Early Childhood Off-Campus Field Experience
Please check information on observation and practice for your field experience off the Weber State University campus, if you are a student enrolled in an online early childhood course that allows off-campus practicum. For information on student teaching and practicum on the WSU campus, please check Early Childhood On-Campus Field Experience.
Why Early Childhood Field Experience?
On Campus Field Experience
You may choose to have your field experience in the WSU Melba S. Lehner Children's School, an NAEYC accredited early learning program that serves children 1-6 years, and Charter Academy Kindergarten. These two lab programs are located at WSU Ogden campus and provide on-site, face to face coaching by experienced mentor teachers.
Options for Off Campus Field Experience Sites
Ideally, the off campus facility you choose is a state licensed early care and education program. Obtain licensing information of the program from the Utah Department of Health Child Care Licensing.
It could be a child care center, home/family child care, Head Start, Early Head Start, or early school grades PreK-3. We recommend an NAEYC accredited program or Head Start.
If you are a declared major in the A.A.S. Early Childhood Online Program, please contact Dr. Sheila Anderson (Faculty Advisor of AAS Early Childhood Online Program) for assistance finding a site.
Requirements for Practicum Placements
Your practicum site must have a classroom or a small group educational setting.
Your practicum site must serve children in at least one of the three age groups (0-3, 3-5, 5-8 years).
Typically, practicum starts Monday the 3rd week of semester. You must attend practicum on the same day of the week, during the same prescheduled time slot, in the same classroom, and with the same group of children for the entire duration of your field experience.
Online Coaching for Off Campus Field Experience
An online professional coach with experetise in early childhood and adult learning will be assigned to support you in mastering ECE competencies in off campus field experiences. Your coach will develop a coaching relationship agreement with you that calrifies roles and telecoaching sessions. You will regularly video record your teaching practice and share the videos with your coach who will provide feedback and help you problem solve how to build skills. Telecoaching sessions are typically 15-30 minute video conference meetings scheduled at times convenient for you.
You are expected to videotape your teaching practice as well as classroom environment and upload video clips to Canvas for peer feedback. Please make sure that the administrator of your practicum site gives consent to your videotaping. In addition to standard WSU student policies, you are expected to follow these guidelines throughout your field experiences:
You are not required to provide criminal background clearance for on-campus practicum experience in ECED 2610, 2620, or 3570. If your field experience is off campus, you must additionally meet the program expectations for ethics, safety, and professionalism. If the program requires proof of background check, you may get it done through the school districts. Check WSU Background Check.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, please check the WSU Guidance for Practical Experiences. If you have extenuating circumstances that would not allow you to attend an early care or education program for practicum, please notify your course instructor in advance.