Program Practicum Field Experience FAQs

College of Education

Program/Field Experience FAQs

Q: Why does the learner need to complete practicum hours?
A: Practicum experiences are field-based learning opportunities that focus on observation, application, and reflection. Practicum experiences require the College of Education learner to spend a prescribed amount of time in a real-life classroom setting in order to demonstrate competency with predetermined activities that are aligned to professional standards in the field of education. In order to establish on-going connections between what learners learn in their courses, some courses require that learners perform practicum hours.

Q: Can the practicum hours be waived for the learner who is a classroom teacher?
A: No. Continuous learning by today's classroom teachers is necessary for the survival and improvement of the American educational system. Teachers improve their instructional practices when observing/working with other teachers; it provides insight into their own practices as well as introducing them to new ideas and techniques. Grand Canyon University recognizes that it is a challenge for the classroom teacher to find time to do this, but believes it is a necessity as it affords the classroom teacher the opportunity to observe and participate in diverse education settings and to apply the theories and concepts learned in their program coursework.

Q: What if a school district tells the learner that they need a letter to complete their practicum hours?
A: The regional Teacher Education Specialists can provide a letter that confirms that the learner attends Grand Canyon University and states the learner's degree program, the class in which the learner is completing practicum hours, and the number of hours required for the practicum. However, in order for this to be completed this in a timely manner, the learner must provide the following information and email it to their Teacher Education Specialist.

  • Learner's full name
  • Course prefix, number, and full course title
  • Number of practicum hours to be completed
  • Name of the school district and the contact person's name
  • E-mail address or fax number where the letter is to be sent

Q: What is a benchmark assessment assignment?
A: All Grand Canyon University College of Education teacher preparation programs are based on professional standards for educators (such as, the Arizona Professional Teacher Standards/APTS and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium/INTASC). In order to determine whether or not the graduates of our programs possess essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to high quality and highly effective teachers, benchmark assessments have been developed for each course. These benchmark assessments, the heart of the course in terms of the core learning objectives, require COE learners to demonstrate competency of essential learning experiences that are standards-based and program-essential.

Q: Can the Field Experience Specialist make any practicum/field experience site accommodations or adjustments to the benchmark assessment?
A: No. It is the learner's responsibility to communicate any challenges he/she is experiencing with the practicum/field experience to the classroom instructor; accommodations and/or exceptions are left up to the instructor's discretion.

Q: Are there any specific requirements a learner should consider when selecting a practicum/field placement site?
A: Yes. It is important for the learner to consider the course practicum/field placement setting requirements identified in the Benchmark Assessment resource provided in their course when selecting their site.

Q: What is a Title One School?
A: At least 40% of children in the school attendance area or the student enrollment are from low income families and so are eligible to receive free and reduced lunch.

 

Practicum/Field Experience Hours by Program

Name of Program

Total Practicum Hours

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in English (Grades K-8) (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

105,
plus Student Teaching (640)

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Math (Grades K-8) (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

105,
plus ST (640)

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Science (Grades K-8) (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

105,
plus ST (640)

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Early Childhood Education (Grades K-8) (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

105,
plus ST (640)

Bachelor of Science in Elementary/Special Education (Dual Major) (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

200,
plus ST (640)

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in Business Education (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

135,
plus ST (640)

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in English (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

135,
plus ST (640)

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in Math (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

120,
plus ST (640)

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in Social Studies (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

135,
plus ST (640)

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in Biology (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

120,
plus ST (640)

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in Chemistry (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

135,
plus ST (640)

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in Physical Education (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

105,
plus ST (640)

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

125,
plus ST (640)

Master of Arts in Teaching with an Emphasis in Professional Learning Communities (Advanced Program for Continuing Professional Education)

0

Master of Arts in Teaching with an Emphasis in Teacher Leadership (Advanced Program for Continuing Professional Education)

0

Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Reading with an Emphasis in Elementary Education (Advanced Program for Continuing Professional Education)

