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The Field Placement Office assists educator candidates in identifying and securing pre-practicum experiences and practicum placements in order to complete their educational licensure program. We build and maintain partnerships with schools and educators to enable students to gain valuable classroom experience in preparation for their future profession.

Candidates will be assessed for teacher readiness in relation to the Professional Standards for Teachers through the Candidate Assessment of Performance (CAP).

Candidates in a Master of Education program leading to Initial licensure* must complete two components of student teaching:

  • Pre-Practicum Experience: 100 hours of classroom experience
  • Practicum: a full-time, full semester teaching experience that takes place at the end of your program of study.

*If you are a Specialist Teacher of Reading candidate, please see the Specialist Teacher of Reading field placement page.

What You Need to Know

  • Pre-Practicum Requirement

    In your initial licensure program, you’ll participate in a pre-practicum field experience to become familiar with the classroom environment. Observing and participating in the classroom will give you exposure to the routines, curriculum, and activities that are part of the school day. It also prepares you for your practicum.  It is a requirement that, along with several others, must be fulfilled before you begin your student teaching practicum at the end of the program.

    The Field Placement office will work with you to find a placement in an urban or suburban Massachusetts school. You can use the Pre-Practicum Application to begin the process. Please note that the pre-practicum experience cannot be completed at the same time as your practicum, and planning should begin the semester before you intend to complete your pre-practicum experience hours.

    Pre-Practicum Application Deadlines
    Fall: April 1
    Spring: November 1

    Handbooks and Forms

    Pre-Practicum Handbook (PDF)
    Pre-Practicum Application
    Pre-Practicum Gateway Observation Assessment Guide
    Pre-Practicum Semester Timeline
    Pre-Practicum Teacher Candidate Final Assessment
    Pre-Practicum Teacher Candidate Self Assessment

  • Practicum Requirement

    Planning Your Student Teaching/Practicum Experience

    All placements must be approved by the Office of Field Placement. Contact us to begin planning your practicum the semester prior to your practicum to ensure a suitable placement. We hold practicum planning sessions at the beginning of each semester. 

    You'll need to meet the following to be eligible for the practicum:

    • Complete all required prerequisite coursework for their program
    • Complete all MTELs required for the license being sought. More information regarding MTELs and MTEL workshops.
    • Complete and document your pre-practicum experience
    • Hold a G.P.A of 3.0 or higher
    • Have no incomplete or failing grades

    Practicum Application Deadlines
    Fall: April 1
    Spring: November 1

    MTEL Score Deadlines
    Fall: August 18
    Spring: December 20 

    You may be able to use your current employment for your placement if it is an appropriate setting and an appropriate supervising practitioner is available. You are responsible for arranging your placement with the employer and gaining approval from the office. Please contact your Field Placement administrator about employment meeting practicum needs.

    Teacher Candidate Practicum Process

    • Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your readiness for your intended practicum semester.
    • Attend an information session.
    • Complete the practicum application: your completed application is the first indicator to our office that you intend to complete a practicum, and will officially begin the placement process. You need to have an application on file before proceeding further with the process.
    • Submit the remaining documentation directly to your field placement administrator for approval:
      • MTEL scores
      • Current resume
      • Pre-Practicum experience documentation
      • Supervising practitioner paperwork
      • Copy of supervising practitioner's license (screenshot of ELAR profile is acceptable)
    • Once your practicum documents are reviewed and approved, your field placement administrator will notify you and give you instructions on registering for the practicum and seminar course.
    • Register for the practicum and seminar.

    Forms and Handbooks

    The following forms and handbooks are necessary to complete the pre-practicum and practicum experiences. Most are Word documents. Please also take a moment to familiarize yourself with the revised Massachusetts Professional Standards for Teachers.

  • Teacher Residencies

    Students enrolled in a teacher residency program still need to complete field placement requirements by particular deadlines in order to be approved for their practicums. It is the student's responsibility to ensure the submission of their field placement materials and their readiness for registering for their practicum seminar course. Candidates will not be able to register for the practicum seminar until approved by the Field Placement office. 

    Please refer to these checklists for the practicum preparation process:

    Pre-Practicum Handbook (PDF)
    Pre-Practicum Application
    Pre-Practicum Gateway Observation Assessment Guide
    Pre-Practicum Semester Timeline
    Pre-Practicum Teacher Candidate Final Assessment
    Pre-Practicum Teacher Candidate Self Assessment
    Supervising Practitioner Paperwork
    Teacher Residency Checklist
    Candidate Assessment of Performance Reference Materials

    Please visit the Candidate Assessment of Performance page for more information.

  • Alternatives to a Semester-Based Practicum

    If you'd like to consider an alternative to a traditional fall or spring practicum semester, we have two offerings, both accompanied by a Lesley-based seminar. You must have met all practicum prerequisites prior to entering your practicum semester.

    Year-Long Paid Internship

    Spend a full academic year working as an intern in a public school, completing all required field experiences while earning a stipend and gaining valuable learning experience. You will have an official practicum semester and will take a accompanying seminar. 

    Interns begin working in their schools before the children arrive in September, and remain until the last day in June, working collaboratively with highly skilled mentor teachers. Depending on a variety of factors, you'll complete your practicum in either the fall or spring semester. Though the Field Placement office tries to ensure that all student and school needs are met, we cannot guarantee a school will be able to accommodate every student situation. Please contact our office if you are interested in an internship position.

    Summer Compass 

    The Summer Compass Program provides a six-week academic experience for approximately 125-150 Cambridge Public School children in grades PreK-6. Lesley and the Cambridge Public Schools collaboratively offer the program, with Lesley candidates able to fulfill part of their student teaching during the summer. The program typically runs from late June through mid-August at a Cambridge public school.

    This practicum alternative is available for candidates in one of our Early Childhood, Elementary, Moderate Disabilities, or Specialist Teacher of Reading Initial license programs. It involves:

    • A 7-week half-practicum and seminar during the summer semester in a Cambridge public school (for Specialist Teacher of Reading students, the Summer Compass 7-week experience satisfies the entire practicum requirement)
    • A 7-week half-practicum and seminar during the fall semester at a Massachusetts public school and Lesley University

    The program offers an inclusive school environment using a thematic curriculum format, and prepares Lesley candidates in a setting where specialists and general educators develop and implement programs together. Average class size is 20-25 students. Each classroom has a team consisting of a mentor teacher and up to three student teachers, and often includes both general and special education practitioners in a co-teaching model. 

    Student teachers are closely supervised by Lesley supervisors, who are on site several days a week. Weekly two-and-a-half hour seminars are held on site for student teachers, to reflect on their teaching and discuss issues related to the program and their licensure areas. Before the program begins, all staff and student teachers have a week of orientation and set-up.

    If you are interested in joining us next summer, or would like more information, please call 617.349.8399, or apply here.

  • School District Requirements

    School districts have a variety of requirements for student teachers, which may include immunization records and criminal background checks (CORIs) and fingerprinting. Please inquire about these when you meet with the teacher or principal, and find out where requested information should be sent.

  • Resources
Contact Us: Field Placement