Welcome to the Teacher Education Handbook. This resource provides candidates, faculty, and staff with information and documents designed to assist in the successful completion of the teacher education program. You will find information, instructions, and required forms related to program requirements.
UOPX’s Teacher preparation programs, which lead to certification, are approved in select states. If at any point in the program you move to another state, your ability to continue in your program could be impacted. You must immediately update your current address with the University whenever a change occurs. You must also contact your Academic Advisor to ascertain the effect on your program. You are encouraged to contact your Academic Advisor upon contemplating an address change to understand the effect of the change on your ability to progress in the program.
The University of Phoenix College of Education Conceptual Framework provides the philosophical foundation and structure for developing educational professionals, centered around themes of professional practice. The themes are reflected in and emphasized throughout the coursework, candidate assessment, clinical experience, and clinical practice as appropriate. The University of Phoenix College of Education’s vision is to prepare teachers with knowledge, skills, and dispositions aligned with the themes of professional practice in order to positively impact student learning with a dedication to equity and access for all students.
Keep each Conceptual Framework theme, or “pie piece,” in mind when exploring course topics. Consider the alignment between these theme(s) and course topics and objectives.
Click the Conceptual Framework image below to learn more and explore each theme.
Supplemental & Professional Expectations
Candidates in P-12 College of Education programs at University of Phoenix participate in one or more field placements as part of their academic program. Degree candidates interact with students, parents/caregivers, school staff, and others in the community during the clinical experience (field experience). As prospective educators, College of Education candidates are expected to represent the University as professionals, adhering to the ethics and standards of the profession, as well as the following standards, and the University’s Student Code of Conduct.
The candidate is committed to reflection, assessment, and learning as an ongoing process.
The candidate believes that all students can learn and succeed and is adaptable to differentiated instruction.
The candidate maintains positive collaborative interpersonal interactions with faculty, students, and the school community.
Candidates’ dispositions will be evaluated throughout the program by university staff, faculty, and school site personnel when visiting schools for fieldwork. View Transcript: Professional Standards
Supplemental & Professional Standards for Candidates in Teacher Preparation Programs
Candidates in programs leading to certification or licensure are subject to greater scrutiny because of their anticipated entry into a licensed profession. Additionally, candidates who will be interacting with members of the community, i.e. students, families, etc., participate in external activities as part of their academic program and are expected to represent the University as professionals and adhere to the ethics and standards of their profession, irrespective of where these activities occur.
In addition to being subject to the Student Code of Conduct, candidates are also expected to follow the Supplemental and Professional Standards for their respective program (“Standards”), as both address a candidate’s affective attributes and disposition to be in the selected profession. Adherence to these standards includes off-site activities and locations when the candidate’s behavior affects the reputation of the University and/or the integrity of the program.
A candidate’s ability to satisfactorily meet the Standards is a matter of ongoing academic judgment made by the respective College. Additionally, University of Phoenix faculty members have a legal, ethical, and academic responsibility to ensure candidates refrain from unsafe or unprofessional practices.
Academic Judgment: The College’s assessment of whether the candidate’s behavior demonstrates the attributes and disposition to be in the selected chosen profession.
Candidate: Any student who enrolls in a licensure or certification program, or a program that has anticipated interactions with members of the community.
Off-Site Activities: Field Placement, Clinical, Rotation, Practicum, Internship, Preceptorship, or any other activity that is required as part of the candidate’s program at a location other than the University classroom.
Referral: Notice to the College that a candidate may be in violation of one or more of these standards.
Remediation Plan: The method the College uses to remediate the candidate to return to the program, if possible.
Supplemental and Professional Standards
The candidate is sensitive to community and cultural norms that pertain to the University classroom and off-site activities and locations.
The candidate contributes to a positive climate in the University classroom and all off-site activities and locations.
The candidate adheres to College, clinical, and agency site policies and procedures.
The candidate participates in off-site activities consistent with their respective professional practice, including satisfactory performance of all required skills specified.
The candidate meets all state-mandated requirements for certification and/or licensure.
The candidate only engages in practice for which they have been authorized or for which they have been educated/validated.
The candidate appreciates and values human diversity and shows respect for others’ varied talents and perspectives.
The candidate values the development of critical thinking, independent problem solving, and performance capabilities in themself and those with whom they interact.
The candidate demonstrates mastery of written and spoken language for self-expression, as well as for effective interaction in all settings.
The candidate is committed to reflection and assessment and is open to receiving feedback.
The candidate is willing to give and receive help.
The candidate is a thoughtful and responsive listener.
The candidate maintains a pattern of meeting requirements in courses and external placements.
The candidate demonstrates a commitment to keeping abreast of new technology, ideas, and understandings in their chosen field.
The candidate demonstrates a level of responsibility and ethical judgment appropriate for a professional in their field.
The candidate is responsible for personal transportation to and from off-site activities.
The candidate maintains professionalism and confidentiality in all settings, including virtual settings.
The candidate is committed to establishing a safe and supportive environment.
Supplemental and Professional Standards Indicators
Standards and Dispositions Indicators complement the Supplemental Standards for Candidates in College of Education Teacher Programs. Candidates, faculty, and staff use the indicators to determine if candidates are adhering to professional expectations within the field of education.
CPAST Category: Pedagogy and Professional Dispositions Evaluations
During the Clinical Practice (Student Teaching) experience, candidates are evaluated using the Candidate Preservice Assessment of Student Teaching (CPAST) evaluation instrument. If a candidate does not meet expectations during the midterm and/or final Clinical Practice (Student Teaching) evaluations, they are referred through the supplemental and professional standards process for coaching and development purposes. The referral will provide candidate with information on the specific domains they are lacking skills to be successful as an educator. Review the CPAST Category: Pedagogy and Professional Dispositions Evaluations for more information about the domains.
