Field Experiences - Stage I


Field experiences are the application side of preparation for teacher certification. Teacher candidates advance through three levels of field experiences, each becoming more intense. Field experiences provide actual settings in which to develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn. “All” implies the possibility of diverse learning needs. Such needs may surface with (a) students having exceptionalities; (b) students from varying geographical areas, ethnicities, races, religions or socioeconomic status; or (c) students with gender, sexual orientation, and linguistic differences.

    Shippensburg University Standards for Those Preparing to Teach, Lead, or Counsel in Public Schools include the following expected outcomes:

  • Knowledge: Teacher candidates demonstrate an understanding of the differences in how students learn and know how to accommodate diverse learning needs.
  • Skills: Teacher candidates accommodate diverse learning needs through informed decision-making that supports academic success for all students.
  • Dispositions: Teacher candidates show respect for the diverse needs and talents of all learners and demonstrate a commitment to helping them develop self-efficacy and achieve academic success.

Field experiences, too, are diverse. Interaction with students in a variety of settings helps teacher candidates confront issues of diversity that affect teaching and student learning. Strengthening teacher effectiveness in all contexts and with all students is the intended outcome.


Level I or “early” field experiences occur during freshman and sophomore years. Satisfactory completion of Level I Field Experiences is required for Professional Standing Level I and admission to (1) Professional Semester (early childhood and elementary majors) or (2) methods courses (all other education majors).

For more information about Professional Standing, refer to “Questions Frequently Asked” in the Office of Field Services Handbook.

Settings and Activities

Education majors must document experience with children and youth in a variety of settings in urban, suburban and rural locations and with students having diverse learning needs. Settings may include public and private schools, summer camps, and daycare, church and community organizations. Activities may include tutoring, focused observing, team teaching, interviewing, and coaching.

Number of Hours of Experience

The required number is determined by each certification program. Discuss with your academic advisor. Your field hours will be course-required and course-related.

CAUTION! - Do not contact a school or district and request an experience.