Office of Teacher Education and Certification

Application Process for Clinical Practice (Student Teaching)



Planning for Clinical Practice

Because student teaching is an intensive full-time experience, requiring at least 7-9 hours of daily focus and commitment for 16 weeks, it cannot be an "add-on" responsibility. If it is simply added on to an already too-full schedule of family and employment responsibilities, one or more of these areas, including student teaching, can be negatively affected. The results may be disappointing and, sometimes, devastating. Student teaching must be viewed as a major priority. It is essential that candidates organize and prepare to take on this full-time commitment and make sure that there are time and resources for it in their personal lives.

It is recommended that candidates discuss with their academic advisor, family members and financial aid/scholarship advisors that clinical practice is a 6 credit hour "course." Student teachers in early childhood, elementary and secondary programs are also required to register for a 2 credit hour course, Seminar in Teaching and Learning, concurrently with the 6 credit hour student teaching course. It is also expected that because clinical practice is such a full-time commitment, candidates will take no additional coursework while student teaching (and must receive written permission from the director of teacher education to do so). 

Because the clinical practice semester typically involves only 8 hours of course credit, undergraduate candidates do not hold full-time student status, according to policies of the SXU Office of Records and Registration (the Office of Records and Registration will issue, upon request, a certificate of enrollment to undergraduate candidates verifying that they are enrolled in their final required semester at SXU). Recognizing, however, that clinical practice is truly a full-time academic endeavor, the Office of Teacher Education and Certification will issue a letter for any registered candidate, upon candidate request, explaining the full-time nature of clinical practice coursework for Illinois state certification and SXU degree program requirements. (This letter most often satisfies conditional requirements of coverage of health insurance companies for all candidates. All SXU students are assessed a nominal fee for professional liability insurance when they are enrolled in any course involving field experience or clinical practice and that takes place in a P-12 school site.) 

The clinical practice phase is the professional semester of the teacher preparation program for candidates -- when the student role gives way to the professional educator role. Expectations of candidates expand and multiply. Although candidates are still SXU students, they are often considered faculty by the host school personnel. This means that student teachers are being viewed and evaluated as teachers and members of a school community. Candidates should be ready for the exhilarating, rewarding, but very serious responsibility of becoming teachers with the charge of shaping the educational lives of their students and interacting with colleagues and families in an educational environment. 

Candidates should discuss their plans for their student teaching semester with trusted friends, family and educators, as well as academic advisors and faculty mentors. Office of Teacher Education and Certification staff are available in G-200 to answer questions about teacher education programs and provide details of the professional semester of clinical practice.

All candidates who plan to student teach must have all program requirements finished before student teaching begins and must complete and submit an online application for student teaching. (Eligibility requirements involve successful completion of the SOE criminal background investigation, field experiences, coursework, passing ICTS test scores, appropriate GPA and electronic portfolio with Educators' Symposium.)

The online application is available on the Office of Teacher Education and Certification Web page. Applications are to be submitted electronically and all supporting application materials should be submitted to the School of Education director of clinical practice, room G-200, on or before the due date.

Candidates should contact their academic advisors well in advance of the application due date to review an updated SOE education plan of all required courses. It is, however, incumbent upon each candidate to know all of the requirements for student teaching and to make sure they are fulfilled.

Application Process

In the online application, you will be asked your geographical preferences for placement. Please check the following links before proceeding to the online application:

The City of Chicago Schools website is available for student teaching placements in Cluster 4, 5 and 6 that are possible for SXU candidates. 

The Suburban Public School Districts (PDF) website will provide names of schools within the approved geographical areas.

Understand that your stated preferences cannot be honored in any particular order, but will be considered when possible. There is no guarantee for your choice. Also, if you decline your placement, you may have to delay student teaching to another semester or request another placement after all other candidates have received placements.

In order to have the application for student teaching accepted and a placement for student teaching made, the following five areas must be completed and submitted according to the instructions listed below.

