Field Experiences and Student Teaching
Undergraduate Degree Programs
Drexel is renowned for the high level of clinical and field-based experiences that undergraduate teacher candidates acquire prior to their certification.* Experiences include a range of formal, school and community activities and give students invaluable first-hand exposure to the classroom and a unique opportunity to apply their learned skills and evaluation techniques to practice.
Almost every pedagogy course requires at least one clinical, field-based experience. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Education requires 190 hours of pre-service experiences prior to student teaching.
From initial courses in the education program through their culminating student teaching experience, students develop an individual, professional portfolio containing artifacts from their field experiences that demonstrate evidence of their work and the progression of their growth and understanding as teachers.
Four Levels of Field Experiences Required
Stage I: Observation (20 hours)
Students are expected to observe actively and to assist classroom teachers wherever needed, whether that involves helping to coordinate classroom activities or to support and individual learner. Students maintain an observation log, complete written reflections, and meet weekly with their course instructor to discuss their experiences that are linked to their current courses and practices.
Stage II: Exploration (20 hours)
Also known as the assistant phase, students work with small groups as well as individuals. They learn about the school community and carefully follow school policies and regulations. As in the first stage, students maintain a log and connect theory to practice through their linked Drexel courses.
Stage III: Pre-Student Teaching (150 hours)
At this more evolved stage the student furthers their skills in teaching small groups and whole group lessons, under the supervision of a certified classroom teacher. At least one of the placements at this stage will be in an inclusive setting. Students acquire a wide range of skills, from applying research-based pedagogy to classroom management and discipline that are closely integrated with their course work.
Stage IV: Student Teaching (minimum 420 hours)
During this full-time, 12-week final field placement in a carefully selected school, students work under the immediate supervision of a highly competent Cooperating Teacher, a Drexel University Field Supervisor, and the general supervision of the Drexel University Field Experience Coordinator. This experience approximates full-time teaching and provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate everything that they have learned. This phase demands a full teaching load and as representative of the University and the teaching profession, the Student Teacher functions as a full-time staff member of the school and is expected to uphold the highest level of personal and professional standards and ethics. Students may submit a request to the Field Placement Office to be placed in a specific school district.
In addition to the field experience, full-time undergraduate students are required to complete a co-op experience.
*Part-time students who are unable to complete the extensive fieldwork required for recommendation for certification enroll in a non-field experience program upon completion of their undergraduate studies.