Get out of your classroom – and into a child’s world
The cornerstone of your SFA education is not in the university classroom; it is the real-world classroom of elementary and secondary students. The James I. Perkins College of Education is unique in the amount and variety of applied opportunities all students have, even during your undergraduate years, to get valuable hands-on, in-person experience delivering education to children.
All students participate in classroom settings, from the SFA Early Childhood Laboratory to the SFA Charter School to local/regional elementary schools.
Undergraduate field experience
Before being enrolled in clinical practice, all undergraduate teacher candidates participate in field experiences or internships in their content areas. Under the supervision of SFA faculty and a cooperating teacher in the school district, you’ll learn amazing teaching strategies that best benefit the student. You’ll spend one semester of field experience in the SFA Charter School or the SFA Early Childhood Laboratory and one semester in a public school placement prior to clinical teaching.
By the time you start your clinical practice, you’ll already have many hours of real-life experience under your belt. EC-6 students finish their studies with nearly 250 hours of actual classroom experience and secondary education students log about 80 hours in the “real world” – all before clinicals. This unique aspect to our educational philosophy is truly something that sets SFA apart, and we’re proud of this distinction.
In addition to your authentic teaching experiences in the field, you’ll have many opportunities to participate in important research projects – even as an undergraduate! The Perkins College of Education encourages all students to find a passion and dive in. We even have our very own undergraduate research club, which was started by an undergraduate to promote research projects among fellow students.
Whether you’re interested in presenting at national conferences, working with a professor-led team to investigate a particular issue or joining like-minded students on campus for in-depth discussions on specific subjects, you’ll find your niche.