Office of Field Experiences
Black Hall 214-21
(509) 963-1751

Office of Field Experiences Placement Policy

*The current policy will go into effect for fall quarter 2021.

Please review the following policy carefully before applying for your placement. Failure to adhere to our policy may put your placement in jeopardy.

The Office of Field Experiences (OFE) works diligently to develop and maintain relationships with a wide variety of schools and districts. As a result, we work within well-defined placement procedures. These policies allow us to ensure fair and consistent placement processes for hundreds of CWU teaching candidates each quarter.

  • COVID-19

    Teaching candidates must abide by school district policies, including those related to COVID safety.

    Candidates will not be required to enter a classroom if they feel unsafe due to COVID. We can communicate with your district, school, and/or mentor teacher to confirm and discuss the terms of your placement. However, we will be less likely to find an alternate placement for you if the quarter is approaching or has begun. If no placement is available to fit your request, you may need to defer to a future quarter.

    Additional COVID-19 information

  • Your Role During the Placement Process

    Teaching candidates are prohibited from attempting to arrange their placement in any manner and may not contact teachers or district personnel about possible placements. Students may not act on their own behalf or have anyone other than the OFE placement team act on their behalf regarding placements. If you seek your own placement, or one is sought for you by parties other than the CWU placement team, your placement will be put in jeopardy.

    To best support the success of your placement request:

    • Submit your application by the posted deadline.
    • Answer all application questions thoroughly and completely.
    • List any specific mentor districts, schools, or teacher preferences in your application.
    • Update your placement coordinator immediately if your preference requests change after you submit your application.
    • Respond promptly to communication sent to your CWU account by the Teacher Certification Program and OFE placement team.

    MUSIC STUDENTS: It is your responsibility to coordinate with Drs. Paul Bain and Kirsten Boldt-Nuerohr before you submit your placement preferences for Student Teaching (EFC 480) and Field Experience (EFC 330). Drs. Bain and Boldt-Nuerohr sometimes provide recommendations for music students to be placed with specific districts or teachers. You can include these recommendations in your application. The placement team will submit requests based on the preferences you list..

  • Application Appeals

    You will need to submit a placement Request Appeal If:

    • You did not submit your placement request application by the deadline posted on the OFE website.
    • You want to defer your placement request to a future quarter, and that quarter’s application deadline has already passed.
    • Your application was denied, because Teacher Certification did not receive pre-requisite or clearance documentation by the requested date.
    • You are requesting a placement area or district that is not listed on our placement map.

    Your appeal is more likely to be approved if all pre-requisites and clearance documentation have been received by the time your appeal is submitted. 

    If your appeal is approved, the late application date may still reduce the chances of placement in your first preference area. You will be unlikely to receive placement in areas designated in the application as having reduced placement availability (Northwest Region, Seattle, and Kittitas Valley). Depending on when a decision is made about your appeal, the OFE may still not have enough time to secure your placement. Even if your appeal is accepted, create a backup plan in case you need to defer to a future quarter. 

    Submit an Appeal to any Field Experience Course

  • Placement Restrictions

    Placement Availability

    Extenuating personal, professional, and family circumstances for areas with limited placement will not be considered. There are no guaranteed placements with particular school districts, school buildings, or mentor teachers. Not all areas of geographic preferences are available each quarter. 

    The OFE placement team will attempt to find a placement that fits your request as closely as possible based on that quarter’s availability. Be prepared to accept a placement in your second or third request area - especially if you select one or more geographical areas designated as having limited availability in the placement application. In areas where placement options are limited, students may be assigned via a random lottery system.

    Field placements are dependent upon the feasibility of University-approved supervision. Placements will be sought only in areas where field supervisors are available. Placement districts are primarily located in the areas surrounding the Ellensburg campus and the CWU Centers in Yakima, Wenatchee, Des Moines and Pierce County.

    Requests for districts outside our designated map areas will be considered on a case-by-case basis and only when staff capacity permits. Special geographical requests will be reviewed by our Placement Appeals Committee. See the Application Appeals section above for more information.

    School districts will accept or deny placements based on the merits of your application, the availability of qualified mentor teachers, and district or school priorities.

    If you ask to change your geographical preferences after a placement request has been submitted to a school or district, your placement coordinator will not retract that request. If that submitted request is denied, your coordinator will update your next request to include your updated preferences.

    Housing and Transportation

    You are responsible for arranging your own housing and transportation. These factors cannot be determining factors for placement.

    You will not be placed for Student Teaching (EFC 480) in a school where you:

    • Attended high school
    • Have relatives who are employed or have been employed within the last two years
    • Have relatives or children who are attending or have attended within the last two years

    These restrictions may be waived on a case-by-case basis for Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) candidates, Teacher Academies graduates, and Seattle Academy for Rising Educators (ARE) graduates. Placement decisions and waivers will be made at the Office of Field Experiences' discretion.

    If a placement cannot be found in your major and/or certification areas in the quarter for which you apply, your field placement may have to be postponed.

  • Placement Confirmations and Registration

    When your placement is secured, an email will be sent to your CWU email. If you do not accept your confirmed placement within three business days after your placement coordinator sends your confirmation email, your placement may be given to another teaching candidate.

