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Office of Field Experiences (OFE)

Welcome to the Office of Field Experiences! The Office of Field Experience is part of Suite 201 Student Support Center in the College of Education & Allied Professions. We work with our school partners to arrange placement opportunities for our WCU teacher education students to complete course assignments, field experiences, and internships in public schools. We seek to support our students through their application processes, administer criminal background check reporting, oversee time requirement documentation, and ensure that all our students have diverse experiences. Our office also provides supervision and mentoring to our candidates during their internship, and if needed we work with WCU and P-12 faculty and administrators to resolve placement issues.

Meet Our OFE Team


Dr. Amanda Chapman



Monica Miller

Lead Field Supervisor & Instructor


Dr. Tara Campbell

Early Field Experience Placement Coordinator & Instructor


Early Field Experience Applications - OPEN

Monday, August 19th

Early Field Experience Applications - DUE

Friday, August 30th

Internship Applications for Spring 2025 - OPEN Monday, August 19th
Internship Applications for Spring 2025 - DUE

Friday, September 13th

Block Practicum Applications for Spring 2025 - OPEN Monday, November 4th
Block Practicum Applications for Spring 2025 - DUE

Friday, November 15th

*Dates and times are subject to change.

Intern Orientation Information

Orientation Date Time/Location
Intern II Orientation (Residential Programs) Thursday, August 15th 4:00 - 6:00 PM on Zoom
Intern I Orientation (Residential Programs) Sunday, August 18th

2:00 - 6:00 PM in

Killian 102


Professional Development Date Time/Location
QPR Training Wednesday, September 25th 6:30 - 7:30 PM in Killian 102



Professional Development Date Time/Location
Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainings (Residential Programs) Friday, September 6th 8:00 - 5:00 PM in Killian 102
Career Prep Session Wednesday, November 13th 5:30 – 7:00 PM on Zoom

In order to participate in any clinical experience, all licensure candidates must complete and pay for a criminal background check through WCU’s approved company Certiphi. Certiphi will search through each candidate’s credentials, the Sex Offenders Registry, State Criminal (Felony, Misdemeanor, and Other Offenses), Federal Criminal (Felony, Misdemeanor, and Other Offenses), & OIG & GSA Excluded Parties.


Candidates are responsible for self-disclosure of any charges or university sanctions accumulated after their initial background check. New charges should be reported to the Director of Field Experiences within 72 hours of the incident, or students risk losing the clinical practice placement.

*Any new charge(s) not on the student’s original background check may require the candidate to get a new one at their own expense.


Candidates that do not receive a clear background check will be contacted by OFE and required to submit a statement of explanation. The explanation form will require you to list all charges on your background check results, including the incident's date(s), explanation, and outcome. This statement will be required for charges, dismissals, prayer for judgment, no contest, and guilty or not guilty pleas (including minor traffic violations). Explanations will be kept on file and may be shared with school partners as needed for placement purposes. Serious charges or failure to disclose criminal history may result in a candidate’s inability to be placed for their field experience and/or removed from the Teacher Education Program (TEP).

List of Charges Flagged by OFE:

  • Petty Theft or Shoplifting
  • Assault (any type)
  • Anything involving children/minors (endangerment, neglect, etc.)
  • Larceny – Theft, robbery, burglary, stealing, etc.
  • DUI
  • Drug possession
  • Fraud – Bribery, embezzlement, money laundering, tax evasion, forgery, etc.)
  • More than three charges of any offense

Reports that indicate that candidates have any of the charges listed above, or have three of any charge, will be requested to submit an explanation for each charge. The Teacher Education Background Review Committee will review these explanations. This committee evaluates the severity of the offenses, the number of incidences, and the recentness of the crimes committed.  The committee will determine whether they believe the candidate is eligible to continue in the Teacher Education Program or be placed for field experiences. Candidates who clear the committee’s review will receive notification that although the committee has cleared them, they are at the discretion of the school districts as to whether or not placements will be accepted.  OFE will attempt to place a candidate three times, and if no district accepts them after that point due to the charges or sanctions, they will not receive a placement for the course/experience and could be advised to withdraw from the program. 


