prompt you for your username and password. Next, enter your 4-digit passcode and last name to begin the assessment. Please note that you can come back to the form at a later time and your previous scores and comments will be saved. You don’t need to complete the evaluation in one sitting.

Unified early childhood has a program-specific STAR evaluation:

Visual art education has a program-specific STAR evaluation:


Internships


Students who complete internships in the exercise sciencecommunity healthor sport management programs will enroll in a semester-long internship during the last semester of their program. Internships must be completed within a 50 mile radius of Lawrence, unless the student has above a 3.0, which enables the student to seek an internship outside of the fifty (50) mile range. All classes in the program must be completed before the internship, which will be in the last semester before graduation. More information on internship opportunities.