Perhaps the single most important aspect of preparing to be a teacher, school leader, or school support personnel is experience in actual school settings. The University of Illinois clinical experiences (Early Field Experiences, Student Teaching, and Internships) provide these opportunities for our candidates. Early Field Experiences (EFE) range from initial group observations of classrooms to working with individuals and groups of students. During Student Teaching the candidate eventually takes over an entire classroom.
Every year approximately 500 University of Illinois candidates complete student teaching experiences, with at least that many completing a variety of EFEs and internships. Candidates are mentored by a practicing professional teacher, administrator, librarian, school social worker, or speech/language pathologist; under the supervision of a Urbana campus clinical experiences supervisor. These cooperating professionals are partners with Urbana campus program faculty and staff preparing our candidates to "teach and learn in a diverse society."