Supplemental and Professional Standards Referral Process & Procedures
Upon notice that a candidate may not be meeting one or more of the Standards, the College will review the information, the candidate’s history, and any additional information that will assist in appropriately addressing the issue(s) presented. If the respective College determines that a candidate may not be meeting one or more of the Standards, they may file a Referral.
Referrals provide the College the opportunity to review the candidate’s behavior and determine whether counseling, remediation, or withdrawal from the program is appropriate. The process is designed to be remedial, as the goal is for candidates to understand what is expected of them to be successful in their profession.
If at any time during the process the candidate fails to meaningfully participate, the College may recommend the student be withdrawn from the program. Program withdrawals must be approved by the College Dean.
Candidates are not permitted to have representation by an attorney or any other third party at any time during the process.
This process is separate from the Student Code of Conduct disciplinary process, but they may run concurrently. Candidates charged with violating the Student Code of Conduct are subject to the policies, procedures, and sanctions under that policyin addition to these standards.
A Student Code of Conduct charge may be the basis for a Referral if the underlying incident indicates these Standards have not been met. Similarly, a Referral may be the basis for a Student Code of Conduct charge.
Candidates are not subject to expulsion for a Standards violation, only for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct if found responsible. A detailed outline of the Supplemental and Professional Standards Referral Process & Procedures can be found in the Academic Catalog (starting on page 118).
Academic Progressions are a tool that allows the University of Phoenix an opportunity to provide identified students with a streamlined, templated coaching process. Specifically, Academic Progressions apply to students in the following circumstances:
Non-passing grade in a B or better course
Unsuccessful attempt at the Dispositions Assessment
Unsatisfactory MyTimeLog (MTL) submissions of clinical experience (field experience) hours
The Academic Progression process encourages self-reflection through guided questions and offers specified remediation resources that students can complete independently. In the past, students with the above deficiencies were supported through the Supplemental Standards referral process. While the Supplemental Standards process remains in place for students with dispositional concerns, the goal of the Academic Progression process is to offer an expedited mode of self-guided support.
Clinical Experience (Field Experience)
Clinical Experience (Field Experience) is an important part of any education degree program. The clinical experiences (field experiences) are integrated with content from coursework and allow opportunities for teacher candidates to observe and obtain first-hand experience in P–12 classrooms. It is important for candidates to get a variety of clinical experiences (field experiences) during the program.
Clinical Experience (Field Experience) is designed to provide you with the opportunity to observe and interact with experienced teachers, P-12 students, support staff, and administrators in diverse school environments and to participate in professional development activities. It is also your opportunity to make connections that may open the door for a clinical practice (student teaching) placement.
Prior to clinical practice (student teaching), clinical experience (field experience) enables you to participate in hands-on daily classroom practices such as tutoring and one-on-one, whole-group, and small-group instruction in a variety of grade levels and content areas.
Beginning with the first course and throughout your program, students in undergraduate and graduate initial teacher licensure degree programs are required to complete a minimum of 100 hours of verified clinical experience (field experience). Candidates enrolled in the Graduate Certificate programs (non-MAED) must complete a minimum of 60 hours of clinical experience (field experience). Clinical experience (field experience) must include a variety of developmental levels within an appropriate program/certificate-aligned setting and must be completed prior to clinical practice (student teaching). Approximately 30 of these hours are satisfied through assigned clinical experience (field experience) activities in some of your courses, while the remaining hours are identified and completed independently. You may spend no more than 25 hours in the same classroom or with the same teacher. Candidates make their own arrangements for their clinical experience (field experience) hours (in accordance with district guidelines), but they may reach out to the assigned Progressions Education Program Specialist if they need assistance securing a placement and/or as required by the school/district.
NOTE: Some states require more than the program required 100 hours to be eligible for teacher certification. For more information about your state’s certification requirements visit your state on Teacher Licensure Disclosure webpage.
The majority of your clinical experience (field experience) hours should be completed in a variety of developmental levels appropriate for your program. For example, K-8th grade aligns to Elementary candidates, birth through 3rd grade aligns to Early Childhood candidates (a balanced mix of experience in both preschool and primary classrooms), K-12th grade aligns to Special Education candidates, and 6-12th grade levels align to our Secondary candidates. These are only examples and not a comprehensive list. Consult with your Progression Education Program Specialist for additional guidance, as there may be different grade/age ranges appropriate for your program/state that are not highlighted in these examples.
Clinical experiences (field experiences) must be completed in a classroom setting (see Alternative Settings for exceptions). It is required that you schedule clinical experiences (field experiences) at diverse schools and districts based on varying factors, such as socio-economic level, ethnicity, rural/urban setting, presence of English-Language learners, student ability levels, etc.
Clinical experience (field experience) hours cannot be satisfied through clinical practice (student teaching) activities, any contracted position (i.e. substitute teaching, teacher’s aide, instructional aide, paraprofessional, etc.), volunteering in your child’s school, coaching, church activities, or scouting. If your state requires more than 100 hours of clinical experience (field experience), 40 of the additional hours may be completed in a substitute teaching role.
The assigned clinical experience (field experience) required in your coursework will account for approximately one-third of the required clinical experience (field experience) hours needed for your program. Consult with your instructor and course syllabus for complete assignment details. These course-related clinical experience (field experience) assignments are not optional. You must complete them as a requirement of your program.
See Alternative Settings below for more information.
The following matrices will help you identify courses in your program that require a clinical experience (field experience) activity including when to expect to complete Guided Field Experience (GFE)/Guided Clinical Experience (GCE).
How you arrange clinical experience (field experience) activities will vary depending on the procedures of each school or school district. Some schools or school districts may require that you be formally placed by the University of Phoenix and others may allow you to arrange the hours directly with the school or school district.
To determine the appropriate procedure, you must contact the school or school district directly. Be professional in your communication and ask the school or school district what you are required to do to conduct clinical experience (field experience) in their school or school district.
