What is a field experience?
The Goals of Field Experience
A field experience has a number of goals:
- To help students become better educators through observation and collaboration with mentor teachers.
- To provide a wide variety of location experiences (urban/suburban, public/private, traditional/Montessori, etc.), and teaching experiences (tutoring, small group instruction, curriculum preparation, assessment, whole group instruction, etc.)
- To convert strategies and knowledge gained from coursework theories into practice.
- To work within the conceptual framework of The University of Akron.
- To provide experiences in real school settings, allowing you to be immersed in the school culture.
- To provide meaningful experiences which can be added to your professional resume.
- To provide a network of professional contacts which may benefit students in eventual employment.
How can we help you?
- What is expected of a field experience student?
- Are there liability issues?
- FAQs about field experience
- Optional field log form
- Field Experience Handbook
FBI and BCI requirements
If you are taking a course that requires field work, or student teaching, you are REQUIRED to have both a current BCI and FBI clearance. This is a mandated requirement from the school districts. The BCI/FBI must have been completed within the past year.
You may NOT take expired documents to your field placement or student teaching sites.
Do not wait until the start of the semester; please handle this immediately so your paperwork is ready for the start of the semester. The state department is saying that it takes 30 days to process. If something shows up on your record, even if it has been expunged, it will take longer to process.
Request one copy to be sent to OHIO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND ONE COPY TO YOU. Make additional copies for your own records. You must present a copy to the school district(s) you are assigned to on the day you begin placement. DO NOT send a copy to the COE or Office of Student Teaching; it is your responsibility to manage your documents. Background check verifications are good for 12 consecutive months.
If you do not have the required documents ready for when your field course or student teaching starts, you may not be able to complete the requirements of the course. The COE and/or Office of Student Teaching cannot waive this requirement and give you permission to start at the school. Once again, this is a mandated district policy.
Please note that if you have a misdemeanor on your record, and ODE says it will not prevent you from obtaining a license, school districts may not accept you in their schools and our office cannot guarantee placement for field and/or Student Teaching.
If you incur a new violation that will be placed on your BCI and or FBI report once you have started the semester, you must report it to the Director of Teacher Education immediately.