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University Coordinators

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​University Coordinators Clinical.jpgField experiences are an important component of the teacher education program at CMU.  The clinical experience is an opportunity to put theory into practice.  Due to the size of the teacher education program and the interest in providing diverse field experiences for its Teacher Candidates, CMU has established centers throughout the state.  

  • ​The Central Michigan University Coordinator, a faculty member in the Department of Teacher Education and Professional Development or the Counseling and Special Education Department, serves as coordinator of the student teaching clinical experience in the classrooms and schools in each Student Teaching Center.  The University Coordinator will make at least six observations of the Student Teacher, one of those possibly including a video observation.
  • In addition to the University Coordinator, there may be an occasion when the Director of Clinical Experiences, the Department Chair, another University Coordinator, or Subject Matter Specialist visits a school and classroom during the semester.​
  • ​​​The University Coordinator, an experienced classroom teacher and often an experienced administrator, works collaboratively with school personnel to:​​​
  • ​Communicate the clinical experience program and the teacher education program and policies of TEPD, the Center for Clinical Experiences, the College of Education and Human Services, and the University to the P-12 school community.​
  • Recognize and follow policies established by the school in which student teachers are placed.
  • Visit Cooperating Teachers and administrators to discuss the progress of Student Teachers.
  • Provide strategies for evaluative feedback related to the clinical experience for Cooperating Teachers.
  • Assist and advise Student Teachers concerning problems involving student teaching during their clinical experiences.
  • Support the student teaching clinical experience in a tactful and positive manner.
  • Provide or acquire in-service experiences or consulting services, when requested, for administrators, Cooperating Teachers and other public school personnel.
  • Recognize school personnel in various ways for services rendered.​
  • The University Coordinator works collaboratively with Student Teachers to:
  • Secure appropriate student teaching placements and continuously evaluate the environment in which the student teacher has been pla​ced.
  • Communicate effectively with each student teacher regarding placements, schedules, meetings, observations, visitations, and evaluations.
  • Effectively teach courses designated by TEPD as an integral and required part of the field experience to enhance the transfer of the​ory to practice.
  • Formally observe and document the progress of each Student Teacher a minimum of six times during the semester and effectively collaborate with the Cooperating Teacher in the evaluative process.
  • Informally visit each placement as often as necessary to provide suggestions, recommendations and solutions regarding problems confronting the Student Teacher or Cooperating Teacher.
  • Conference with Student Teachers and Cooperating Teachers after each formal observation to provide positive feedback and suggestions for improvement.
  • Act as a mentor/coach for assigned Student Teachers
  • Provide quality orientation experiences for Student Teachers and Cooperating Teachers.
  • Provide diverse experiences during the student teaching semester.​
  • ​​​The University Coordinator, an experienced classroom teacher and often an experienced administrator, works collaboratively with school personnel to:​​​


