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.
Missouri State University currently places over 1800 teacher candidates per semester in the local/area public and private schools, most in practicum experiences. At Missouri State, all teacher candidates in the various educational programs are required to complete at least one field experience in a diverse setting. 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