Clinical Experience

Attention: The policies described on this page do not go into effect until September 1, 2015.

Clinical experiences are guided, hands-on, practical applications and demonstrations of professional knowledge. Additional information about clinical experience is described below.

Information for Local Education Agencies (LEAs)

Types of Clinical Experiences

  • Field Experiences: Opportunities to apply content and pedagogical knowledge in PreK-12 settings to progressively develop and demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions.   
  • Clinical Practice: Opportunities that provide candidates with an intensive and extensive field-based set of responsibilities, assignments, tasks, activities, and assessments that demonstrate candidates’ professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be effective educators.  There are three types of clinical practice:
    • Student teaching: The student teaching clinical practice is a planned semester of at least 15 weeks that includes full-day teaching and observation activities.
    • Internship: A full year of clinical practice during which the intern engages in direct teaching activities for at least 100 school days.  The experience may include classroom teaching, observation, coursework, seminars, and planning. 
    • Job-embedded: The job-embedded clinical practice is a full-year experience during which candidates are inducted into the teaching profession while serving as a teacher of record. 

Diversity of Placements

A significant expectation for clinical experiences is that candidates work with students who have varied learning needs and characteristics, including students of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, students with disabilities, students who are economically disadvantaged, and students in different grade spans.

  • Student teaching or Internship: These candidates shall have direct teaching experiences with students with diverse learning needs and varied backgrounds in at least two settings during the clinical practice.
  • Job-embedded: These candidates shall have experiences with students with diverse learning needs and varied backgrounds in at least two settings.  This may be achieved by varying the settings of the field experience and clinical practice.  It is important to note that for candidates engaged in a job-embedded experience, the second setting does not require a shift in teacher responsibilities during the school year.  For example, job-embedded candidates may be able to meet the expectation by regularly observing or working with another educator during a part of the day when they are not instructing students or during a summer experience.
Information for Educator Preparation Providers (EPPs)

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), defines clinical experiences as guided, hands-on, practical applications and demonstrations of professional knowledge of theory to practice, skills, and dispositions through collaborative and facilitated learning in field-based assignments, tasks, activities, and assessments across a variety of settings. Clinical experiences are categorized as either a field experience or clinical practice.

Types of Clinical Experiences

  • Field Experiences: Early and ongoing practice opportunities to apply content and pedagogical knowledge in PreK-12 settings to progressively develop and demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions.   
  • Clinical Practice: Opportunities that provide candidates with an intensive and extensive culminating, field-based set of responsibilities, assignments, tasks, activities, and assessments that demonstrate candidates’ progressive development of the professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be effective educators.  There are three types of clinical practice:
    • Student teaching: The student teaching clinical practice is a planned semester of at least 15 weeks that includes full-day teaching and observation activities.
    • Internship: A full year of clinical practice during which the intern engages in direct teaching activities for at least 100 school days.  The experience may include classroom teaching, observation, coursework, seminars, and planning. 
    • Job-embedded: The job-embedded clinical practice is a full-year following completion of a baccalaureate degree whereby candidates are inducted into the teaching profession while serving as a teacher of record. 

Diversity of Placements

A significant expectation for clinical experiences is that candidates work with students who have varied learning needs and characteristics, including students of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, students with disabilities, students who are economically disadvantaged, and students in different grade spans (e.g., K-5/6-8/9-12).

  • Candidates enrolled in an educator preparation program that includes a student teaching or internship clinical practice shall have direct teaching experiences with students with diverse learning needs and varied backgrounds in at least two settings during the clinical practice.
  • Candidates enrolled in an educator preparation program that includes a job-embedded clinical practice shall have experiences with students with diverse learning needs and varied backgrounds in at least two settings.  This may be achieved by varying the settings of the field experience and clinical practice.  It is important to note that for candidates engaged in a job-embedded experience, the second setting does not require a shift in teacher responsibilities during the school year.  For example, job-embedded candidates may be able to meet the expectation by regularly observing or working with another educator during a part of the day when they are not instructing students, or during a summer experience.