Types of Field Experiences

Licensure candidates participate in a variety of field experiences throughout their programs including early field experiences, pre-practicum and practicum. 

Early Field Experiences

Early field experiences are opportunities for candidates to work at sites, usually public schools.  If part of an introductory course, these experiences serve in assisting candidates to determine if they wish to pursue a career in education, and, if so, in what role. Embedded in coursework, common field experiences include observing, assisting, tutoring, and/or instructing small groups. Other field experiences often take place as part of a specialized class or focus area.


Pre-practicum experiences, integrated into courses, allow candidates to apply course material to their work with teachers and students in schools. The pre-practicum experiences are intended to build candidate competency in school settings prior to practicum. Subject matter and/or clinical faculty members work with the candidates and local schools to support candidates. The practitioner at the site is formally called the “sponsoring practitioner”.  Pre-practicum documentation varies by program and candidates should consult with subject matter faculty for procedures and forms.


The practicum is the generally the student teaching experience in which candidates are immersed in the learning community of a school.  Candidates are provided opportunities to develop and demonstrate competence in the professional roles for which they are preparing. Usually the capstone experience in a program, the practicum requires candidates to be in a school working towards full responsibility of the classroom. Candidates work closely with a qualified “supervising practitioner” at a school site and a university “program supervisor.” Some programs require multiple practicums or internships.  State requirements for teachers are listed in the Guidelines for the Candidate Assessment of Performance (or CAP), which serves as a guiding document for student teaching.  Our programs meet additional standards at the national and institutional levels. Educator Licensure Office forms L2 and L3 can be found at Educator Licensure forms. A suggested Practicum Attendance Record is a good idea to document the hours spent on site. Please see the practicum coordinator for program specific requirements and forms.