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Experiences Overview

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Center for Clinical Experiences, through various educational settings and situations, empowers our students to develop and embrace their teaching skills. These settings include traditional​ classrooms, along with online opportunities to work with children.

From the first semester in EDU 107 through the capstone student teaching experience, students learn to teach through a wide variety of clinical experiences developed in partnerships with school districts across Michigan and beyond. Students looking to broaden their horizons may take part in a faculty-led, global experiences in both their Pre-Student Teaching and Student Teaching days.

  • Students first experience a classroom during their EDU 107 course, Introduction to Education, during their freshman year. Students observe classroom settings by contacting an instructor in the local community or visiting a classroom where they once attended. Students are required to complete 45 hours of observation, before applying to admission to Teacher Education.​
  • The Pre-Student Teaching experience is the second of three field components in the teacher education program. Each education student is partnered with a P-12 classroom teacher in a local school for a ten week classroom commitment. Students commuting to the University are allowed to complete their pre-student teaching in a school district close to their home. The Pre-Student Teaching candidate cannot be placed in a district he or she attended. The Pre-Student Teaching Director and Coordinator distribute necessary information and forms to each Pre-Student Teaching Candidate during the first week of the semester. Students cannot obtain their Pre-Student Teaching course until they have been admitted into the Teacher Education Program. Successful completion of Pre-Student Teaching is required before student teaching.

  • Secondary Education Pre-Student Teachers enroll in their Pre-Student Teaching course within their major content area after being admitted to the Teacher Education Program.

  • Elementary Education Pre-Student Teachers enroll in their Pre-Student Teaching course during the first semester after being admitted to the Teacher Education Program.

  • The student teaching clinical experience, in most cases, is the final semester of the Central Michigan University Teacher Education Program. Students majoring in Special Education will participate in two semesters of the student teaching field experience. The primary purpose of Student Teaching is to create an opportunity to transfer theory of the teacher preparation program into real classroom and school environment experiences.

    Not until they have completed the practice portion(s) of their training is the teacher prepared for the classroom.

    Many factors come into play when determining a student's placement such as major/minor content area, school districts with agreements, availability of tenured teachers, Student Teacher's GPA, etc. The Student Teacher will work closely with their assigned University Coordinator, who will secure the best placement available. The Student Teacher cannot seek their Student Teaching placement. All Professional Education courses must be completed successfully and students must meet all eligibility requirements prior to approval for Student Teaching.​

  • The Teacher Candidate is responsible for adhering to the attendance policy at the school where they are participating in a field experience. In addition to the school policy students ​must also adhere to the attendance policy set be the Center for Clinical Experiences.

    General attendance guidelines are below:
    Give adequate time for arrival on the first day of the experience, and all those thereafter.

    Make the Cooperating Teacher aware of any known schedule changes well in advance of any situation that will cause changes.

    If the teacher candidate is ill and unable to be at school for the assigned day/time, call the Cooperating Teacher before school starts in the morning to let him/her know that you will not be in attendance. Do not use email to contact the Cooperating Teacher if you are going to be absent from your host school. The teacher candidate will need to make arrangements to make up the missed hours. If you are Student Teaching, you must complete a Student Teacher Attendance Form.

    Do not leave the school premises during your scheduled fieldwork time for any reason, unless prior approval has been given.

    The teacher education candidate should be prompt and appropriately dressed.

    One unexcused absence and/or two late arrivals or the combination thereof, will be reason for possible dismissal from your clinical field experience.
  • Pre-Student Teaching specific guidelines:
    The Teacher Candidate may change the day/time of their placement IF the Cooperating Teacher agrees to the change. All changes are to be recorded with the Center for Clinical Experiences through the Placement Verification assignment on Blackboard (Bb). Any changes made after the verification assignment has been completed on Bb, must be approved by the Pre-Student Teaching Director/Coordinator.

