Research has proven that multiple and varied practical experiences are of utmost importance in an effective teacher education program. For that reason, students in the Teacher Education Program have the requirement of completing a minimum of two practica prior to student teaching.
The first practicum, Introduction to Education Practicum, occurs early in the student’s professional education course sequence and is considered the “diversity practicum.” This practicum is primarily an observation/aide situation. Arrangements have been made for it to be completed in Wichita or other ethnically diverse urban setting during Interterm.
The second practicum occurs later in the professional sequence and requires students to take more initiative in the actual classroom responsibilities. In fact, students are required to teach a minimum of two lesson plans per credit hour.
Student teaching is considered the capstone experience in the professional education sequence for future teachers. It is to be done after other professional coursework is completed. Student teaching is a semester long experience. It is offered for variable credit hour depending on the level and the experiential need of the student and the licensure area being sought. For example, some students desire a more diverse placement and choose student teaching in Chicago in conjunction with the Chicago Center.
For student teaching and practica, students are placed in both grade- and content-appropriate settings. All placements must be approved by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.