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Student Teaching Field Experience & Placement

Field Placement Office

In the Field Placement Office, we combine the dreams of aspiring educators with the unique expectations of teacher preparation at SDSU and the mentorship provided by quality in-service educators. We recognize that teacher education could not exist without supportive classrooms as learning labs. We work hard to respect the unique role of each member of a team in the formation of beginning educators as well as the ongoing development of all educators. We teach and learn together.

Responsibilities of the Field Placement Office

  • Work with teacher education faculty to identify needs for field placements to support development of aspiring educators.
  • Coordinate placements with school partners.
  • Communicate placement expectations to teacher education faculty, teacher candidates and clinical educators as appropriate.
  • Advise teacher candidates on issues related to field experiences.
  • Provide teacher candidates with an orientation to placement process and requirements.
  • Facilitate formalized agreements with schools and clinical mentors.
  • Maintain documentation of field experiences.

Local School Partners    Teacher Certification

Field Experience Requirements

Please see course syllabi for additional requirements specific to each particular field experience.

Requirements Necessary Before Beginning:

Students purchase a Teacher Candidate ID badge prior to beginning their first field experience (process facilitated through the Field Placement Office). For safety and security reasons, the ID badge should be in the immediate possession of the teacher candidate during all field experiences. Replacement badges may be ordered upon request.

Prior to beginning ANY field experience in teacher education, students must complete the following and submit completed forms to their course instructor:

  1. Student Trip Waiver Form
  2. Disclosure of Convictions Form
  1. Application for Residency/Student Teaching with minimum GPA requirements met (2.7 major and education GPAs, 2.5 overall GPA).
  2. Criminal background check as required by the school district or placement site: The placement site has the right to refuse or delay placement if any criminal activity is revealed through a background check.
  3. Professional Attributes Agreement
  4. Self-disclosure statements for SDSU (Applicant Conduct Review Statement and Disclosure of Convictions for Student Teaching or Certification forms): SDSU may notify a school of any documented criminal activity when seeking a placement.
  5. SDSU Release and Waiver of Liability; Assumption of Risk Agreement; Indemnity Agreement; and Consent to Medical Treatment and Emergency Contact Form
  6. Tuberculosis (TB) test by a medical professional
  7. Adult and Child CPR and First Aid Certification (Pediatric CPR for Early Childhood Education majors), fully online courses are NOT accepted.
  8. Signature of adherence to policies within this manual and the course syllabus.
  9. Major Advisor Approval form (advisor submits to field placement office, not candidate’s responsibility).
  1. Maintenance of minimal GPA requirements (2.7 major and education GPAs, 2.5 overall GPA).
  2. Successful completion of first semester of student teaching/residency.
  3. Completion of Praxis content exam requirements. (Please reference the Praxis Exam Information by Content Area webpage for test codes and cut scores.)
  4. Certificate of completion of suicide awareness training (that which is accepted by the South Dakota Department of Education Teacher Certification Office).
  5. Content Area Special Methods Approval form (instructor submits to field placement office, not candidate’s responsibility).

Student Teaching Placements

(200+ hours in classroom, may be alone with K-12 students):

For Secondary Education/K12 Education (SEED 453), teacher candidates will be in the schools two days a week or the equivalent. For Early Childhood Education (ECE 488), teacher candidates will be in infant, toddler, preschool or SDSU kindergarten classrooms for four half-days per week, or the equivalent. Teacher candidates will follow the SDSU calendar. They will be enrolled in other classes at SDSU while engaged in this experience. In most cases, the placement will be in the same classroom for SEED 453 and 454. Those in K-12 programs (art, foreign language) must have experiences with different ages when possible. Those majoring in Physical Education, music, Agricultural Education and Family and Consumer Sciences Education DO NOT participate in this semester of field experience.

Teacher candidates will co-teach full-time Monday – Friday for 13 weeks and follow the local school schedule for holidays, etc. They will lead teach for a minimum of 2 weeks. University representatives (clinical mentors) will engage with the teachers (clinical educators) and students (teacher candidates) throughout the experience using observation, video reflection and local meetings.

Physical Education majors engage in Student Teaching II and Student Teaching III as their semester-long “student teaching” experience. They split their semester with two experiences in different schools/age levels, for 16 weeks total.

Other Experiences

(<200 hours in the classroom, not alone with K-12 students):

Students will engage with both preschool-aged and school-aged children and classrooms for approximately 3 hours per week. Students will observe teaching practices and apply learning from concurrent courses through targeted assignments.

Students will be in kindergarten classrooms for 45 hours during the semester (at scheduled times). Students will observe teaching practices in kindergarten and interact with children individually, in small groups and as a whole class by engaging in and leading learning activities.

Students will be in self-contained special education or inclusive preK-3rd grade classrooms and/or infant-toddler programs for 120 hours (equivalent of 3 full weeks) during the semester. Students will engage in all activities related to educating young children with special needs, including attending IEP/IFSP meetings, creating and supporting individual goals with planned activities and documenting progress. 

Agricultural Education and Family and Consumer Sciences Education majors spend a minimum of 20 hours observing and participating in teaching and teaching-related activities within the fields of family and consumer sciences education or agricultural education in this early field experience.

For most, this is secondary/K-12 majors’ first experience in classrooms. The students earn 25 “experience points” through 25 unique experiences. Each experience would be a brief time in a classroom (perhaps a single class period) to observe and assist.

Teacher candidates in Agricultural or Family and Consumer Sciences Education will participate at .5 level in Residency I field experience. They will be in the classroom one day per week, or the equivalent, throughout the semester. They will have experiences in industry settings for the remainder of the semester. The school placement may be in a different classroom than for EDFN 454.

Physical Education majors engage in classroom activities for one full day per week, or the equivalent, throughout the semester.

Students will engage in a field experience in an elementary classroom while applying knowledge, skills, and dispositions learned in concurrent classes.

Students will engage in a field experience in a special education setting while applying knowledge, skills, and dispositions learned in concurrent classes.

Field Experience Questions or Concerns