The practicum field experience occurs in the fall semester (in the second year of the program for the part-time MAT Aspire students.) The purpose of the practicum is to demonstrate a teacher candidate's ability to work with students at an authorization level and demonstrate that the teacher candidate can perform all expected responsibilities of a licensed teacher with support. Practicum is a supervised field experience which includes observation and teaching, typically at a second level of authorization. For example, if a student's first level of interest is elementary and his or her second level of interest is middle school, the practicum is usually done at the middle school. Students continue to use the Observation Guidelines to facilitate their examination of schools, students, and the culture and context for schooling. Teaching candidates must complete at two-to-five-week work sample.
MAT Full-Time Program
Teaching candidates begin the practicum experience in mid-October and continue until early December.
MAT Aspire Program
Teaching candidates in the MAT Aspire program are required to complete about 80 hours of field experience. Willamette University makes the school site placement for the practicum while the student arranges the schedule with the supervising teacher. About 55 hours must be at one school and accomplished in tandem with EDUC 555 Planning and Implementation of Instruction and EDUC 522 Assessment of Instruction. Candidates must observe for a minimum of four full days in order to get a complete understanding of the school experience at that level. Candidates are responsible for teaching a two- to five-week work sample, including a minimum of 15 hours of teaching. Teaching occurs in the window of late November to early January. Candidates may request a Waiver [pdf] of up to 30 hours of the requirement based on recent prior experience teaching at that level of authorization.