Below is an overview of when each program should complete the initial background and rechecks:

Student Population

Initial Background Check



Residential TEP

With Early Field Experience Application (EDCI 201, SPED 240, or TEP Admission)

With Internship Application


(All Tracks)

With Online Orientation or BK250

With Action Research/

Internship Application*

SPED MAT and Graduate Certification

With Online Orientation

With Internship Application*

MAT (Art, English, STEM, Social Sciences, & TESOL)

TEP Admission

(required during the first semester of enrollment)

With Internship Application*

*Students in these programs employed by the school system in which they will be completing their internship DO NOT have to complete the background recheck requirement.

NOTE: Letters from school personnel offices, background checks through a local courthouse, other school districts, and background checks from work are n­­ot acceptable.

Students with disabilities who require accommodations for field experiences or internships must contact the Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) to identify themselves as having a disability, provide current documentation, and discuss their need for accommodations. For additional information, visit or call 828-227-3886. If you fail to arrange your field or site-based accommodations through the OAR, the Office of Field Experiences may be unable to meet your accommodation needs. NOTE: This process is separate from receiving academic accommodations in your courses. 

Western Carolina University is committed to ensuring equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities and supports their civil rights as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), its amendments (ADAAA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. 

Early field experiences are designed to give teacher education candidates opportunities to observe in various P-12 classrooms from the beginning of their professional teacher education coursework. Early and ongoing engagement with public school faculty and students ensures a balance of educational theory and practice. These courses may require placement through the Office of Field Experiences, and the instructor of your course could facilitate others.

SPED 240
EDEL 429
EDMG 411
EDMG 412

Applications for early field experiences open on the first day of classes each semester. Candidates should monitor the Office of Field Experiences (OFE) website to ensure deadlines are not missed. Failure to complete applications by the advertised deadline will be encouraged to withdraw from the field experience course. In order to earn a grade of C or better, all candidates must successfully complete the required field experience requirements. Students who do NOT successfully complete the required field experience will earn a C-, D+, D, D- or F, depending upon the remainder of their work in the course.

EDCI201, SPED 240, SPED430/EDCI430/HPE430, and most methods courses REQUIRE students to complete field experiences. These courses, except EDCI 201 and SPED 240, require that students be admitted into the teacher education program before being permitted to enroll. 



  • Complete your Background Check through Certiphi. This process will take 3-5 business days to get your results.
    • Early Field Experience Applications will not be accepted until your Initial Background Check through Certiphi has been purchased, processed, and results have been evaluated.

Complete your Application for Early Field Experience Tk20.

NOTE: DO NOT contact schools directly to request placement, as this will decrease or eliminate your chances of receiving that placement.

Block Practicum placements are required for ALL Elementary, Inclusive, and Middle Grades Education majors. This requirement is generally completed the semester before Internship I. Candidates will spend one full “teacher day” in the placement for up to 12 weeks and attend an accompanying Seminar class on campus. Candidates will potentially complete some of the following assignments: formal observations; reflective journals reacting to their experiences and/or seminar readings; planning and teaching lessons and reflecting upon each; gathering student work for assessment analysis. The level of participation of the candidates in the placement is at the discretion of the host teacher. However, candidates are encouraged to participate in-class activities as much as possible.

Candidates will apply for the Block Practicum experience the semester PRIOR to enrolling in EDEL 390 or EDMG 411.

Applications: Block Practicum applications generally open midway through the semester (approximately week 8). Candidates should meet with their advisors to ensure they are ready to apply and monitor the Office of Field Experiences website for application timelines.

Videotaping Permission Form for Early Field Experiences & Block - please distribute and collect these from students within the first two weeks in Block placement.

Applications for internship opens on the first day of classes each semester. The applications remain open for approximately four weeks. Please review the due dates listed on this website.

Due to the variety of programs we offer, the applications vary by program and level. An informational site has been created within Canvas to assist you in the application process. Please use the Canvas Internship Resource Site (Opens in New Tab) to ensure that you have completed all your application requirements:

  • You must log into Canvas to view these resources. If you are unable to access these materials, please submit an Access to Canvas Module Request to get access.


