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Authentic teaching experience during your studies

There’s so much more to college than sitting in a classroom. The College of Education believes in the importance of authentic experiences “in the field,” which is why you’ll have many opportunities to work with real kids in real school settings.

Before you earn your degree, you’ll complete clinical / student teaching that combines classroom instruction with supervised field work. The Department of Education Studies educator preparation program is field-based training that gives you the chance to practice the theories and teaching methods from your college classes in the public classrooms of our partner school districts. By applying the lessons from your coursework, you’ll discover your own strategies to solve real-world problems as you “test drive” your teaching career.

Clinical / student teaching is the culminating experience where you’ll demonstrate the
knowledge, skills and dispositions related to educating pre-kindergarten through 12th grade
students. By the time you graduate, you’ll have an impressive combination of education, practical experience and an extensive professional network that will set you apart from other job-seekers.

Guidance from master teachers

For each teaching assignment, every clinical / student teacher is assigned both a field supervisor from SFA and a cooperating teacher. Your field supervisor acts as a critical friend by observing your work in the classroom with children and adolescents several times each semester. He/she will provide feedback and suggestions to help you analyze and enhance your practice.

Cooperating teachers are master teachers who work in the school district and are important components of this education experience. They provide models of effective practice, caring professionalism and critical thinking. They are also resources, supporters and evaluators.

Clinical / student teaching requirements

Read complete details of clinical / student teaching in the Clinical Teaching Handbook.

Criteria for admission to the educator preparation program

  1. Must have and maintain 2.50 overall GPA on last 60 hours, including transfer hours
  2. Minimum 60 credit hours completed with required GPA, including transfer hours and SFA hours
  3. Minimum 12 credit hours completed in teaching field with required GPA (4-8 and SED science/math must have 15 credit hours)
  4. Minimum 12 credit hours at SFA with required GPA
  5. Successful completion of the educator preparation admissions interview (elementary education) or other screening instrument (secondary and all-level)
  6. TSI complete/exempt or basic skills scores in reading, written communication and mathematics must be achieved from one of the following tests or a combination thereof and have been taken within the past five years:
    • TSI
      • Reading score - 351
      • Writing score - 363 and 4 on the essay
      • An essay score of five or higher results in a passing writing score regardless of the multiple choice score.
      • Math score - 350
    • ACT
      • Composite score - 23
      • Verbal (reading) or math score - 19
    • SAT
      • Math score - 530
      • Reading and evidenced-based reading and writing - 480
  7. Must read and adhere to the Texas Educator Code of Ethics found in the Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 247.2.
  8. Must read and agree to the professional dispositions statement for educator preparation found online.
  9. A non-refundable fee of $100 will be charged to the student’s mySFA account for each educator preparation program application submitted.
  10. A non-refundable fee of $35 will be charged to the student’s mySFA account for the Texas Education Agency’s Accountability System for educator preparation technology fee.
  11. An applicant who is transferring from another educator preparation program must meet the criteria listed above, as well as submit a TEA candidate transfer form.

Clinical / student teaching options

The clinical / student teaching experience can be completed by:

  1. Unpaid - A 15-week semester (no fewer than 75 full days)
  2. Unpaid - A 2-semester half-day experience with a minimum of 30 weeks (no fewer than 150 half school days)
  3. Employed as an Educational Aide - A 15-week semester (no fewer than 75 full days) 
  4. Employed as an Educational Aide - A 2-semester half-day experience with a minimum of 30 weeks (no fewer than 150 half school days)

When not directly teaching, you’ll assist and observe in classes, with one period per day being reserved for preparation time.

Early Childhood Laboratory

Are you an SFA student interested in working with young children? The Early Childhood Laboratory is a childcare facility operated by SFA and located on campus. As such, the lab is an amazing place to observe teachers at work and participate in the daily activities of early education classrooms yourself.

Each semester, more than 2,000 SFA students in early childhood education and human sciences child development utilize the Early Childhood Laboratory for observation, participation, research and other educational purposes.

SFA Charter School

The SFA Charter School is our very own on-campus elementary school. This fantastic resource benefits young children from the community while offering our students an authentic training experience in an early education classroom.

The SFA Charter School is based on the twin goals of improving public education and enhancing the preparation of future educators and school psychologists. The school serves as a field-based center for the Perkins College of Education, providing valuable observational experiences with children for university students in elementary education, middle-level education, kinesiology, music, school psychology and other university instructional programs.


Department of Education Studies
Faculty Directory

Janice A. Pattillo Early Childhood Research Center
Room 209

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13017, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962