As teacher candidates progress through their degree program at Otterbein University they will have multiple opportunities to work with children in the PreK-12 environment. As candidates progress through these experiences they will practice increasingly challenging tasks required of a teacher, culminating in their final year with a twelve-week (minimum) full-time student teaching experience.
Each time candidates are placed in the field, they must have current FBI and BCII background checks on file with the Office of Teacher Candidate Supports. The term “current” is defined by Otterbein to mean that the background reports are no more than a year old throughout the time of the placement.
Please be advised that, once fingerprints are processed, it can take four (4) weeks or more for background reports to be returned – Candidates cannot wait until the first day of a class with a field experience to process their fingerprints.
To learn where to obtain criminal background reports visit the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s WebCheck. BCI’s FAQ webpage may provide answers to many of your questions regarding criminal background checks.
Early Field Experiences
Prior to student teaching, candidates complete 170-300 contact hours in classroom-based field experiences. Each placement is embedded within a course and enables candidates to put into practice what they are learning in their university course work. Field experiences provide candidates with opportunities to work in both urban and suburban schools, and with diverse populations of learners. Because field experiences are embedded within various courses, candidates generally do not need to submit an application to request these placements. Questions about early course-embedded field experiences can be directed to the specific course professor.
Early course-embedded field experiences include (but are not limited to):
- 45 hours in EDUC 1600
- 20 hours in EDUC 2000/2200
- 75+ hours in EDUC 3200 (Early Childhood), 3410 and 3420 (Middle Childhood), and 3700 (Adolescent-Young Adult).
- Additional hours are required for methods and pedagogy courses across specific programs. See specific course descriptions for details.
Culminating Field Experience (Student Teaching):
Prior to student teaching, candidates must complete a student teaching application requesting a placement. As candidates approach the end of their course work, they will be required to attend informational meetings about student teaching and the student teaching application process.
Please contact Fred Fastenau in the Office of Teacher Candidate Support with questions regarding field experiences and student teaching (435 Roush Hall, 614-823-1301).