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The Education Department has a two-fold mission: to prepare students for the teaching profession through our BEACON, DAYSTAR, post-baccalaureate and alternative certification programs and to better equip current teachers through our Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree.
We offer teacher certification programs for the state of Missouri for students with or without a bachelor's degree. Columbia College offers the teacher certification programs through the main campus in Columbia, Mo., as well as through two Nationwide Campuses: Lake Ozark and Rolla, Mo.
What is a field experience?
Many of the education courses on the certification checklists include field experience hours. A field experience is when a teacher certification student spends time observing, helping the cooperating teacher with administrative tasks, working one-on-one with students and ultimately teaching in a public school classroom setting.
Not all field experiences are created equal. There are five levels of responsibility incorporated into the field experiences that build the teacher certification student up to the point of student teaching in their last semester of their certification program.
All field experiences should be viewed as a representation of Columbia College as well as the teacher candidate. Be sure to be knowledgeable of your responsibilities and professional in every aspect of your field placement.
Each course that includes a field experience component requires a Field Experience Application form to be submitted to the Education Department office (STC 233) the semester before the field experience course is to be taken. The priority deadline for Fall Semester field experience applications is April 25; the priority deadline for the Spring Semester is Nov. 25. Application forms may be accepted after the priority deadline, but the Education Department cannot guarantee that a placement will be found.
A background clearance is required before any student will be allowed to enroll in a field experience course. The Education Department uses the Family Care Safety Registry (FCSR) to obtain background clearances. These clearances are valid for one year from the date they are issued. If a background clearance has expired or will expire during the session/semester of an upcoming field experience, the student must request an updated screening. A copy of the clearance must be submitted to the Education Department office.
Students who work in a public school (or accredited private school) as a paraprofessional, teacher's aide or are working in a long-term substitute teacher position may request to arrange a self-placement. Those wishing to arrange a self-placement must indicate that request on their Field Experience Application form (in the "extenuating circumstances" section) and obtain the required signatures on a Self-Placement form.
Submission of the signed form must be received by the Education Department no later than one week before the start of the field experience course. All self-placements must be approved by the field experience coordinator.