    The Teacher Candidate is responsible for submitting the attendance record each visit to the host teacher for signature and verification. You will receive an attendance record at the beginning of your PST experience from the course instructor.

    Additional Information: Cooperating teachers are not responsible for the attendance form. It is the candidate’s responsibility to make sure that all attendance is accurate and complete. Candidates are responsible for making sure the Cooperating Teacher initials and signs off on the attendance form and submitting that form to the Center for Clinical Experiences. 
  • Each Teacher Candidate is required to complete regular online training prior to entering the classroom. In an effort to keep the Teacher Candidate safe, the training module is designed to provide an awareness of Bloodborne Pathogens, common modes of their transmission, methods of prevention, and other pertinent information. This training is designed to meet the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administrations (OSHA’s) Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030. At the end of the training module the teacher candidate will take a quiz.
  • At the successful completion of the tutorial, there is a certificate that can be printed for the participation records. Visit the website for access.

    1. Select “New User”

    2. Organization ID – 66501m

    3. Enter personal identification

    4. Follow the prompts. When requested enter the “Job Title” which is either pre-student teaching or student teaching, the semester you will be experiencing the placement, and then the department is TEPD.

    5. Choose Bloodborne Pathogens.. ​
  • Central Michigan University’s Professional Education Program is designed to provide candidates with a conceptual framework of professional practice that is concept and knowledge-driven, learner-centered, and promotes reflective practice, referred to as the CLeaR Model. A professional practice that is truly concept and knowledge-driven, learner-centered, and reflective is not readily acquired. Rather, it must be developed and refined through active reflection and inquiry over a lifetime. The Professional Education Program becomes the foundation for a professional career that will continue to evolve and mature. Learn more about the CLeaR Conceptual Framework
  • Student Teachers are to wear their CMU picture ID every day during their clinical experiences. The CMU picture ID is to be worn to the Student Teaching Visitation/Interview Day. ID’s can be obtained in EHS 421. PLease bring a photo ID with you when requesting a CMU clinical experiences ID.
  • It is important to maintain the confidentiality of students and staff at all times. This carries over to any written work you create. Should you wish to discuss a specific situation involving a student/staff member, create a pseudonym for the person in writing. For example, “Johnny was fully engaged in the learning task.” The name is set apart through the use of italics. Then include a statement somewhere in your document which indicates that names have been changed to protect their identity.

    Photographs should not be taken without permission. Check with the Cooperating Teacher, as many schools already have a policy in place for photographs used for educational purposes.

    Social media identities, logon ID’s and user names should not reference a position as a Teacher Candidate or the school in which you are working. Do not create blogs or social media sites for the specific purpose of providing commentary on the classroom, or related experiences.​
  • If a Teacher Candidate has any legal issue(s) (besides traffic violations such as speeding), the Teacher Candidate must provide a Judgment of Sentence (if the legal issue is still pending or the Candidate is on probation) and/or a Register of Action when the case is closed, to EHS 421.

    If a Teacher Candidate has been charged but is pending a court hearing the Candidate has two business days to report the charge to EHS 421 (989-774-3309). For a detailed explantion of criminal conviction issues, please review Legal Issues for Teacher Candidates
  • The Teacher Education Program at Central Michigan University prepares teaching candidates who have the required knowledge (content), teaching skills (pedagogy) and dispositions to have a positive impact on student learning, in order to become effective teachers.

