Whitworth University's undergraduate Teacher's Education Program is distinctive in that teacher candidates receive a minimum of 180 hours of classroom field experience with students before entering their final student teaching placement. Teacher candidates leave Whitworth prepared not only in their specific content areas, but also in hands-on methodology, lesson planning, assessments, differentiation strategies, behavior interventions, classroom management and reflective teaching. Through unique classroom and placement opportunities, Whitworth provides teacher candidates with opportunities for intercultural awareness and growth, as well as practice in social and emotional learning strategies for the classroom.
The Whitworth School of Education (SOE) also houses the Office of Educational Certification & Career Services (ECCS) that works solely with graduating students to prepare them for the workforce. All candidates have multiple opportunities to meet regional school administrators, participate in mock interviews and receive feedback on their application materials. The ECCS also supports alums in adding certifications, maintaining their certificates and supporting them through job changes.
Each Whitworth undergraduate from the teacher education department will have a minimum of five field experiences upon graduation. If they choose to add an endorsement or double major or minor in English Language Learners (ELL) or special education, they will have opportunities for even more. Additionally, beyond the required five field experiences, any teacher candidate can choose to add additional field placements if they need or require more classroom experience. All field placements through Whitworth University require WA State Patrol/FBI fingerprint clearance, OSPI Pre-Residency Clearance, and liability insurance, which candidates will be given information and instructions on when entering the program.
The five field placements required for all our undergraduates include:
- EDU 203: A semester-long field experience in which candidates are placed in classrooms as teaching assistants and tutors. Opportunity for candidates to reflect on their potential as educators and relate classroom experience to class co-requisites Educational Psychology (EDU 201) and Exploring Teaching (EDU 202). (Must be taken with EDU 202).
- EDU 342 or EDU 351: A semester-long placement in either an elementary, middle or high school for field experience depending on a candidate's major (elementary or secondary). Candidates will develop competencies in teaching and assessing learning in language arts and math at the elementary level. In the secondary level, candidates will work with students in groups, assist teachers, and begin planning and teaching lessons. (Must be taken with EDU 340 & 341 or EDU 350).
- EDU 368/369: Participation in an intercultural off-campus experience at a local, national or international educational site. Involves full school day experiences with culturally and linguistically diverse students. Includes observation, lesson planning, assisting students with special needs, tutoring, teaching and attending professional meetings at culturally diverse sites. Except for local settings, students live in the community and participate in the life of the community. Candidates prepare culturally proficient analysis of their experiences, use levels of cultural insights to interview persons of diversity, and infuse lesson plans with culturally and linguistically diverse strategies and assessments. (Must have taken EDU 367).
- EDU 442 or EDU 485: Placement in an elementary, middle or high school for field experience depending on a candidates' major (elementary or secondary). Elementary will observe reading and language arts lessons modeled by teachers and to assess reading abilities of selected students. Secondary will work with students in groups, assisting teachers and planning and teaching lessons. These field placements usually take place immediately prior to the student teaching semester and often are the same placement as their student teaching practicum. (Must be taken with EDU 440, EDU 441, and EDU 461 for elementary and EDU 465 for secondary).
The following intercultural field placements are the current available options for undergraduate education majors:
- Hawaii (Jan Term)
- Dominican Republic (Jan Term)
- Albuquerque, New Mexico (Jan Term)
- Local Spokane intercultural sites (Jan Term)
- Australia (May Term)
Trips outside of Spokane have extra fees associated with them. All students must complete an intercultural field experience application and attend an informational seminar prior to their placement. Please inquire for more information about any of these placements.
- EDU 496/497/498: A semester-long field placement as a student teacher in either an elementary, middle or high school depending on a candidate's major (elementary or secondary) and content area (secondary only). Student teachers will be placed with a mentor teacher and a university supervisor who will observe, model, and assess how a candidate integrates their prior years of learning into leading and teaching a classroom of students for an extended and focused period. This practicum provides an additional 496 hours of field experience. Candidates will also meet as a cohort throughout this semester to reflect on and discuss their experiences, work on their capstone project for state certification and prepare for their first teaching job. (Must be taken with EDU 472 & 474 for elementary or EDU 476 & 478 for secondary).