Clinical Experiences

Pre-student teaching experiences in public schools are referred to as Clinical Experiences. Secondary Education students work in real classrooms in the local public schools for a minimum of thirty hours during each of the first two levels of their professional program at USU.

Philosophy Behind Clinical Experiences

The goal of a clinical experience is for education students to begin to view the classroom and students from the perspective of a teacher. Rather than being a content driven experience, the clinical experience should focus on the role of a teacher in the classroom and the teacher’s relationships with students, parents, colleagues, and administration within the context of a specific curriculum. To that end, education students should come away from their clinical experiences with a broader understanding of strategies teachers use to generate enthusiasm for a specific content, to engage students in learning, to build confidence and self-esteem, to organize the learning environment, and to create successful learners.

Level 1 & Level 2 Registration

Students should register for a clinical course in addition to their methods class. Both SCED 3300 & SCED 4300 are offered Fall and Spring Semester. Some departments have clinical courses specific to the content area. If this is the case, students should be registered for a section number from that department, i.e. PEP 3300, 4300, ETE 3300, FCSE 3300. Clinical Experiences (CE) are 1 semester credit.

Check with Methods Instructors for questions about clinical experiences.

Clinical Experience Guidelines For Secondary Teacher Preparation

General Policies

Clinicals carry 1 semester credit as 3300 and 4300 course numbers (Level 1 and Level 2) and consist of 30 hours in the secondary classroom placement. Many of the experiences at Level 1 and Level 2 will be coordinated and monitored by special methods instructors in connection with their methods courses. The purpose of the clinical experience is to help prepare students for the realities of student teaching by providing them with a clear understanding of the contexts for schooling in grades 7-12. For this reason, when possible, USU students will have a middle school placement at one level and a high school placement at the other level. The clinical experiences should be in two different schools, in different content areas, and with different teachers. The Office of Field Experiences will do its utmost to facilitate this, but, due to limited placement options, it may not always be possible.

Clinical experiences at the two levels will be funded by a $50 fee (for some programs) or differential tuition (for SCED courses) each semester. This fee will be paid to the mentor teacher who assumes major responsibility for the supervision of a USU student. The role of mentor teachers will be to work with students and to provide oral and written feedback; part of this mentoring process will involve completion of a final evaluation form.

The methods instructor and/or clinical supervisor for each department, will determine the best schedule for clinical placements.


Each methods instructor and/or clinical supervisor first makes his/her clinical experience placement recommendations and provides those recommendations to the Office of Field Experiences. The Office of Field Experiences will sort clinical placements from all fields and develop a comprehensive list of school/teacher requests. The Office of Field Experiences sends these requests to principals and teachers for approval.

In the event of difficulty with a clinical placement, mentor teachers will provide timely information to the appropriate methods instructor and/or clinical supervisor.

The Office of Field Experiences will receive final evaluation forms from mentor teachers, distribute copies of these evaluations to methods instructors so that they may enter their final grades, and makes payments to mentor teachers.


Mentor Teachers fill out the Clinical Experience evaluation form and give it to their clinical student to upload on the canvas course "Secondary Education Canvas Course". Methods instructor and/or clinical supervisor--may be attached on a separate form. Copies of final Clinical Experience evaluations will be provided to the University methods instructor.

Expectations for Professional Conduct

During the Clinical experience, clinical students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner. This includes dressing in appropriate attire when visiting the school. The mentor teacher will be an important resource in helping to determine the appropriate attire for the particular clinical appointment.

Clinical students should be punctual for the class periods they attend, and, barring illness or emergency, should show up each time they are expected. If clinical students cannot show up when expected, they must give the mentor teacher the earliest prior notice possible, first thing in the morning at the latest.