Clinicals, Field Experiences and Student Teaching

Students majoring in Early Childhood Education, Special Education, Elementary Education, Middle-Level Education or Physical Education spend time in learning in college classrooms and then applying that knowledge in real schools and community agencies. These field experiences allow you the opportunity to observe and engage with students and mentor teachers in a variety of diverse settings, including rural, urban, and suburban classrooms.

We partner with forty Illinois school districts, out-of-state districts and international educational opportunities to give you the chance to experience different field settings.

Where will I student teach?

Generally, you will student teach in a school located in our service region. See the map for examples of where students have been placed lately. There are other options available, however, including out-of-state, and studying abroad placements. Talk with your advisor to work out the details if you have an adventurous idea!

Can I student teach in my hometown?

Possibly. It depends on your major and your hometown school’s location. Talk to your advisor for more details.

Can I student teach and study abroad at the same time?

YES! We have had COE students successfully complete their student teaching internationally. This experience can count towards your licensure requirements.

When do I student teach?

Student teaching is typically the culminating experience of your teacher training and will happen during the last semester of your degree program.

Who will I learn from during my student teaching experience?

You will have at least two mentors during your student teaching experience. The first is your cooperating teacher, whose classroom you will be working in. Second is your university supervisor or liaison.  Both will provide you with support, guidance, and instruction during your experience.

Do student teachers get hired by their host schools?

Sometimes. Many schools have told us they consider the student teaching experience to be a 16-week job interview.

What settings are schools in? Urban? Rural? Suburban?

We have student teaching experiences in a variety of settings throughout our service region. Check out the map to see where we’ve placed students lately. Have an idea for a different place to student teach? Talk to your advisor.

Recent Clinical Placements map of clinical placements

(Click to enlarge)

NIU has five Professional Development School partnerships: DeKalb CUSD 428, Huntley Community School District 158, Kaneland CUSD 302, St. Charles CUSD 303 and Sycamore CUSD 427. The College of Education works with additional collaborating districts, over 150 individual schools, to prepare the next generation of superior teachers.