DT Placement Guidelines and Restrictions

Demonstration teaching (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 requirements and/or your program requirements.


At the time WGU calculates the weeks for the assigned placement, partial weeks (fewer than three full days; full days are minimum 7 hours) and more than three pre-service days will not count toward the required number of weeks. Placements will preferably start on a Monday and end on a Friday, but may be adjusted due to district/school calendars or state required hours.


Note: If you miss more than 3 days (consecutive or not) at any time for any reason during DT, you will be extended for a full week per our DT Absentee or Work Stoppage Policy.


Your placement must be at the appropriate level in an accredited U.S. school that meets WGU and state licensure requirements. Different states and different WGU programs have specific placement requirements. Placements must be in a traditional, on ground setting (residential treatment facilities, prisons, home schools, or virtual placements do not meet this requirement). 


International placements are not allowed with the exception of US Department of Defense (DOD) schools.


Long term substitute assignments are not allowed for demonstration teaching unless permitted for WGU students by the state.


Teacher candidates must complete their DT assignment in an English-speaking classroom. Central to this issue are two main points:


1) WGU is committed to nondiscrimination and diversity.

2) Clinical supervisors, cohort seminar facilitators and course evaluators need to be able to communicate and evaluate in a common language.  


You must be in your 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..


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.


Teacher candidates must be assigned to a placement where they are the sole teacher candidate assigned to the classroom’s host teacher.


Note: WGU does not allow field placements to be waived or shortened regardless of a teacher candidate’s previous experience. 


State-Specific Placement Requirements

The length of Demonstration Teaching is typically 12 weeks long, but is sometimes longer depending on state and district requirements. State exceptions are listed below:

  • Alaska: 15 weeks
  • California: 13 weeks 
  • Hawaii: 16 weeks
  • Kentucky: 14 weeks
  • Tennessee: 15 weeks
  • Texas: 14 weeks (no less than 65 full school days) and at least one experience in the first 15 days of the school year in PCE or DT (approved programs only, PB & MAT).
  • Washington: Minimum of 450 hours/ at least 60 full school days (can exceed the 12-week placement depending on the school calendar).

If your state is not listed, then the standard DT placement is 12 weeks long. 


Note: Additional circumstances may also add to the length of your DT experience including, but not limited to:

  • Scheduled holidays
  • Unscheduled work stoppage or school closures
  • Failure to reach an acceptable level of performance within the allotted time frame
  • Personal illness

Note: Keep in mind that in any state, if the district in which you are placed for student teaching requires a longer placement, then your demonstration teaching will be lengthened accordingly. Currently, a number of school districts in California and New York require a 16-week or semester-long placement.  

If you plan on completing DT in one state, but licensing in another state, your DT placement must coincide with whichever DT placement requirement is longer.


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


Kentucky Only

Students in BASP or BASPMM programs may not complete demonstration teaching in Kentucky.  Students in BASP or BASPMM programs must complete demonstration teaching in a state other than Kentucky.  Students will be able to complete preclinical experiences in Kentucky.


Texas Only: 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 requirements.  


Minnesota Only:  BASP students 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, define by the Minnesota PELSB as: K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. 

Program Specific Placement Requirements

Elementary Education

Elementary education candidates require placement for a minimum of 12 weeks in a full-day, multi-subject, elementary classroom that includes at least two core classes such as language arts and math (preferable) or language arts and one other core class such as science or social studies. Some states and districts may require the student to participate at more than one grade level. A kindergarten placement is not allowed. This placement must take place in a 1-6 grade multi-subject elementary classroom..


Secondary Education 

Secondary education candidates require a minimum of 12 weeks full-time at the appropriate grade level and in the content area for which the candidate will be recommended for licensure. The WGU program requirement for secondary education programs require that the placement for demonstration teaching is in the secondary or high school setting.


For students in Secondary Mathematics (5-12) programs with Program Versions 201708 and beyond who have PCE placements approved after January 1, 2018, a split placement is required to allow candidates to participate in instructional activities in both the middle/junior high and secondary/high school settings. While candidates must document experience in both settings, a minimum of 80 hours of the total DT placement should occur in the second instructional setting. 


Dual License (Elementary & K-12 Special Education):  

Placements are a minimum of 16 weeks in length, split into two distinct 8-week settings. The elementary, 8-week placement is in a non-departmentalized, multi-subject elementary (1-6 grade) inclusive classroom hosted by a licensed elementary teacher. The elementary setting will include opportunities to work with the school’s special education teacher.


The special education, 8-week placement is in a secondary (middle or high school) setting. The secondary placement is hosted by a fully licensed special education teacher. The secondary special education placement is only allowed in mild to moderate settings and not in severe settings (self-contained). The host teacher may serve in different classrooms allowing opportunities to work with different types of learners.


K-12 Special Education Licensure Only:

Placements are a minimum of 16 weeks in length split into two distinct 8-week settings. One placement in the secondary (middle or high school) special education setting and one placement in the elementary (1-6 grade) special education setting. In both settings, the host teacher must be a licensed, special educator. Special education placements are only allowed in mild to moderate settings (inclusive settings, resource room, collaborative/consultant roles) and not in severe settings (self-contained). 


It is important to understand that a district or school is not required to accept or retain any teacher candidate for a DT assignment. Review the sections of this handbook entitled Behaviors that can Result in Termination of Placement and Removal from a Cohort:  Administrative Withdrawal. Contact fieldplacement@wgu.edu for assistance or questions.


Field Placement will make every effort to secure a placement, although a placement is not guaranteed. After multiple placement attempts, the Field Placement Team will stop seeking placement 30 days after the start of the cohort.


Note: Many states have different requirements related to the length or type of placement required. You are strongly encouraged to review to visit your state's folder in the Teacher Licensure Home Page in the student handbook to become familiar with your state's requirements.