What is a Practicum?
A practicum is a component of a course designed to give teacher candidates supervised practical application of previously studied theory. The practicum placement will be in a public/private classroom setting for a specified number of clock hours in the content and grade level in which the teacher candidate is seeking certification.
If I am acquainted with a teacher who wants me to complete my practicum hours with him/her, what should I do?
The teacher must contact the building administrator with this information. The building administrator then contacts the Professional Education Services office to make the request. Students are not to self-place.
Certification through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requires three levels of practicum experience within a classroom:
- Early - Observations and limited experiences with students - 30 clock hours
- Mid-Level - Observations and structured experiences with students - 45 clock hours
- Culminating - Student teaching in collaboration with a cooperating teacher - Minimum of 12 weeks
Missouri State University policy requires that teacher candidates submit valid, current compliance documents before entering the classroom. Documents are recorded in My Missouri State/Test Scores.
Diverse Placements in Field Experiences
The practice of the Professional Education Services office, in cooperation with the College of Education, secondary, and K-12 education programs, requires diverse field experience placements. At Missouri State, all teacher candidates in the various educational programs are required to complete at least one field experience in a diverse setting during the program of study. Diversity is defined using criteria including Title I, percentage of free/reduced price lunch, percentage of students with IEPs, ethnicity, percentage of ELL students, and variety of grade levels.
Teacher candidates record diversity information about each placement in Taskstream, which can be accessed by education program coordinators to track diversity by program and teacher candidate. In addition, the Professional Education Services office annually receives diversity data from Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) which is uploaded to the Professional Education Services placement database.