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Office of Field Experiences

We’re all in this together, and our top priority is helping our students continue in their programs toward becoming teachers. Please see below for answers to some common questions about the Spring quarter.


I haven’t heard anything from CWU, and I’m worried about what will happen next quarter
First, please don’t panic. We know that you are anxious, and so are we. Know that faculty and staff are working diligently to figure out how we will operate in the context of Covid-19. This is new territory for all of us. We are in the process of moving all employees off-campus and working remotely.

But why haven’t I heard anything?
At this time, we do not have all of the answers, but that’s OK. We’re still in Finals Week. Spring quarter is delayed until April 8th. At that time all classes will be moved online, including practicum classes. The only big questions remain about student teaching.

I heard my practicum classes are going to be canceled, is that true?
If you are placed and enrolled for ELEM 292, 392, 494, ELEF 492, 493, or 495, or EFC 330, your classes will not be canceled. Instead, your instructors will provide online activities for you to participate in, including watching videos of expert teachers in a variety of actual classrooms, teaching real children, not actors. It won’t be the same experience as working directly with children, but it is the best we can do with K-12 schools closed. Details will be shared in Canvas, once Spring quarter begins.

I was placed for Spring Student Teaching. Is it canceled? Who should I contact for information about my Student Teaching?
At this time, we are not planning to cancel Student Teaching. We are intending to have you work with your Field Supervisor to prepare lessons for when the K-12 schools re-open as well as getting ready for the edTPA, and participating in a series of seminars that are usually conducted in the evenings during Student Teaching. You may also be able to work with your mentor teacher. Unfortunately, we don’t know when the districts will re-open. Some may open in late April, others may not open until September or even later. No one knows for sure. All we can do is plan for different scenarios. If your school opens soon after April 24th, we expect that you will be able to participate in Student Teaching, but on a compressed timeline. We have been given permission by the state to reduce the number of required clinical hours. That means you could potentially do all of your student teaching in 8 weeks, instead of 10.

So, should I call the school where I was placed to find out when they are opening and if there’s anything I can do to start logging clinical hours?
No, please do not call the schools. We have heard reports of some principals getting upset at feeling harassed by some of our students. They do not know when they will re-open and your clinical hours are not at the top of their priority list. Instead, we ask that you contact your Field Supervisor or your mentor teacher for updates, but not the school districts or principals.

I heard something about Emergency Certification. Does that mean I can skip Student Teaching and get hired by a district for the start of school in the Fall?
Not exactly. Emergency Certification is only given by Teacher Prep Programs to students who have already demonstrated proficiency in teaching, but still have to complete some assessments like the edTPA or WEST-E/NES. Unless you have already completed all or nearly all of your Student Teaching, we cannot recommend you for Emergency Certification. Conditional Certification is an option open to school districts to hire you for the Fall, on the condition that you will complete your Student Teaching hours and edTPA at a later date. That is entirely at the discretion of the districts, not CWU, but if you are hired under a Conditional Certificate, we will do our best to support you, in whatever way possible.

If I enroll in EFC 480 for Spring, but have to delay or continue Student Teaching into Fall or later, will I have to pay for another quarter of Student Teaching?
We certainly do not want you to have to pay for Student Teaching twice. We have consulted the Financial Aid office and are determining the best way to proceed if this happens. It turn out that you would receive an Incomplete or In Progress grade at the end of Spring quarter, and can continue in Fall or later, without having to pay any additional tuition.

What if my district decides to go online or I’m asked to help out with caring for healthcare workers’ children? Will that count toward Student Teaching?
We’re are certainly open to alternative venues for Student Teaching and are willing to work with the districts. If they need your help, we want to support them.

What if I have other questions about progress in my program?
Contact your advisor or department, and try to be patient. We’re currently wrapping up final exams and grading, while preparing for a new quarter, while shifting all operations online. It could take some time to get you the answers your desire.

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