For Students Interested in Field Experiences
If you have indicated an interest in teacher education at Penn State Altoona, it will be necessary for you to plan carefully to fulfill the field experience requirements. Please read carefully the information detailed below and retain this sheet for future reference.
Penn State Altoona Field Experiences
All candidates for teacher certification are expected to study and practice in settings that include diverse populations, students with disabilities, and students of different ages.
Transportation, housing, professional attire, ACT 48, ACT 151, FBI clearances, a TB test, and professional liability insurance are the student's responsibility. These responsibilities have financial and legal ramifications. Thus, PLANNING AHEAD IS NECESSARY!
Timeline for Field Experience Courses
- CI 295 A Early field experiences typically occur during semesters three and four This course is for students who intend to finish at University Park or Penn State Altoona.
- CI 495 A This experience typically occurs during semesters six or seven.
- CI 495 D This experience typically occurs during semesters seven or eight.
Scheduling Field Experience Courses
- CI 295 A The instructor for the course will expect students to attend a scheduled interview the semester before. During that time, registration will be completed.
- CI 495 A Students typically stay with the same mentor in pre-student student teaching and student teaching; therefore, time is taken to interview students in the interest of making a successful placement. Professional dress is required for the scheduled interview with the program coordinator. Students will need to complete an application before the interview.
- CI 495 D Students entering student teaching are required to meet with the coordinator before the student teaching semester. This ensures that all prerequisites have been completed. The student’s status regarding graduation and certification is also reviewed.
Orientations and Seminars for CI 295 A, CI 495 A (pre-student teaching), and CI 495 D (student teaching)
All courses officially start at the beginning of the semester. Typically, large group orientations or seminars are held before entering the placement to communicate valuable information and further prepare students for entry into schools.
- Student teaching is a full-time 15-week credit practicum/seminar block for teacher certification.
- Student teaching is a full-time activity. Additional coursework is not permitted. This includes courses described as correspondence, distance education, continuing education, world campus, and evening or weekend courses at Penn State or other institutions. Deferred grades and correspondence courses must be completed before the start of the student teaching experience.
- Students must arrange their own housing and daily transportation to their assignments.
Assignment Process for All Field Experiences
- CI 295 A Placements are made in cooperation with the instructor.
- All other placements are procured and assigned by the Childhood and Early Adolescent Education program coordinator. Students may NOT seek or procure their own placements.
- Students are assigned only to schools with which Penn State has prior agreements and those with which Penn State Altoona has clinical faculty for supervision. Those agreements change from semester to semester.
- Living at home is not the primary consideration for determining assignments.
- Students are permitted to communicate preferences, by are by no means guaranteed a specific placement.
The following are not considered reasons for preferential placements because they do not present “exceptions” but represent the norm.
- Financial need
- Housing lease
- Living at home
- Student teaching where you plan to be employed
- Lack of housing and transportation
- Family Concerns
Student assignments are determined using the following criteria:
- There has been a prior agreement with the school district, and the district has offered placements. The district determines the number of placements.
- There is a balanced caseload for supervisors regarding districts and schools.
- In the interest of fairness and objectivity, you will not be placed in a school (1) that you attended, (2) where your relatives work, or (3) where your children or other relatives attend.