Schools or school districts always have the discretion on who they allow to conduct clinical experience (field experience) activities. You are not guaranteed a clinical experience (field experience) placement for any onsite activities required for your program.
If the school or school district requires it, the university will make a formal clinical experience (field experience) request on your behalf. Contact your Education Program Specialist to begin the placement process. This type of placement may take 4–6 weeks to secure an appropriate setting to complete hours, so it is important to plan and submit the request well in advance.
Family member or friend: It is acceptable to conduct clinical experience (field experience) in the classroom of a family member or friend, including teachers of your children, provided the school or school district allows it. Even though you may have connections in the school or district, you are still considered a visitor. Always represent yourself in ways you would want a potential employer to see you and be sure to follow all clinical experience (field experience) requirements and procedures of the school and district.
No network connections: If you do not have any connections within the school or district, please communicate your clinical experience (field experience) needs with the school or school district of your choosing. Your needs may vary depending on factors such as a specific course assignment or grade range of your program.
The school or school district might require that you complete an additional background check through them and submit verification of clearance of any communicable diseases as part of its clinical experience (field experience) procedures.
The school or school district may also require that you provide documentation from the University of Phoenix about your program and field experience requirements. If this documentation is needed, please request it from your Education Program Specialist.
My Time Log
My Time Log is a web tool for logging, reviewing, and approving clinical experience (field experience) hours. This tool provides an enhanced experience for you, faculty, and staff and allows for better data tracking. Review the following materials to learn more about My Time Log. Contact your Education Program Specialist if you have any questions.
You are required to record the time spent in each experience, provide a description of the placement, and reflect on the experience. This information should be inserted in My Time Log. Keeping notes by hand in a personal notebook is fine, but to meet program requirements you must summarize these notes in My Time Log. Each time log entry must be submitted to the hosting teacher so they can confirm your hours. You will be required to export and email your My Time Log record to your Progression Education Program Specialists for review at selected times during your program.
You may spend up to 25 hours in the same classroom or with the same teacher; however, the 25 hours cannot be documented all together in one reflection with one approval. No more than 8 hours can be documented for a single session. Each session you spend in the same classroom or with the same teacher must be documented separately with its own date, site details, reflections, and teacher approval.
Please collect as much information as possible about each school in which you complete a field experience, such as school demographics, diversity, enrollment numbers, type of school (private, charter, public, etc.). This information can be obtained through an interview with the classroom teacher or school administrator or the school or district website. There may also be school demographic information found on your state’s Department of Education website or by visiting your state on the Teacher Licensure Disclosure webpage.
You must answer all reflection questions for each clinical experience (field experience) you complete. Each reflection question requires a minimum 100-200 word response. The questions are available to all candidates in TK20 and include the following themes:
• Describe what you did and/or observed during the experience.
• Consider the influence of school, family, and community on student learning,
• What have you gained from the experience that will help you grow and develop as a teacher?
• How was instructional technology utilized during the experience? How did it impacted student learning?
For clinical experiences (field experience) related to coursework, you will be required to complete an assignment in the class related to the clinical experience (field experience). Do not copy and paste your clinical experience (field experience) related class assignment into My Time Log as your reflection.
Guided Field Experience (GFE)/Guided Clinical Experience (GCE)
What Is Guided Field Experience (GFE)/Guided Clinical Experience (GCE)?
GFE/GCE is a course requirement in our initial teacher licensure programs, including graduate certificate programs. Candidates will be evaluated on their instruction and impact on student learning in select courses during their program (see sequences below). Candidates are required to instruct at least two group sessions; they may complete two small-group sessions if they are not able to obtain permission to teach in a whole-group setting.
What Is the Student’s Role?
Candidates either work with the assigned Progression Education Program Specialist for placement or secure placement on their own as dictated by their district. The goal is to complete four 25-hour placements throughout the program.
Each candidate will work with the Clinical Experience Teacher at the placement site to determine the appropriate lesson and time for the GFE/GCE to occur.
What Is the Classroom Teacher’s Role?
The Classroom Teacher will work with the candidate to determine the appropriate lesson and time for the GFE/GCE to occur. The Classroom Teacher will assist the candidate as necessary to support the three components of GFE/GCE:
Post-assessment and reflection
What Is the Faculty Member’s Role?
Faculty members will evaluate the candidate’s GFE/GCE assignment based on the completion of the assignment requirements and will provide candidates with coaching to improve their practice.
Guidelines for the Classroom
An abundance of knowledge can be gathered by hands-on experience through participation in P-12 classroom activities. Apply the following guidelines as you conduct each of your classroom field experiences to optimize your learning experience and maximize your educator knowledge base.
Remember to be professional. Your relationships with all school staff (principals, administrative staff, teachers, etc.) and students are important in your future career as an educator. Communicate clearly. Dress appropriately. Be courteous and respectful to the principals and teachers who are graciously allowing you into their classrooms. Remember, you are a guest in the school and it is a privilege, not a right, to have access to their campus, faculty, and students. Review Professional Expectations for further information.
Below is a chart representing common standards for appropriate professional attire. As you prepare for your clinical experience and/or clinical practice, please review the “Dos” and “Don’ts” of professional attire listed below. Please consider that there will likely be exceptions to the attire listed in this chart in an educational setting. For example, you may find that a suit is only appropriate during an interview or that tennis shoes are allowed on your school’s campus. Please be sure to review your school site’s expectations for professional attire (which may be listed in an employee handbook) and, when in doubt, always error on the side of more professional dress.
