Application and Placement

Application and Placement Procedure Background

The Student Teaching/ Clinical Experience program at Florida Gulf Coast University is a two semester experience which occurs during a student’s senior year. The Level I Student Teaching program is the initial phase of a two semester clinical experience. During the Level I Student Teaching program each teacher candidate will be placed at a school site for two days each week for the duration of 15 weeks. During the Level I Student Teaching program each teacher candidate will plan and teach three lessons per week and be active in all facets of classroom life.  After successfully completing the Level I Student Teaching program each teacher candidate will be placed at a different school site to complete their Level II Student Teaching Program. The Level II Student Teaching program is a full semester, capstone clinical experience where each teacher candidate is expected to report to their assigned school site each day and eventually take on the full responsibility for planning and delivering instruction to their assigned classroom.  The Level II Student Teaching program typically takes place during a candidate’s last semester prior to graduation.  

The College of Education makes all student teaching assignments in consultation with administrators in our partner districts. The College of Education and the respective counties have agreed upon all placements.  Placement at a non-public accredited school is permitted during Level II Student Teaching when teacher and school meet established guidelines

Application Process Level I and Level II

The semester prior to entering Level I Student Teaching or the Level II Student Teaching each teacher candidate, who meets the eligibility requirements, will apply to the Office of Student Teaching/Clinical Experience for placement at a school site.  The Student Teaching link on the COE Website contains complete directions for the completion of this process and it is the responsibility of each teacher candidate to become familiar with this process and complete it within the designated deadlines.

Placement for Spring Semester: Application Deadline is September 15
Placement for Fall Semester: Application Deadline is February 15

A teacher candidate may apply to complete their Level II Student Teaching experience at a location other than Southwest Florida. To qualify the candidate must meet rigorous criteria established by the College of Education.  To initiate an application to pursue a Level II Student Teaching experience at a location other than Southwest Florida candidates must make an appointment with the Student Teaching Level II Coordinator.  

Placement Process Level I and Level II

The Office of Student Teaching/Clinical Experience, located in Academic Building 3, will request an appropriate student teaching placement during the semester prior to each candidate’s teaching experience. The following conditions must be met before a placement will be requested:

  1. Teacher candidate eligibility according to the college policy must be met:  All coursework completed, GPA of 2.5, dispositional standards must be satisfactory, and passage of Teacher Certification exams.
  2. Teacher Candidate Placement Application forms and Student Teaching Placement Card completed and received by the Internship office by the established deadlines. Fall Placement: Feb. 15; Spring Placement: Sept. 15.

The primary goal of the Office of Student Teaching/Clinical Experience is to provide an appropriate placement for the candidate’s area of certification.  Teacher Candidates are responsible for all transportation arrangements.

Guidelines for Placement Level I and Level II

The Office of Student Teaching/Clinical Practice follows these guidelines in making appropriate placements:

  1. Florida Department of Education requires that candidates develop and demonstrate proficiencies that support learning by all students and the College’s Conceptual Framework explicitly values diversity in teacher preparation.  Teacher candidates are required to participate in field experiences and student teaching within the partnership districts that include students with exceptionalities and students from diverse backgrounds, including ethnic, racial, gender, linguistic, and socioeconomic diversity.  Experiences with diverse students are linked to course-related field experiences, and Level I and Level II Student Teaching programs.
  2. The Florida Department of Education requires that all cooperating teachers have completed three years of successful teaching and the Clinical Educator’s Course prior to mentoring a Teacher Candidate.  The COE Placement Office and our school partners follow these guidelines in the placement process as well as the guidelines established by the Race to the Top initiative.
  3. The COE Office of Student Teaching/Clinical Experience works with our school partners to identify high-performing, safe, stable, supportive and collegial classroom environments in which to place Teacher Candidates.
  4. A candidate is not permitted to student teach in the same school where he/she is employed, where relatives are employed, or where a candidate’s children attend.
  5. University policy requires that students with disabilities be provided reasonable accommodations to ensure their equal access to course content. If a teacher candidate has a documented disability and requires accommodations, he/she must inform the Office of Student Teaching/Clinical Practice at the time of application for student teaching so that an appropriate placement can be secured.
  6. The  Office of Student Teaching /Clinical Experience  must make all arrangements for student teaching. Arrangements made any other way will not be recognized as valid.

Posting Placement Locations:

 It is the responsibility of the Teacher Candidate to watch the COE website/Student Teaching link for the details of their placement.  After  the school site, teacher contact and grade level information is posted the Teacher Candidate should contact the cooperating teacher to make arrangements to acquire the school schedule, curriculum materials, and to schedule a classroom visit prior to the first week of classes.

Disclaimer: While the COE realizes the importance of Teacher Candidates experiencing the special demands on teachers to establish classroom routines and orient students to classroom expectations, especially at the beginning of each school year; the COE cannot require you to begin any official student teaching responsibilities prior to the official beginning of each semester