The College of Education recognizes its responsibility to identify, coordinate, and provide candidates access to support services within the College and University; offer continuing professional development experiences that support research based, best practice as well as ALSDE initiatives; structure seminars and conferences with College faculty, staff, and public school personnel; and assist candidates in dealing with specific difficulties or deficiencies.
Further, because of good rapport with local schools and school systems, supportive administrative and teaching staffs, compatibility of philosophy of training programs, and access to local district resources and support services, the positive framework for quality training experience is enhanced.
The Director of Field Services, clinical supervisors and program faculty work with local school districts to determine appropriate field placements for candidates in each program. Consideration will be given to program and candidate needs, university and school resources, ALSDE requirements, and the capacity, willingness, and strength of the cooperating teachers to mentor and induct our candidates into the teaching profession. Specific placement information will be provided by the Office of Field Services, clinical supervisors, and program faculty. Field applications for each stage of each program can be found on the Application link, in the Office of Field Services, and from program faculty.
Grade Levels and Teaching Field
For candidates who are seeking certification in two or more distinct teaching fields, an additional internship(s) shall be required (e.g., mathematics and biology). For candidates who are seeking certification in two or more related fields (e.g., chemistry and physics or elementary education and elementary-level collaborative special education), the internship may be divided between the two teaching fields.
For P-12 programs and for individuals seeking certification in collaborative special education at both the K-6 and 6-12 levels, the internship shall be divided between early childhood/elementary and middle/secondary grades.
For early childhood or early childhood special education programs, the internship shall include a pre-school or kindergarten placement and a placement in grades 1, 2, or 3 unless substantial field experiences were completed at both levels.
For elementary education or collaborative special education (K-6) programs, the internship shall include lower elementary (grades K-3) and upper elementary (grades 4-6) placements unless substantial field experiences were completed at both levels.
During field experiences, candidates will have the opportunity to work with diverse populations of students and faculty in P – 12 schools, as well has higher education faculty and peers in their respective programs. Generally, diversity will be defined by socio-economic status and ethnicity unlike the candidate’s own, as well as schools identified through Federal Programs as “Title I” as defined by the U. S. Department of Education.
Experiences Prior to Student Teaching/Internship
At a minimum, each candidate in a Class B or Alternative Class A program shall have participated in 150 clock hours prior to the internship. Ninety of these 150 hours shall be in increments of at least three hours each. The majority of field experiences will occur in P-12 schools. These field experiences will encompass the span of grades for which certification is sought by the candidate, at least half of which will take place in the candidate’s teaching field.
Out of Area Student Teaching for Select Programs
The College of Education has neither the personnel nor financial resources to adequately qualify, coordinate, evaluate, and supervise student teaching assignments in locations outside Mobile and Baldwin Counties. For programs that allow out of area student teaching experiences, the policy and procedures to be followed can be found on the Application link and in the Office of Field Services.
Opening/Closing School Experience
In conjunction with the internship or earlier field experience, candidates will engage in an opening and closing school experience as coordinated by the Office of Field Services with program faculty and supervisors.