Frequently Asked Questions  


  Q: When will I receive information on my school assignment?  

A: You will be notified of your field placement prior to the start date of the field assignment. This will occur after you have met all of the requirements to begin your placement, and simultaneously with members of your cohort.


Q: Where can I get an application for my upcoming field experience?

  A: Applications are available in the Office of Field Services (UCOM 3604), from program faculty, and on the Field Services website.
  Q: Where are assignments made?  
  A: In the local area public school systems.  
  Q: Can I do my student teaching outside of Mobile County or Baldwin County?  
  A: Assignments are made in the local area due to a number of reasons. You can request one of the local districts or partnering schools and the OFS will work to secure a placement that best meets your needs and program requirements. Upon approval, certain programs do allow for out of area student teaching. You can obtain the policy from the documents section of the website or from the Office of Field Services.
(Note: Out of Area field placements are not available for the K6 Teacher Education program.)
  Q: Can I choose a particular school for my Internship placement?  
  A: Though you cannot choose, you can make a request via your application. Student teachers are clustered together in order to facilitate a University Supervisor's workload. Placements are determined by a number of factors from each student's application information. The Office of Field Services is responsible for the coordination of placements within the local school districts.
  Q: I have missed the application deadline date. What do I do?  
  A: You must take a completed application to your academic advisor for approval. If approved the student submits the application to the Office of Field Services. The OFS will work to secure a placement, but a placement cannot be guaranteed if the deadline is missed.  
  Q: Why is a picture taken?  

A: The picture is kept on file in the Office of Field Services with the application. It is also placed in your permanent record in the Office of Student Services and for the State Department.

  Q: Do I have to attend the Orientation and/or the Seminar?  

A: All field orientations are required.
In addition, the Student Teaching Orientation and Applying for a Job Seminar are required for those participating in their Internship. The Orientation is generally held before USA classes begin. The Seminar is generally held in the afternoon after school. You can request to be dismissed from your classroom duties for the time needed to travel to the Seminar.

  Q: How do I dress for the Orientation and/or the Seminar?  

A: Casual, professional dress is acceptable.


Q. What is SNEA?


A: The Alabama Education Association (AEA)/National Education Association (NEA) offers a student membership during the Internship (SNEA). The student membership is active throughout the current school year joined. If you are a student in the College of Education who is interested in learning more about the local University membership of SNEA please contact your academic department or check their website. Membership is not a requirement of the College.

  Q: Can I be placed where my children attend school or where I have relatives?  

A: It is the policy of the College of Education not to make field assignments at a school where you have children or relatives.


Q: What can I expect once in the classroom?


A: Your assigned clinical supervisor and program faculty will go over all the necessary information regarding your experience in the classroom.


Q: Can I be placed in a private school?


A: Assignments are made within the local public school systems.


Q: What happens if I am absent from the classroom?


A: You are expected to attend every day of the field experience. However, if you become ill you should contact your Cooperating Teacher and University Supervisor as soon as you determine you will be absent. You are not expected to plan any "off-time" during the student teaching experience. You are required to make up any time you miss.


Q: I have not completed all the requirements for student teaching, but do I need to turn in my application by the deadline?

  A: All coursework currently enrolled in during the current semester will be considered towards the student teaching requirements. However, all requirements must be met before attending Orientation and the start of the scheduled Student Teaching Internship.  
  Q: Where do I get information about Certification?  

A: Students should go to the Office of Student Services located in the College of Education, room 3020 for the Certification process.

Q: Where do I get information about fingerprint and background check requirements?
  A: Proof of clear background check is a requirement for Candidacy. The Advising Center or the Office of Student Services can provide information on the process. Once the background check has been processed and is clear, students will receive a Suitability Letter from the ALSDE, which will serve as documentation. Documentation can also be obtained by going to the following link on the public portal of the ALSDE website. http://tcert.alsde.edu/Portal/Public/Pages/SearchCerts.aspx
Status of background check will appear on this page under Background Review.
  Q: If I do not plan to teach in Alabama, do I still need to apply for a teaching license in Alabama?  
  A: Yes. Certification recommendation is based on successful completion of a “State Approved Program”. Students at the University of South Alabama complete a program of study which has been approved by the ALABAMA State Department of Education. Requirements for certification vary from state to state, however, once becoming certified in Alabama, most states allow candidates to apply for certification based on reciprocity. Contact specific state for details.  
  Q: Why can’t I stay at lower grade placement if I do not plan to teacher upper elementary or in an upper elementary classroom if I do not want to teach a lower grade?  
  A: The ALSDE requirements for teacher certification K-6 must to be met that states that candidates must have a substantial field experience in both a lower and upper elementary grade. In addition, the availability of teaching jobs may not be in the elementary grade you prefer. Having experiences in upper and lower elementary will give you more flexibility and employability.  
  Q. At what point should I seek assistance from the Office of Career Services to help in preparation for job applications and the interview process?  
  A: The Office of Career Services will help you by providing important information about developing a resume’ and giving you feedback on your resume. You can also schedule an appointment with Career Services so they can assist you with interviewing skills. It is recommended that you contact Career Services by the beginning of your senior year.  

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Date last changed: January 25, 2013 10:53 AM