DT Placement Guidelines and Requirements

School and District Selection

When you apply for demonstration teaching, you will identify districts and/or private schools where you prefer to be placed on the FE application. Your placement coordinator will do their best to place you in the districts and/or schools you have identified but be aware that it is not always possible. If a placement is not available in your preferred district or school, your placement coordinator will seek a placement for you in a neighboring district. You should not make concrete plans around a placement until your placement coordinator sends you official notification that you have received Full Acceptance to the cohort your placement is confirmed. Finding a placement that is close to your home is not always possible. In rare instances, you may have to travel up to 2 hours depending on the availability of placements for your content area in your location. 

 

Demonstration Teaching Placement Procedures

The demonstration teaching (DT) placement process begins with a mandatory “Introduction Call” (intro call) that occurs once you are provisionally accepted (opens new window) into the cohort. Your placement coordinator cannot begin the process of placing you for DT until you complete this call.

 

After the intro call your placement coordinator will begin seeking a DT placement for you in your chosen state. Once your placement coordinator confirms a DT placement for, they will not seek additional or alternative placements due to:

  • The need to maintain positive relationships with school districts;
  • Time constraints due to the school calendar and/or district deadlines; and
  • Additional state or district requirements (background clearance, content exams, etc.…).

 

The placement coordinator will make every effort to secure a placement, although WGU cannot guarantee a placement. If after making all reasonable requests a placement is not available in your area, the placement coordinator will cease seeking placements on February 1 for the Spring cohort and on September 1 for the Fall cohort.

 

It is important to understand that districts/schools have the choice to accept or retain a teacher candidate for a DT assignment. Hosting teacher candidates is not a requirement of districts/schools. Review FE Handbook articles Behaviors that can Result in Termination of Placement (opens new window) and Removal from a Cohort:  Administrative Withdrawal (opens new window) for additional information.  

 

Placement Specifications

The following DT placement specifications are in place to honor the intent of each program and license:

  • Placements must be in a subject and grade level that aligns with the teacher candidate’s WGU program and state licensure requirements.
  • Placements must be in a traditional, on ground setting (residential treatment facilities, prisons, home schools, Career and Technical Ed programs, or virtual placements do not meet this requirement). 
  • Placements must be in an approved accredited setting as listed on the Approved Accreditations List (opens new window).
  • WGU will not waive or shorten placement requirements regardless of a teacher candidate’s previous experience. You must complete all field experiences in their entirety.
  • Placements must be in a U.S. school except for US Department of Defense (DOD) schools (opens new window).
  • You may not complete any of your field experiences (preclinical experience or demonstration teaching) in the same classroom, or in the same grade level, as your child or any other relative. If you have relatives in the school or if you have been a frequent substitute or paraprofessional in the school, the district may not allow your placement in that school. Additionally, during demonstration teaching, your clinical supervisor must not be related to you.

Additionally, all placements must meet the following classroom guidelines:

  • The teacher candidate must be in the assigned classroom full-time, all day during the work week (as defined by the district’s or school’s full-time contractual hours for teachers).
  • The assigned classroom must have a minimum of ten students.
  • The teacher candidate must be the only candidate assigned to the host teacher for the duration of the placement.
  • The teacher candidate must complete DT in an English-speaking classroom. Central to this issue are two main points:
  • WGU is committed to nondiscrimination and diversity.
  • Clinical supervisors, cohort seminar facilitators, and course evaluators need to be able to communicate and evaluate in a common language.  

 

Diversity of Placement

During demonstration teaching, the Field Placement Team ensures that the primary placement assignment, aligned to the student’s program and area of licensure, is different in either grade or school location than the documented preclinical experience assignment. Additionally, candidates must observe in classrooms other than the primary assignment during the last two weeks of demonstration teaching to add further diversity of the experience. For more information, see Overview of Field Experiences at WGU (opens new window).

 

Placement Requirements by Program

Program

Placement Requirements

 Early Childhood

Placements are a minimum* of 12 weeks in length that include:

  • 6 weeks in a pre-kindergarten or kindergarten setting and
  • 6 weeks in grades 1-3

Elementary Education

 

BAISK8

BAELED

MATELK8

MAELED

Placements are a minimum* of 12 weeks in length

  • Traditional elementary school building as defined by the school district
  • Multi-subject classroom (minimum of two core subjects: language arts/reading combined with either math or science)
  • Elementary curriculum
  • Grades 1-6, No Kindergarten placements

Middle School Mathematics

 

BSMEMG

(BAMA9)

MATMEMG

(MATMA9)

  • Placements are a minimum* of 12 weeks in length
  • Traditional middle school/junior high school building/classroom as defined by the school district
  • Middle school mathematics curriculum
  • Grades 7-8

Secondary Mathematics

 

BSMES

(BAMA12)

MATMES

(MATMA12)

 

All program versions:

  • Placements are a minimum* of 12 weeks in length
  • Traditional secondary/high school building/classroom as defined by the school district
  • High school mathematics curriculum
  • Grades 9-12

For program versions 201708 and beyond:

  • Meet the requirements for all program versions
  • Experience required in a middle/junior high school setting
    • A minimum of 80 hours must occur in the middle/junior high school setting (grades 7-8)
    • Majority of hours must occur at the secondary/high school setting

 

Middle School Science

 

BSSEMG

 

  • Placements are a minimum* of 12 weeks in length
  • Traditional middle/junior high school building/classroom as defined by the school district
  • Middle science curriculum relevant to the program area
  • Grades 7-8

Secondary Science, English, and Social Science

  • Placements are a minimum* of 12 weeks in length
  • Traditional secondary/high school building/classroom as defined by the school district
  • Secondary curriculum relevant to program area
  • Grades 9-12

Special Education

 

BASP

BASPEE

Placements are a minimum* of 16 weeks in length, split into two distinct 8-week settings.

