We believe that student teaching is the best way to complete your preparation as a professional educator. This year long experience is a time of extraordinary growth and development, and most teachers look to student teaching as the defining moment of their professional preparation. Despite the financial difficulty a full-time student teaching requirement places on some candidates, we find that with proper planning, most students are able to make special short-term arrangements to complete student teaching as designed.
In rare cases when a candidate finds that it is impossible—due to special life circumstances—to student teach full time, that candidate may petition to be accepted into the Internship program. The Internship program requires candidates to 1) graduate non-certified without student teaching, 2) be hired as a teacher of record by a school district on a probationary certificate, and 3) register for two semesters of mentoring coursework in addition to two semesters of student teaching to be taken along with the first year of teaching. The Internship is not an alternative certification program; it simply offers an alternative approach to student teaching. Students who are in the post-baccalaureate certification program must have a certification plan on file, have completed all coursework except student teaching, and be hired as a teacher of record under a probationary certificate.
In order to be eligible for an Internship agreement, a candidate must:
- Present a compelling case for an alternative to traditional student teaching, and have the Teacher Education Teaching Student Success Committee determine that it is a compelling case;
- Meet with the Director of Teacher Education and the Certification Officer to discuss requirements;
- Have exemplary Professional Attributes ratings by program faculty and staff;
- Have completed all prerequisite coursework, with the exception of student teaching, and otherwise be eligible to graduate;
- Have completed the official state Content exam and the PPR Benchmark exam;
Because there are many CERTIFIED teachers looking for work, we have found that most principals prefer to hire certified teachers rather than non-certified teachers. Therefore, only those candidates in high-need content areas or those with a good “lead” on a job already will be approved for the Internship.
Candidates who have struggled in coursework or have exhibited poor Professional Attributes through the program are not good candidates for the Internship.