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Career Services

Placement File FAQs

Who needs a placement file?

Teacher Education and Administrator graduates are urged to establish a Placement File. A complete file consists of the completed  Options form to establish a Confidential or Non-Confidential file, at least three letters of reference and for recent graduates, a Student Teaching Evaluation. The placement file is used by many school districts as part of their K-12 application process. Career Services maintains and stores placement files in Bouillon 206.
 

What is a placement file?

Placement files contain references to support your application for a position, they DO NOT contain your transcripts. Your file is housed permanently in the Career Services office. Prospective employers in education place a great deal of weight on this information because of the written references, and for new teachers, the final student teaching evaluation. You should update the information in your file and add new written references whenever you plan to pursue a new position.
 

When should I start a placement file?

At least one quarter prior to student teaching. You may wish to start earlier in order to participate in on-campus interviews or research job opportunities.
 

What is needed to start a placement file?

To create a placement file, you must: 
A.)  Sign a Declaration of Option / Waiver form to establish a confidential or non-confidential placement file (districts prefer a confidential file). 

B.)  Request references from faculty, staff, school district personnel, etc.

The placement file does NOT include transcripts, a hard copy of your resume, or a copy of your teaching certificate.
 

Should I start a confidential (Closed) or non-confidential (Open) file?

If you establish a confidential file, you waive your right of access to your letters of reference. If you choose non-confidential, you may see the contents of the letters of reference. In either case, the files are the property of Central Washington University. Districts prefer confidential. To find out more about which option to choose, please stop by or call our office and speak with a career counselor.
 

Can I change my option type?

Regardless of which option you declare, you may change that declaration by completing a new Options Form. In the case of a change of option, all previously collected letters of reference are destroyed or returned to the writers. If changing FROM confidential TO non-confidential, a writer can either sign a statement agreeing to make the letter non-confidential, write a new reference or withdraw the original letter from your file. If changing FROM non-confidential TO confidential, a writer can rewrite the letter or withdraw it.
 

Are there fees involved?

Fees must be paid before your file will be sent. Students who graduate within the Placement File Fee Year, October 1 - September 30, receive 5 complimentary sends. Additional sends are $10.00 each. CWU Alumni and students receiving certification only (not a Bachelors degree) must pay $10.00 per send. International and overnight sends are $17.00 each.
 

How is the placement file used?

When an employer requires a placement file as part of their application procedure, you can come in or call Career Services (509.963.1921) and request it to be sent directly to the employer. Career Services staff will copy the file and send it to the employer. You cannot "hand carry" your placement file to the employer. Check with Career Services or your Wildcat Career Network account periodically to see if your references have arrived. Your file is the property of Central Washington University and cannot be released to you or an employment agency.
 

How long can I use my placement file?

Placement files operate on a placement year from October 1 to September 30; the initial period of service continues until September 30 following graduation/certification. Services and fees do not carry over. Your file will remain in our office for 30 years from the last time you use it.
 

Who should I ask for letters of reference?

Career Services recommends asking your student teaching supervisor and cooperating teacher and provides the following 3 reference forms:
  1. Faculty/General: to be used for references from faculty and/or current or previous supervisors outside of education;
  2. Professional Teacher: to be used for references from student teaching and beyond;
  3. Administrative: to be used if applying for an Administrative position.
Reference forms are also available in our office. A Career Services reference form, a letter on letterhead or both is acceptable for your placement file. The CWU Department of Education submits a final Student Teaching Evaluation to the placement file. A minimum of 3 references, and no more than 10, is recommended. Remember quality is more important than quantity!
 

Do my reference writers need any special forms for writing their letters?

Your student Teaching Supervisor and cooperating teacher use an evaluation form as part of their letter of recommendation. Other letter writers can use one of our forms and/or they can submit letters on their own letterhead.
 

Can I see what is in my file?

References are confidential or non-confidential as determined by your signature on the Declaration of Options/Waiver. Read that form carefully! If you choose CONFIDENTIAL, you waive your right to know the contents of the reference. The candidate or Career Services staff may review non-confidential references;confidential references will not be reviewed. Confidential references should be sent directly to our office. We will not accept non-confidential references for a confidential placement file and vice versa. References become the property of CWU Career Services; copies of references will not be provided to you. You may remove references via email request or in writing.
 

How can I find out if materials have arrived at Career Services and are currently in my file?

You have three options, call or stop by the Career Services office, or check your Wildcat Career Network account. Log into E-Recruiting, go to Profile on the menu bar; click on "view/edit profile data". Click on "Administration". From there you can see where and when your placement file has been sent and which references we have on file.