PCE Placement Guidelines & Restrictions

Preclinical Experiences (PCE)

 

Your WGU preclinical experiences (PCE) are designed so that you may have an experience that spans the full range of grades and/or subjects aligned with your licensure/certification program in your approved 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 to 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 also 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. The overall goal for PCE is to provide you a well-rounded experience to prepare you for the culminating experience of your program, Demonstration Teaching (DT).  Up to 30 hours may take place at your assigned PCE school in other settings/classrooms from your program's content area to add diversity to the experience. 

 

Note: 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. Please understand that failure to abide by these PCE policies may result in a disposition concern.

 

Hours Requirements

 

You are required to complete a total of 60-75 hours of in-school observations within the appropriate setting for your degree and licensure program as outlined below. The number of hours you will be required to complete will depend on when you enrolled in the university. Please consult with your program mentor to verify your enrollment date and program version.

 

Program Version Date

Program

Hours Required for PCE

All versions prior to 201708 

All initial licensure programs

60 hours

All versions 201708 and beyond

All initial licensure programs

75 hours  

 

Regardless of start date

All students who license directly through Missouri (not reciprocity)*

75 hours

 

*MO Alternative Clinical Practice (ACP) students license directly through Missouri and are required to complete 75 hours of PCE.

 

Kentucky & Texas (approved programs/direct licensure only):  PCE activities may not be conducted during times of employment within the school district.

 

All Other States:  If you are a long-term substitute (4 weeks or more), a paraprofessional, an instructional support staff member, or a teacher of record (TOR), you may complete up to 30 of your PCE hours in your own classroom or your own comparable setting. 

 

Placement Requirements

 

The PCE placement guidelines outlined below are designed to honor the intent of each program and license.

 

Your placement must be at the appropriate level in a 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). WGU does not allow field placements to be waived or shortened regardless of a teacher candidate’s previous experience. 

 

Your PCE placement must align to the subject area and grade level that aligns with the program and license you plan to obtain. For example:

 

Elementary Programs:  Elementary school as defined by the local district.

Middle School Programs:  Middle/junior high school as defined by the local district

Secondary Programs:  Secondary/high school as defined by the local district. While interest to gain experience in middle school settings may be desired, WGU does not allow PCE placements below 8th grade due to the higher level of demonstrated content expected of a secondary program license.  For required split placement in Math, the middle school placement may span the range of the middle school as defined by the district.

 

Note: International placements are not allowed with the exception of US Department of Defense (DOD) schools. If you are in a DOD school, be sure to contact fieldplacement@wgu.edu before seeking placement.

 

Program

Placement Requirements

Early Childhood

 

 

 

Students will need to complete PCE in three areas: infant/toddler, prekindergarten/kindergarten, and grades 1st-3rd multi-subject classroom. 20 hours of observation and participation at each level for a total of 60 hours is required for your program.

 

 

Elementary Education 


 

 

The approved PCE placement must occur in a traditional, on-ground setting in a K-6 multi-subject elementary classroom. Up to 30 hours may occur in single subject settings.

 

Program Versions 201709 and beyond: A minimum of 10 of the total 75 hours must occur in a second classroom setting (any subject area) at the assigned PCE school. Effective for PCE Applications approved after 4/1/18, an evaluation by the primary PCE host teacher will be collected as a requirement to earn full acceptance for Demonstration Teaching. 

 

 

Secondary Mathematics      


 

 

Program Versions Prior to 201708:  Split placement not required. The approved PCE placement must occur in a traditional, on-ground setting in a middle/junior or secondary/high school that aligns with your program and intended license. 

 

BSMEMG (BAMA9) & MATMEMG (MATMA9) Program Versions 201708 and beyond: A minimum of 10 of the total 75 hours must occur in a second classroom setting (any subject area) at the assigned middle/junior high school. Effective for PCE Applications approved after 1/1/18, an evaluation by the primary PCE host teacher will be collected as a requirement to earn full acceptance for Demonstration Teaching.

 

BSMES (BAMA12) & MATMES (MATMA12)   Program Versions 201708 and beyond: A split placement is required in both a middle/junior high and secondary/high school. A minimum of 20 hours must occur in the second instructional setting. Effective for PCE Applications approved after 1/1/18, an evaluation by the primary PCE host teacher will be collected as a requirement to earn full acceptance for Demonstration Teaching.

 

Secondary Science, English, and Social Science

 

Program Versions Prior to 201709: The approved PCE placement must occur in a traditional, on ground setting in a middle/junior or secondary/high school that aligns with your program and intended license. 

 

Program Versions 201709 and beyond: A minimum of 10 hours of the total 75 hours must occur in a second classroom (any subject area) at the assigned PCE school. Effective for PCE Applications approved after 4/1/18, an evaluation by the primary PCE host teacher will be collected as a requirement to earn full acceptance for Demonstration Teaching. 

 

Special Education 

 

 

The approved PCE placement must occur in a traditional, on ground K-12 classroom with at least one IEP student. Resource or self-contained special education classrooms may be used to add to the variety of experiences, but the majority of hours must take place in a K-12th grade classroom with at least one IEP student.

 

Program Versions 201709 and beyond: A minimum of 10 hours of the total 75 hours must occur in a second classroom (any subject area) at the assigned PCE school. Effective for PCE Applications approved after 4/1/18, an evaluation by the primary PCE host teacher will be collected as a requirement to earn full acceptance for Demonstration Teaching. 

 

 

Note: Many districts require WGU to arrange the PCE placement. Please refer to your School and District Request task on your Field Experience page to determine where you can and cannot set up your own PCE placement. You may set up your own placement at any school identified in green on the map.

 

Please contact fieldplacement@wgu.edu for assistance to arrange your PCE placement if your chosen district is identified to have WGU arrange the placement. Failure to follow this PCE policy could result in a disposition concern. 

If the district(s) that you have selected in your “School and District Request” task on your Field Experience page require WGU to facilitate the placement, then you will need to work with your placement coordinator to secure a PCE placement 4-6 months prior to your PCE expected start date. You must complete the following tasks before your placement coordinator can start the placement process: FERPA, basic skills exam, and background clearance.

 

District placements can take up to six months to secure and placements are not guaranteed. We encourage you to start looking for a placement in a private school or district that allows students to set up their own placement 4-6 months prior to your PCE expected start date and maintain close contact with your placement coordinator. If the placement coordinator is unable to secure a placement for you after 6 months or if it is 30 days prior to the start of your PCE, you may be asked to find your own placement in a district that allows students to do so.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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