Chestnut Hill College (CHC) has designed an exceptional program of Pre-Student Teaching field experiences through partnerships with outstanding area schools whose goals and mission are closely aligned with those of CHC. Our partner schools represent a variety of settings including urban, suburban, public and private schools.
There are four stages of field experience and student teaching.
Each stage requires the candidate to assume more responsibility within the educational setting. Gradual immersion into the teaching profession is a proven approach in the preparation of a quality teacher. Teacher Candidates are placed in collaborative settings to give candidates exposure to the values, culture and working styles of diverse learning environments.
The Field Experience sequence at CHC provides prospective teachers with an educational program that provides practical experience in classrooms where they have continual and consistent evaluations and feedback. Field experience placements are supervised by college personnel and mentor teachers who are well trained, highly qualified and who demonstrate competence in teaching and mentoring in the field of education. College personnel, mentor teachers, and teacher candidates work together to ensure that competencies for each field experience are being met. Teacher candidates are required to provide evidence of meeting PDE competencies for each stage of field experience by developing an ongoing reflective portfolio throughout their field experiences.
Field Experience I and II
Field Experience Stage I and II are a student’s initial pre-clinical field experiences and consist of 40 hours (20 hours per semester). For many candidates who desire a teaching certificate, the Pre-Student Teaching experience may be their first opportunity to be in a school setting in a capacity other than as a student. Field Experiences I and II allow the teacher candidate to observe and participate in the teaching process while taking courses in human growth and development, learning theory, and methodology. The expectation for these experiences is that all theoretical understandings will be reinforced and broadened by the opportunities to connect with the school environment.
Field Experience III
Field Experience Stage III A/B provides the teacher candidate with opportunities to interact with children and teachers in various settings and to participate in all aspects of the classroom program. This Pre-Student Teaching Field Experience placement typically takes place in the junior year. Students are assigned as part of a cohort and a CHC supervisor is assigned to the school as an instructional coach and liaison from the college. CHC teacher candidates are placed in a classroom (major specific) for six hours per week (75 hours are required per semester). The Stage III field experience is designed to prepare the teacher candidate for the final experience, Stage IV Student Teaching.
Student Teaching (Stage IV Field Experience)
Student Teaching (Field Experience Stage IV) is the capstone field experience. Teacher candidates are carefully placed in schools and thoughtfully matched with a highly qualified mentor teacher for fourteen weeks. Candidates follow the schedule of their mentor teacher and are expected to be in the classroom full time. The mentor teacher, with support from the CHC supervisor, guides the candidate to gradually assume full teaching responsibilities for two weeks. Candidates are evaluated based on Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) competencies. Candidates that meet PDE competencies and have passed the PECT or Praxis certification tests required for their major upon graduation may apply for Pennsylvania teacher certification.