PCE Introduction

Preclinical experiences (PCE) at WGU are designed to ensure you have a well-rounded, diverse experience that spans the full range of grades and subjects aligned with your licensure/certification program in an approved, accredited school. PCE is not designed for the completion of all activities in only one teacher’s classroom. Experiences related to all functions within a school provide excellent opportunities for you to observe and understand the full-day experience for teachers and students.


WGU encourages you to visit various classrooms and grade levels that align with your program and license while classroom instruction occurs and while other activities occur during the day. For example, you may learn from transitions between classes, procedures to start and end the school day, lunch/recess, assemblies, and even after school events. Additionally, you may complete a portion of your PCE experience at your assigned PCE school in settings that differ from your program's content area to add to your overall experience. Read PCE Placement Guidelines and Requirements (opens new window) for additional details. The overarching goal for PCE is to provide you a comprehensive experience to prepare you for the culminating experience of your program, Demonstration Teaching.  


Your preclinical experiences (PCE) are early field experiences that include both video and live classroom exercises designed to support seven interrelated objectives:

  • Enhance learning by giving an early opportunity to observe and experience teaching.
  • Support WGU diversity goals.
  • Help learn the dispositions and mechanics of reflection.
  • Enable you to connect theory to practice.
  • Provide opportunities to be in the classroom prior to taking on a full-day clinical practice.
  • Provide WGU with data regarding your preparedness for demonstration teaching.
  • Give you confidence in the classroom.

PCE provides a guided practice environment in which you can begin developing desired teaching knowledge and skills. During PCE, you receive an introduction to reflective practice and an opportunity to experience the classroom environment. You are encouraged to develop your own ideas, apply them in an authentic educational setting, and be reflective in evaluating lessons.


You must first receive PCE approval and then register your Preclinical Experiences course in your current term before you begin your PCE activities in the classroom. Your PCE Status on your Field Experiences page must show as ‘Approved’ based on your completion of all PCE Approval Requirements, as verified by our Field Placement team. You may not complete any in-school PCE experiences without field placement approval or while you are on a university-approved term break. Failure to abide by these PCE policies may result in a disposition concern.


Prior education courses and/or professional experience will not count towards completion of PCE requirements or hours required for your log.