Depends on setting – verify with supervisor
Khakis/Dockers/Dress Slacks, worn at waist
Skirts, mid-thigh or longer
Denim jeans or shorts
Capri pants, mid-calf or longer
Leggings or spandex
Button down shirts with collars or blouses, short or long sleeve
• Once you have identified the school site to conduct your clinical experience (field experience) and have received approval from the appropriate school authority, contact the cooperating teacher to develop a schedule to complete the clinical experience (field experience). Be sure to emphasize that you would prefer to participate in the class during instructional time.
Call ahead if you cannot arrive at your scheduled time.
Reschedule if your clinical experience (field experience) occurs during lunch, recess, a planned field trip, or other events.
Talk with the teacher before class to identify the expected learning outcomes and plan how you can be involved in the classroom activity.
Some clinical experience (field experience) activities only require (or permit) you to observe. Think of these field experience observations as “active observation”. It means active listening, professional engagement with the teacher, and critical thinking. It is the opportunity for applying theory you have learned in your coursework to real-life practice.
Review Observation Techniques for more information.
Classroom experiences should be fact-based and unbiased. Your value judgments should not enter the classroom.
Learn from the teachers to whom you are assigned; you will see instructional techniques that you may want to replicate and you will see others that you will not want to model. The time that you spend with teachers, students, and classrooms will be invaluable to you as you begin your teaching career.
Review Observation Techniques for more information.
Be aware of teachable moments – times when the activity you are participating in doesn’t go quite as planned. Teachers are experts at “seizing the moment.” Make notes to determine if you can identify when the teacher seized a teachable moment and when they ignored such opportunities. You will learn a great deal by asking a teacher why certain things occur or do not occur in the classroom.
As you take notes during the clinical experience (field experience), be thorough by noting specific details regarding classroom occurrences (e.g., instructional techniques, student responses, etc.), as well as the following basic information:
Date of the classroom clinical experience (field experience)
The name of the school where the clinical experience (field experience) occurred
The grade level of the students
The number of students, teachers, and other adults present during the clinical experience (field experience)
Before you begin the observation, find a location to sit where you are inconspicuous and will not cause any distractions.
Can you identify the standard or standards being addressed?
Does the lesson flow smoothly, or is it interrupted?
How are children reacting to and receiving the instruction? Do some students appear to be lost? Are some students inattentive? Is there discussion? Are questions being answered? Is higher-order thinking occurring?
Is the discussion including many children, or just a few? Are only the same ones participating?
Are children given times to complete their work? What is the teacher doing while the students complete their work? Are students provided with guided practice?
What are the obvious behaviors of the children? Are some having trouble? What do the ones who finish early do?
Is there an assessment at the end of the period? Is there closure to the lesson?
How was the content delivered?
If children are conducting research, are there adequate materials? Are children writing in their own words? What is the teacher doing?
Follow- up with a thank you note to the teacher you observed.
Enter the details of your clinical experience (field experience) session into My Time Log as soon as you return home.
Alternative Clinical Experience (Field Experience) Settings
Summertime can be a challenging time for teacher candidates to locate appropriate sites for completing course clinical experience (field experience) assignments and program clinical experience (field experience) requirements. The ideal environment for teacher candidates to complete clinical experience (field experience) is in a classroom setting under the supervision of a certified teacher. Some schools and districts have year-round or modified school year schedules. These would be the first choice for summer clinical experience (field experience).
If a school environment is not available to teacher candidates during the summer months, other acceptable opportunities may be available in the community. Alternative clinical experience (field experience) opportunities should be instructor-led educational events for P–12 students. Examples may include but are not limited to the following:
Math or science camps, often sponsored by local school districts, colleges, or universities
Educational programs at science centers, museums, and zoos
Up to 10 hours completed in alternative settings can be logged by taking part in suggested activities, which include the following:
Parent–teacher organization meetings (excluding their own child’s school), school board meetings, grade level and content area meetings, and all-school staff meetings and training
Workshops and conferences for educators (Teacher candidates can check with local school districts, the state department of education, local colleges and universities, and professional organizations for schedules of events.)
Please Note the Following:
If you must complete the assignment through an alternative observation, then it’s recommended that you complete the original clinical experience (field experience) assignment in a formal classroom once possible. Document the experience in My Time Log.
Clinical Practice (Student Teaching)
Clinical Practice (student teaching) is an integral component of the teacher preparation program. It provides candidates with a field-based experience at the appropriate grade and content level. Candidates work with a cooperating teacher from a school site and with a University of Phoenix Practicum Faculty Supervisor. Candidates experience a clinical supervision model during clinical practice (student teaching) that utilizes observation, analysis, reflection, and conferencing components.
Additionally, candidates are responsible for completing topical assignments designed to demonstrate practical application of skills and knowledge gleaned from program curriculum. The completion of each assignment is scheduled to coincide with Practicum Faculty Supervisor visitations and/or clinical practice (student teaching) seminars; the content of these assignments will form the basis for discussion at the visitations and/or during the seminars. The clinical practice (student teaching) experience is designed to emphasize the achievement of state-specific standards leading to certification and to present individuals with growth opportunities that best prepare them to assume the duties of a certified classroom teacher. View Transcript: Student Teaching
Clinical Practice (student teaching) is a full-time experience.
Candidates must take the appropriate clinical practice (student teaching) coursework concurrently with the onsite clinical practice (student teaching) experience. If a candidate chooses to postpone the clinical practice (student teaching) experience, they must postpone enrollment in the corresponding clinical practice (student teaching) coursework.
Candidates must earn a “B” or better in all summative evaluations conducted in the clinical practice experience as well as the final seminar coursework grades. If a candidate receives less than a “B” (B- or lower, or a W), they must repeat the course AND the clinical practice (student teaching) experience.
If a candidate is removed from clinical practice by the school, district, or university, or executes an unapproved self-termination of clinical practice, it is considered a failed attempt and the course and experience must be repeated.