All students who will need placement assistance through the Office of Field Experiences will apply through Tk20. For more information about the applications you need to complete, please review the Internship Experiences Canvas Information Site. However, all candidates will need to complete the following items prior to applying:

  1. NC Health Certificate (this form must be completed and signed by a physician in the same semester of the internship application)
    • Make an appointment for the physical exam and TB test with your personal physician or student health services (227-7640) to complete the NC Health Certificate.


    • Download the NC Health Certificate, fill out the personal information and take the form to the appointment. 


    • Return to the physician’s office two days later or as instructed to have the TB test site “read” and the form signed. 


    • A copy of this signed form and your TB results must be uploaded with the internship application.


    • Please make sure you have a signed copy of the form and the TB results available if your school district asks for a copy on your first visit. 

  2. Updated and proofed Résumé
  3. 3-Minute Introduction Video


School personnel are responsible for ensuring the safety and protection of students at all times. Teacher education candidates completing field experiences and clinical practice are legally viewed as school employees and may be personally charged with negligence if an accident or injury occurs to a student in their care. Neither the State of North Carolina nor Western Carolina University is responsible for providing legal defense for any professional education candidate or paying for any judgment that may be entered against the accused. Therefore beginning in Fall 2018, the College of Education and Allied Professions requires that all professional education candidates purchase and maintain professional liability insurance before beginning their internship.
Beginning Spring 2022, teacher candidates participating in an internship experience who are not currently a full-time employee of a school or district will be assessed a $12.00 fee through the WCU Office of Safety and Risk Management at the beginning of your semester internship.

Policy Information

Students who are engaging in paid or unpaid internships can be covered by the Student Intern Professional Liability coverage. There is only one policy available to student interns: Mercer - This policy can be used for medical and non-medical student interns. The policy offers $2M per occurrence and $4M aggregate worth of general and professional liability coverage and a yearly policy term. The policy cost is $12 a year (August–July). A COI (Certificate of Insurance) will be provided to the student to take to their internship site as proof of insurance.


After candidates submit their applications, the Director of Field Experiences starts the approval process known as the Internship Gateway Process. This process involves approval tasks for academic advisors and program coordinators. The academic advisor first reviews the candidates' academic progress, including their GPA and course performance, and ensure all prerequisite courses have been completed.

Following that, the program coordinator proceeds with their approval process. This includes completing the midpoint Educator Dispositions Assessment (EDA) and confirming the candidates' eligibility for an internship within Tk20. Based on the information gathered from the advisors, EDA, and faculty members, they provide one of the following recommendations to the Director of Field Experiences: 1) Approved for Internship I, 2) Approved for Internship II, 3) Approved Pending Meeting with PC, 4) Action Plan Required to Continue, or 5) Not approved for Internship. Additionally, program coordinators have the chance to suggest placements or supervision for the candidates.

The Director of Field Experiences utilizes the completed Gateway Approvals to analyze and initiate placement requests for all recommended candidates.

Internship I

Internship I – Internship I is the first component of the full-year internship experience. Teacher candidates must start the Internship I experience during the first week of WCU classes each semester. Internship I teacher candidates must follow guidelines the schools and their programs set. Some schools invite interns to report on the first teacher workday, which is a valuable experience if it can be accomplished without incurring extra housing expenses. In all cases, the intern should coordinate the start date with the clinical educator and field supervisor before the host school’s semester begins. The number of internship hours each week varies by program, though in most cases Intern I candidates are in their host classrooms the equivalent of two full days (15 hours) per week. Interns observe the clinical educator, participate in classroom activities, and plan and teach lessons as program-specific guidelines require. Intern Is follow the WCU’s academic calendar except for initial start dates. Interns are expected to continue in their placements until the final week of classes (not exam week) at WCU.

Internship I Credit Hours to Internship Experience Expectations
Credit Hour Required Days at Host School
3 credits 2 days in your internship school
2 credits 1.5 days in your internship school
1 credit 1 day in your internship school

**If your schedule does not allow full days, you may complete ½ days that combine to the required total.

Internship I Resources

Canvas Internship Resource Site

The Canvas Internship Resourse Site (Opens in New Tab)is an informational site that has been created within Canvas to assist you meeting your Internship II requirements.

  • You must log into Canvas to view these resources. If you are unable to access these materials, please submit an Access to Canvas Module Request to get access.


