Field Experience Support System and Contact Information

There are multiple teams, many people, and processes in place to support students in the Teachers College as they prepare for and during field experiences (preclinical experience and demonstration teaching). This support system includes:

 

The Field Placement Team

 

As you work through your program at WGU with your program mentor you will also have a placement coordinator from the Field Placement team to assist you with placement for the field experiences (preclinical experience and demonstration teaching) portions of your program. You can find your assigned placement coordinator on your Field Experience page, which you access through the Field Experience button on your degree plan. Placement coordinators maintain relationships with schools and districts and are the expert on the district and state policies, regulations, and procedures for their assigned area(s). They also maintain a pool of qualified retired educators and administrators who serve as clinical supervisors to evaluate teacher candidates during demonstration teaching. The Field Placement team and your placement coordinator collaborates with mentoring, the Teacher and Principal Success team, and other WGU departments to ensure a smooth placement process for all students.

 

You will collaborate closely with your placement coordinator as they arrange an appropriate classroom placement for your field experiences - preclinical experience and demonstration teaching. The placement process can vary from district to district as the placement procedures are determined by each school district. You should reach out to your placement coordinator early and often to discuss placement options, the placement process, and any state-specific requirements. The placement coordinators are happy to help and look forward to working with you!

 

After you apply to a DT cohort, our Field Placement Operations Associates will review your application. If your application is complete, you will earn provisional acceptance into the cohort, and your placement coordinator will reach out soon after to schedule a call with you to go over the placement process step-by-step. (You can find more information on cohort application windows and provisional acceptance requirements in this handbook.) During this call, your placement coordinator will remind you of important deadlines, review district placement procedures in your area, and give you the opportunity to ask questions. Your placement coordinator will communicate with you on a regular basis via email and student facing note updates on your Field Experience page to let you know the status of your placement.

 

When you have met all final requirements and have achieved full acceptance into the cohort, your placement coordinator will send you an official placement confirmation. This email will include the name and location of the school, the placement start and end dates, the grade assigned, the name of your host teacher, and the name and contact information for your clinical supervisor. Once you have received this email and completed the Final DT Presentation and Survey, you will begin working more closely with the Teacher and Principal Success team as they support you through your actual field experiences (preclinical experience and demonstration teaching).

 

The Teacher and Principal Success Team

 

In most instances, you will not come into frequent contact with the Teacher Success team. The team consists of coordinators who are available to assist with any questions or concerns that may arise in the field during preclinical experiences or demonstration teaching. A teacher success coordinator is an experienced educator who has earned a minimum of a Master’s degree in education and has at least five years of teaching experience.

 

Teacher Success coordinators work with you, the school, and your clinical supervisor to help resolve any issues that occur in the field. The Teacher Success team believes that even though personalities and teaching styles may differ, the very act of resolving conflicts and finding ways to work together is an essential skill all teachers need to develop, so you should try to resolve any issues with your host teacher and clinical supervisor before requesting the Teacher Success team intervene. If you need advice on how to approach a conversation with your host teacher or clinical supervisor a teacher success coordinator is happy to collaborate with you. Then if you need additional assistance or are having issues during preclinical experience or demonstration teaching that you are unable to resolve, contact the Teacher Success team immediately and they will provide support.

 

In addition to Teacher Success coordinators, teacher candidates receive support during field experiences from the clinical supervisor, host teacher, and cohort facilitator.

 

Clinical Supervisor

Your clinical supervisor is an experienced educator who has earned a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree preferred, in education and has at least five years of teaching or administrative experience. The clinical supervisor serves as your mentor, observer, and evaluator throughout the demonstration teaching experience by providing feedback and support. Contact your clinical supervisor and introduce yourself at least two weeks prior to starting in the classroom. If you have a late placement, contact your clinical supervisor immediately so they can start supporting you.

