Undergraduate and graduate education students seeking certification in grades PreK-4, 4-8, or 7-12, in regular education and/or special education are required to complete field experiences for most education courses every semester.  Graduate students who are working full time will need to be available for these placements during the regular school day.  Field experiences allow teacher candidates to make explicit connections with course content, promote understanding of student cognitive development, motivation and learning styles.

Applying for Field Experience

Undergraduates apply for field experiences by completing the link below to an on-line application at the beginning of each semester.  Graduate students already working in schools may be able to use their own classrooms or schools for field experiences.  The Office of Student Teaching and Field Experiences is available to provide requested placements for undergraduate and graduate students through its network of partner institutions.

Application for Field Experience

Background Clearances

In order to participate in field experiences, students must obtain the following clearances every year.  All clearances must be valid through the last day of the semester in which the field experience occurs and uploaded to Blackboard.  No placements are made without submission of the required clearances.

    • Federal FBI Criminal History Report
    • Pennsylvania State Criminal History Record (Act 34)
    • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 51)
    • Proof of Tuberculin Skin Test

Information about Background Clearances


For more information, please consult the Field Experience Handbook and Field Experience 101.

Field Experiences: Stages 1 and 2

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), the agency approving certification for teacher candidates, has a model for conceptualizing the necessary developmental and competency based stages requiring tacher candidates to assume gradually more responsbility in the teaching and learning process.

Stage 1 – Observation.  Intending teachers are observers in a variety of educational settings appropriate to various grade level assignments and should occur in a range of school settings to enable a broad experience.  Students will be organized in groups to travel through a rotation of “rounds”(elementary, middle grades, and high schools) located in the city of Philadelphia. They will engage in reflective discussion about their experiences with their host teacher and with their university-based faculty member(s).
Stage 2 – Exploration.  Intending teachers work under a host teacher’s supervision during individual tutorialsor with small groups of students. They will have experiences in two blocks in order to better appreciate language and cognitive differences in student populations.  In keeping with PDE guidelines for teaching English Language Learners and those designated as needing  Special Education support they will have two five week blocks in settings designed to increase the learning possibilities for each identified group.

Collaborative Model Through Schools and Host Teacher Partnerships

The Office of Clinical Experiences in the of School of Health Studies and Education establishes connection with willing PK-12 school, principals, and teachers. Below is a PowerPoint file with information for host teachers.