    After all placements have been finalized, Jan Case ( will send you a code to register yourself for Student Teaching (EFC480) and Field Experience (EFC330). For lab and practicum courses, you will register yourself without a code. It is your responsibility to register for the course by the appropriate add/drop date. You are responsible for any penalties associated with late registration.

    If you withdraw from a course, you are responsible for dropping the course and any financial consequences. 

    If you decide to withdraw, notify your placement coordinator or immediately.

    If you decline a confirmed placement that fulfills your certification requirements, you will need to re-apply for a future quarter.

  • Causes for Withdrawal from Placement

    Teaching candidates may be removed from a placement for any of the following reasons:

    • Unsatisfactory evaluation scores or ratings
    • Lack of professionalism
    • Overall attitude
    • Request from principal to remove student
    • Request from mentor to remove student

    Withdrawn students will take one term off and then be eligible to retake the course. Withdrawn students will need to re-apply so that clearance can be re-confirmed and the OFE has updated placement information.

  • Field Experience/Clinical Hour Requirements

    CWU teacher candidates in programs that lead to initial certification with Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction are required to log a minimum of 450 hours (650 hours for Alternative Route candidates) across all approved field experience courses (WAC 181-78A-236). Students may log any hours spent planning, assessing, and instructing as part of the teacher role in their mentor teacher’s classroom or at home.

    Additional activities outside the school day considered part of the teacher role, include active participation in staff meetings, IEP meetings, parent teacher conferences, and performances associated with the mentor teacher’s contract, may be logged for certification.

    Non instructional activities outside of the school day, such as extracurricular clubs, attending or coaching sporting events, or assisting with study halls, will not count as hours toward certification as they are not activities associated with the role of a typical teacher contract.

    Students will use the Field Experience Log in MyCWU to log hours in courses. Instructions can be found on the Office of Field Experiences website.

  • Field Experience (EFC 330) Waiver and Procedures

    Field Experience waivers are designed for:

    • Paid instructional assistants, paraprofessionals, and substitute teachers who have had one or more years of experience working in a public school system OR
    • Students who were enrolled in and successfully completed the Careers in Education/Teaching Academy (or equivalent) course(s) in high school

    Waiver Deadlines:

    Fall quarter - April 15th
    Winter quarter - October 15th
    Spring quarter - December 15th

    The decision regarding each request will be based on the supporting documentation provided. If a teacher candidate meets one of these requirements, their EFC 330 class requirement can be waived.

    Waiver/Substitution Requests Must Include:

    1. A completed waiver/substitution form with the required signatures from the school district representative.
    2. A brief letter from the candidate stating how past experience(s) as a paraprofessional, substitute teacher or as a student enrolled in a Careers in Education course meet the requirements of EFC 330. The letter should address the following:
      • Highlights of experiences working with students from diverse populations (e.g., ethnic, economic, cultural, or linguistic diversity)
      • A summary addressing the accomplishment of the objectives in the EFC 330 Field Experience Workbook.
    3. A brief letter from a school official (principal, assistant principal, teacher, etc.) in the building where you gained your experience. Along with the general recommendation, the letter should include both the length of time you worked in the school, with beginning and end dates, and the general duties to which you were assigned.
    4. A completed Field Experience Workbook (ONLY for those candidates requesting a waiver based on working as a paraprofessional or substitute teacher).
    5. The Office of Field Experiences will obtain an official high school transcript from the Records Office.
    6. A copy of the portfolio completed for the high school class (ONLY for those candidates requesting a waiver based on a high school course). Should you wish to submit the original, it may be collected at Black Hall Office 214-23, or if you are on the Westside, it will be mailed back to you after you receive the letter of approval or denial). Should you not have a copy of your portfolio, you must complete the Field Experience Workbook (see #4 above).
    7. Please retain copies of all documentation you submit and receive in return after approval or disapproval.
    8. Once you submit your waiver/substitution application, it will be reviewed by the Office of Field Experiences.
    9. Please note, the approval of a waiver for EFC 330 does not reduce the number of credits required to graduate.
  • Commencement Policy

    Fall student teachers may participate in the previous academic year’s spring commencement without any academic regalia they might earn. This is a Registrar policy. Candidates should work to time their program so that they complete Student Teaching in a quarter that is advantageous to participation. If a candidate could finish in the fall but does not want to wait until the following spring to participate in commencement, they should rearrange their completion quarter to better accommodate their wishes.

  • Intern Substitute Certificate

    The Intern Substitute certificate enables a teacher candidate to substitute, only in the classroom to which the student is assigned for EFC 480 or EDU 574, in the absence of the mentor teacher. CWU supports that teacher candidates may be issued an Intern Substitute Certificate after consultation and approval from their assigned Field Supervisor, mentor teacher, and the support of the host School District.

    The ability for EFC 480 Student Teachers to seek the Intern Substitute Certificate is contingent on a successful midterm evaluation from the assigned Field Supervisor around week five (5) of the quarter and the support of the Mentor Teacher and school district. The ability for MAT candidates to seek an Intern Substitute Certificate starting EDU 574, is contingent on successful completion of EDU 573 or Director’s approval.