    As Candidates move through the Teacher Education Program, certification and P-12 employment, it is important that candidates demonstrate professional attributes needed for success in the teaching profession. The professional education faculty and staff believe that there are specific dispositions that CMU Teacher Candidates must possess if they are to become exemplary educators. Dispositions are reflected in the commitments and virtues that influence behavior toward students, families, colleagues and communities and deeply affect student learning and development as well as the educator's own professional growth. 
  • For more information related to dispositions, including an explanation of the
    dispositions process, a concerns form and a dispositions resolution, form visit the Professional Dispositions page.
  • All candidates in the teacher education program at Central Michigan University are expected to participate in learning situations and field experiences representing a wide range of diverse settings. In order to be recommended for certification, each candidate must complete their field experiences in such a way as to ensure that all the categories listed below are met. Documentation for each of the field experience criteria will be placed in the Teacher Education Candidate Portfolio. This information will be reviewed at the time of fieldwork assignments for placement purposes. Professional Education courses within the teacher preparation program will prepare Teacher Candidates for dealing effectively with the various field placement types identified below, as well as with other important aspects of diversity such as family structure. 
  • Race/Ethnicity - Candidates will participate in a classroom setting for a minimum of 30 hours with 20% or more non-white students as the basic classroom population.
  •  Socio-economic Status - Candidates will participate in a field experience for a minimum of 30 hours in a school that has a minimum of 20% of students registered for free/reduced lunch. 
  • Gender - Candidates are expected to participate in a classroom setting for a minimum of 30 hours where both male and female students are learners. 
  • Exceptionalities - Candidates will complete a field experience in a classroom for a minimum of 30 hours that is defined as inclusive.  The classroom will included students identified as having a physical, mental, or emotional exceptionality, a speech/communication disorder, or as gifted or talented. 
  • English Second Language - Candidates will complete at least one field experience for a minimum of 30 hours in a district that includes an ESL student population.
  • P-12 School Setting - Candidates will complete at least one field experience for a minimum of 30 hours in each of the two school settings of Category 1 (non-urban) and Category 2 (urban).​​
  • A Teacher Candidate may meet multiple diversity requirements by spending 30 hours in a specific classroom during their field experience. Prior to visiting a classroom to meet a diversity requirement, a Teacher Candidate should request a Letter of Introduction and Explanation, from the Center for Student Services. Student Teaching University Coordinators will make every attempt to assist with this requirement during the Candidate’s field experience, if requirements have not been met.  This is not a guarantee.  It is recommended that diversity requirements are fulfilled prior to Student Teaching. Diversity Information can be found on the Center for Student Services website.
  • During all Clinical Experiences all Teacher Candidates are expected to be well-groomed and are to dress professionally.  Professional dress for educators is typically defined as business casual.  Blue jeans and hats are not to be worn in school or during school meetings or professional development meetings.  The Teacher Candidate is representing CMU and responsible for showing respect for students, school district, and the University by their professional dress and professional language.  Showing respect for students, colleagues, students’ parents, and the Education profession is reflected in a Teacher Candidate’s appearance and language.​ ​
  • Successful Teacher Candidates follow these guidelines:
  • A great and easy choice for dressing comfortably and professionally as a teacher is to choose a pair of clean tan/navy/black dress pants, a coordinating polo top, and comfortable dress shoes.  
  • Choose skirts and dresses that fall past the knee in length. 
  • Wear longer dress/polo shirts, or have their shirts are tucked in, being sure to keep all body parts from drawing attention.
  • Promote a great learning environment by not distracting students with clothing, dress choices, and accessories. This includes removing piercings of the body and face, and covering up visible tattoos. 
  • Maintain a well-groomed and healthy appearance and physical presence.  
  • Physical Education teachers should speak to their host teacher regarding what is appropriate to wear in the PE setting. 
  • Ultimately students, parents and colleagues do make assumptions and judgements about how much an educator cares about being a teacher by how the educator cares for what they wear, and the way they take care of themselves in appearance.​​​​
  • Under MCL333.26427(b)(2)(B), a person cannot possess or otherwise engage in the medical use of marijuana on school grounds (pre-, primary or secondary).  Under the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, CMU and all public P-12 schools are required to prohibit the possession and use of marijuana on these campuses.  Therefore, even if a Teacher Candidate has the appropriate identification card, a candidate may not possess or use marijuana on the CMU campus or as part of a CMU program. ​
