College of Education > Student Resources > Field Experiences

Field Experiences

Basic Information

  • Each teacher education program requires supervised field experiences with students in schools. These field experiences are included as course assignments in specific courses in the academic program.
  • The minimum number of required hours varies by program. 
  • Students are required to complete Level I and Level II Field Experiences prior to student teaching.
  • Examples of field experiences include: assisting teachers, administering assessments, tutoring individual students, or teaching in small and large group settings. As part of the field experiences training, students are expected to practice in a variety of settings and grade levels.

Basic Requirements

  • Field experiences must be completed in at least three different schools, with a minimum of fifteen hours within each grade level/program category for which licensure is being pursued.
  • Students are required to complete a specified number of hours with exceptional children and in a multicultural setting.
  • Field experiences must be completed in a classroom setting while school is in session and students are present.
  • Field experiences must be unpaid and supervised by a fully licensed educator. Professional behavior and dress are expected at all times.

CPS Field Experience Process

In order to complete field experience within the Chicago Public Schools, students must complete a two-step process. Field experience includes any students completing observations, pre-clinical hours, practicum experiences and any PRE-student teaching experiences in CPS schools. Field experience is NOT the same as student teaching clearance.

To get a Background Check there are two steps that must be followed:

1. Registration Form ~ go to and click on Field Experience Program to access the online registration form. Complete the online form. Please enter Kate Liston as the name of the Coordinator of Field Experiences. Please put 773-325-7768 for the telephone number of the Coordinator of Field Experiences.

2. Criminal Background Check form ~ go to and click on Field Experience Program for the CPS Fingerprinting Form. Print the form and take it to the Accurate Biometrics Office closest to you. You can find the locations by going to . Put the receipt that you will receive from Accurate Biometrics in a safe place. You will need it in case any questions should arise.

After your livescan fingerprints are completed, Accurate Biometrics will send your fingerprints to the Illinois State Police and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Once your fingerprints have been cleared, the ISP and the FBI will send the clearance to Accurate Biometrics. Accurate Biometrics will send the clearance to CPS. CPS will then send you an e-mail with your Approval Notice form attached. This will take at least two weeks to be processed. The Approval Notice is valid for all of your field experiences until it is time to Student Teach. When you are getting ready to student teach, you will go through the process one more time.

Please contact Kate Liston at  if you have any questions about background checks and/or Student Teaching.

Mandated Reporter

While completing field experiences and preparing for student teaching, students should be aware of the Mandated Reporter Training, which will be required before student teaching. This training can be done at any time. DCFS has raised a concern that student teachers may not believe they are mandated reporters. All school personnel, including administrators and both licensed and non-licensed school employees, are considered to be mandated reporters. Student teachers are mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect when acting in their professional or official capacity. Student teachers are required to fill out the appropriate Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status form. There is a self-paced training and then the individual completes CANTS 22, a form.

Please go to the Mandated Reporter Form.

At the end of the training students will take a quiz and then receive the CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION (which must be printed out at the time of completion). Please make at least two copies and retain them with important documents. If you have any questions, please contact Kate Liston at


Kate Liston
Director of Field Experiences & Student Teaching
(773) 325-7768

Antonio Porter
Placement Specialist
(773) 325-7653

Ariel McWillie
Placement Specialist
(773) 325-4349​