The Teacher Education Program provides experiential learning opportunities to teacher candidates through a series of supervised clinical field experiences, practica, and student teaching. These immersions into the field allow students to personally reflect on selections regarding program and concentration. Direct interaction with real world scenarios in a classroom setting provides invaluable experiences that assist in transforming teacher candidates into professionals and educators.

The Field & Student Teaching Placements Coordinator secures all placements for teacher candidates. Teacher candidates do not arrange placements and are expected to adhere to the Clinical Placement Policies of the Education Department. To facilitate adequate supervision, all clinical field experiences, practica, and student teaching must be completed within Indiana or Illinois. Teacher candidates are responsible for arranging transportation to the placement site. Students may choose to return to campus during set registration dates to make arrangements with the Field & Student Teaching Placements Coordinator, college advisor, and clinical supervisor to enroll through the Woods Online Office in any clinical experience.

The Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Education Department is committed to both the students of the college and the students and teachers of our partnering schools and agencies. It is our responsibility to ensure that clinical field experiences, practica, and student teaching are mutually beneficial to SMWC students and the teachers and students of the schools and/or agencies in which they occur. For this reason, the faculty of the SMWC Education Department reserves the right to deny a field, practicum, and/or student teaching placement; change a field, practicum, and/or student teaching placement; remove or withdraw a student from a field, practicum, and/or student teaching placement; and/or cancel a field, practicum, and/or student teaching placement for the reasons of health, safety, and/or professional behaviors.

All clinical experiences are subject to the background check requirements and policies of the school corporation or experience site in which the teacher candidate is placed. This requirement includes any expanded background checks or testing that the placement site requires. SMWC students must contact the school corporation and/or agency in which they are placed to verify the criminal history/background check policy. The criminal history/background check must be completed before the experience can begin. Regardless of any current background checks that a student may already have, it is very likely that others will be required at the student’s expense.

When planning for the capstone/student teaching semester, it is important that students make financial and family arrangements. This is a full-time unpaid experience in the classroom/center.