Field Experience

Elementary Education Beginning Field Experience (BFE)

The Beginning Field Experience at the University of St. Francis is an experience that gives the teacher candidate an opportunity to observe and participate at a host school for 12 weeks. This experience gives the candidate information about what is expected of teachers and should help the teacher candidate reflect on where they see themselves teaching in the future.

 

Elementary Education Intermediate Field Experience (IFE)

The Intermediate Field Experience at the University of St. Francis is a twelve-week experience. Students will be teaching and working at their school site following the school site’s calendar. The times have been established to ensure that students will have opportunities to implement and facilitate lessons in the four identified curriculum areas: math, science, social studies, and reading/language arts. During this twelve-week field experience, the teacher candidate will have the opportunity to apply theories and practice strategies learned in their method courses.

 

Elementary Education Advanced Field Experience (AFE)

The Advanced Field Experience at the University of St. Francis is an experience that gives the teacher candidate an opportunity to observe and participate at a host school for 15 consecutive weeks or 75 days. This experience provides the teacher candidate a sustained opportunity to apply educational theory in 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 a university supervisor.

 

Elementary Education Field Experience Program Options

Traditional Field Experience Program

The Traditional placements are in two different schools: one for IFE and a different school for AFE. These placements can be in a public or private school. The advantage of two different placements is the opportunity to learn about the organization, management, and curriculum of different schools and/or school districts. It also gives you the opportunity to be seen by two different schools for future employment.

 

Bridge Field Experience Program

Choosing the Bridge Program for your Intermediate and Advanced Field Experience gives you the opportunity to stay in the same school for both experiences. Each experience will be at a different grade level with a different cooperating teacher. This means if you were placed in a primary grade for IFE, you will be placed in an intermediate grade for AFE (or the reverse).

If you choose to do your AFE in a middle school, you would be bridged to a middle school in the same district; hopefully the sister school to the elementary school placement.

The advantages of the Bridge Program and spending both field experiences in the same school are: a long term relationship is established giving you the opportunity to learn about the students, faculty, curriculum and the school’s environment. The Bridge Placement gives the school’s faculty and administration the advantage of observing you teaching in two grade levels and getting to know you over a longer period of time for future employment.

 

Joliet Professional Development Schools Partnership (JPDSP) Fellows Program

Choosing the JPDSP Fellowship Program for your Intermediate and Advanced Field Experience also gives you the opportunity to stay in the same school for both experiences. The three elementary schools participating in the JPDSP are in Joliet District 86: Farragut, Parks Cultural Academy, and A.O. Marshall. Each experience will be at a different grade level with a different cooperating teacher in the same school. This means if you were placed in a primary grade for IFE, you will be placed in an intermediate grade for AFE (or the reverse). If you choose to do your Advanced Field Experience in a middle school, you would be placed at Dirksen Junior High, the middle school JPDSP partner.

The advantages of the JPDSP Fellows Program and spending both field experiences in the same school are: a long term relationship is established giving you the opportunity to learn about the students, faculty, curriculum and the school’s environment. The JPDSP Fellowship Program gives the school the advantage of observing you teaching in two grade levels and getting to know you over a longer period of time for future employment. All schools in the JPDSP are full inclusion, so you would be exposed to differentiated instruction and co-teaching. Each PDS elementary school has one supervisor; therefore your supervisor for both IFE and AFE would be the same person. In addition, there are numerous opportunities offered to you as a Fellow that include professional development and other growth and networking opportunities, such as technology seminars and community exploration. JPDSP Fellows earn one (free) credit hour in their AFE semester for their enrollment in the Fellows Program.

 

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