Clinical Practice (student teaching) and concurrent clinical practice (student teaching) seminar coursework can only be repeated one time. Candidates must complete a Supplemental Standards process after their first failed attempt of the course or concurrent experience prior to being eligible for their second and final attempt at clinical practice (student teaching) and the concurrent clinical practice (student teaching) seminar coursework.
Elementary, Secondary, and Early Childhood candidates may not student teach in special education. Candidates seeking special education certification must be enrolled in the MAED/SPE program and complete clinical practice in a mild-moderate Special Education setting.
It is recommended that candidates complete their clinical practice (student teaching) block within twelve (12) months from the completion date of their last required course in the program. If candidates defer clinical practice (student teaching) for more than one year, they may encounter changes in state examinations and/or other requirements for teacher certification. Candidates will be responsible for complying with any new state credentialing requirements at the time clinical practice (student teaching) is occurring until completed and they obtain their license.
Candidates who are contemplating delaying clinical practice (student teaching) for more than a year may be subject to additional program and financial implications. Candidates are encouraged to consult with the Academic and Finance teams, in addition to the assigned Progressions Education Program Specialist, to discuss their options in advance.
Candidates will complete either a Teacher Work Sample or an edTPA portfolio, depending on their program and/or state requirements.
Teacher candidates will complete a minimum 12-weeks. Some schools, school districts, and states require candidates to complete more than the minimum required weeks of clinical practice (student teaching). Candidates must follow the placement guidelines of their school and school district of their University-approved placement. Candidates cannot make any changes to their placement setting or dates. For more specifics about the number of weeks required in your state visit the Teacher Licensure Requirements Webpage.
The clinical practice (student teaching) experience encompasses several components, including: orientation, observations, planning, teaching, weekly deliverables, constructive feedback, and formal evaluation. The orientation period will be followed by a time of observation and limited classroom participation. This important phase of the experience is designed for the candidate to become acquainted with classroom procedures and materials.
It is essential that the student teacher notify either the University Practicum Faculty Supervisor and cooperating teacher as soon as any concern with an assignment(s) arises. During the clinical practice experience, the candidate needs to adhere to the requirements placed upon other teachers in the school district. This includes following the school/school district’s calendar, attendance policy, call-in procedures, etc. It is essential that you discuss these expectations with the cooperating teacher prior to the start of the experience.
If the candidate must be absent from the experience, they must call the University Practicum Faculty Supervisor and cooperating teacher as soon as possible. The candidate must always have emergency lesson plans available for a substitute teacher. The candidate may not be absent from clinical practice (student teaching) to attend a job interview or take vacation. The student teacher must contact the University Education Program Specialist immediately if they cannot complete the clinical practice assignment for any reason.
To have an opportunity to successfully complete the clinical practice (student teaching) experience, the candidate is required to complete all assignments as noted by the University Practicum Faculty Supervisor and in the clinical practice seminar coursework. These may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Daily Lesson Plans
Written daily lesson plans are required of all candidates. The cooperating teacher should be considered a resource person in this effort. The plans should be submitted to the cooperating teacher at least 48 hours prior to teaching the lesson. The candidate must also submit a minimum of one lesson plan weekly to TK20 to the University Practicum Faculty Supervisor for review and feedback.
Become familiar with the school’s programs, calendar, policies, community, consumer base, and specific service offerings.
Contact your Practicum Faculty Supervisor and cooperating teacher to introduce yourself and schedule the orientation meeting
Participate in an observation cycle of master teachers noting routines, student learning styles, teaching style, delivery of curricula, and classroom management.
Develop lesson plans collaboratively with the cooperating teacher that satisfy state standards and local school/school district curricula.
Collaborate with the cooperating teacher on designing and implementing the Teacher Work Sample or edTPA portfolio, as required, during the experience.
Maintain informal anecdotal records (noting students’ learning styles, teaching strategies, what works with students, positive experiences, reactions, etc.).
Study the school or school district’s progress reporting system. The cooperating teacher will model collecting appropriate student class work, diagnosis, and writing/scoring the student progress report.
Collect artifacts and data for the electronic portfolio and maintain back-up copies of portfolio artifacts. Do not collect prohibited or protected artifacts or data.
Participate in the professional activities of a classroom teacher.
Confer with and/or observing teaching staff involved with students instructed in special programs or services (speech, English as a Second Language (ESL), Honors (gifted) programs, special education, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc.).
Contact the cooperating teacher prior to arrival at the school regarding the material they will be responsible for at the start of clinical practice (student teaching). The candidate must prepare any materials, lessons, etc. needed to begin clinical practice (student teaching).
Review the school’s regulations. As a “co-teacher” in the system, the candidate will enforce the student regulations and observe the teacher regulations as if they were a contracted teacher in the school.
Carefully plan effective lesson plans.
Utilize a variety of teaching methods in the classroom.
Provide an effective learning environment for all students.
Complete the required number of weeks according to State Department of Education regulations and university requirements.
Notify the cooperating teacher, University Practicum Faculty Supervisor, and Clinical Practice Education Program Specialist if they must miss school due to an emergency, serious personal issue, or when school is closed for inclement weather.
Submit complete lesson plans to the cooperating teacher if a personal absence is taken due to an emergency or serious personal issue.
Adhere to university guidelines on substitute teaching. Candidates may substitute for their cooperating teacher for a maximum of two days during clinical practice (student teaching) if the cooperating teacher must be absent and the candidate meets the school/district’s requirements to sub. Candidates may not substitute for other teachers during clinical practice (student teaching).
Fulfill the commitment to clinical practice (student teaching) and the school. The candidate must not request time off to attend other functions such as weddings, job fairs, travel, etc. Up to five days of personal absences are allowed for emergencies or serious personal issues and must be made up before the end of clinical practice. If the candidate is absent for more than five days, the candidate must withdraw and retake clinical practice and the coinciding seminar coursework. If more than two days are missed for inclement weather, they must be made up before the end of clinical practice (student teaching).