Video Recording

Evaluation Documents

Program Specific Requirements

Internship II

Internship II is the second component of the full-year internship experience. Internship II is a 16-week experience that requires candidates to report to the host school every day for full-day participation in the school setting. Candidates report to their schools the first day the host teachers report and remain in the schools until the final day of classes (not exams) at WCU.

During this experience, candidates take on responsibilities gradually through a phase-in and phase-out process for carrying and giving back teaching responsibility as the lead teachers. 

For most of our programs, the minimum full-time independent teaching requirement for interns is six consecutive weeks (unless program requirements mandate more or less). Full-time independent teaching includes serving as the lead teacher for the entire school day, including all instructional and curricular planning, professional activities, and duties.

*Full-time teaching may be extended for the candidate to demonstrate competency at the proficient level.


edTPA is a preservice assessment process designed by educators to answer the essential question: "Is a new teacher ready for the job?"  It is intended to be used for teacher licensure and to support accreditation.  edTPA was developed by the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity. Teacher candidates completing a program that leads to initial teacher licensure are required to complete the edTPA portfolio assessment recommended for teacher licensure. edTPA due dates are announced in the internship course. It is critical that candidates complete and submits their edTPA on time. Candidates can find resources for developing the edTPA portfolio on WCU’s edTPA Resource site.

All candidates pursuing an initial license must submit an edTPA portfolio and meet proficiency by achieving at least the minimum score established by the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information, including details about scoring requirements and resubmission, please visit WCU’s edTPA policy website

Initial licensure candidates must successfully complete an edTPA portfolio as a subject-specific summative assessment (submitted in Tk20). Clinical Educators, Field Supervisors, and Academic Supervisors are expected to provide appropriate formative support for interns during the completion of the edTPA portfolio. Guidelines for acceptable support can be found in the Guidelines for Supporting Candidates Completing edTPA document on the WCU’s edTPA Resource site.

Internship II Resources

Canvas Internship Resource Site

The Canvas Internship Resourse Site (Opens in New Tab)is an informational site that has been created within Canvas to assist you meeting your Internship II requirements.

  • You must log into Canvas to view these resources. If you are unable to access these materials, please submit an Access to Canvas Module Request to get access.


Video Permission Forms for edTPA

Evaluation Documents

Extra Course Form

Program Specific Requirements

Per North Carolina General Statute § 115C-269.25, to the extent practicable, EPPs shall require, in all programs leading to initial professional licensure, the following:

(1) Field experiences in every semester that include organized and sequenced engagement of students in settings that provide them with opportunities to observe, practice, and demonstrate knowledge and skills. The experiences shall be systematically designed and sequenced to increase the complexity and levels of engagement with which students apply, reflect upon, and expand their knowledge and skills, and to increase in each semester prior to the student's internship the number of hours spent in field experiences.

(2) A minimum of two hours of field experience in the first semester of the program and a cumulative total of at least 12 hours of field experiences prior to the student's internship.

(3) At least one field experience in a low-performing school.

Host Teachers for Block/Practicum Experience

For Elementary, Middle Grades, & Inclusive Education students.

For our “Block” placement, students are required to be with their host teacher one day per week (or 8 hours if their class schedule requires that they split between 2 days) over 10 weeks for observation.  During their time with the host teacher they will be conducting observations, assisting the teacher, and teaching several mini-lessons.

More detailed explanation of requirements and expectations are provided by the course instructor(s).

Clinical Educators for Internship

The Clinical Educator (CE) supervises and mentors the teacher education candidate daily. The clinical educator helps plan an increased instructional role throughout the semester, provides constructive feedback to encourage professional growth, provides input in the evaluation process, and participates in mid-term and final evaluation conferences. The clinical educator helps the intern acclimate to the school, schedule classroom duties, plan and implement lessons, and videotape lessons as required.