 

You and your clinical supervisor will set up an initial, face-to-face meeting to get you started. During this meeting, the clinical supervisor will explain what to expect and work with you to develop an approximate schedule for your in-class observations. You must submit a lesson plan to your clinical supervisor at least three days prior to each planned observation. The clinical supervisor will conduct pre-observation meetings (in person, phone, or email) and post-observation conferences (preferably in person but may be occur over the phone) with you for each of your 6 observations. Your clinical supervisor will also arrange a meeting with you and your host teacher following both the midterm and final evaluations to provide summative feedback at the midpoint and towards the end of your demonstration teaching assignment. The clinical supervisor is there to support and guide you, communication is key for making this relationship work.

 

Your clinical supervisor is part of your placement.  As such, the Field Placement team is only obligated to secure one clinical supervisor, and your clinical supervisor cannot be related to you.

 

Host Teacher

Your host teacher is the cooperating teacher in the school who has invited you to participate in their classroom. The host teacher is a qualified, experienced teacher and has, in most instances, experience mentoring teacher candidates. You must remember that you are a guest in the host teacher’s classroom and should always behave accordingly.

 

For students in program versions as explained in the PCE Placement Guidelines and Requirements article - the primary preclinical experiences host teacher (some programs require a split placement), will complete one evaluation at the end of your preclinical experience to provide formative feedback based on your performance and demonstrated dispositions during the preclinical experience assignment. During demonstration teaching, your host teacher will interact with you daily and will complete a midterm and final evaluation of your demonstration teaching performance.  As in all relationships, communication between you, your host teacher, and your clinical supervisor is important to ensure a successful demonstration teaching experience.

 

Cohort Facilitator

The cohort facilitator is an experienced educator who has earned a minimum of a master’s degree in education and has at least five years of teaching experience. Your cohort facilitator will provide you with comprehensive advisement and support during your demonstration teaching cohort seminar. Your cohort facilitator leads weekly conference call discussions on issues of common interest and importance, monitors the candidates progress, including construction of your Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA). Your cohort facilitator provides you with resources and guidance to help you be successful during demonstration teaching.

 

Support Processes for Teacher Candidates

 

In addition to the teams and roles described above, supplementary processes are in place to guide, develop, and support WGU Teachers College students.

 

Mentor Evaluation of Professional Behaviors and Dispositions, and Recommendation for Demonstration Teaching 

Students must secure a positive evaluation and recommendation of their demonstrated professional behaviors and dispositions to apply and participate in demonstration teaching. For more information, see Mentor Evaluation of Professional Behaviors and Dispositions.

 

Performance Concerns and Intervention Plans

State requirements determine the minimum length of the demonstration teaching placement for teacher candidates, but it may be determined that the teacher candidate needs more time in a placement. For instance, the clinical supervisor or host teacher may observe that the teacher candidate does not yet exhibit the kind of professional behavior expected of a teacher, or that he or she consistently uses ineffective teaching methods, or fails to follow school policy (see Behaviors That Can Result in Termination of Placement). Such a situation may require an extension of classroom time or even a formal intervention plan. The Teacher Success team must approve any extensions or intervention plans.

 

edTPA Revision Policy and Resources

There is a completion deadline for all teacher performance assessments (TPAs).  Unlike other WGU assessments, the completion deadline is in place to encourage students to complete their TPA as close to the end of demonstration teaching as possible since the TPA is based on actual classroom experiences. The Teacher Success team will work with students who do not complete the TPA by the required completion deadline. For more information, see TPA Completion Deadline, Revision Policy, and Resources.

 

Contact Information

Field Experience Department

Phone: 1-866-889-0132          Fax: 1-801-401-7961

Team

Office Hours

Key Responsibilities

Email

Field Placement Team

7:00 am - 5:00 pm  MT

Field placements for Teachers College, cohort applications and withdrawals, background clearances*

fieldplacement@wgu.edu

 

*Upload cleared background clearance(s) to the Background Clearance section on your Field Experience Page.

Teacher and Principal Success Team

7:00 am - 5:00 pm MT

Student issues in the field, dispositions, cohort seminar, Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA)

teachersuccess@wgu.edu

Additional Contacts

Licensure Team

8:00 am - 4:00 pm MT

State exam requirements and recommendations for licensure

licensure@wgu.edu

You can also visit the Teacher Licensure Home Page.


 

 

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