  • In order to receive a Michigan provisional teacher certificate Teacher Candidates must apply to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).  For application instructions along with a checklist of requirements please see the Center for Student Services Certification webpage. 
  • As a Teacher Candidate you are now entering the professional field of education.  Part of that responsibility includes adjusting some practices from “college student” to “teacher” appropriate.  Look at various aspects of life with a new set of eyes – those of a teacher, Principal, parent or potential employer. 
    Remove pictures and posts which do not represent the professional educator you are becoming.  Teacher Candidates have a very visible presence in a conservative field. Represent yourself as an upstanding member of this profession.  When removing pictures and posts be sure to include text messaging, instant messaging, email, blogs, chat rooms, video-sharing Web sites, editorial comments posted on the Internet, and social network sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Flickr, and YouTube. This also includes photos your friends have of you on their own pages, as everything is linked and easy to navigate.  
    Two other socially visible areas needing to be updated are your cell phone messages and email address user name.   Do callers hear loud music and a very “informal” greeting?  Is your email address a business-like user name, or one which might raise eye-brows (i.e. hotmamma@)? 
    As a Teacher Candidate you are an educator and a role model for the students in your classroom.  There may be times you are working in a classroom in which the Cooperating Teacher utilizes social media for instructional purposes.  School Districts generally have an electronic media policy available to read.  Should you wish to use electronic media in connection with a lesson you are giving, you are required to obtain permission from the Cooperating Teacher prior to teaching the lesson. 
    • After the first six (6) weeks of Student Teaching, Student Teachers may substitute teach for pay, if the district approves, for a maximum of five (5) days for every eight (8) weeks of Student Teaching experience in their assigned classroom for a maximum of ten days during the Student Teaching experience. All requirements of the host school must be followed. The Student Teacher must receive prior approval from the: Building Administrator, Cooperating Teacher, and University Coordinator. The CMU Substitute Teaching Form must be completed and submitted to the Student Teacher’s University Coordinator before the approval to substitute teach is valid.
    • ​The Cooperating Teacher and the University Coordinator must both agree that the Student Teacher has made sufficient progress related to the goals and objectives of student teaching to assume substitute teaching responsibilities.
    • If the Cooperating Teacher is absent from the building for short periods of time, the Student Teacher may assume responsibility for the classroom. In this situation, it is the responsibility of the Cooperating Teacher to arrange with other qualified teachers or administrators to provide assistance and supervision, as needed, to the Student Teacher.
    • For all questions concerning substitute teaching, contact The Center for Clinical Experiences. 
  • Meet with your advisor regularly. You should be in regular contact with your major/minor advisor and your Center for Student Services advisor.  
  • Monitor your Student Information Sheet.  Any time you change your major/minor be sure that the change is showing on your Student Information Sheet.  All application links for Pre-Student Teaching and Student Teaching can be found here.  This information will be used to determine if you are eligible to participate in field experiences.  Become very familiar with your Student Information Sheet. 
  • Get involved.  Join a Student Organization and become actively involved in your education. 
  • Global Experiences. The Teacher Education and Professional Development Department has opportunities for Teacher Education Candidates in the US and abroad.  Watch bulletin boards and check your email for the latest opportunities during your pre-student and student teaching experiences.  
    ePortfolio Monitoring.  Begin collecting artifacts for your ePortfolio.  Not sure what to include? Check out the ePortfolio website for sample portfolios along with tips for getting the most from your ePortfolio. 
  • Deadlines.  As a Teacher Candidate you will have many commitments to meet in and out of the classroom.  Pay close attention to your email and mark your calendars when you receive a notice related to a due date.  Missing due dates can result in a delay in your progress. Don’t let that happen to you!
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    ​For more information

    Center for Clinical Experiences
    College of​​ Education and Human Services
    Central Michigan University
    421 Education Building 
    Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859

     ​989-774-7662 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    ​​​​​​ ​​​
    College of Education and Human Services | Central Michigan University | | 195 Ojibway Ct | EHS 426 | Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859 | (989) 774-3079

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