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Student Teaching Process


Student teaching experience offered as part of the professional career development support services at Drexel University pertains to full-time undergraduates pursuing teacher certification. Part-time students who are unable to complete the extensive fieldwork required for recommendation for certification enroll in a n on-field experience program upon completion of their undergraduate studies.

A. Before the Quarter Begins 

  • Please read the Student Teaching Handbook and print ONE additional copy for your mentor teacher and ONE for your building administrator. Please provide your mentor teacher(s) with a copy of the handbook on the first day of student teaching (or earlier if possible).
  • Obtain required background clearances for your state of residence. If you are Pennsylvania-based student, please provide copies of the following clearances to the Field Placement Office (DO NOT provide your original documents):
  • Act 34: Pennsylvania Police Request for Criminal Record Check
  • Act 114: Federal Criminal History Record
  • Act 126: Mandated Reporter Training
  • Act 151: Child Abuse History Clearance
  • Get a tuberculin test (if required by your host district)
  • Complete the process of taking and successfully passing the Pre-Service Academic Assessment (PAPA) series exams. Students must have successfully passed the Reading, Mathematics, and Writing exams to receive a placement.
  • Contact your mentor teacher and attempt to set up an introductory meeting in order introduce yourself and to get information regarding starting times, procedures, and materials. Consult the “Student Teaching First Days Guide” in Appendix G for tips you will need in getting started and acquainted in your new student teaching placement.


B. During the Student Teaching Experience


The teacher candidate may not be absent or late to their assigned school or classroom during their student teaching placement. If a teacher candidate must be absent or late (for illness or emergency), the teacher candidate must notify the host school and mentor teacher, the Field Placement Office and their Site director as soon as possible. Excessive absence or lateness may cause for the teacher candidate to be withdrawn from the placement. It is the sole responsibility of the teacher candidate to rearrange their daily schedule to accommodate the needs of their host school and Mentor Teacher. The Site director and the Field Placement Coordinator will jointly determine if the days a teacher candidate was absent will need to be made up.


Teacher candidate will need to follow the student teaching experience, as the School of Education, in alignment with the academic calendar of Drexel University, has identified it. However, the calendar of the host school (e.g. holidays, professional in-service days) will also be followed by the teacher candidate. Teacher candidates are expected to arrive at the school well before the students and remain after school as long as necessary. Typically, the teacher candidate should follow the lead of his/her mentor teacher whenever possible.


Teacher candidates are asked to remember that they are not only representing themselves in the host school setting, but they are also representing Drexel University. Therefore, teacher candidates are urged to dress both conservatively and professionally. Teacher candidates are requested to remember that first impressions are lasting impressions and ultimately the goal with regard to this issue is to present oneself as a mature professional.

School Emergency and Safety Procedures:

It is imperative that all teacher candidates familiarize themselves with school and district emergency/safety procedures upon arrival to their student teaching placement. Teacher candidates should discuss these policies with their mentor teachers and/or school administrators. Some of these may include, but are not limited to the following circumstances:


  • Identify what to do in case of an accident on school grounds
  • Locate the nurse’s office and safety supplies
  • Identify the policy regarding suspected child abuse
  • Determine school procedures for emergencies (i.e. fire drills, snow drills, bomb threats) and locate where emergency exists are located
  • Identify school procedures with regard to the dispensing of medication

In addition, teacher candidates must abide by the following safety/legal policies:


  • Drexel University teacher candidates should NEVER be left alone in a classroom with a class of students without having a certified teacher in the room. If a teacher candidate is left alone with a class, that person should immediately notify the office and have another certified teacher or school/district employee join them in the room.


  • Drexel University teacher candidate should never be left alone in a room with an individual student. If a Drexel University teacher candidate is asked to work one on one with a P-12 student (i.e. for tutoring, testing, etc.), that needs to take place in a room where another certified teacher or school/district employee is visible.


  • Drexel University teacher candidates SHOULD NOT have any physical contact with P-12 students, regardless of the circumstances.



Teacher candidates must act as professional teachers throughout their student teaching placement, maintaining a respectful and courteous manner with all school personnel and students. Teacher candidates should keep all conversations about their students in a confidential manner. To see the complete PA Code of Professional Conduct, visit


NOTE: Repeated violations of any of the policies outlined above, with the possibility of first violation depending on the seriousness of the offense, are grounds for removal from the student teaching placement.



Teacher candidates are required to construct a formal lesson plan for every lesson taught. The teacher candidate should keep an ongoing binder, which contains all of the lesson plans taught by that teacher candidate (see Appendix A for the lesson plan template and planning tool). The lesson plans will be checked frequently by the mentor teacher and the site director. At mid-quarter, a decision concerning the appropriateness of reducing lesson plan length will be made in conversations between the site director, mentor teacher, and the teacher candidate.


Evaluation of Teacher Candidates:

Evaluation of classroom performance is absolutely critical to the continued professional growth of the teacher candidate. Teacher candidates are encouraged to seek other evaluations of their teaching from principals and other faculty members if possible. For a full list of evaluation procedures, please refer to Section II of this handbook.

C. After the Quarter Ends

It is important to note that the completion of one’s student teaching experience does not necessarily mean that the individual is eligible for certification. Teacher candidates must ensure that they have completed the required content and pedagogy courses as well as the appropriate PECT (PreK-4) or PRAXIS II (Secondary Content Knowledge) tests, which are mandatory for the certification area of the student. NOTE: Each teacher candidate must be academically cleared by his/her academic advisor before applying for certification on the TIMS system as well as program completion on the Drexel One Portal.

(See Appendix L for Supplemental Application Process Information and Notes for PA Intern, Instructional I and Program Specialist Certification)

 The Instructional I certificate is valid for a period of six years of teaching in Pennsylvania. The Instructional I Certificate must be made permanent after six years of teaching. The Instructional II certificate is issued after three years of satisfactory teaching and upon the completion of twenty-four (24) semester credit hours that is the equivalent of thirty-six (36) quarter credit hours of post-baccalaureate study at a state approved baccalaureate degree granting institution. It is recommended that students complete an approved Master’s Degree to satisfy this requirement.