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 week of each semester, as long as a valid criminal background check is on file. Placements are made on a first-come, first-serve basis; the Clinical Coordinator utilizes course rosters at time of registration to determine the order in which placements are made. No placements will be sent until we receive confirmation of a valid criminal background check. Placements are always subject to change if necessary.
How much time do I need to allow in my schedule for my clinical placement?
Minimum hours requirements are available in the Clinical Handbook and on the Clinical Experience page of the Teacher Education website. You are responsible for developing a regular schedule in collaboration with your mentor teacher that will ensure that you complete all hours by the last day of instruction each semester. Clinical hours should be completed over the course of the semester based on this schedule; hours may not be completed in a compressed period of time.
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. The Clinical Coordinator also considers special circumstances, including your home address and available transportation, if possible when establishing clinical placements. Candidates are typically placed within a 25-mile radius of the UW-Parkside campus.
What if I want to be placed with a specific mentor, school, or district?
The Clinical Coordinator is responsible for determining all clinical placements. Specific requests may be considered, but are not guaranteed. You are not permitted to negotiate or secure your own clinical placements under any circumstances, including contacting districts, schools, principals, or teachers.
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. Turning down a clinical placement for any reason may result in a delay of continuance in the teacher education program. A placement may be reconsidered by the Clinical Coordinator if it presents an unsurmountable hardship or a conflict of interest; you should contact the Clinical Coordinator as soon as possible after receiving your placement if either of these circumstances are present.
What is a conflict of interest in a clinical placement?
You may NOT be placed at clinical sites where there is a conflict of interest, including sites where you have previously attended as a student (elementary, middle, or high school), where you have a child or other family member currently employed or currently or formerly enrolled as a student, or where you have a personal relationship with a mentor teacher or other school employee. If you receive a placement where one of these scenarios is present, you are required to inform the Clinical Coordinator as soon as you are aware of such a conflict. Any 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?
You are responsible for securing transportation to all clinical placements. The Clinical Coordinator will consider transportation challenges on a case-by-case basis. Limited carpooling options may be available. 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. Jeans and T-shirts are discouraged. If you have questions about professional attire or would like support in obtaining professional clothing, please contact the Clinical Coordinator.
When do I have to do a criminal background check?
You are required to complete a criminal background check (CBC) prior to entering any school building, including all clinical field placements. Instructions for the CBC will be emailed to you by the Clinical Coordinator. You will not receive information for your clinical placement if you do not have a current, valid background check on file. If you have already completed a CBC through Castlebranch at another institution, you may provide UW-Parkside with proof of a valid background check completed within the last two years. Criminal background checks are valid for two years, and all students must have a valid criminal background check that will remain valid throughout the entire semester.
When do I have to complete a Self-Reporting Statement?
You are required to complete a Self-Reporting Statement form during the first week of classes each semester. The forms will be distributed in the clinical seminar courses. If you do not complete the form within the first week of class, you will be administratively dropped from the and will be required to meet with the Chair of Teacher Education if you wish to continue in the program.
What do I do in my clinical placement?
Requirements for clinical placements, including minimum number of hours, observations, and assignments, vary by level. Information about expectations for each level of the program are available on the Clinical Experience page of the Teacher Education website and will be provided each semester in your seminar class. You can also email the Clinical Coordinator for specific information on the requirements for each level.