What is a Practicum?
A practicum is a component of a college course designed to give students supervised practical application of previously studied theory. In a practicum, students are assigned to a specific teacher in the student's grade level/content area; this assignment is in a public or private school classroom setting for a specified number of clock hours.
Missouri State University currently places over 1500 students per semester in the local/area public and private schools, most in practicum experiences. At Missouri State, all students in the various educational programs are required to complete at least one field experience in a diverse setting. We recognize three levels of practicum experience within a classroom:
- Early - Observations and limited experiences with students - 30 clock hours
- Mid-Level - Observations and structured experiences with students - 45 clock hours
- Culminating - Student teaching in collaboration with a cooperating teacher - Minimum of 12 weeks
Diverse Placements in Field Experiences
The practice of the Educational Field Experiences office, in cooperation with the College of Education, secondary, and K-12 education programs, is to encourage diverse field experience placements for all students. Our students are required to participate in at least one diverse placement during their program of study. Diversity is defined using criteria including Title I, percentage of free/reduced price lunch, percentage of students with IEPs, ethnicity, percentage of ELL students, and variety of grade levels.
Students record diversity information about each placement in their clinical log and/or Taskstream, which can be accessed by education program coordinators and the Educational Field Experiences office to track diversity by program and student. In addition, the Educational Field Experiences office annually receives diversity data from Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) which is uploaded to the clinical log and/or Taskstream.
Clearance Documents Required for Practicums
Missouri State University policy requires that students submit valid, current clearance documents before the student enters the classroom. Documents are recorded in the student's My Missouri State/Test Scores.