90 in one practicum class

Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Reading with an Emphasis in Secondary Education (Advanced Program for Continuing Professional Education)

90 in one practicum class

Master of Education in Educational Administration (Advanced Program for Principal Licensure)

100*,
plus Internship (270)

Master of Education in Educational Leadership (Advanced Program for Continuing Professional Education)

80*

Master of Education in Early Childhood Education (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

100,
plus ST (640)

Master of Education in Early Childhood Education (Does not Lead to Teacher Licensure)

100

Master of Education in Elementary Education (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

110**,
plus ST (640)

Master of Education in Elementary Education (Does not Lead to Teacher Licensure)

110**

Master of Education in Secondary Education (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

130,
plus ST (640)

Master of Education in Secondary Education (Does not Lead to Teacher Licensure)

130

Master of Education in Special Education: Cross-Categorical (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure)

120,
plus ST (640)

Master of Education in Special Education: Cross-Categorical  (Does not Lead to Teacher Licensure)

120

Master of Education in Special Education for Certified Special Educators (Advanced Program for Continuing Professional Education)

75

Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Technology (Advanced Program for Continuing Professional Education)

90 in one internship class

Master of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) (Advanced Program for Continuing Professional Education)

60 in one practicum course

 

Selecting a Practicum/Field Experience Setting
To promote the dispositions that are at the heart of every educational professional, learners are highly encouraged to be proactive about their selection of appropriate practicum/field experience settings for the courses within their program of study that require it. While there are many factors that interact relative to practicum/field experience setting selection, there are basic parameters that will enhance the learner's opportunity for success.

During the school year, it is important that the learner adhere to the guidelines that are outlined for the practicum/field experience requirement for the course for securing the appropriate practicum setting.

Assembling a list of potential sites should be based on the criteria identified in the curriculum, either in the Module 1 assignments or on the Benchmark Assessment and Rubric document that can be found in Canyon Connect in the online classroom. The curriculum is designed to ensure that a variety of settings are experienced over the entire program of study. It is important to make site visits to potential sites to gain an understanding of interests, professional practices, organizational focus, needs, and ability to offer appropriate on-site supervision. Be sure choices are consistent with practicum/field experience requirements, desires for skill development, and future certification or licensure criteria. Although not an exhaustive list, these possible sites may be available year-round and include the following:

  • Public, private, and/or parochial or religiously-affiliated schools (both Title 1 and non-Title 1)
  • Boys/Girls Clubs
  • After School Programs
  • Head Start
  • Commercial Learning/Tutoring Centers, e.g. Sylvan, Huntington, Kumon
  • Tutor Time, ChildTime, or other licensed preschool settings
  • English classes offered by the United States Office of Immigration and Naturalization Services
  • Community college remedial courses
  • YMCA and YWCA
  • Jewish Social Services, Catholic Social Services, Lutheran Social Services, or other community-based continuing education opportunities
  • Summer Camp programs
  • Private formal tutoring classes with a certified teacher
  • Virtual schools with a certified teacher
  • Home School networks with a certified teacher

However, during the summer months, the learner is encouraged to be a critical thinker when selecting a practicum/field experience setting. This will involve the learner:

  • Thinking 'out of the box'
  • Using several sources of information to find an answer
  • Considering any and all possibilities
  • Questioning, probing, analyzing and evaluating

The following websites may also provide useful information:

Local School Directory (All states listed)
Arizona Department of Education 
Private School Review (All states listed) 
Faith-Based Schools (All states listed)  
K-12 Academics, Special Education Schools (All states listed) 
Summer Camp Programs (All states listed)  

If learners are experiencing difficulty identifying a placement and have exhausted the list, they should contact their course instructor for assistance. If the situation is still not resolved satisfactorily, learners can contact the Office of Field Experience. As necessary, this help may include a formal letter to a school district or other organization outlining the requirements of the course and the practicum/field experience.