College of Education *
College of Education *
Teacher education certification programs

Field Experiences, Professional Development Schools, Clinical Practice and Year-Long Internships

Teaching is a profession of practice. At the University of Maryland, each of our teacher preparation programs has authentic field experiences embedded into the student’s coursework requirements. Teacher candidates use the knowledge learned throughout their preparation programs as they develop the skills to implement this knowledge in these field-based settings.


Field Experiences

Field experiences vary among programs to align program requirements with area and grade level of intended teaching.

Many of the undergraduate teacher preparation programs offer introductory fieldwork experiences (e.g. EDHD220, EDCI 280, EDCI 210, EDCI 288O) that allow students to explore the teaching profession.  In these courses, students have placements in school settings in addition to the lecture on campus.  Students are also encouraged to explore on and off-campus activities to gain experience with the age group that they intend to teach.  Please check with an advisor about opportunities that may be available.

Each program/department in the College of Education has placement coordinators who arrange student field placements in Professional Development Schools. Transportation to and from field placement sites is the student's responsibility and students are encouraged to make carpool arrangements. When this is not feasible, every effort is made to assign students to a school accessible by the Metro and/or Shuttle UM transit system.

Before teacher candidates are permitted to begin these fieldwork experiences, a Criminal History Disclosure Form must be notarized and submitted to the Office of Student Services, Room 1204 Benjamin Building.

Note: State law gives the local schools, in which students are assigned, the discretion to require a criminal background check and/or fingerprinting prior to placement. Teacher candidates are responsible for all costs associated with these requirements. Early Childhood Education students must also have a current physical indicating a negative tuberculosis result and proof of immunization.

For information regarding the student internship experience, see Student Year-Long Internship.

Professional Development Schools

Field experiences and internships occur in Professional Development Schools (PDS). These networks of PreK-12 schools have established partnerships between the Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, and Special Education professional education programs. Through these relationships, the College of Education has set high standards designed to establish a learning community that supports diversity and equity among students, faculty and staff while improving teaching and learning of all students.

The university program faculty and professional staff are committed to working with PDS partners to support high quality teacher preparation and improving student learning for all children. The student’s program coursework is grounded in research-based, best practices. With this foundation in both content knowledge and pedagogy, the College of Education strives to support teacher candidates within their practica, internships, and coursework. While under the mentorship of the school and university faculty, students are expected to have high standards of professional conduct, while being an integral and contributing member of the school community.

While the PDS models vary somewhat, the College of Education currently has an established partnership with more than 50 individual public schools. These PDS networks share a commitment to excellence according to the standards developed by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).
Clinical Practice

Candidates engage in the action research/inquiry process within the school setting. Their action research is linked to school improvement needs and teacher candidates use the results of research and inquiry to inform future practice in the classroom and to foster student achievement in PDS sites. The responsibility for placements, mentoring, and performance assessment of teacher candidates is shared by College of Education and school-based professionals. Staff development for teachers is jointly planned and implemented. Research and inquiry projects are developed by school- and campus-based teams, and protocols are in place for facilitation of traditional and action research in the schools. School personnel are actively involved in the initial design as well as ongoing evaluation and modification of the campus-based curriculum.

Student Year-long Internship

The year-long internship takes place in a Professional Development School setting and is the culminating field experience in the teacher preparation program. Phase I of the year-long internship occurs during the fall semester and consists of methods courses (for undergraduates) while students engage in fieldwork. Phase II occurs during the spring semester and consists of a full-time (Monday-Friday) placement within a school. In addition, undergraduate students take one course on campus, which usually meets in the afternoons (after the internship) one day per week.  Graduate students should check with their program for additional coursework requirements.

Each teacher candidate's internship will vary according to the unique attributes of their teacher education program. All internships will provide teacher candidates with the opportunity to integrate theory and practice through a comprehensive, authentic experience. The year-long internship is arranged by the academic program in collaboration with the Professional Development School Coordinators and the designated schools in the partnership.

