Clinical experiences are the pre-student teaching (PST) opportunities to observe, tutor, and assist small group and whole class instruction in schools and other agencies. A minimum of 100 clinical hours should be earned before student teaching with a minimum of 50 hours being in a diverse setting. If diverse hourse are not met via PST clinicals, then student teaching should be in a diverse setting.
All ISU students should complete 50 pre-student teaching hours in a diverse setting before student teaching. For cases in which this is not completed, a student teaching placement in a diverse setting should occur. Diversity, within ISU’s database, is determined from Illinois school report card data. For organizations that are not required to report via the ISBE report card, diversity is commonly identified as not diverse. This is due to not having verifiable and consistently reported data.
There are four areas of diversity on which schools/organizations are judged. To be considered diverse, they must meet at least two of the following diversity minimums:
- English Language Learners = 10% or greater
- Students with Disabilities/IEP’s = 5% or greater
- Low Socioeconomic Status = 20% or greater
- Racial Diversity= 20% or greater
For schools/organizations that do not report diversity via the Illinois school report card, students can communicate with their professors and site to determine if an experience meets diverse clinical expectations. Professors may require students to complete and submit proof of diversity. Professors, when approving the pre-student teaching document, can then override the individual site as diverse when approving the students' hours.
Pre-student teaching clinical experiences are completed in coursework prior to student teaching and can begin as early as freshman year. Course expectations for clinicals are determined by the department for each individual course. Questions about the clinicals can be directed to the clinical professor.