Student Teaching/ Special Education Practicums

Student teaching is required for all teacher education programs and is completed during the final semester. The student teaching experience should be a time of enjoyment and professional growth. The time, effort and dedication you bring to student teaching will yield positive results for you and your students.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to apply for student teaching, the following criteria must be met:

  • Completion of all coursework required for the teaching degree prior to student teaching.
  • WSU GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • Grade of "C" or better in all Professional Education Sequence courses including all EDFD courses, HERS 204, and SPED 300. K-12 and 5-12 majors must also earn a "C" or better in EDUC 429 and EDFD 449. Rochester campus students should communicate with their academic advisors to learn which courses in their program are part of the Professional Education Sequence. Also, each Teacher Education program may have additional grade requirements in their major.
  • Completion of formal application materials one year in advance of the student teaching semester.
  • Documentation of professional liability insurance (EMAE membership is an option).
  • Admittance to teacher/professional education unit.
  • Criminal Background Check - A refresher background check is required before you start your Student Teaching semester. Depending on your placement, you will use either your placement school’s background check or WSU’s vendor, Castle Branch. The type of check you will need, and the directions to acquire it, will be noted on your placement information.

Applications are due approximately one year before you will student teach. Notify the Center for Student Success if your eligibility changes.

Placement Types and Areas

Each teacher education program requires at least 16 weeks of student teaching but the number and type of placements vary.

  • Elementary Major (Winona): one 16 week placement
  • Elementary Major (Rochester and Austin): one 6 week placement in the fall and one 10 week placement in the spring
  • Elementary/Early Childhood: 16 weeks total (May do a 12 week placement in elementary and 4 weeks in preschool)
  • Elementary Major with Middle Level Minor: a 12 week placement with elementary and 4 week placement in 7th/8th grade.
  • Elementary Major with Two Middle Level Minors: three placements with 12 weeks in elementary, 4 weeks in first minor and 4 weeks in second minor
  • K-12 Majors: one 16-week placement or two 8-week placements (one elementary and one secondary) depending on program requirements and field experiences completed
  • 5-12 Majors: one 16 week placement
  • PE/Health Majors: a 10-week placement of secondary health and physical education classroom work and a 6-week placement in elementary physical education or health/physical education combination work
  • Special Education: a 16 week placement in each licensure area
  • Double Majors: a 16 week placement in one major and 8-10 weeks in second major (May vary if majors are closely related such as TESOL and Spanish OR if one of the majors is SPED)
  • Secondary Major: one 16 week placement
  • Secondary Major with Middle Level Minor: a 12 week placement within high school and 4 week placement in 5th/6th grade

During the final semester of a student's academic career, students are placed in a student teaching placement. There are many school districts with which WSU holds contracts. Student teachers have a voice in the region in which to be placed. Students will select the city or area in which to be placed. Placements are made the semester prior to student teaching.

Student Teaching Abroad

Winona State student teaching candidates have the opportunity to teach abroad for the semester through Educators Abroad.

For Whom?

  • Pre-service teacher education students completing final school based teaching requirements prior to being recommended for certification or licensure as a pre-primary, middle and/or secondary school teacher.
  • Students enrolled in teacher education institutions worldwide who are fluent in English
  • Prospective educators who want to develop and demonstrate their teaching abilities, while increasing their cultural awareness, by completing student teaching requirements in a cultural setting different from their own.
  • SPED majors are NOT eligible for this program


A rigorously assessed 10 to 18-week school based experience through which participants:

  • Apply knowledge and skills acquired in teacher education coursework and school based teaching experiences.
  • Explore and apply multiple principles of learning and multiple teaching strategies.
  • Accept responsibility for, and demonstrate ability to fill, all roles expected of teachers in schools concluding with assuming responsibility for teaching.
  • Develop entry level competence in the full range of teaching functions as defined in relevant teaching standards.
  • Demonstrate awareness, and apply principles, of professional and ethical behavior.
  • Assess, along with university and school personnel, their present competence and potential for growth as a teacher.


Student teaching in a cultural setting different from one's own:

  • Broadens one's perspective on life, education, educational policy, and the teaching/learning process.
  • Increases the ability of educators to effectively educate students of different cultural backgrounds and to prepare them for the global community they will live in.
  • Provides opportunity to:
    • Demonstrate readiness to enter the global profession of teaching.
    • Be shortlisted for employment in over 8,000 English medium international schools worldwide, in government schools in several countries, and in multicultural schools in the student teacher’s home region.


73 countries across all continents. Placements are also arranged within an applicant’s home country to provide experience in other cultural settings and/or accommodate personal circumstances.


Stop into the Center for Student Success, Cathedral 212, to begin the process.