FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When will I receive my clinical placement information?
Clinical placements are made by the Clinical Coordinator and will typically be sent to you no later than the first two weeks of each semester. Teacher candidates must meet all necessary requirements including having a valid criminal background check on file prior to receiving their placement.
How do I meet my clinical hour requirement?
Clinical hours should be completed over the course of the semester; hours may not be completed in a compressed period of time. You are responsible for developing a regular schedule in collaboration with your mentor teacher that will ensure that you complete all hours by the semester deadline. Clinical hour requirements vary per level and licensure area. Please refer to the clinical handbook for the different hour requirements. Learning and utilizing time management skills, you will be able to work these hours into your semester schedule. You must take into account your travel time to and from your placement as well as clinical hour requirement.
In what school or district will I be placed?
State rule mandates that teacher candidates participate in supervised pre-student teaching and student teaching clinical experiences that meet a specific set of requirements. The Clinical Coordinator intentionally places teacher candidates at a variety of grade levels and school sites to ensure that these requirements are sufficiently met for licensure. Candidates are typically placed within a 30-mile radius of the UW-Parkside campus.
What if I want to be placed with a specific mentor, school, or district?
Teacher Candidates are not permitted to negotiate or secure their own clinical placements under any circumstances, including contacting districts, schools, principals, or teachers. The Clinical Coordinator is responsible for determining all clinical placements, while taking into account several factors including potential "conflict of interest".
What if I don’t like the clinical placement I receive?
State rule mandates that teacher candidates participate in supervised pre-student teaching and student teaching clinical experiences that meet a specific set of requirements. The Clinical Coordinator intentionally places teacher candidates at a variety of grade levels and school sites to ensure that these requirements are sufficiently met for licensure. Final decisions on all clinical placements are made by
the Clinical Coordinator. Turning down a clinical placement for any reason may result in a delay of continuance in the teacher education program.
What is a conflict of interest in a clinical placement?
Teacher candidates may NOT be placed at clinical sites where there is a conflict of interest, including sites where a candidate:
- Has previously attended as a student (elementary, middle, or high school)
- Has a child or other family member currently employed or currently or formerly enrolled as a student
- Has a personal relationship with a mentor teacher or other school employee
If a teacher candidate receives a placement where one of these scenarios is present, they are required to inform the Clinical Coordinator as soon as they are aware of such a conflict. Any exceptions to this policy may be made by the Clinical Coordinator on a case-by-case basis. A candidate who fails to report a conflict of interest at a placement will be removed from the placement once the conflict becomes known, which may result in a delay of continuance in the teacher education program.
What if I don’t have a car?
Teacher Candidates are responsible for securing their own transportation to and from all clinical placements. If you receive a placement that presents an unsurmountable hardship, you must meet with the Clinical Coordinator and present supporting documentation of this hardship if requesting a change in placement. Final decisions on all clinical placements are made by the Clinical Coordinator. Turning down a clinical placement may result in a delay of continuance in the teacher education program.
What should I wear to my placement?
Professional attire should match the dress code of the school. Trousers/slacks, khaki pants, skirts that hit at or just above the knee, close-toed shoes, button-down shirts or polo shirts, or business casual shirts or blouses are all considered appropriate attire for a clinical placement. Items such as shorts, flip-flops, sweatpants or sweatshirts, clothing with stains, rips, or tears, or any clothing with political slogans or inappropriate or offensive language are never permitted in a clinical placement. Candidates who would like support in obtaining professional clothing should contact the Advising and Career Center.
When do I have to do a criminal background check?
The educator preparation program requires all teacher candidates pass a criminal background check (CBC) prior to beginning their first clinical field experience in a school or community setting. Teacher candidates will not be given their placement assignments without a valid criminal background check. Teacher candidates are responsible for all fees related to the CBC. Criminal background checks are valid for two years and must remain current through the entire duration of each clinical placement and Residency.
When do I have to complete a Self-Reporting Statement?
Teacher candidates are required to submit a Self-Reporting Statement each semester when they are participating in a clinical field experience. If any changes to the candidate’s criminal background status occur during a semester, the candidate must inform the Clinical Coordinator immediately. The forms will be distributed in the clinical seminar courses.
Teacher candidates completing the Self-Reporting Statement must answer all questions truthfully and honestly. Falsification, omission, or misrepresentation on either of the forms may result in denial of admission to the program and/or Residency, dismissal from the program, or other disciplinary actions.
What do I do in my clinical placement?
Teacher Candidates will be teaching in collaboration with their mentor teacher utilizing the various co-teaching strategies. In their clinical placement candidates will be providing classroom instruction using a variety of formats (one on one; small group; whole group, etc). Each clinical placement is unique and provides the Teacher Candidate a firsthand experience as to what it is like to be a professional educator.