Field Experiences and Critical Practice

Critical Dispositions

Field experiences serve an important place for developing a teaching identity in Otterbein’s teacher education program.  

Field experiences are situated in schools and are designed to help students decide whether teaching is or is not an appropriate career choice; to develop skills in applying methods and management techniques; and, to observe teachers executing various roles and instructional routines during the school day.   

Otterbein’s programs provide several field experiences with a variety of locations, grade levels, and student demographics. Across these field experiences, students observe, plan, instruct, manage, and evaluate within the context of current practice. 

 How are Placements Made? 

Field experiences and student teaching assignments are made in traditional public schools, community schools (a special type of public school), and private schools, as well as other education-oriented agencies.   

Generally, but not always, placement sites are located within Franklin County or counties that are contiguous to Franklin County.  Written agreements between the University and cooperating schools and agencies are required, and placements are made in those schools and agencies that have agreements with the University.  

Students should not communicate directly with teachers, building administrators, or other school officials about hosting a placement without the express permission of the Coordinator of Teacher Candidate Supports in the Otterbein Education Department.   

On occasion a student’s placement site may be walkable or bikeable from campus, but most sites will require motorized transportation.  While the University Library has some bikes available for student use, students are expected to provide their own transportation. Students having transportation challenges should discuss their situation with a Dept. Co-chair. 

Field Experience Requirements 

Field experience assignments start in the first course (EDUC 1600) and culminate in student teaching (see Chart of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice in Teacher Education). The hours and time commitment in the schools varies by course. 

Fingerprinting and FBI/BCI Background Checks are required for all field experiences and must remain current during the entire field experience.  The term “current” means that the student’s reports are no more than a year old throughout the student’s field experience or student teaching. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s (BCI) Identification Division maintains a searchable database of  WebCheck agencies and other providers that can process student fingerprints for these reports, (see:  https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Business/Services-for-Business/WebCheck/Webcheck-Community-Listing) Check Otterbein email for all updates regarding background checks. checks. 

Email communication from the Coordinator of Teacher Candidate Supports begins the semester before the field experience begins 

 Student Teaching Requirements 

Student teaching is a full-time semester-long experience, where the teacher candidate assumes most, if not all, teaching responsibilities of the cooperating teacher.  

Student teachers follow the calendar of their host school/school district and are present in their host school building throughout the teacher workday.  

Students should carry no other academic coursework during the student teaching term, but other campus activities may continue so long as they meet outside of school hours and do not interfere with performance in the field. 

Fingerprinting and FBI/BCI Background Checks are required for all field experiences and must remain current during the entire student teaching experience.  

The term “current” means that the student’s reports are no more than a year old throughout the student teaching experience. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s (BCI) Identification Div. maintains a searchable database of WebCheck agencies and other providers that can process student fingerprints for these reports, (see:  https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Business/Services-for-Business/WebCheck/Webcheck-Community-Listing 

Check Otterbein email for all updates regarding background checks. Email communication from the Coordinator of Teacher Candidate Supports begins the semester before the student teaching experience. 

 Credit for Field Experiences in Other Kinds of Experiences 

Transfer students who have completed field experiences at other institutions may have hours included on their Otterbein record. Students must request records (evaluations, timesheet, etc.) from the other institution be sent to the Education Department to verify the hours. 

Students who have documented, supervised experience with children or youth, not associated with a university course, may apply to have those hours included in their field experience record. Non-credit field experience forms are available in the Education Department. 

 Non-Traditional Clinical Practice Opportunities 

Non-traditional opportunities are open to students in any licensure area. Contact the Education Department for more information about these opportunities. All opportunities are contingent on placement availability and faculty recommendation. Please watch for emails from the Department of Education about these opportunities. Some of these opportunities include short-term exchanges and student teaching abroad. 

University sponsored off-campus opportunities are described in the Otterbein University Course Catalog. 

 Assessments in the Field 

Assessments of your field experience are made and documented in your digital assessment portfolio on Watermark-Taskstream. All supervisors, course instructors, and cooperating teachers complete critical disposition assessments, anecdotal notes, and a final rating to document your effectiveness as a teacher candidate.  

You will be prompted to send your digital field assessments to the different evaluators who have assessed your teaching. Please do not disregard the requests to send your assessments. Check back after each semester to check your assessment data and to receive valuable feedback. Consult your advisor if you have questions.  

Chart of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice in Teacher Education

PreK-5 Primary Education  PreK-5 Primary/
Intervention Specialist Dual License 
Middle Childhood Education  Adolescent to Young Adult & Multi-Age  K-12 Intervention Specialist 
EDUC 1600 Study of the School
45 field hours
EDUC 1600 Study of the School
45 field hours
EDUC 1600 Study of the School
45 field hours
EDUC 1600 Study of the School
45 field hours
EDUC 1600 Study of the School
45 field hours
EDUC 2200 Ed.  Psych.: Primary Education
20 field hours
EDUC 2200 Ed.  Psych.: Primary Education
20 field hours
EDUC 2000 Ed.  Psych.: Adolescence
20 field hours
EDUC 2000 Ed.  Psych.: Adolescence
20 field hours
EDUC 2200 or 2000 Ed.  Psych.: Adolescence
20 field hours
EDUC 2555 Preschool Intervention Internship
25-50 field hours
EDUC 2555 Preschool Intervention Internship
25-50 field hours
EDUC 3410 Middle Childhood Methods I
40 field hours
EDUC 3700 General Methods for Secondary and Multi-Age Classrooms
25 field hours
EDUC 3350/3351 Methods of Teaming and Collaboration for Learners with Disabilities
30 field hours
EDUC 3200 Integrated Curriculum Internship    50 field hours EDUC 3200 Integrated Curriculum Internship    50 field hours EDUC 3420 Middle Childhood Methods II
60 field hours
EDUC 3705 Adolescent and Young Adult Methods II
75 field hours
EDUC 3390 Science of Reading: Specialized Systemic Instruction for  K-12 Students with Reading Disabilities              20 field hours
EDUC 3250 Integrated Curriculum Internship, Grades 4-5
50 field hours
EDUC 3250 Integrated Curriculum Internship, Grades 4-5
50 field hours
EDUC 3850 Using Literacy Across Disciplines in the Middle Grades
25 field hours
EDUC 3640 Elementary Literacy Assessment and Instruction
20 field hours
EDUC 3640 Elementary Literacy Assessment and Instruction
20 field hours
EDUC 4555 Intervention Specialist Practicum
75 field hours
EDUC 4555 Intervention Specialist Practicum
75 field hours
EDUC 4710/4720
Student Teaching
EDUC 4710/4720
Student Teaching
EDUC 4710/4720
Student Teaching
EDUC 4710/4720
Student Teaching
EDUC 4710/4720
Student Teaching

Music students take MUSC 3032 Vocal and Choral Methods K-12 and MUSC 3033 Instrumental Methods K-12, each requiring 50 field hours.