The faculty member assigned by the University of Phoenix to supervise individual candidates during fieldwork and to work collaboratively with the cooperating teacher is an important ingredient in clinical practice success. The Practicum Faculty Supervisor serves as an ongoing resource for the cooperating teacher in the school, and monitors and evaluates the candidate’s progress. This faculty member must have a master’s or doctoral degree and must have experience in supervision. Practicum Faculty Supervisors use evaluation instruments, standard observation, feedback, and coaching strategies to assist candidates in developing instructional and management skills during their time in the classroom. The Practicum Faculty Supervisor is responsible for observing and evaluating candidates during clinical practice (student teaching). This is accomplished through observation and feedback sessions with candidates using the forms provided in TK20. It is up to the faculty member to determine each candidate’s supervision schedule in consultation with the candidate’s cooperating teacher to create an individualized plan to best suit the needs of the group. The candidate may also indicate a need for more intensive supervision for a period of time or because of issues with a particular skill. It is the University’s intent that all clinical practice experiences are individualized based upon a candidate’s performance and progress in the classroom.
The responsibilities of the Practicum Faculty Supervisor are to:
Make initial contact with the cooperating teacher.
Describe expectations for the candidate and the role of the cooperating teacher.
Observe the candidate for the purposes of:
Monitoring candidate progress in an accurate manner.
Troubleshooting problem areas.
Correspond periodically with the cooperating teacher to discuss the candidate’s performance and to answer any questions.
Require the candidate to notify the Practicum Faculty Supervisor immediately of any emergencies or personal issues that result in an absence.
Inform the candidate that missed days must be made up (absence from teaching experience of more than 5 days requires the candidate to withdraw and re-take clinical practice and coinciding seminar coursework).
Immediately notify the University of any concerns related to the candidate’s performance, the cooperating teacher’s support, or any other issues that warrant University administrative attention.
Communicate clearly and directly with the candidate at all times. It is imperative that graduates from the program are skillful, knowledgeable, and well prepared. If the Practicum Faculty Supervisor has concerns about the content knowledge or performance of the candidate at any point in the experience, the faculty member should immediately report these concerns to the Program Chair.
Ensure that the cooperating teacher assists the candidate in developing and implementing Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) or Teacher Work Sample.
Conduct informal and formal evaluations of the candidate and submit these evaluations to Tk20 by the communicated deadlines. This includes the midterm and final evaluation and grade forms. Weekly feedback and resources are also submitted to Tk20.
The cooperating teacher is an integral part of the student teaching experience. The experience and knowledge that the cooperating teacher shares with the student teacher is key to the success of the experience. The cooperating teacher is a classroom teacher designated to oversee, evaluate, and provide feedback to the student teacher. The cooperating teacher should have at least three years of teaching experience, hold a professional license, and, ideally, will possess a master’s degree. These supervisors should have demonstrated experience and excellence in classroom management; student engagement; lesson planning, delivery, differentiation, and assessment; and mentorship of teachers and teacher candidates. Cooperating teachers will use evaluation instruments, standard observation, feedback, and coaching strategies to assist student teachers in developing their instructional and management skills during their time in the classroom. The University provides a stipend for professional services to the cooperating teacher in accordance with school/district and state guidelines.
Cooperating teachers are an integral part of the student teaching experience. They are expected to:
Facilitate development of the edTPA portfolio or Teacher Work Sample.
Provide time for the edTPA or the Teacher Work Sample to be implemented in the classroom.
Assist in orienting the student teacher to the school, classroom, and the students, along with school district policies, rules, and regulations.
Supervise the student teacher on a regular basis.
Phase the student teacher into the teaching/observation cycle. Candidates will begin their experience acting as an observer and will gradually expand their responsibilities in the classroom. The student teacher must be fully in charge of classroom instruction for a minimum of three weeks of the experience. The suggested schedule may differ, per student, and when a candidate is completing the experience, as a teacher of record.
Provide prompt and substantive feedback to the student teacher regarding all performance activities and interactions with school personnel, students, and parents/caregivers.
Work with the student teacher to develop a schedule of responsibilities.
Set and communicate standards for the daily lesson plans that the student teacher is expected to develop.
Review the student teacher’s lesson plans to allow for revisions where necessary.
Communicate the student teacher’s progress to the University Practicum Faculty Supervisor on a weekly basis, if not more frequently, as needed. This communication is established by the University Practicum Faculty Supervisor for the purposes of on-going performance review.
Complete evaluations of the student teacher’s progress using the forms provided in TK20.
Complete a mid-term and final evaluation using the forms provided by the University, review with the student teacher, and submit them within TK20 evaluation system.
Collaborate with the University Practicum Faculty Supervisor to assist the student teacher in developing identified skill and knowledge deficiencies throughout the clinical practice/student teaching experience.
Immediately inform the Practicum Faculty Supervisor of any concerns regarding the student teacher.
Establish a daily/weekly time to talk with the student teacher about their activities, impressions, reflections, suggestions for goals, and areas of strength and improvement.
Lesson Plan Template – If your school does not have a formal, in-depth lesson plan model, please use this attachment when creating your lesson plans. If your school’s model is similarly in-depth, you may ask the Practicum Faculty Supervisor if you can use the school/school district template.
Roles and Responsibilities – Need a little more information about your responsibilities? Please review this document in detail. We hold our students to a high standard and want to ensure you are aware of your role.
Standard Orientation Checklist – Before beginning your clinical practice, your Practicum Faculty Supervisor reviews this checklist with you and your Cooperating Teacher.
TK20 Resource Guide – This is the system to which you will upload lesson plans and enter weekly reflections throughout the Clinical Practice (Student Teaching) experience. TK20 is also where you access written and evaluation feedback and the Midterm/Final evaluation grade forms you will submit within the seminar coursework. This helpful guide walks you through these processes.