Requirements for Becoming a Clinical Educator

  1. Approved by the administrative officials of the school system, program coordinator, and the Director of Field Experiences.
  2. Professionally licensed in the field of licensure sought by the student.
  3. Experienced, with a minimum of three years in a teaching role.
  4. Committed to the education of pre-service teachers.
  5. Rated through formal evaluations, at a minimum, at the “accomplished” level under the North Carolina Teacher Evaluation System.
  1. Complete the online training modules for Intern I.
  2. Assist the intern in planning and teaching 5-10 lessons (depending upon program-specific requirements) during the semester.
  3. Complete a minimum of two formal observations of lessons and provide written feedback to the intern and field supervisor.
    • Please use the suggested Intern I Observation Form
    • You will upload your formal observations into Tk20. You will receive an email with a link to access this.
  4. Assist the intern in securing necessary permissions and in videotaping lessons as required. Review the videotape and provide written feedback to the intern and field supervisor.
  5. Assist candidates in meeting expectations/deadlines outlined in the program-specific checklists.
  6. Notify the field supervisor (and academic supervisor if applicable) of any concerns/issues related to the intern and work with the supervisor(s) to formulate an action plan when necessary.
    • Any concerns not addressed by the field/academic supervisor(s) should be immediately referred to the Director of Field Experiences at (828) 227-7314.
  1. Participate in midterm and final evaluations with the field and academic supervisors as appropriate.
  1. Complete the online training modules for Intern II.
  2. Mentor the intern in long-term and lesson planning, implementing and assessing lessons, classroom management, paperwork management, and professionalism.
  3. Review weekly plans before the lessons are to be taught and provide feedback.
  4. Assist the intern in securing necessary permissions and in videotaping lessons as required.
  5. Complete a minimum of four formal observations and provide written feedback to the intern and field supervisor.
    • Please use the suggested Intern II Observation Form
    • You will upload your formal observations into Tk20. You will receive an email with a link to access this. See appendix for instructions.
  6. Assist candidates in meeting expectations/deadlines outlined in the program-specific checklists.
  7. Ensure that the intern carries/shares in co-teaching the full teacher load, including planning, grading, teaching, and extracurricular activities/duties, for the required period of time.
  8. Notify the field supervisor immediately of any concerns/issues related to the intern and assist in creating an action plan when necessary. Any concerns not addressed by the field and/or academic supervisor(s) should be immediately referred to the Director of Field Experiences at (828) 227-7314.
  9. Participate in midterm and final evaluations with the field supervisor and academic supervisor.


 Field Supervisor – (FS) (formerly university supervisor) acts as the liaison between the classroom teacher and Western Carolina University. He or she has the important responsibility of ensuring a comprehensive, rewarding classroom experience for interns/student teachers.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Serve as a good role model for prospective teachers.
  • Exhibit professionalism, courtesy, and be approachable.
  • Must attend an informational meeting/orientation at the beginning of the semester.
  • Contact the intern(s) and clinical educator(s) within the first two weeks of the WCU semester.
  • Provide all forms and documents (or directed interns to forms and documents) that are needed throughout the semester to the intern and Clinical Educator.
  • Facilitate formal and informal discussions about intern progress and areas of needed growth.
  • Communicates internship requirements & expectations to the intern and the clinical educator throughout the semester.
  • Communicate in a timely manner through phone calls and/or emails.
  • Supports the development of the intern by providing constructive, relevant, useful, and written feedback after observed lessons.
  • Collaborate and coordinates with the clinical educator and academic supervisor to schedule mid-term and final evaluation conferences, and monitor student progress.
  • Visit intern(s) a minimum of 4-5 times during Internship I and 5-6 times during Internship II. When considered necessary, additional visits may be pre-approved by the Director of Field Experiences.
  • Complete internship requirements within Tk20.

Requirements for Becoming a Field Supervisor

Minimum qualifications for serving as a Field Supervisor:

  1. Doctoral or master’s degree from an accredited institution in the teaching field.
  2. Strong classroom experience within K-12.
  3. Strong reputation as an educator and/or classroom teacher.
  4. Active NC licensure (or eligibility) in applicable area.
  5. Ability to use technology in the performance of responsibilities.
  6. Must be willing to travel to regional schools within a 100-mile round trip.
  7. Have a valid driver’s license and mode of reliable transportation.
  8. Ability to adapt to new and changing processes and technologies.

If you are interested in becoming a Field Supervisor, please apply. You will need:

  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Transcripts
  • Teaching License
  • Reference List
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