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Early Childhood On-Campus Field Experience 

The WSU Early Childhood and Early Childhood Education Programs prepare competent early childhood professionals by providing high-quality field experiences and multiple opportunities for students to observe and practice with young children. You will work with a mentor teacher in a classroom to get the hands-on, real-world experience you need to succeed. If you are enrolled in an online course that allows off-campus practicum experience, please check  expectations for Early Childhood Off-Campus Field Experience.

Early Childhood Student Teaching Application 

This timeline should be completed the semester before you plan to complete your student teaching (ECED 4710 Advanced Guidance and Planning for Early Childhood Education and ECED 4720 Student Teaching in the Children's School). 

Advising: Weeks 1-4 of the semester

  • Meet with your academic advisor.
  • Review the process to apply for student teaching and your graduation plan with academic advisor.
  • Ask academic advisor to enter your intent to student teach and planned semester as a note in CatTracks. 

Prepare Application Materials: Weeks 4-8 of the semester

  • Gather needed information: see cover letter and supplemental documents below.
  • Complete required certifications. CPR and First Aid must contain both infant and toddler certification. 

Apply: Week 9 of the semester (Fall Semester Nov 1, Spring Semester Mar 15)

  • Complete the Early Childhood Student Teaching Application.
  • Submit a cover letter with the application: a summary of feedback from coach/mentor teacher feedback in ECED 2610, ECED 2620, and ECED 3570 as well as other classroom experience, hopes for the student teaching experience, learning preferences and needs to be considered in student teaching placement, etc.
  • Submit Supplemental Documents as an attachment to your application: unofficial transcripts from WSU, CPR/First Aid certifications (Infant and Child Certification required), Food Handlers Certification, and a professional photo.
  • For exceptions to these due dates contact Dr. Carrie Ota.

Placement: Weeks 9-13 of the semester

  • Attend the placement meeting that the student teaching faculty adviser schedules with you.
  • Review and discuss your scheduling constraints, goals, strengths, hopes and needs with the student teaching faculty advisor. 
  • Notification of your of classroom placement will be sent to your WSU student email by the last day of the semester. 

COVID Testing (current as of 9/28/2021)

Fully Vaccinated Individuals (will not be tested weekly)

  • Vaccination card must be shown to and verified by Sally West or Camie Bearden (first week). A picture of your vaccination card would work.
  • Check-in weekly with Sally West or Camie Bearden for temperature, symptom, and exposure check.
  • Individuals who display symptoms should go to a symptomatic testing site.
  • If student has had a known exposure, and is asymptomatic, they need to be tested day 3-5. They should wear a mask in the Melba S. Lehner Children’s School/Weber State University Charter Academy and in other public places until day 14.

Non-Vaccinated Individuals (will be tested weekly)

  • Check-in weekly with Sally West or Camie Bearden for temperature, symptom, and exposure check.
  • Individual rapid test (15-minute test time).
  • If a student has a known exposure they should not come to campus until after day 10 without testing and day 7 after receiving negative test result on day 5 or later.


Background Checks 

  • You will need a background clearance from the Utah Department of Health for ECED 4720 Student Teaching in the Children's School, ECED 2860 Practicum in Early Childhood, and ECED 4860 Practicum in Early Childhood. The background clearance must be completed prior to the beginning of the semester in which you are enrolled. See ECED 2860/4860 & 4720 Background Check Policies.
  • You will need a background check for ECED 4721 Student Teaching K-3, ECED 4861 Practicum K-3, and Teacher Education practicum courses in the school district through the Utah State Board of Education (USBE). Check WSU Background Check information.
  • You do NOT need a background check for ECED 2610, ECED 2620, or ECED 3570. 

Certifications Required for Student Teachers (ECED 4710 and ECED 4720)

CPR/First Aid certification has the following possible options. Infant and Child Certification is required.

Possible options for certification in Food Handling are:

Trainings on FERPA, child maltreatment, and ethics will be completed as part of the field experience orientation in the course.

On-Campus Lab Classroom Policies and Expectations

General Classroom Expectations

  • If you miss a lab for a legitimate reason, you will need to contact your Mentor Teacher prior to your scheduled lab time by text or phone. An email to the Mentor Teacher is also needed for a written record of your absence. Both the professor and the director need to be cc’d on the email. Schedule a time with the Mentor Teacher to make up the missed hours. More than three absences, even with made-up hours, results in a “Fail” for the lab experience.
  • Your ID needs to be worn during your lab time.

Dress Code 

Your clothing should be appropriate for working with children, yet professional. Clothing should be:

  • Clean and neat
  • Comfortable so you can interact with the children freely (run, climb, get up and down, etc.)  Shoes should allow you to keep up with running children.
  • Easy to clean. You will be working with children and should not be worried about paint spills etc.
  • Modest. No shorts or short skirts, no cleavage or midriff showing, no see-through fabric, not too tight, etc.
  • Well maintained (no holes, fraying, etc.).

Child Safety and Privacy

  • You may use your cell phone for taking pictures and for video recording in the classroom for educational purposes only. Pictures and/or videos may not be shared or posted on any social media platform (Facebook, Instagram, etc.).
  •  For confidentiality purposes, children’s initials are used for course assignments.
  • Always check the ID of an unfamiliar adult picking up a child. It is school policy that all unfamiliar adults picking up a child must be listed on the Emergency Card and ID’d.

Special Circumstances

  • The only university students that will be asked to change diapers are ECED 4720 Student Teachers and ECED 2860 Practicum Students.
  • If there is a child or children with disabilities in the classroom, your mentor teacher will discuss with you the expectations for the child or children within the classroom. Expectations will be dependent on each individual child’s disability and needs. 
  • If you suspect child abuse at any point during your practicum time, share the information IMMEDIATELY with your mentor teacher. You will also be asked to document the information in writing. If necessary, the information will be reported to Child Protective Services and investigated by the Division of Child and Family Services. 
  • If there is an emergency, you must follow the emergency procedures that are included in the Staff Handbook. Mentor Teachers will also go over the emergency procedures with you.


 It is important to contact both your Mentor Teacher and your Professor when feeling overwhelmed. Through an open discussion, your feeling of being overwhelmed can be eased and goals can be set to help alleviate the stress.

For more information on lab classroom policies and expectations, please check the MSL Children's School Staff Handbook (2018) and the Charter Academy Policies and Procedures.

Registering for ECED 2890/4890 Internship in Early Childhood

As a student in the WSU Early Childhood program you are required to take the Internship in Early Childhood course: ECED 2890 (AAS degree) or ECED 4890 (BS degree). 

Please fill out this form as early as possible to facilitate planning for your unique internship. It will include information about how you are progressing toward completion of your degree program as well as your individual career goals and some ideas to pursue about a location in the early childhood field for placement** during the next semester. 

After completing this form you will be contacted by the course instructor to proceed with planning your internship.

Revised 8-9-22