  • 8 weeks in a non-departmentalized, multi-subject elementary inclusive classroom
    • Traditional elementary school building as defined by the school district
    • Licensed elementary teacher
    • Elementary curriculum
    • Grades 1-6
    • Multi-subject inclusive classroom with opportunities to work with the school’s special education teacher
  • 8 weeks in a secondary special education, mild to moderate setting
    • Traditional middle/junior high school building or secondary/high school building/classroom as defined by the school district
    • Licensed special education host teacher that may serve in different classrooms to allow opportunities to work with different types of learners
    • Grades 7-12
    • Placement must be in a mild to moderate setting
    • Minimum of ten children on the caseload

Special Education

 

BASPMM

K-12 Special Education Only

 

Placements are a minimum* of 16 weeks in length, split into two distinct 8-week settings.

  • 8 weeks secondary special education, mild to moderate setting
    • Traditional middle/junior high school building or secondary/high school building/classroom as defined by the school district
    • Licensed special education host teacher that may serve in different classrooms to allow opportunities to work with different types of learners
    • Grades 7-12
    • Placement must be in a mild to moderate setting
    • Minimum of ten children on the caseload
  • 8 weeks elementary special education, mild/moderate setting
    • Traditional elementary school building as defined by the school district
    • Licensed special education host teacher
    • Grades 1-6
    • Placement must be in a mild to moderate setting
    • Elementary special education curriculum
    • Minimum of ten children on the case

 

Duration of DT - Weeks Required

DT is a full-time, intensive, in-class experience that lasts for a minimum of 12 to 20 consecutive weeks but may be longer, depending on state and/or program requirements. The State-Specific Requirements table below provides requirements that differ from WGU’s minimum program requirements.

 

WGU calculates the weeks for the assigned placement. A week must have three full days to count towards the minimum week requirement. WGU will allow a maximum of three preservice/in-service days to count towards your demonstration teaching. Placements will preferably start on a Monday and end on a Friday, but adjustments may occur to accommodate district/school calendars or state required hours.

 

In any state, if the district for your student teaching placement requires a longer placement, the dates for your demonstration teaching placement will align to meet district requirements. Additionally, some states and districts may require the student to complete DT in more than one grade level.

 

Absences

 If you miss more than 3 days (consecutive or not) at any time for any reason during DT, your placement will be extended for a full week. See the Absentee or Work Stoppage Policy (opens new window) for additional information.

 

Employment at Placement School

 If you are interested in receiving payment during your demonstration teaching placement, practicum placement, or serving as a Teacher of Record (TOR), please contact your placement coordinator at fieldplacement@wgu.edu to see if this is an available option in your state.

 

Note: Most states do not allow teacher candidates to complete DT as a long-term substitute. Please contact your placement coordinator at fieldplacement@wgu.edu to see if this is an available option in your state.

 

State-Specific Requirements - DT Placement and Duration

State

Length

Additional Notes

Alaska (opens new window)

15 Weeks

N/A

California (opens new window)

13 Weeks

All placements must use the state approved content standards and curriculum and reflect the same diversity as public schools.

Hawaii (opens new window)

16 Weeks

N/A

Kentucky (opens new window)

14 Weeks

Students in BASP, BASPEE, or BASPMM programs may not complete demonstration teaching in Kentucky.  Students in BASP, BASPEE, or BASPMM programs must complete demonstration teaching in a state other than Kentucky. 

Minnesota (opens new window)

12 Weeks

Students in the BASP or BASPEE programs must complete 12 weeks of DT in a SPED setting and 4 weeks in an El Ed setting. The SPED placement must take place across three grade ranges, defined by the Minnesota PELSB as: K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. 

New York (opens new window)

12 Weeks

Currently, a number of school districts in New York require a 16-week or semester-long placement.  

Rhode Island (opens new window)

 

24 Weeks

Students in the BASP, BASPEE, and BASPMM programs must complete 12 weeks in each placement, for a total of 24 weeks of DT. For this reason, students in these programs must apply to the fall cohort to allow enough weeks in the school year to complete DT.

Tennessee (opens new window)

15 Weeks

N/A

Texas (opens new window)

14 Weeks

No less than 65 full school days

At least one experience in the first 15 days of the school year in PCE or DT (approved programs only, PB & MAT).

Teacher candidates in Texas must be placed in accredited Texas schools and cannot serve as substitutes to complete field experiences. For information on the Educational Aide Exemption Program, please see the Educational Aide Exemption (opens new window) requirements.

Washington (opens new window)

12 Weeks

Minimum of 450 hours/at least 60 full school days (can exceed the 12-week placement depending on the school calendar).

 

 

WGU is committed to providing a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff. WGU will only approve potential preclinical or demonstration teaching sites that are expected to fully comply with all relevant ordinances and laws related to safety and health and will not knowingly place a teacher candidate at a site that is out of compliance with such ordinances or laws. If there are questions related to your approved site, please contact fieldplacement@wgu.edu.