What is the recommended schedule for Clinical Practice (Student Teaching)?
The Education Program Specialist (Clinical Practice) will be in contact with the Cooperating Teacher and Candidate regarding required evaluation due dates. Please abide by these due dates and inform the Education Program Specialist should any adjustments be needed. While most of our students will complete 12 week practicums, some states and districts vary. Each student and teacher will receive confirmation of this information within the approval and welcome email.
What is the Clinical Practice (Student Teaching) attendance policy?
Clinical Practice (Student Teaching) is a full time responsibility. Students should work the same contracted hours as the Cooperating Teacher. Should an unexpected need arise for an absence from Clinical Practice (Student Teaching), including snow/inclement weather days, family emergency, jury duty, or catastrophic event (ex.: a mass casualty, shelter in place mandate, etc.) you must:
Notify your Cooperating Teacher, Practicum Faculty Supervisor, and Education Program Specialist by phone or email to explain the absence.
Provide your Cooperating Teacher with plans to cover any missed lessons.
Submit an Absence Form to your Education Program Specialist within three working days of the absence (form attached below).
Note: Any missed days due to personal reasons must be made up at the end of the clinical practice (student teaching) experience. If more than five days (excluding school closure days) are missed over the course of the practicum, clinical practice will be terminated, and the practicum deemed “unsuccessful.”
Exception:If three or more days are missed due to school closure or jury duty, those days must be made up at the end of the clinical practice experience. Please report all school closure days using the absence form. i.e. Two school closure days will be considered excused– the third and all following, will be made up by adjusting the end date. School closure or jury duty days will not count against your personal absences.
I’ve finished my Clinical Practice (Student Teaching). What are my next steps?
Graduation and Certification Requirements – Student Checklist: This document lists program (degree) requirements for UOPX compared to and distinguished from your state’s specific certification requirements (granted by the state Departments of Education). Students are responsible for researching and understanding both, as additional steps may be required to meet one’s state requirements. Please review the UOPX teacher licensure page.
AZ Institutional Recommendation Form (AZ IR) – Arizona Certification Only: For Arizona Certification only, once a student officially graduates, the College of Education credentialing team notifies the Arizona Department of Education. You will be notified once this occurs and prompted to work directly with the Arizona Department of Education to apply for your teaching certificate.
Digital FERPA Release Form Instructions: Digital FERPA instructions, giving University of Phoenix permissions to release documentation to a 3rd party. This will be required if you have a document that is REQUIRED to be sent directly to them. All other items will be sent to your home address.
Finish your seminar courses successfully, earning a “B” or better.
Once courses are successfully completed, an auto-generated graduation application will become available. Please complete the graduation application as soon as possible. Reach out to your academic counselor with any questions.
Research your state’s requirements (or Arizona if applicable) for licensure. Licensure is granted through the State Department of Education, not through the University. Please start by visiting our teacher licensure page to review the steps for applying for licensure in all the states where we offer our programs/certificates.
If your state requires that UOPX signs any documentation to verify your program requirements, submit the form(s) to your Education Program Specialist within 1 year (subject to change) of the completion of your successful clinical practice activities. (All required exams and fingerprinting must be successfully completed first.) As an Arizona Institution, we can provide Arizona’s required form, called the Institutional Recommendation (IR). Please see attachment above.
Submit all required documents to your applicable State Department of Education for licensure.
All candidates are required to complete a Teacher Performance Assessment as part of their program and/or to meet state certification requirements. If you are unsure whether you need to complete edTPA please consult with your Education Program Specialist.
edTPA is a pre-service teacher assessment process designed by professional teachers to prepare teacher candidates with the skills necessary to maximize their students learning potential. edTPA is comparable to other professional licensing exams (i.e. attorney’s bar exam, registered nurse exam, architect exam) that demand applications of skills in the profession. In order to prepare and assess teacher candidates, edTPA includes multiple assessments of teaching (planning, instruction, assessment, and teaching analysis).
For more information, review additional edTPA resources found under the Toolkits in the navigation pane above.
Other edTPA Resources
edTPA Orientation Checklist – Your practicum faculty supervisor will go over this checklist with you and your cooperating teacher in your orientation meeting.
edTPA Student Teacher Orientation – Review this presentation prior to beginning your practicum and ask for clarification from your Education Program Specialist (EPS).
TK20 Resource Guide – This is the system you will be submitting items to throughout your Clinical Practice (Student Teaching) experience. This helpful source will guide you through the submission process.
What is the recommended schedule and attendance policy for Clinical Practice (Student Teaching)?
Clinical practice is a full-time responsibility. Students should work the same contracted hours as the Cooperating Teacher. Should an unexpected need arise for an absence from clinical practice including snow/school closure days, you must:
Notify your Cooperating Teacher, Practicum Faculty Supervisor, and Education Program Specialist either by phone or email, to explain the absence.
Provide your Cooperating Teacher with plans to cover any missed lessons.
Submit the Absence Form to your Education Program Specialist within three working days of the absence (form attached below).
Note: Any missed days due to personal reasons must be made up at the end of the clinical practice (student teaching). If more than five days (excluding school closure days) are missed over the course of the practicum, clinical practice (student teaching) will be terminated and the practicum deemed “unsuccessful.”
Exception: If three or more days are missed due to school closure (causing a school closure) those days must be made up at the end of the clinical practicum experience. Please report all school closure days using the absence form. i.e. Two school closure days will be considered excused– the third and all following, will be made up by adjusting the end date. School closure days will not count against your personal absences.
Suggested schedules are below, based on the typical 12 week requirement. Should your state or program differ, please adjust accordingly.
How will I be evaluated during Clinical Practice (Student Teaching)?
Please identify the evaluation form that matches your program, below in the Student Teaching Evaluations section. You may then view a sample (printable version) of the evaluation that your Faculty Supervisor and Cooperating Teacher will be completing for you online. These are for your convenience only and do not replace the online forms that will be required, via Tk20.