The year-long internship requires a full-time commitment. Therefore, it is not possible to take any additional classes or work during this phase of the internship. Teacher candidates assigned to schools for this internship are responsible for their own transportation and living arrangements and should be prepared to travel to whichever school has been assigned. The student teaching internship requires a special fee.(Note: Fee is subject to change).

While all activities are supervised by the clinical supervising teachers at the field sites, students are legally liable for their own actions. Students are strongly encouraged to purchase liability insurance. The National Education Association, the Maryland State Educators Association, and many personal homeowner policies provide inexpensive coverage.

Applying for the Year-long Internship Student Internship Experience

Undergraduate: In order to receive a year-long internship placement, all undergraduate teacher candidates must apply the semester prior to the beginning of their final/senior year. Prospective teacher candidates must have already been admitted to the Professional Teacher Education program and have completed all prerequisites in order to begin the internship.
Graduates: Graduates are admitted directly into the teacher preparation program. Therefore no additional application is required for internship placement.

Prior to assignment, all students in teacher preparation programs must have:

  • Maintained an overall grade point average of at least 2.75 with a minimum grade of "C-" in every course required for the major; For graduate students an overall grade point average of at least a 3.0 is required;
  • Satisfactorily completed all other required course work in their program;
  • Received a favorable recommendation from their department (for undergraduates);
  • Attained qualifying scores for the State of Maryland on the Praxis I and Praxis II* assessments examinations;
  • Applied for a year-long internship placement through their academic program during the semester prior to the internship year (for undergraduates);
  • Received favorable ratings from prior supervised experiences in school settings (for undergraduates);
  • Received favorable evaluations on the College of Education Foundational Competencies; and,
  • Submitted a notarized Criminal History Disclosure statement.

*Students who apply must successfully pass Praxis II prior to Phase II of the student internship.

Note: State law gives the local school to which the teacher candidate is assigned the discretion to require a criminal background check prior to placement. Students are responsible for all costs associated with these requirements.
College of Education Student Internship Repeat Policy

All registrations in the full-time placement of the year-long internship, regardless of whether a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence, will be counted as an attempt under the campus repeat policy. Only two registrations will be allowed. After two registrations, further attempts at a student internship must be approved by the department and the school system professionals involved in the teacher candidate's student internship experience. This policy applies only to students in the College of Education during the year-long internship.

Accreditation and Teacher Certification

All teacher education programs at the College of Education are nationally accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).  Through this national accreditation, we have a reciprocal agreement with most states and the District of Columbia. In addition, Maryland has reciprocity with several U.S. terriorities, British Columbia, and Department of Defense schools.

Several of these states require prospective teachers to meet additional ancillary requirements (e.g. additional teacher candidate assessments and/or courses, higher GPA requirement) in order to be fully certified in that other state. In many cases, the incoming teachers are able to begin teaching, and they are given a specific time-line for fulfilling any remaining teacher certification requirements for that state.  Students interested in teaching in other states are encouraged to check with those respective states for specific information.

Upon successful completion of a teacher education degree, students are eligible to be certified, though students must still apply through the Maryland State Department of Education. A typical application process will require students to submit official transcripts, Praxis scores and an application fee, among other items.  

At the time of graduation, the College of Education informs the Maryland State Department of Education of the graduate's eligibility for certification. Under Maryland law, criminal background checks may be required and considered by the State Department of Education in the awarding of teacher certification.  This information may also be considered by employers, before granting employment in the teaching field. Certification may be denied or revoked for individuals who have been convicted of crimes of violence and/or child abuse.

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) requires completion of additional courses in reading. Students in secondary, Pre-K-12 (Art, Music and Physical Education), and secondary special education must complete a six credit sequence. Students in early childhood, elementary and early grades special education must complete a twelve credit sequence. Check with your advisor for information on meeting these requirements.

For more detailed information regarding how to obtain your Maryland Teacher Certificate, visit the Maryland State Department of Education web site.