Field Experiences

Program Requirements

Students enrolled in the following courses: ED 170, ED 270, ED295, ED 330, ED 374, ED 378, ED 379 and several methods courses are required to complete a field experience. These experiences are integral components to the St. Olaf College Teacher Education Program and provide an opportunity to apply educational theory to real-world settings. Students are required to complete a minimum of 120 hours of field experience, 60 hours of which must be in a diverse setting.


Changes to Field Experience Requirements due to COVID-19 in Effect for Academic Year 2021-2022

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students in the class of 2022 must complete a minimum of 100 field experience hours prior to student teaching rather than 120 field experience hours.  Students in the class of 2022 must have field experiences at each required grade level; however, we will require a minimum of 10 hours rather than 20 hours.  Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis for students who cannot obtain at least 10 field experience hours at a required grade level.

Changes to Field Experience Requirements due to COVID-19 in Effect for Academic Year 2020-2021

For the Fall Semester, only licensure students enrolled in ED 330 will complete their field experiences. Students will be expected to follow all safety protocols outlined both by St. Olaf and by their schools, including monitoring their health each day before leaving campus, wearing masks at all times, and washing hands frequently.  However, to limit the number of volunteers we send into schools, students in all other Education courses will not have field experiences in the fall. Overall numbers of hours required will be adjusted based on the field experiences offered in each upcoming course.

For Spring Semester, students enrolled in Education courses with field experiences will complete a range of experiences, including in-person, virtual, and case studies using ATLAS. ATLAS (Accomplished Teaching, Learning and Schools) is an online (password protected) library of case studies showing National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) at work in their classrooms. ATLAS cases include a classroom video, accompanying written commentary, instructional materials, and indexing to teaching and learning frameworks. The videos show accomplished teaching in action. The teacher commentary highlights activities leading up to the lesson, analysis of what took place, and a reflection on what went well and what might be done differently in the future. Students will be asked to complete analysis and reflection tasks related to the cases they view. For information on setting up your ATLAS account, visit this link.

Additionally, we are requesting that students in the Classes of 2021 and 2022 document their field experience hours if they have teaching experience in a summer academic program.  Due to COVID-19, the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) is allowing teacher education programs to use some of students’ prior teaching experiences towards the required field experience hours.
Here are the details for applying to have your summer hours count for field experience hours:
  • It must be a teaching experience (e.g. Upward Bound, Breakthrough, LearningWorks, EXPLO) in order for it to count for field experience hours.  Camp counseling experience (e.g. YMCA, church camp) will not count towards field experience hours.
  • This option is currently only available to students in the classes of ’21 and ’22.
  • The maximum number of summer academic program hours that can count towards field experience hours is 50 hours.
  • To record your hours, submit the Summer Field Experience Confirmation Form in Tk20 under the Applications tab.  You will be asked to provide information about your summer academic program and reflect on your teaching experience.
  • Once you submit the application, someone from the Education Department will notify you about its status.