Work Experience Requirement
The Work Experience Requirement
Future teachers must be familiar with the characteristics of learners from various cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds. Therefore, through volunteer or paid experiences in education settings such as day care centers, public and private school classrooms, summer camps, and other youth groups, prospective teachers must interact with the learners they plan to teach. This promotes an understanding of teaching-learning processes and contributes to sound decision-making about academic and career goals, and helps prepare educators for their work with diverse learners. Documentation of these activities contributes to a professional portfolio valued by future learners.
Criteria for admission to a teacher education program include documentation of at least 80 hours of volunteer or paid education work experience with learners of a variety of age groups. At least 40 hours of these age-appropriate 80 hours must be with learners whose cultural, social or ethnic backgrounds differ from the candidate's own.
[Note: Candidates for Special Education must document two separate 40-hour experiences in two different settings, with learners who have special needs. One experience should include learners with a different level of severity or functioning (e.g., mild/severe, young/adult) from those learners in the other experience. one experience should also include learners with cultural, social, or ethnic backgrounds different from the candidate's own.]
These early teaching experiences may occur before or after the student matriculates at Penn State, but for all the Childhood and Early Adolescent, Secondary, World Language and Music Education programs, the experiences must occur following graduation from high school. (Some other teacher certification programs at Penn State will review experiences completed prior to graduation from high school). All experiences must be documented by the end of the fall semester prior to formal application to a teacher education program. These experiences must be in addition to those associated with courses such as CI 295.)
Experiences with young children engaged in meaningful learning activities such as work in a day care setting, are appropriate for someone considering, yet routine "baby-sitting" is not. Community and campus jobs, summer camps, etc., with youngsters who are of the age or exceptionality you plan to teach once certified, are also appropriate.
The Education Work Experience Documentation Form is used to document these early teaching-learning experiences. The student ensures that the completed form, with supervisor's verification, is returned to Penn State so that the student's academic record will reflect those hours accepted by the academic department (students should keep a copy of the completed form). An electronic screen (ARISDX) accessible to advisers posts the hours accepted. Multiple forms, available from advisers, may be needed for multiple experiences.
You, as the prospective teacher, complete sections 1-12 of the form. [PLEASE PRINT.] Then you ask the person who supervised the education work experiences to verify the information, and mail this form immediately. (Remember to provide an addressed envelope and postage.) Note that it is your responsibility, not the supervisor's, to ensure that this form reaches us.
Please contact academic advisers or administrators representing the teacher preparation programs. General inquiries about teacher education at Penn State may be directed to the University's Advising and Certification Center at (814) 865-0488, or at http://www.ed.psu.edu/