  1. The online application for student teaching must be filled out entirely (including test dates), by the applicant and submitted electronically. The handbook on clinical practice for student teachers (PDF) including "The Guidelines for Student Teacher Placements" should be carefully read.
  2. The Student Teaching Planning Form (PDF) and an updated SOE education plan indicating when each course was or will be completed must be submitted to the director of clinical practice. Candidates may fill it out, but their advisor should review and sign it. Please indicate all courses completed at Saint Xavier University or transferred in from another school. If any general education, major or content-area, area of concentration, or professional education course is not accounted for, a candidate's education plan will not be considered complete.
  3. A School of Education field experience summary form with all required field experience information to date.
  4. An education resume (PDF) must be word-processed and in the format indicated on the attached sample sheets. The resume must be word-processed and free from capitalization, spelling and grammatical errors and any markings on the page. All required information should be complete; the P-12 schools are interested in all categories of experiences, paid and unpaid, in all schools (i.e. attending as a student, volunteer activities, substitute teaching, field experiences, etc.). Field experiences from currently enrolled courses and future courses prior to student teaching should also be included on the resume as shown in the sample.
    1. Note: Schools in which relatives attend or work must be listed at the end of the resume. This also includes districts and/or schools in which a relative serves on the school board or school council or in any position of authority. (Candidates may not be placed in these schools. If this information is not disclosed and it is discovered later, candidates placement and program completion could be jeopardized.) A relative is defined by an immediate family member or step-relative, as well as grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles and cousins. The resume is sent out to school district offices with the placement request.
  5. A Personal Rationale (not Rational) Statement for Entering the Teaching Profession should be composed. It is recommended that the rationale be a brief (two-page maximum; one-page, if possible) statement that explains a candidate's reasons for entering the teaching profession. It should describe how and why candidates are prepared for student teaching, the professional and personal traits and skills they possess, and any experiences they have had that will contribute to their success in the teaching profession. The rationale must be word-processed and free from capitalization, spelling and grammatical errors and any markings on the page. Some school personnel express an interest in such a statement -- if so, it is sent with the placement request.
  6. Two Faculty Recommendation forms (PDF) from faculty who are familiar with the candidate's progress in the teacher education program must be completed and returned to the director of clinical practice. It is the applicant's responsibility to carefully fill out the top portion of the recommendation forms and to contact appropriate faculty members after the deadline for application submission to make sure recommendations have been sent to the Office of Teacher Education and Certification. Recommendation forms are also sent out to the schools with the placement request.
  7. The Transcript Request form must be signed and turned into the director of clinical practice. Most schools require transcripts. This form allows OTEC to send unofficial transcripts to the school that a placement is being requested at no cost to the candidate.

A map of the six geographical locations referred to in the application is available in the Office of Teacher Education and Certification, G-200. It should be noted that indicated preferences for placements will always be considered, but cannot be guaranteed. Saint Xavier candidates are placed in a school where the University has professional agreements and working relationships. The director of clinical practice, in consultation with P-12 schools officials, makes all final decisions regarding student teaching placements. Striving for the best possible student teaching experience is the top priority in these decisions.

There is also no guarantee that a placement can be requested for a candidate in his/her preferred district or school. The director of clinical practice works with the P-12 schools on these matters, respecting the involved institutions' needs, guidelines and established procedures. Saint Xavier University students may not initiate or negotiate, either verbally or in writing, a student teaching placement request with the P-12 schools.

Along with the placement cover letter from the director of clinical practice, the following materials are sent to the schools in the candidate's placement request packet: the education resume, faculty recommendation forms, up-to-date transcripts and the rationale, if required.

The application will not be considered complete and the process for securing a placement will not begin until all elements as described in the "Application Process" are submitted.

Note: Placement requests are sent to the schools for those candidates who meet eligibility requirements before placement requests for candidates who do not meet eligibility requirements.

Withdrawing Application/Placement

If a student teacher candidate determines after applying for student teaching for a specific semester that the student teaching application and/or placement must be withdrawn or delayed to a future semester for any reason, the candidate must petition a request to the director of clinical practice in a written letter that includes the following:

  1. Reason(s) for withdrawal along with supporting documentation
  2. Statement of the specific future semester and year for student teaching

After the petition has been received, a committee will review the petition and notify the candidate of the decision. It may be determined that the candidate will have to reapply for student teaching at the next available online application date for the following school year depending on the time of withdrawal and the circumstances. The candidate may need to resubmit new paperwork to accompany the application. If the petition is approved with conditions, all conditions stated by the committee must be met in order to student teach and to be eligible for certification.