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General Description
Policy Provisions
Performance Evaluation
Subject Experts
Student Teaching Professional Semester Policy

Document Number: SOEDU--110 Revision #: 1.0
Document Owner: Executive VP Date Last Updated: 07/11/2013
Primary Author: Dean of the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 05/15/2012

General Description

Information about the professional semester policies for student teachers relative to School of Education and Public Policy policies.


Delineation of policy.



Responsibility: Academic Affairs
VP for Academic Affairs

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Relevant Knowledge: In order to comply with this policy you should know:
Current University policy

Terms and Definitions: Additional training

Corrective Action

Loss of privilege, student

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Policy Provisions

Professional Semester Policies

In light of past experiences, professional ethics, and institutional norms the following policies have been adopted in order to ensure the best possible student teaching experience for Cumberland University students.



Prior to the Professional Semester

1. Students must have completed all the prerequisites for the Professional Semester as shown in the Cumberland University catalog.

2. The enhanced undergraduate student teaching experience will be scheduled during the senior year, for a full semester.

3. All placements are made at the discretion of the Coordinator of Field Experiences, in cooperation with local educational agencies or districts. Students may request a school in which they would like to be placed. Requests should be within a 30-mile radius of Cumberland University. Students may also request a placement outside of Wilson County or that radius if personal circumstances make such a placement a necessity. The University will strive to honor these requests; however, there may be circumstances when this is not advisable or possible. If these placements are made, a gas surcharge will be charged to the student teacher. Students will be charged 44.8 cents for each mile over 60 miles required for a roundtrip to the placement site. Pre-payment is required unless another arrangement is made.

4. Student teachers must have record of a background check with “no indications”  on file in the School of Education office in Bone Hall.

5. Student teachers must have and provide proof of liability insurance. Such coverage must be comparable to that provided by Student Tennessee Education Association. This is available through membership in the Student Teacher Education Association; visit to register on-line.



During the Professional Semester

1. The Professional Semester is a full-time experience. Students may not take any other class except student teaching seminar during this period. It is the University’s position that students are not to hold another job during this period. It is state law that no other courses may be taken during the Professional Semester.

2. Students shall not be assigned to a school where they have been a student, where they have worked, or where family members attend or work.

3. Punctual, daily attendance is expected and essential. Cooperating teachers and University supervisors are to be notified immediately and personally of any unavoidable absences/tardiness. Documentation will be required for an absence of more than two days. Chronic absenteeism/tardiness will result in an extension of the student teaching schedule, withdrawal from the course, or failure of the course.

4. All student teachers will have two student teaching experiences during the Professional Semester semester.

a. Elementary majors will be placed in two different grades – K-3 and 4-6;

b. Secondary majors will be placed under the supervision of two different teachers – one in the middle grade and the other in a high school setting;

c. Students preparing for a K-12 license will be placed in two different levels:  Music K-6 & 7-12 and P.E. K-4 & 5-12. These experiences may take place at one school or at multiple schools;

d. Special education majors will have two placements: one in a general education classroom and the other in a special education setting. Grade level varies with interest of student and availability.

5. Student teachers should respect their assignments as they would a teaching contract, and are expected to conduct themselves in a highly professional manner.

6. Student teachers are to follow the school district calendar unless it imposes some unnecessary hardship. Any exceptions must be cleared with your University supervisor in advance.

7. Student teachers must not assume responsibilities for activities in or out of the classroom not specifically covered by laws of the state.

8. Student teachers will be present at all school-related functions in which their cooperating teachers are expected to attend, regardless of the time of day at which the functions occur. Examples of such are staff meetings, PTA meetings, and athletic events.

9. Student teachers may not serve as substitute teachers during the semester in which they are student teaching.



University Recourse

The mission of the Cumberland University School of Education is to create competent, caring, qualified professional educators. If at any time there is a legitimate indication that a student teacher will not successfully complete the professional semester to the standards of the faculty of Cumberland University and its cooperating school partners, any of the following steps may be taken:

· Candidate will agree to and complete a Phoenix Plan for remediation during the semester; and/or

· Candidate will complete a third placement during the following semester; or

· Candidate will repeat the professional semester after additional course work is taken as deemed appropriate by a professional education committee; or

· Candidate will fail the course without the opportunity to repeat it.

The Professional Semester is graded on a pass/fail basis. The grading policy is detailed below in “Seminars and Assignments.” 

a. While supervisors are to make every attempt to ensure that student teachers know if they are at risk of failure, a passing grade is not ensured until after the last day of the second placement.


Student teachers who violate University or placement school policies or procedures will be called before a Teacher Education Committee for appropriate disciplinary action as per the University catalog.


Exceptions to these policies are made only with strict educational justification and on the discretion of the University. Requests for exceptions should be made to the Coordinator of Field Experiences and/or the University Supervisor.


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Performance Evaluation
Performance Metrics: Compliance with standard policy and procedure

Consequences: Further training
Loss of privileges

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Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.
Dean of the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts

VP for Academic Affairs

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