I’ve finished my Clinical Practice (Student Teaching). What are my next steps?
Graduation and Certification Requirements – Student Checklist: This document lists program (degree) requirements for UOPX compared to state certification requirements (granted by the State Departments of Education). Students are responsible for researching and understanding both, as additional steps may be required to meet one’s state requirements.
Digital FERPA Release Form Instructions: Digital FERPA instructions, giving University of Phoenix permissions to release documentation to a 3rd party. This will be required if you have a document that is REQUIRED to be sent directly to them. All other items will be sent to your home address.
Print the above “Graduation and Certification Process Map and FAQs” and the “Graduation and Certification Requirements – Student Checklist” documents for your convenience in following your progress and anticipating next steps. The process is simplified for easy understanding.
Finish your seminar courses successfully, earning a “B” or better.
Work with your academic counselor to apply forgraduation once your official grade posts in your last seminar course.
Research your state’s requirements (or Arizona if applicable) for licensure. Licensure is granted through the State Department of Education, not through the University. Please start by visiting our teacher licensure page which has information about the steps for applying for licensure in all the states we offer our programs.
If your state requires that UOPX signs any documentation to verify your program requirements, submit the form(s) to your EPS within 1 year (subject to change) of the completion of your clinical practice (student teaching) program. (All required exams and fingerprinting must be successfully completed first.) As an Arizona Institution we can provide Arizona’s required form, called the Institutional Recommendation (IR). Please see attachment above.
Submit all required documents to the applicable State Department of Education for licensure.
6 Week Suggested Schedule – Early Childhood Education – For students residing in states where separate, six-week placements are required.
Please be cognizant of state regulatory requirements (see the Weeks Required section above). The Program Chair will notify the Practicum Faculty Supervisor of the weeks required and evaluation due dates. Please abide by these due dates and inform the Program Chair should any adjustments be needed.
Expense Resources for Practicum Faculty Supervisors
Initial Visit/Orientation with Student Teacher and Cooperating Teacher
Standard Orientation Checklist – Required – The Orientation Checklist may be used to guide the Orientation visit with the Cooperating Teacher and Candidate. Upon completion of the Orientation, all individuals will complete an electronic acknowledgment of the visit within Tk20.
Formal Evaluation visits are scheduled at the half-way point (midterm) and end of the student teaching experience (final), and are pre-arranged with the Candidate, Cooperating Teacher, and Practicum Faculty Supervisor. Cooperating Teachers submit a midterm and final evaluation in TK20 as well. The midterm and final grade forms are submitted by the Practicum Faculty Supervisor in TK20 and completed in collaboration with the Cooperating Teacher.
What if I have questions about TK20?
Please visit our TK20 Practicum Faculty Supervisor User Guide for detailed instructions.
edTPA Toolkit (For states or programs requiring edTPA only)
Currently required in IL, MD, NC, and UT and for students in our MAED/TED-Elementary and Secondary programs. EdTPA student and faculty resources can be found via Toolkits >edTPA Student Resources and edTPA Faculty and Site Supervisor Resources.
Clinical practice is a full-time responsibility. Should an unexpected need arise for an absence from clinical practice, including school closure days, the candidate must:
Notify the Cooperating Teacher, Practicum Faculty Supervisor, and Education Program Specialist either by phone or email, to explain the absence.
Provide the Cooperating Teacher with plans to cover any missed lessons.
Submit an Absence Form to the Education Program Specialist within three working days of the absence.
Note: Any missed days due to personal reasons must be made up at the end of the clinical practice experience. If more than five days (excluding school closure days) are missed over the course of the practicum, clinical practice will be terminated and the practicum deemed “unsuccessful.”
Exception: If three or more days are missed due to school closures or jury duty, those days must be made up at the end of the practicum experience. We will need an absence form for any missed days for records purposes.
W-9 for Cooperating Teachers – Please note: some districts require cooperating teachers to be paid via the district or school, rather than receiving direct payment. Please check with your school/school district HR to confirm the protocol.
6 Week Suggested Schedule – Early Childhood Education (ECH) – For students residing in states with separate, six-week placements. All ECH candidates were transitioned to a single setting placement in April of 2021. This resource is available only for Candidates who were pre-approved by their EPS prior to 4/1/2021 for a six-week dual placement.
The Education Program Specialist (EPS) will be in contact with the Cooperating teacher and Candidate regarding required evaluation due dates. Please abide by these due dates and inform the Education Program Specialist should any adjustments be needed. Please be cognizant of state regulatory requirements (see the Weeks Required section above).
Clinical practice is a full time responsibility. Should an unexpected need arise for an absence from clinical practice, including school closure days, the candidate must:
Notify the Cooperating Teacher, Faculty Supervisor, and Education Program Specialist either by phone or email, to explain the absence.
Provide the Cooperating Teacher with plans to cover any missed lessons.
Submit the Absence Form in TK20 within three working days of the absence.
Note: Any missed days due to personal reasons must be made up at the end of the clinical practice (student teaching) experience. If more than five days (excluding school closure days) are missed over the course of the practicum, clinical practice (student teaching) will be terminated and the practicum deemed “unsuccessful.”
Exception: If three or more days are missed due to school closure, those days must be made up at the end of the practicum experience. We will need an absence form for any missed days for records purposes.
All evaluations must be completed in TK20. The CPAST evaluation form is used for all programs and content areas. The form is located in TK20 within the forms section of the candidate’s binder. More information on the evaluation form can be found on COE Central.
The College of Education has made a determination as to whether program requirements in your home state meets, or does not meet, that state’s teacher licensure requirements, or has made no such determination. Please regularly check your home state as listed to review our determination of your state’s requirements through the State Licensure Disclosure Page.