Clinicals and Student Teaching
Clinicals are designed to be an early and ongoing developmental learning opportunity for our students. For Clinicals I and III, regular education classroom meeting times are suspended for seven days, during which time students are assigned to work full days with a practicing classroom teacher. While working with this teacher, students will be given the opportunity to teach and work with children in large and small group settings. For elementary majors, Clinical II is dedicated to reading instruction. Students will spend 40 hours throughout the semester on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in both a primary and intermediate elementary classroom setting, applying effective reading strategies. For secondary education majors, Clinical II will be a standard classroom experience, but it will take place on Tuesday and Thursday mornings throughout the semester.
Student Teaching typically comes after the completion of all course work. Each student completes one or two student teaching sessions. Elementary majors who are seeking a middle school endorsement will complete 12 weeks in an elementary classroom and 4 weeks in a middle school classroom. Music education majors will have one elementary session and one secondary session. All other education majors will complete one 16 week session. A student teaching application, which includes a background check completed through the NCU Security Office, must be completed the semester before a student intends to student teach. All methods and concentration courses must be completed and all subtests of the MTLE basic skills test must be passed before a student teaching application will be approved.
During student teaching, students also enroll in the Student Teaching Seminar, a one credit seminar class designed to act as a capstone to the educational experience. Because student teaching is a full-time endeavor, working, enrolling in other course work, or participating in athletics is strongly discouraged and must be approved by your advisor and/or the education department. A work request form can be downloaded from the School of Education website. For more information about student teaching, please see the Student Teaching Handbook.
Students who wish to complete the requirements for a secondary licensure track or a middle school endorsement, and who have completed all of their content coursework at another institution, must pass the appropriate MTLE content area test for their subject and licensure level before they will be allowed to participate in field experiences through NCU. For example, a student who would like to add a middle level license in social studies to an existing license, and who has completed all of the required middle school content courses at a different university, would need to pass the MTLE Middle Level Social Studies (Grades 5-8) exam before student teaching.
North Central University works in partnership with area schools in an effort to assure that your classroom experience is as rewarding as possible. For student teaching, students may request a particular type of school (i.e. private, urban, charter, etc.), but they are not guaranteed their requested placement. Requests for a specific school, teacher, or supervisor cannot be accommodated. At no time may students contact classroom teachers or school principals in an attempt to establish their own placements for clinicals or student teaching.
Additional Opportunities for Experience
There are many additional opportunities for students to work with children, some of which are part of pre-program classes. These experiences include, but are not limited to:
EDUC 150 Foundations of Education
Foundations Field Experience - 20 hours as a classroom volunteer and tutor
EDUC 359 Educational Psychology School Observations EDUC 222 Human Relations 12 hour service learning requirement
We also encourage our students to take advantage of the many volunteer and employment opportunities available for working with children. We recommend focusing some of your required ministry credits on services such as tutoring or teaching Sunday school and/or seeking employment in a local daycare.