A primary purpose of early field experiences on the University of Illinois-Urbana campus is to ensure that candidates in educator preparation programs have early and ongoing opportunities to develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for entry into final internship or student teaching.
Early field experiences must consist of a coordinated sequence of authentic experiences that enable candidates to integrate practical experience and theoretical knowledge. There should be continuous support, supervision, and feedback from the university and preK-12 partners along with performance-based assessments at key points. Experiences should provide early involvement in primary activities required in the role of the preparation area. For initial teacher programs, episodes, or opportunities for leading class activities and/or solo teaching are ensured. Taken as a whole, the clinical experience sequence (including final internship or student teaching) should provide candidates with meaningful experiences representative of the range of ages, educational situations, and populations in their program area.
Early field experiences must have an assessment and evaluation process that provides for ongoing feedback focused on candidate growth. For initial teaching licensure programs, at least one performance-based assessment aligned with the CoTE EFE instrument must be administered to provide candidates with formal evaluation and feedback on their performance prior to student teaching.