Field Experience

Field Experience

The M.Ed. with Certification teacher candidate with a major in Elementary Education has three field experiences. Beginning Field Experience (BFE) takes place during the candidate’s first semester in the program. Teacher Candidates are expected to select diverse school settings for Beginning Field Experience observations.The Intermediate Field Experience (IFE) is an assigned placement for 20 consecutive full-days and takes place after Methods of Science/Social Studies and Elementary Math Methods have been completed. The final semester before certification is Advanced Field Experience (AFE). Student teaching is approximately fifteen consecutive weeks.



The Beginning Field Experience at the University of St. Francis gives new teacher candidates an opportunity to observe for 40 hours at * diverse school settings of their choosing. This semester long experience offers candidates the opportunity to learn about what is expected of teachers and to reflect on how they see themselves teaching in the future.

Elementary Education Teacher Candidates who want to teach K-5 elementary school only – The teacher candidates observe in at least one elementary school site and in at least one middle school/JHS site. At the elementary school, candidates observe in the primary (K-2) and intermediate grade (3-5) school levels for two-thirds of the total required hours. At the middle school/JHS observations are in a minimum of two different content areas (Social Studies/Language Arts /Science/Math) for approximately one-third of the required hours.

Elementary Education Teacher Candidates who might want to teach 6-8 middle school – Teacher candidates who will be seeking a middle school endorsement with their elementary certificate must complete half of their observations in the two subject areas in which they expect to receive an endorsement: Social Studies, Language Arts, Science, and/or Math. The remaining hours are completed at the elementary school, observing intermediate grade levels 3-5 and the primary grades K-2.

*A school where twenty-five percent of students in a school are identified as members of a racial /ethnic minority group is considered diverse.



The Graduate Intermediate Field Experience at the University of St. Francis is a twenty consecutive full-day experience beginning approximately two months into the semester. Teacher candidates will be teaching and working at a designated school site with an assigned cooperating teacher and university supervisor. The times have been established to ensure that teacher candidates will have opportunities to implement and facilitate lessons in the four identified curriculum areas: math, science, social science, and reading/language arts. During this 20 full-day field experience, the teacher candidate will have the opportunity to apply theories and practice strategies learned in their method courses.



The Advanced Field Experience (student teaching) at the University of St. Francis is an experience that gives the teacher candidate an opportunity to observe and teach at a host school for approximately 15 consecutive weeks. This experience provides the teacher candidate a sustained opportunity to apply educational theory into a classroom setting. The teacher candidate is responsible for guiding and directing the learning of a group of pupils under the guidance and supervision of a professionally certified and competent member of the teaching profession and an assigned university supervisor.