  • Most observations are pre-planned with the Student Teacher and the Cooperating Teacher.  Each participant should be aware of the date and time of the expected visit. 
  • ​At the conclusion of each observation, the University Coordinator conferences with the Student Teacher.  A private area is preferred. The Cooperating Teacher is welcome to be a part of the conference.
  • The University Coordinator frequently asks the Student Teacher for his or her self-evaluation first.  Together, they review the effectiveness of the lesson based upon the essentials for effective instruction.
  • The University Coordinator and the Student Teacher will discuss classroom management, teaching skill, strengths and weaknesses, and alternative classroom strategies. 
  • Copies of the Observation will be shared with the Student Teacher, Cooperating Teacher, and the Center for Clinical Experiences and are sent electronically to the Center for Clinical Experiences.
  • ​Subject Matter Specialists: Secondary certification Student Teachers may have a Subject Matter Specialist (SMS) from their major or minor department, schedule observations during student teaching. The SMS will contact the Student Teacher to schedule the observation. Copies of the subject matter observations and feedback are shared with the Student Teacher and Cooperating Teacher, a copy is also sent to the Director of Clinical Experiences. A copy of the observation will be sent to the University Coordinator by the Center for Clinical Experiences and a copy will be put in the student teacher’s file.​​​
  • ​Concurrent with the student teaching experience (EDU 458 and SPE 456/455), students assigned to each center are enrolled in a three-credit semester-long course (EDU 432 or SPE 522/581), often referred to as Professional Development or Seminar.  This schedule will be provided by the Student Teacher's University Coordinator.  All Student Teachers are expected to attend ALL seminar sessions and complete the assigned work as this is a three (3) credit hour professional education course and MUST be passed with a C+ or better.
  • The content of these seminars is directly related to issues being faced as part of the clinical experience. Topics such as unit and lesson planning, classroom management, meeting diverse needs of students, technology, assessment, becoming a reflective practitioner, completing an electronic portfolio, and finding a teaching position after graduation are a few of the components of these seminars.
  • Formative evaluation is a measure of how well a person is doing on a day-to-day basis, while summative evaluation measures how well a person has done after a period of time. During student teaching the emphasis is on formative evaluation, but this process should provide the basis for summative evaluation at the end of student teaching. The primary focus of all evaluations is to assist Student Teachers to develop the skills, knowledge, and dispositions of a professional educator.
  • At the end of the fourth week of the student teaching experience the Cooperating Teacher and the Student Teacher will complete a detailed Progress Evaluation.  Copies of evaluations are sent electronically to the University Coordinator.  The Cooperating Teacher and Student Teacher should plan to meet with each other to discuss strengths, weaknesses, and to make a plan for future success.  Student Teachers should keep a copy of their evaluation for future use. 
  • The Cooperating Teacher will receive an email stating that the Final Evaluation has been started and is waiting to be completed.  As soon as the Cooperating Teacher completes his/her section, the Final Evaluation will be sent electronically via email to the University Coordinator for their comments.   Notification of the completed Final Evaluation will be sent to The Center for Clinical Experiences, the University Coordinator, Cooperating Teacher and the Student Teacher. 
  • The Center for Clinical Experiences will notify the Student Teacher and the Cooperating Teacher via email when the evaluations are available online.  Instructions for completing the evaluation will accompany the link to the evaluation form. The Student Teacher will begin the process by completing the top of the evaluation, including his/her name, school, district, etc. After the Student Teacher has completed his/her part, the evaluation is sent electronically via email to the Cooperating Teacher.
  • General Education Student Teachers will receive CR/NC for EDU 458 and a letter grade for EDU 432.  Both courses must be passed successfully (EDU 458 with "CR" and EDU 432 with C+ or better) in order to earn credit for either course. Five grades are possible for the student teaching field experience (EDU 458) at Central Michigan University​:
  • ​(C) Credit​(I) Incomplete
    ​(NC) No Credit​(Z) Deferred
    ​(W) Withdrawal
  • Special Education Student Teachers will receive a letter grade for SPE 522/581 and SPE 456/458. SPE 522/581 courses must be passed successfully in order to continue on to the student teaching course, SPE 456/458. The student teaching observations conducted by the University Coordinator along the professionalism checklists completed by the Cooperating Teacher represent 50% of your course grades.
  • General Education University Coordinators assign the grade based on the joint evaluations of the University Coordinator and the Cooperating Teacher. In the event of subject matter weakness of secondary Student Teachers, the opinion of the Subject Matter Specialist may be sought.
  • Addressing Instructional Issues of Student Teachers
  • Should instructional issues arise in the classroom during student teaching the University Coordinator, Cooperating Teacher, and student teacher will develop a “Plan of Action” and submit the plan to the Director of Clinical Experiences. The University Coordinator, Cooperating Teacher and the Student Teacher will work collaboratively to resolve the issues at hand.
  • When a problem persists, an Action Plan may be developed.  Prior to developing a written Action Plan, the University Coordinator or Cooperating Teacher may:

    • Conduct formal and informal visits to the assigned classrooms/schools to observe and assess the Teacher Candidate's work based on identified criteria 
    • Document and discuss identified strengths and areas of growth for the Teacher Candidate
    • Share observed strengths and needs with the Teacher Candidate and allow for a period of attempted improvements.
  • If needed, a written Action Plan may be initiated.  The development of an Action Plan includes the following steps:

    1.   Communicate the need for an Action Plan to the designated CCE Point of Contact (Pre-Student Teaching or Student Teaching), enlisting support and guidance as necessary, and sharing history of the issue and previous interventions, if any.

    2.  Develop a written Action Plan with the Teacher Candidate and Cooperating Teacher identifying the concern, the goal for improvement, and action steps needed to achieve the stated goal. The Action Plan is a standardized CCE form.

    3.  Submit a signed Action Plan to The Center for Clinical Experiences, and provide copies of the signed plan to the Cooperating Teacher, Teacher Candidate, and designated CCE Point of Contact (Pre-Student Teaching or Student Teaching).

    4.  Evaluate the Teacher Candidate’s progress by documenting actions taken and noting whether the goal has or has not been completed.  Teacher Candidates who have a valid concern relating to their placement or evaluation by their University.

  • Teacher Candidates who have a valid concern relating to their placement or evaluation by their University Coordinator/Placement Coordinator must contact the Center for Clinical Experiences to appeal the placement. Initiation of the appeal process is the Teacher Candidate’s responsibility.
  • ​Classroom Calendars: Student Teachers will follow the school calendar and time schedule, just as though he/she were a member of the cooperating school faculty.
  • Academic Calendars: Student teaching semester is the university semester, ending the first part of May or December the Thursday prior to Commencement. ​
  • Communicate: Student Teaching is stressful for Teacher Candidates. Be sure to communicate regularly with students. Hold the level of professionalism we expect from our students.
  • Rules to Follow: Student Teachers are expected to abide by all school and district rules.
  • How Can You Help: Student Teachers will need the most support in classroom management strategies, differentiation, assessment, co-teaching, and teaching literacy in their content areas.
  • Global Experiences: If you are interested in participating in global experience contact the Director of the Center for Clinical Experiences. It’s a great way to connect with students and observe new cultures.
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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 ​​
 ehscss@cmich.edu​​​​​​​​​​​​
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College of Education and Human Services | Central Michigan University | ehs@cmich.edu | 195 Ojibway Ct | EHS 426 | Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859 | (989) 774-3079