Introduction to C I 495A

The PreK-4 field experience opportunity (often referred to as Pre-Student Teaching) is one of a block of four courses taken simultaneously. This block of courses (referred to as the Discipline Inquiry or DI Block) includes MTHED 420, SCIED 458, and SS ED 430W. A Penn State University faculty member will serve as your supervisor for your field experience. This supervisor also serves as your instructor for the seminar component of C I 495A. Together with your supervisor and instructors from the three other DI Block courses, a cooperating teacher will mentor you. All of those in the program are dedicated to helping you have a successful experience.

C I 495A provides an opportunity for you to integrate ideas across the DI block as you explore the world of classroom teaching. This experience will direct you to examine the following questions:

  1. What does it mean to be a teaching professional and to establish professional relationships with teachers, students, and families?
  2. How can I use the tools of observation, writing, reflection, teaching, and research to learn to be a great teacher?
  3. How can I apply what I am learning in the DI Block (MTHED 420, SCIED 458, and SS ED 430W), as well as my experience in the LL ED Block and other related coursework, to improve my teaching?
  4. How can I know when I am teaching well?

The Penn State University Teacher Education Performance Framework guides our teacher education program. It is intended to achieve the desired outcomes in the following Domains of teaching:

  1. Planning and Preparation for Student Learning
  2. Teaching
  3. Inquiry and Analysis of Teaching and Learning
  4. Fulfilling Professional Responsibilities


C I 495A is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Satisfactory completion of C I 495A requires (a) satisfactory completion of all written assignments, (b) satisfactory contribution to weekly seminars, and (c) satisfactory performance within each of the four Domains as described in Appendix A: Assessment Form for 495A/B/C

(Note: To earn or maintain Dean's List status, a minimum of 12 credits in courses that give letter grades must be earned each semester. You are not eligible for the Dean's List unless you are enrolled in 3 credits outside of the DI Block.)

Requirements and Documentation

  1. Grade Point Average: You must have earned a "C" or better in all prerequisite courses. (It is the student's responsibility to insure that all prerequisites have been met. If in doubt, contact your academic adviser.)
  2. Registration: You must be registered for all appropriate methods courses in addition to C I 495A.
  3. Clearances: On the first day of class, you must present your field experience instructor with photocopies of the following:
  4. Valid Act 34--Criminal History Clearance
  5. Valid Act 151--PA Child Abuse Clearance
  6. Valid FBI Fingerprint Clearance
  7. Arrest/ Conviction Report and Certification Form (Act 24)
  8. Department policy requires evidence of the above-noted clearances and verifications on the first class day of the semester. If you do not have valid clearances (that is, you have an offense listed), please see your supervisor. You must retain the original copy of each of the clearances and verifications noted previously. Photocopies only are to be given to field experience instructors and will not be returned.
  9. Liability Insurance: Verification of Professional Liability Insurance (Liability insurance must be current throughout the duration of the field experience.)
  10.   Tuberculosis Test: Verification of a valid tuberculosis test.
  11.   Guest Host Form (signed).
  12.   Mandated Reporter Training.
  13.   Transportation: You must have, or have arranged for, transportation to and from your placement site.

Important Information


C I 495A, the pre-student teaching field experience course required for early childhood education majors, occurs in child development centers and elementary schools within a commuting distance, (a 60 to 70 mile radius) of University Park. Students must make arrangements for their own transportation. Special housing is not required.